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MASTER CLASS: Try this medicine ball exercise at home

by Matt Parrott | April 26, 2021 at 1:44 a.m.
Yoga instructor Tanesha Forrest demonstrates the Iso Twist Lunge exercise for Matt Parrott's Master Class at Little Rock Racquet Club. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Celia Storey)

Home exercise is full of opportunity, especially during this bizarre time. Home is the one place that reflects one's personality and interests with respect to decor, music and lighting.

This week, I will share some tips for creating the ideal home exercise environment without blowing the budget. And I will introduce one of my favorite home exercises featuring the medicine ball.

As someone who travels regularly for work (and play), the phrase "home is where the heart is" hits me every time I pull into the driveway. I instantly feel relaxed and happy to spend time with my family in a space we created. I experience feelings of peace and love at home.

But for me, home is also associated with work. My home office is where I spend weekdays (when I'm not traveling), so I have transformed that space into an environment that is conducive to work. At this moment, I am surrounded by textbooks, biographies, family artifacts and photos of my beloved Kansas City sports teams. I also have a little TV to broadcast golf tournaments that offer a soothing background soundtrack during the workday.

I share the detail of my home office environment to demonstrate how we, as humans, make ourselves comfortable in our homes for a specific purpose. Everyone does this on some level, and it is easy to channel that impulse into our efforts to promote our own physical activity.

The most effective home exercise spaces are personal. They reflect individual interests, budget and preferred activities. People who like to be outside might build out a little corner of their garage with a bike and some dumbbells. Yoga enthusiasts only need a mat and a quiet, relaxing space to roll it out. The key is to personalize the space with equipment and decor that you will appreciate.

During nice weather, the back patio can also be a great place to enjoy exercise and sunshine. I like to create a little circuit of exercises with a jump rope, exercise mat (for abdominal work) and a medicine ball. Basically, I can put a little mobile gym almost anywhere with these three pieces of inexpensive equipment.

This week's exercise is one that I often add to home workouts, as it only requires a medicine ball and a few feet of clear floor space. The Iso Lunge Twist will challenge the lower body and the core with one simple movement.

1. Hold a medicine ball against your chest while standing.

2. Step back with your left leg, then bend the left knee and right hip to get into the lunge position.

3. As you do this, twist your torso to the right while holding the medicine ball against your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then stand back up.

4. Repeat with the right leg and twist the torso to the left.

5. Continue alternating sides until you have done eight on each side.

6. Perform two sets.

The Iso Lunge Twist will require some concentration, so it is almost easier to perform at home than in a gym. That is why it's perfect for a home workout, as we can totally focus on the task at hand while immersed in our own workout space. So, let's get to work!

To ask Matt Parrott a question about your workouts or share a story about how you've managed your fitness during the pandemic, email:

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