The medicine ball clean is an explosive compound movement that introduces one to Olympic style weightlifting with a medicine ball. The muscles it primarily uses are the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, core, shoulders, and upper traps, but is especially good for developing full-body coordination, agility and explosive power.
Here are some reasons why you should love medicine ball cleans:
- It is a strength-based exercise that utilizes your whole body.
- Although it is one of the most effective exercises for developing co-ordination, agility, explosive power and the core, it can also prevent lower back injury and pain if done properly.
- This movement hits the core and lower body, and often contributes significantly to stabilizing your midline and healthy back.
- A medicine ball is the only equipment necessary.
So how do you do a medicine ball clean?
1. The hands are placed on the sides of the ball, fingers pointing down toward the floor. Keeping the finger tips off of the ball, i.e., squeezing the ball between the palms, can be a good way to prevent “throwing” the ball upwards, rather than using the hips and shoulders to drive the ball up off the floor. The hands must slide across the surface of the ball which doesn’t spin or swing out away from the body.
2. Even though the medicine ball is fairly lightweight, you should take a deep breath and hold it to help support the torso and engage the midsection. The abs, core, glutes, hamstrings and shoulder blades should be tense.
3. The shrug
Once the hips are fully extended, the shrug begins. The shoulders need to begin shrugging up fluidly with the end of the hip extension, so there is no hesitation or decrease in speed. The hip extension and shrug should pop the ball up out of your hands from the momentum of the power that has been generated. If you find that you are tossing the ball upwards rather than relying on your hips and shoulders, take your finger tips off the ball and squeeze it between your palms, and remember to keep those arms straight.
4. The squat: The hips are used to help pull yourself down under the rising ball. Don’t just fall casually – use your muscles to control your squat underneath the medicine ball.
5. The lift:The lift begins by driving the heels into the ground and explosively opening the hips. The hips must reach full extension before anything else happens. In other words you reach a full standing position. Thinking of making yourself tall
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photo credit: Lumix Panasonic/http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Medicine_Ball_Plank.jpg
Valeo Medicine Ball
- Classic medicine ball workout helps develop core strength, improve coordination, and fine-tune balance
- Sturdy rubber construction can bounce off hard surfaces
- Textured finish provides a solid grip
- Come in four-, six-, eight-, ten-, and 12-pound weights
- Exercise wall chart is also included