Throughout the fitness industry, utilizing med ball exercises has been a large component of increasing force development, improving neurological activation along the speed-strength continuum, not to mention it is just flat out fun to slam a ball.
No matter if you are into fat loss, improving athletic development, or gaining muscle, there are benefits for everyone when it comes to slamming stuff into the ground or a brick wall.
This week’s favorite sequence of mine comes in the form of slamming a med ball into a wall, and then performing a Turkish Get Up.
A1. Rotational Med Ball Shotput – 3×5/side (6-8lbs)
A2. Turkish Get Up – 3×1/side
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The purpose of the rotational med ball scoop toss is to improve rotational force production in the frontal and transverse planes. If many exercises are performed in the sagittal plane, we may develop an “overdependence” on these exercises – and if we live in a three-dimensional world, we need to improve the way we interact with the world in a three-dimensional manner – not only sagittal plane, but also frontal and transverse plane.
Now, the funky part of this combination is the Turkish Get Up – to some people, this may not be a surprise of an exercise; others have never even heard of it before.
In fact, if you’ve never tried it before, it is a great combination exercise in its own regard. It targets abdominals, is a checkpoint for glute functioning when you go into the “high bridge” portion (where you squeeze your butt into the air), and then also includes a hip hinge, and lunging pattern.
It’s like those Highlight magazines you did those search puzzles in when you went to the dentist or doctor as a kid – it has some gems in there if you look really hard.
Now, the integrated portion of this combination is the sweet deal that you didn’t know you had until you rang up your coupon at the cash register:
Let me explain.
If you are throwing a ball, you need to produce force that will attempt to cross midline from sternum, sacrum, and sphenoid bones. In other words, you need to rotate appropriately (and on both sides in this specific drill).
In the medicine ball throw, you need to push off from the ankle, activate the glutes to rotate (reciprocally if I may add), and have the trunk come along for the ride – which activates one set of obliques, and the opposite side of obliques. Further, this rotation of the trunk facilitates scapular motion as you literally throw the ball.
What is an “arm care” exercise that isn’t integrative?
So when you perform a med ball shotput, you integrate the feet, glutes, trunk, scapula, and even the neck and eyes because you won’t be able to hit your target (very effectively) if you could not look at it.
Now, when you perform a Turkish Get Up, you are doing the same exact thing, but slower and with more control.
As you move from the ground up, you are stabilizing both scapula in various positions, stabilizing the trunk in various positions, moving with adequate hip mobility, and improving sensory awareness of the body due to breathing (which means you shouldn’t be grunting or holding your breath), and slowing down the movement for control purposes.
These higher end movements involve utilizing a rolling pattern, that aim to reset and activate certain tonic/phasic musculature.
Lastly, the vision aspect is huge. You can improve your sensory awareness by integrating where your eyes are located into the mix – as you move from the “ground upwards” you should be keeping an upward look at the kettlebell as you move from step to step.
Combine this with a fast paced med ball drill such as the shotput, and you can really enhance the way you exercise and improve force development!
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Keep it funky.