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BREAK IT DOWN: The Wall Ball Toss

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Develop core stability and cross-body coordination.

The wall ball toss is a powerhouse move, training coordination of your upper and lower body while improving your ability to generate power through your shoulders, core, and hips.

At first glance, the exercise seems simple enough: Hold a soft medicine ball at chest height, then squat down; as you stand, toss the ball toward a wall at a point over your head.

All it takes, though, is one rep to realize how deceptive this move is.

First, coordinating the squat with the ball toss can be difficult. A common pitfall is to separate the components of the exercise: Squat first, then throw the ball using just the arms. But ideally, your arms and legs are moving fluidly together.

The goal is to harness your hip power so your arms act as a guide for the ball as it ascends to a point high on the wall. In reversing the move, you bend and lower your arms as you catch the ball and simultaneously lower back into a squat.

Maintaining good form can be challenging. It’s important to perform a full squat, with your abs braced, chest upright, and thighs at least parallel to the floor — do not succumb to quarter-squats, hunching over, or dropping the ball below your chest as you become fatigued.

That said, fatigue is guaranteed.

The wall ball toss is a plyometric move that quickly elevates your heart rate, making it a great conditioning tool. Just remember to breathe through the exercise, perform it with purpose and speediness, and don’t be afraid to stop and reset to keep your form on point.

1. Stand an arm’s length from a wall. Hold a soft medicine ball at chest level. Inhale to squat down and exhale to quickly stand, driving your hips forward as you extend your legs.

Tip: Keep an upright posture with the ball at chest height.

2. Rise up, throwing the ball upward with a slight forward arc to hit the wall. Aim 4 to 5 feet above your head. Increase that height to 10 to 15 feet as your skill and power improve.

Tip: Direct your gaze up at the spot on the wall where you’re aiming the ball.

Tip: Extend your arms overhead to guide the ball while using the power from your hips to achieve height.

3. Begin immediately to squat and prepare to catch the ball as it deflects off the wall. Perform three rounds of 20 seconds of wall ball tosses, followed by 20 seconds of rest.

Tip: Lower into a full, great-form squat at the bottom of each rep.

Tip: Move your arms up and down fluidly to the pace of the squat.


Maggie Fazeli Fard
is an Experience Life senior editor.

Photography by: Kelly Loverud; Fitness Model: David Freeman

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Health & Fitness

5 Sustainable Items for Healthy Eating

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Sustainable goods that make eating well a little easier.

1. Better Bags

Better Bags

Vejibags not only reduce the amount of plastic waste headed for landfills: These U.S.-made organic-cotton produce bags let vegetables “breathe” and stay fresh for longer. $20–$25 from www.vejibag.com.

2. Fresh Start

Fresh Start herbs

These self-watering herb kits from Modern Sprout are a foolproof way to bring more fresh herbs into your kitchen. Just add water, set on a sunny windowsill, and enjoy the bounty. $20 each. www.modernsprout.com

3. The Right Tool

Wooden kitchen spoons

Make everyday cooking a true pleasure with these elegant, hand-carved walnut spoons from Hawkins New York. Available in a variety of sizes, from cocktail spoons to spatulas. $18–$36. www.hawkinsnewyork.com

4. Just Nuts

Joi nut milk

Joi nut-milk bases allow you to mix up your own creamy almond or cashew milk at home — and only as much as you need.  There are no additives, either; these are purely nuts. $20–$25 per tub; makes 7 quarts. www.addjoi.com

5. Vim and Vinegar

Vim and Vinegar product

Stone Hollow Farmstead’s infused cider vinegar contains immune-boosting turmeric along with garlic, star anise, and cardamom. Bright-tasting, versatile, and delicious straight from a spoon. $16. www.stonehollowfarmstead.com


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