Get Optimal Fitness Results from your Squats with a Medicine Ball

The Medicine Ball. We’ve all seen them. Most of us have used them at one time or another. But for the most part, we don’ really appreciate the benefits of that odd little round, weighted object. That’s because generally we utilize an excessive amount of weight, overexerting ourselves and thus depleting the advantages that should be presented by its use.

Trainers have been lauding the benefits of the medicine ball for ages. When the appropriate weight is selected, and the proper fitness techniques applied, it can deliver awesome results, not just for strengthening and stabilizing core muscle groups, but to target other muscle groups all over the body.

In fact, many standard exercises can be augmented by the use of a medicine ball. That small amount of additional weight is perfect for optimizing performance on target muscle groups, as well as increasing the workout across the back, arms and chest during lower-body workouts.

Travelle Gaines Medicine Ball SquatsIn particular, the medicine ball can be an incredibly valuable tool for doing squats. Travelle Gaines, a personal trainer who’s worked with hundreds of professional athletes and even celebrities. The creator of the Athletic Gaines fitness program based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Gaines recently published a video featured on ThePostGame.com’s Train Like a Pro, in which he emphasized the proper technique for performing medicine ball squats. (See the full video below)

Gaines said squats are a great form of exercise, not just for the body, but because they can be done just about anywhere. Whether you’re at home watching TV, in a hotel room waiting for a business meeting, or, of course, at the gym, so long as you have enough space to stand and move your arms about in a circle, you can perform squats.

It won’t be so easy to do medicine ball squats from a hotel room, obviously. That would require bringing a medicine ball in your luggage, and unless you’re a hardcore fitness buff, you probably don’t want to lug that around outside the home or gym. Suffice to say, traditional squats are recommended when traveling, but if you have access to a medicine ball, adding it to your workout regimen can greatly increase the effectiveness of standard squats.

How to Perform Medicine Ball Squats

“What you want to do is make sure your feet are placed directly beneath your hips, and your toes are pointed straight,” explains Gaines. Then, take the medicine ball and “put it firmly against your chest”, with your fingers pointed outwards.

“You want to sit back at a 90 degree angle,” says Gaines, as if you’re going to take a seat in a chair, and then quickly return to an upright position. He recommends repeating the medicine ball squats in 3 sets at 10 reps each.

“Early in the morning, it really gets your blood going,” vowed the personal trainer.

Travelle offered a simple, 3-step way to remember the proper technique for medicine ball squats:

  1. Feet underneath your hips, toes pointed straight
  2. Med ball placed against you’re the chest
  3. Sit back like you sit in a chair

“That’s how you train like a pro!” he concluded.

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