Most of us have spent beautiful spring and summer days playing a little catch with our family or friends or actually playing softball or baseball. This year let’s throw a little curve ball into the game of catch by choosing different types of balls to throw and catch.
We are referring to using medicine balls, mini balls (i.e. pliable, light-weight balls) and sandbells, which are sandbags in a bell shape. You can play catch with another person or group, or the balls may be thrown into a rebounder or at the floor/wall where safe to do so.
This week we will highlight three fun throwing/catching drills with medicine balls. The drills are progressive, so follow the progression to ensure your safety, effectiveness, and fun! As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
For all three drills –Perform a thorough 5-10 minute warm-up. Rotate shoulders back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, pelvic floor engaged, knees relaxed, shoulders/hips/knees/toes facing your partner. Perform two/four sets of one of these drills, two-three times/week on non-consecutive days.
Medicine Ball Toss – 2-10lb. medicine ball
-Stand on the floor, facing your partner approximately four feet away from one another.
-The concept in this drill is to “lob” the ball with a nice arc to your partner so that the ball lands softly in both hands.
-Brace yourself as though you are expecting someone to punch you in the gut and toss the ball to your partner, with a rhythmic two-count to them and back to you. *Keep the torso vertical. If the ball is thrown low and you need to lower yourself downward, hinge from the hips and flex the knees.
-Perform the ball toss for 30 seconds, take a 15 second break and repeat.
*Once you have mastered the drill, to increase intensity, stand further apart, and begin to move side to side away from each other changing the perspective of the ball toss or you may also increase the weight increment of the ball.
Medicine Ball Toss – 2-10lb. medicine ball on a BOSU Balance Trainer – must master drill #1 before attempting this one!
-You and your partner each stand on your own BOSU approximately three feet apart.
-Perform the same ball toss from this unstable piece of equipment.
Medicine Ball Toss with quick squats – medicine ball and a BOSU Balance Trainer
-You stand on the BOSU and your partner stands on the floor a safe, short distance in front of you as you have to be able to exchange the ball while moving.
-Your partner holds the ball while you perform alternating quick squats from the BOSU. *Right leg squats on the floor with the left foot on the BOSU, then quickly switch.
-Once you have established a consistent right/left quick squat pattern, your partner will count down from four and begin tossing you the ball so you catch it as you come across the top of the BOSU. *Note: your partner is performing the same quick squats from the floor and follows you as you move across the BOSU.
-Perform this sequence for 30 seconds, take a 15 second break and repeat. Then switch with your partner.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.