September 2004
Andy and JamieWelcome to this installment of Balazs Boxing's newsletter. In this issue, Andy and Jamie venture into strengthening the core through a rigorous medicine ball workout. They continue on the theme of avoiding injury by discussing a proper cool down after exercise. In the "Ask the Trainer" section, they discuss a few guidelines on working out when you are sick.

The Balazs Team


Boxing Drill #11: Medicine Ball Drills: Strengthening the Core
Boxers know that their abdominal core must be well armored against attack. In preparation for a bout, boxers throw a medicine ball to the abdominal region of a partner, varying the intensity of the throws, thus simulating a body attack. While you may never be in a position to face such an attack, there are a variety of movements and exercises that use the medicine ball to strengthen the body core and abdominals without making direct contact with the torso. Ranging from 2 to 30 pounds, the medicine ball offers a unique and effective workout, not only for the abdominal muscles, but also for the back, lower back, quads, shoulders and arms.

Here are three medicine ball drills:

Abdominal Curls:
Lifting the head, the shoulders and the ball as one unit, touch the medicine ball to the top of your knees. The entire upper body curls up off of the ground. Return to the ground releasing the tension in the muscles and then repeat the curl up. This exercise works the upper portion of the abdominal muscles.

Lying flat with knees bent, hold the ball over your head at full arm extension, Bring the ball over your head as you roll up to a sitting position, Slowly lower to the starting position in one fluid motion. This exercise works the entire length of the abdominal muscles.

Alternate Toe Touches: - Advanced
Hold the ball over your head with arms extended while raising the trunk 45 degrees. At the same time lift one leg to meet the ball, lower and repeat lifting the other leg. For an even more challenging version of this exercise keep the legs straight as you lift the ball and your body. This is a great exercise that will develop strength in the lower portion of the abdominal muscles and the hip flexors.

Suggested weight: 6 - 8 Pound Medicine Ball.
(Use a weight ranging from 2 to 30 lbs suited for your fitness level.)

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: The Cool Down
You've finished your workout & you feel great! Time to cool down to ensure you are ready to go for your next workout.

When your workout is finished and it is time to stop exercising, gradually decrease the intensity of the activity. By slowing down and therefore reducing the demand of oxygen to the working muscles, the heart muscle will slow down, but still provide oxygen to the brain. If, after an intense workout, you stop straightaway, there is a good chance that the blood will pool in the worked muscles, taking the blood and oxygen away from the brain. This pooling can lead to light-headedness, fainting and abnormal rhythms in the heart; a cool down period after strenuous exercise reduces this affect, helps remove lactic acid build-up and helps to stretch the worked muscles to improve flexibility.

After a cardio workout, like running, slow your pace down to a slow jog or walk for a few minutes (3-5 minutes). Keep your arms moving, and breath deeply, getting the heart rate down to approximately 10 beats above your resting heart rate.

Whether you had a strength-training workout with weights, a sport specific training or a cardio workout, all your muscles and joints are still warm; this is a great time to improve the flexibility and mobility of your muscles and joint tendons. Start by taking the working muscles through an optimal range of motion, relaxing and reducing muscle tension. By relaxing the muscles you are stretching, you will be able to extend further to a point where tension is felt in the muscle. Hold that stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release that stretch and then repeat. Perform stretches on all the muscles that were used in the activity and especially any muscle group or area that feels sore. Remember to stretch only to the point where tension is felt. Do not overstretch and do not push or bounce into the stretch.

For more information on flexibility check out our May and June issues.

Ask the Trainer:
"What are some guidelines for working out when you are sick?"

Exercising places additional stresses on your body and immune system and can be counter-productive if you are ill. For fitness fanatics, however, it is often difficult to take a break... even when sick. A couple days rest will not have a negative effect on your overall fitness level and training can continue when you are feeling better. If you really find the need to exercise, you should reduce the intensity and the duration. Be aware of how your body is responding and stop if you are experiencing any difficulties. Always consult with your physician.

 - Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to

Product Recommendations:
FB6522 Everlast Rubber Medicine Ball - 6 lb.
FB6523 Everlast Rubber Medicine Ball - 8 lb.
MO0362 Balazs Medicine Ball Rack
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