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more advanced drill: the twisting lunge with medicine ball


Adam Bolonsky

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Getting more advanced now: the twisting medicine ball lunge. What's key about this move is its dynamic range of motion. Take away the lunge (which strengthens the quads and hams (but be careful at first, as it's easy to pull those muscles if you're not in shape)) and watch only Mike's arms and you can see how closely the twist mimics a paddle stroke.

So what's this drill do? It tests and improves your balance. It strengthens your lats, obliques, abs and shoulders. Its range of motion and dynamic flow mimic the range and load of a paddle stroke. Finally, Mike's chest twists to nearly a right angle to his hips: a truly rotated torso. You cannot with this drill indulge in what David Lewis calls faux rotation, or the illusion that by rotating your shoulders you have rotated your torso.

Also, the overhead portion will strenghten your triceps (back of the arms) and deltoids. So not only will you get stronger up top but you'll eliminate what fashion photogs call the grannies, or limp flesh at the back your arms.

Finally, this exercise will get your heart rate up. If you are out of cardio shape (poor wind), take it easy until you can handle the aerobic demands of this drill.

You will feel an all body tenderness next day. As I mentioned in previous posts, repeat the exercise the next day, without weight, and very gently, to stretch the stressed muscles and increase blood flow to them to speed healing. You will be sore because of microtears in your muscles, and it's only by reparing microtears that our muscles grow stronger. No other way to get stronger without microtears. The soreness is caused by microtearing.

As with the dumbell lat row and ball twist, in lieu of a medicince ball a soup can, telephone book, dead cat or small dog will do.

Key: twist TOWARDS the hip of the extended leg and foot. Make sure your extended thigh hovers parallel to the floor.

Go slow!

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