In the prior column, I demonstrated how to do an unstable med ball horizontal press. This exercise is a progression that introduces diagonal movement patterns while seated on the stability ball with single limb support.
Execution: Sit on a stability ball with both feet shoulder width apart holding a medicine ball against the right hip. The trunk should be erect with a neutral spine angle. Now, lift the left leg a few inches above the floor. Next, slowly lift the medicine ball up and over the left shoulder. Pause at the top and then return to the start position.
The amount of motion will be dictated based on the individual’s body control and available range of motion. Repeat for 10 repetitions while keeping the left leg off the floor. Switch legs and repeat the same movement starting at the left hip, raising the right foot off the floor and lifting the ball over the right shoulder. Perform 2-3 sets.
- Increase the cadence
- Increase the weight of the medicine ball
- Add additional light perturbations to the ball or trunk of the client
- Perform the diagonal lift with less weight or no weight
- Lightly rest the heel of the unsupported leg on the floor to prevent loss of balance as needed
- Perform the exercise with bilateral lower extremity support
Application: This exercise offers a challenging and unstable training environment for PNF patterns. The purpose of this exercise is not to move heavy weight or move quickly, but more so to enhance total body stability throughout all three planes of motion. In many athletes, there is weakness or asymmetry present that contributes to shoulder, back, hip or knee dysfunction. This exercise provides a fun challenging way to work on improving kinetic chain stability in a functional pattern.