The med ball chop is a functional core exercise, that targets the entire abdominal wall and low back, as well as upper/lower body.
- The med ball chop is performed in a standing position, whilst holding a med ball, and involves bending and extending, with rotation.
- This classic chopping movement can be performed with a variety of equipment. However, the med ball offers simplicity and functionality.
- Start in a standing position holding the med ball. Engage the core and set the shoulders.
- Begin the movement by pivoting on one foot and rotating the body to one side as you bend towards the ground. Imagine you are placing the ball on the ground towards the outside of the foot.
- Squeeze the glutes and drive the hips up as you counter rotate back to the start position. Continue through the movement as you pivot on the opposite foot and push the ball overhead, rotating to the opposite side.
- Return to the start position and repeat the movement in a continuous manner for reps or time. Repeat on the other side.
Training progression: When you have good strength and control, start to add speed; or try increasing the load to a heavier ball.
- The med ball chop is a great functional exercise, and should be mastered with control before increasing load and speed. There are countless times during daily life when we have to bend and pick up objects. More often than not, this coupled with twisting of the torso. When we are unable to stabilize and control the torso in twisting, we will often call upon deeper spinal muscles and other larger muscles to assist the movement. This can lead to dysfunctional movement patterns that can increase the risk of injury. In some cases, especially under heavy loads, there may be an immediate injury.
- Although the chop can be performed with other equipment, the med ball is one of the most versatile and controllable. If there is a limitation in full bending, the range of motion can be modified to a smaller bend. As control, range and strength improves, load, speed and range can be added.
- In sports where rotational speed and stability is essential, the chop can be progressed to a slam. Every EVO club has a slam board to allow for fast, safe release of med balls.