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Medicine ball overhead reach

This is an excerpt from Strength Training, Second Edition edited by National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and Lee Brown.

Rectus abdominis

Starting Position

  1. Sit slightly to the front of the top of a stability ball, with the torso at about a 45-degree angle.
  2. Hold a medicine ball directly in front of the torso with the arms straight.


  1. Keeping the arms straight and the spine neutral, slowly raise the medicine ball upward until it is directly overhead or until it reaches a level just before the torso position cannot be maintained.
  2. Slowly return to the starting position following the same path used for the upward movement.


  • Avoid using a medicine ball that is too heavy.
  • Keep the abdominal muscles tight.
  • Although this movement actively uses the shoulders, the muscles of the torso are extremely involved in an effort to stabilize the body and control the movement.


Learn more about Strength Training, Second Edition.

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