Great Med Ball Exercise

Today I want to share a cool med ball variation that I’ve been using recently with a lot of my clients.

Basically, it combines a rear foot elevated split squat iso hold with med ball slams, so I called it…wait for it, rear foot elevated split squat iso hold with med ball slam.

I know I know, I’m so creative with naming stuff. I’d consider myself a creative person ideas-wise, but when it comes to naming things…not so much. I think it started at a young age when I named my first teddy bear Teddy.

Anywho…back the exercise.

Here’s what it looks like in action.

Up until recently I was training mostly athletes, so I used med balls primarily in the beginning of the workout as a means to develop power.

Now that I’m doing more general fitness training as well, I’m still using med balls for power work, but I’m also using them later in the workout for different reasons as well: metabolic work, core work, etc.

I wouldn’t consider this exercise to be my first choice for developing power, though I do think it can still be useful in that regard. I actually do it mainly for the iso hold part of the exercise though.

I’ve always liked using rear foot elevated split squat iso holds, and adding a dynamic med ball slam into the mix increases the hip and core stability demands significantly because you have to stabilize your lower body and torso in the presence of movement.

I’ve been getting feedback from a lot of my more beginner clients that they feel it a lot in their core, which makes sense because it sort of mimics a wood chop type movement. I don’t feel that myself, but I think that may because I’ve never done with a really heavy med ball.

The goal is to get full extension with your arms at the top on each rep. Not everyone will be able to do that at first, and some won’t even come close, but keep working at it. You also want to make sure that your lower body stays steady as your arms move up and down. So the hips shouldn’t swivel and the rear knee shouldn’t be moving up and down much, if at all. The steadier, the better. Again, for most clients it will be a work in progress.

The goal is to throw the med ball as hard as possible, but even for clients that aren’t able to throw it very hard, I still think the exercise has a lot of benefit from a stability standpoint, so I’ve been using it with a wide range of clients and I’m liking what I see.

In the video above I’m throwing the ball out in front of my body, but you can also throw it a little to either side to add in a small rotary component.

I’ve been doing them in the 10-12 rep range and doing the reps fairly quickly (while still maintain control and good form), which by the time you do both legs jacks your heart rate up quite a bit, making this a good choice in a metabolic circuit as well.

The slams also take your mind off the iso hold, so by the time you’ve done 12 reps, you’ve also done a 20-30 hold depending on how fast you do the slams. Time seems to stop when you’re in a regular iso hold, so this is a good way to think about something other than how badly the iso hold burns.

There are lots of ways you can program it depending on your goals, but I just wanted to share the exercise with you because it’s been working well for me.


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Sorry, for some reason my blog doesn’t seem to be working to allow me to embed links in the text (aka. I’m a computer idiot).