BE A BALL OF MUSCLE
Complete three rounds of this nine-move circuit, instructs Liubinskas. “It’s designed to give you a taxing, total-body workout using a single piece of equipment. You can also do it in a confined space,” he adds – where there’s maybe just enough room to swing a cat. Give yourself 15 seconds’ rest between exercises. You can take a full two-minute breather between rounds, if you want to. And you will.
1|| BEAR CRAWL TO BALL
Start this priming exercise on your hands and feet, about 5 metres from the medicine ball depending on how much space you have to play with. Crawl towards the ball, driving your knees towards your chest. When you reach it, place your right hand on the ball, engaging your abs for balance. Now crawl backwards the same distance, before returning to the ball for a left-handed touch.
2|| SQUAT ONTO BALL
Elevate your heart rate, open up tight hips and build leg-and-glute strength with this non-negotiable staple. Stand tall, feet shoulderwidth apart, weight evenly balanced. Hip-hinge to initiate the squat, keeping your arms extended out front to keep your upper torso upright, while trying to achieve sufficient depth so that your butt touches the ball. Drive back up.
The slam isn’t just a chance to release pent-up anger. It’s a classic all-body move that torches kilojoules. Squat down to grip the ball firmly in both hands. Now, keeping your back in a neutral position and core braced, rise like Kong, bringing the ball overhead. Pause in this power position, before using all your might to slam the ball into the floor.
4|| FRONT-RACK LUNGE
Stand tall, feet at shoulder width, grasping the medicine ball to your chest. Brace your core and step back with your left leg, hingeing at the knee until it’s almost touching the deck, while your right thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Now use the strength in your right leg to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
5|| RUSSIAN TWIST
Time to attack your core with this advanced move, which is best skipped if you have lower-back issues. From a seated position, raise your feet 10cm off the floor, lean back and lock in to that position. Now grasp the medicine ball on your right side and, keeping everything still except for your arms, bring it over to your left side. Now return it to your right.
KEEP UP THE INTENSITY
You’re past the halfway mark – and no doubt feeling the pinch. “Dig deep to maintain both pace and form,” says Liubinskas. You be the judge as to what weight of ball to use. For safety, you don’t want to be overburdened on moves like the Russian Twist [No. 5]. “Generally, though, I’d be starting with a 10kg medicine ball and possibly switching to 15kg by week two or three of the program,” advises Liubinskas.
6|| PUSH-UPS ON BALL
Assume the push-up position, with two variations: your legs are slightly wider than usual and your right palm is on top of the ball. Brace your core and, keeping everything in line, lower your chest towards the floor. Push back to the start, then roll the ball to your left hand and do another rep. Keep alternating through the 30 seconds.
7|| CLEAN & TOSS
From a standing position, keeping your head up and back straight. bend down and scoop up the medicine ball from directly between your feet. Now drive up with your legs until you're fully upright, rolling the ball gently over your left shoulder at the top. Don't rest; simply turn around and repeat the move, this time dropping the ball over your right shoulder.
This kilojoule-torcher also targets your legs and shoulders for growth. Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart, medicine ball held in both hands at chin height. Hip-hinge to sink slowly into a squat. Pause for a moment, then use glute-and-leg power to drive back up, raising the med-ball triumphantly above your head as part of the same movement. Go again. And again.
9|| BURPEE WITH LATERAL JUMPS
So sorry for the brutal finish. Standing next to the medicine ball, squat, drop onto your hands and kick out your legs into a plank. Kick your legs back towards your chest and spring to standing. Now, instead of jumping straight up, jump laterally over the ball. Perform another burpee, then jump laterally the other way.