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The right medicine for building muscles and saving time

Here's a new way to use that medicine ball and challenge your muscles all the way from calves to shoulders.

Demonstrated by Long Beach fitness instructor John Garey, who uses it in his "Core Power & Stamina" DVD, it's a great timesaving move to add to your next strength workout.

What it does

The squat on the balls of your feet tones your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, while the rotation and extension of the medicine ball tones your shoulders, challenges your core and helps to improve your balance.

What to do

Start by standing on a mat with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest with your elbows extended wide.

Lower into a squat. Then rise up onto the balls of your feet as you extend the ball out in front of your chest. Next, rotate the ball like a steering wheel so that one hand is on top and the other cups it on the bottom.

Grasping the ball in the palm of the bottom hand, extend it out to that side, bringing your other arm out at shoulder height out on the other side. Bring it back through center, rotating the ball in the other direction and grasping it with the opposite hand as you extend both arms out to the side.

After you complete this extension, bring the ball back to center, drop your heels down and pull the ball back in to your chest as you push through your heels to come up to standing. That's one repetition.

If you have knee issues, you can modify the squat, keeping your heels on the floor for the duration of the move.

How much

Do up to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions with a medicine ball of 2 to 10 pounds.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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