Fitness Trail: Three drills for medicine/slam balls

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series.

The last Fitness Trail column highlighted the basics of medicine and the slam ball. This column and the next feature three different medicine or slamball drills so you can get started with these fitness machines today. As always, please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.


Warm up for 5-10 minutes without the medicine / slam balls performing the movement patterns without these tools. This prepares you for the movement patterns so when you add the tools to the program your body is ready to hit the ground.

Before each exercise, grab your shoulders down and back, your chest raised, your navel towards your spine and your pelvic floor pulled up and in, your shoulders / hips / knees / toes all pointing in the same direction. Do 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise on two-three non-consecutive days / week. There are two medicine ball drills and a slam ball in this series.

Three drills

Exercise # 1 (side lunges – 4-20 pound medicine ball press) – Stand with your feet more than shoulder width apart and hold the medicine ball. Lunge to the side with your right knee bent and left leg straight to the side, with your shoulders, hips, knees, and toes all pointing in the same direction. Pivot from your hips and push your right buttocks towards the wall behind you and when you come back to the center, push the ball over your head and then bring it to the opposite side.

Constantly be aware that your bent knee is passing over this heel, never let the knee shoot forward over your toes, keep your torso long and strong, and keep the pace slow and controlled. This is a compound exercise that works the quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks, hip abductors, adductors, deltoids, and core from nose to toe.

Exercise # 2 (Shuffle Ball Slam – 4-16 pound Slam Ball) – Make sure it is a slam ball and not a medicine ball as medicine balls will ricochet. Create a space where you can safely mix right and left 4 times. Holding the ball, shuffle right four times, then hit the ball on the floor from the top, and then go down and pick it up. Repeat to the left. This station is a power station, so expect your heart rate to increase.

Exercise No. 3 (Abduction / Squat – BOSU – 4-20 Medicine Ball Press) – Select a medicine ball, place the BOSU in a free area with the handles at 12:00 and 6:00 and place your right foot on top and your left foot on the floor next to the BOSU.

Flex the hip abductors (outer and upper hips), drive through your right heel, abduct your left leg to the side as you push the ball towards the ceiling, then lower your back into a “toe / ball / heel” squat position , Both legs should be in an offset squat position from front to back, bring the ball back to your chest, and repeat. Then repeat on the opposite side.

This is a compound exercise that works the hip abductors, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, deltoids, and core from nose to toe. These are unilateral abductions / squats, so stay on one side and complete your reps. Then run the drill through on the opposite side.

Jackie Wright is the owner / manager of Mountain Life Fitness in Granby. She can be reached on her website at and her email at

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