This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
There's a reason NBA players have such big shoulders. For this exercise, you'll use a medicine ball to throw high vertical tosses as you power out of a squat. The high throwing and catching actions will stretch and contract your shoulders, while the squat gains an added intensity from the weight of the ball.
Either outdoors or in a room with a high ceiling, stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a medicine ball in both hands at your chest and look straight up toward the ceiling (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, sit deep into a squat, pressing your hips back as you keep your back flat. As you descend, keep the majority of your weight back on your heels while still applying pressure through the balls of your feet (see Photo 2).
- From the bottom of your squat, explode powerfully upward through your legs as you toss the medicine ball as high as you can, straight up into the air (see Photos 3 and 4).
- Keep your arms extended while the ball is in the air so that you can catch it with arms outstretched upward. When you catch the ball, use the ball's momentum to ease it back to your chest, and immediately drop into another squat. Repeat the squat-toss sequence for a total of 12 tosses (see Photos 5 and 6).