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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday workout!

So, I know that you can't have every piece of workout equipment out there. Stability balls, Bosu balls, exercise balls (which may or may not be the same as a stability ball, depending on who you're talking to or how much you've had to drink), medicine balls...


I haven't even gotten to the yoga mats, body bars, kettlebells, dumbells, barbells, ankle weights, wrist weights, dancer bars, swimsuits, swim caps, ear plugs, bike helmets, bike gloves, sports bras or castanets.

I found this workout ages ago in Women's Health, and when I find a workout I like, I carefully tear it out of the magazine and stash it in a huge manila envelope called PUPS'S WORKOUTS. I have only done this particular workout once before, so I was excited to adapt it to the HIIT formula of 50 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat 4 workouts three times. 12 minutes of heaven or hell (depending on who you're talking to or how much you've had to drink).

It does require a relatively specific piece of equipment though: a medicine ball. And that's not something that I actually own. However, I am lucky enough to have a kung fu master as a husband, and in their tech classes (2 hours of sweat and occasional blood), they use what Todd calls pearls.

It's essentially a medicine ball, but one that is painstakingly, devotedly made over a long period of time. It takes countless strips of newspaper taped over like, a wad of masking tape or something similar, and over it goes those newspaper strips, until what started off smaller than an apple is now the size of a volley ball. OR HEY. The size of a medicine ball!

After the newspaper, Todd thoroughly goes over with countless strips of duct tape. And once Sifu Todd has deemed it worthy, it's finished. So you know, I used that.


Medicine Ball Workout

50 seconds each move, 10 second rest. Repeat the set of four moves three times, only ten seconds rest between sets. Total time: 12 minutes (well, 11:50 but you'll definitely use those last ten seconds to stand there panting between gulps of water).

1. Squat and Throw

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, medicine ball (PEARL) chest height. In one motion, squat down with your hooker butt out so your knees don't pass your toes, and slam the ball down hard on the floor in front of your toes. Catch the ball and stand up. Make sure to engage your core and keep your chest out. Repeat

(I am not sure how bouncy legit medicine balls are so adjust the strength of your throw depending on that)

2. Jackknife

Lie on your back, legs straight and feet together, holding the ball with straight arms over your head. You are one with the floor. You are a line! You are one with the ball! It one fluid motion, engage your core and bring your left foot straight up in the air, and bring the ball, arms straight, to touch your toe. Return to lying down, but make sure not to slam the ball on the ground above your head. You want to use muscles, not momentum. Repeat with right leg.

You could do either 25 seconds left leg, 25 seconds right leg, or just switch back and forth.

3. I Don't Even Know What To Call It

Stand with feet together, ball held at chest height. Bend your left leg and bring your knee in towards your chest. In one movement, extend your left leg out and slightly to the left while you extend the ball with straight arms forward and slightly to the right. If your balance is as appalling as mine, don't go to the side as much and just focus on going back with the leg, forward with the ball. Do the left leg for 25 seconds and switch to the right.

This exercise is far easier if you keep your core engaged.

4. Lunge and Toss

Stand with the ball at chest height. Drop down into a lunge while simultaneously tossing the ball lightly into the air. Once you're lowered into your lunge, catch the ball. Use your abs to stabilize yourself and squeeze your glutes down into that lunge to steady your body for the impact of catching the ball. Stand back up and repeat on the same leg. Do one leg 25 seconds and then switch.

I loved this workout. It was simple and easy to memorize so I wasn't having to check back with my paper. It was fun and enough of a challenge to sweat, but not so complex in movement that my form suffered. I loved how quick and easily the transition between moves was. Plus there is something cathartic about slamming a big heavy object onto a concrete floor.

If you don't have a medicine ball, then try anything that can bounce. Or just use a ten pound weight and instead of slamming it on the floor or tossing it into the air, mimic the movements without the weight leaving your grasp.

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