Multi-joint exercises are effective for building strength, improving cardiovascular conditioning and improving dynamic mobility and stability. COVID-19 has forced us all to find new ways to work out while we stay at home. With that in mind, the next two columns will feature medicine ball exercises that are staples in my garage routine. First up is this lunge to overhead press maneuver that is sure to get your heart rate up.
Execution: Begin standing upright with both feet shoulder-width apart and hold the medicine ball against the chest. Next, lunge laterally onto the left leg allowing while reaching the medicine ball toward the floor just above the foot. Upon returning to the upright/start position, press the medicine ball overhead. Next lunge to the right and repeat the same sequence. Perform alternate lunges and presses for time or a desired number of repetitions. I suggest beginning with 30 seconds and increasing time as tolerated for a cardiovascular effect, or focusing on a slower cadence and repetitions for more of a strength focus. You may choose to do multiple sets and incorporate this into a circuit as well.
1. Perform the movement with a horizontal chest press
2. Reduce the reaching portion the lunge and place the medicine ball on the outer hip as opposed to above the foot
1. Increase the weight of the medicine ball
2. Increase the reps/time under tension or speed/total work time
Application: This exercise will improve hip shoulder, torso and hip strength, while also providing some cardiovascular conditioning given the repetitive multi-joint movements and pressing motion. Use caution if there is any active hip, knee, shoulder, neck or back pathology. Keep in mind the depth of the lunges can be modified as needed for anyone with arthritis or patellofemoral pain.