This standing exercise from fitness instructor Crystal Powers brings awareness to the shoulders and upper back while challenging core stability. Adding the lateral stepping lunge challenges the legs and glutes and gets the heart pumping. This lunge is a great warmup at the beginning of a workout or you can add a faster heart-thumping boost to your cardio by increasing the tempo.
- Stand with your feet close together, slightly bend knees while maintaining a good, strong upright posture. Hold the medicine ball in front of you.
- Shift your weight to your right leg and extend (sidestep) your left leg about twice your shoulders width while keeping your feet parallel.
- Keeping your right leg straight, push your hips back and squat with a 90-degree bend at your left knee. Be sure your left knee is above your toes not out in front of them.
- Press the medicine ball to lower left outer thigh and shift your body weight over the left glute and leg.
- Step together and cross the ball to right shoulder, bending elbows.
- Circle the ball around your head as if tracing a halo.
- Keep legs and core firm and stable; encourage mobility through upper back and shoulders.
- Complete the halo as the ball reaches the left shoulder
- Extend right leg while bending right knee into a lateral stepping lunge
- Lower the medicine ball to lower right outer thigh. Then bring it up to your left shoulder and circle your head again.
- Perform 8-10 smooth, fluid halo circles in each direction.
As a general guideline, beginners can use a 3- to 4-pound medicine ball; intermediates a 5- to 6-pound ball; and advanced participants a 7 to 8-pound ball. Perform all moves with control, bringing extra awareness to shoulder mobility and stability.