This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Medicine ball chop squats are a great warm-up movement to get your blood going and wake up the muscles in your legs, as well as your shoulders and core.
Legs, Shoulders, Core
Stand upright with a medium-sized medicine ball held in both hands in front of you in both hands and your feet about hip-distance apart with knees slightly bent (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bring the medicine ball down in front of you in a wood-chopping motion—directly down in front of you, either to between your knees or, for a greater challenge, until you tap the floor (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the bottom of the motion, reverse direction and bring the ball back up, all the way to overhead. Try to maintain an even pace throughout the motion. Keep your chest and head high on both the lift and the descent, and allow your feet and legs to bend and pivot as demanded by the motion of your upper body (see Photos 4 and 5).