If you're bored with your monotonous exercise routine, spice it up by throwing a medicine ball on a trampoline or rebounder and catching it when it bounces back. Although this might sound and look deceptively easy, this upper-body plyometric drill, which is often used during sports conditioning, will have you huffing and puffing in no time. In addition to making you feel like a child on the playground, throw-and-catch exercises can strengthen your bones and muscles and help prevent injuries.
Position the trampoline so it's slanted at an angle of about 70 degrees and facing you. Just in case your aim is off, ensure there aren't any people around you or the trampoline during the exercise.
Hold a medicine ball in your hands and stand about 2 feet from the trampoline in a split stance, so one foot is about a step-length in front of the other. Alternatively, assume a shoulder-width stance.
Tighten your abdominals to stabilize your body, lean slightly forward from your hips and bend your elbows at your sides to bring the medicine ball against your chest.
Extend your elbows and forcefully push the ball away from your chest onto the center of the trampoline.
Catch the ball with both hands when it bounces back to you and bend your elbows, allowing the resistance to bring the ball about 3 inches in front of your chest. Immediately extend your arms and push the ball back onto the center of the trampoline. Minimize the time that the ball is in your possession -- imagine it's a hot ball of fire that's burning your hands. Complete five to 10 repetitions and three to five sets.
- Strength Training; Lee E. Brown
- BodyBuilding.com: Plyometric Training for the Upper Body
- ExRx.net: Medicine Ball Chest Throw (On Rebounder)
- Power Plyometrics: The Complete Program; Ed McNeely and David Sandler
- ExRx.net: Medicine Ball Overhead Throw (With Partner)
- If you're new to this exercise, use a 1-pound medicine ball. As you get stronger and more comfortable, challenge yourself by slowly increasing the weight or your throwing speed, or by moving further away from the trampoline.
- For variety, make overhead throws part of your workout. Extend your arms overhead while holding a medicine ball in your hands. Bend your elbows back 90 degrees before forcefully extending your arms forward and throwing the ball on the center of the trampoline.
- To put less emphasis on your lower body, do the exercises while kneeling in front of the trampoline, instead of standing upright.
- If you don't have a trampoline, have a friend catch the ball and throw it back to you.
- Warm-up with low-intense cardio for about 10 minutes before doing the exercise.
- Consult a doctor before taking on plyometric medicine-ball drills, especially if you have injuries or a health condition.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.