How do you warm up into a workout with a small medicine ball? Better yet, and if you are a beginner in fitness, what simple workout routine can you do to engage the core, legs, lower back, butt muscles and cardiovascular engine all in one. One that will help you limber up while developing cardiovascular & muscular endurance. Simple, my "medicine ball warm up". Why? It works major muscle groups and major joints (knees and shoulders) as well as your cardiovascular engine. And it also helps develop strength and mental confidence, stretches the lower back and hamstring muscles which for many adults is a weakness and issue. What I like most about the medicine ball warmup is that its a combination circuit routine, meaning that it covers upper body, lower bodyand core of the body.
During the 1st movement (squat and ball press) you engage both legs through the squat and upper body/shoulder head muscles through the press at the top. Additionally and whats great about this movement, you also engage your cardiovascular engine, as this movement can really get your heart and lungs pumping. During training getting out of breath is a good thing, and raising your heart rate to a place where you feel a little uncomfortable is what helps you progress, improve, and exchange gas more efficiently. It's building a cardiovascular engine through muscle work which is a key component to my training philosophy. Not while spending hours of time on a treadmill. It's quick hit time efficient training!
During the 2nd movement, you engage the core rotation from a standing position with bent knee to help protest the back. Always bent knee or athletic stance. This movement really helps you work your core muscles deep in the belly of your abdominals. And it also helps elevate your heart rate challenging your cardiovascular engine during your routine. Because we rotate at the hips as humans, its important to train the body the way the body was meant to move, in more of a functional manner. As you move along and through the site you will note in my "band training level 1" video, that we also engage the core through band rotations (similar movement, different piece of equipment). This is a great beginner total body workout, which works more that just the core.
And during the 3rd movement, the wood chop, you will get a chance to catch your breath while stretching out the backside of your body which includes your lower back, hamstrings and glute/butt muscles. People have a tendency to work mirror muscles (muscles they see in the mirror or the front of the body) and neglect the back side (aka: backyard) and so it is my belief we must also train non-mirror muscles to keep our lower back strong and conditioned no matter our age.
When you are capable of doing 20 repetitions per each of the three movements (60 total repetitions), and complete three sets you should be using this as a warmup into your training routine for the day. Not as a workout. Keep challenging yourself and move into some of my LEVEL 1 training routines.
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