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American Family Children's Hospital
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Vertical Figure Eights

This exercise is a good exercise whether you are training for tennis or golf or just staying strong for performing chores around your home. Winter is a great time to start training for spring and summer activities.

 

This exercise is demonstrated using a medicine ball. Med balls (as they are often called) are weighted balls. They come in a variety of pound or kilogram weights. You can also do this exercise using a band tied to a railing or doorknob, hold the ends of a dumbbell, use a light weight ball or get creative and use a hammer or a  juice container with water (or other household object).

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A Few Tips for Performing This Exercise

 

If you need to protect your knees, back or shoulders, start small. Try this exercise holding a kids vinyl ball that has no weight to it. Progress only one of the below variables at a time.

 

Tips for adapting the exercise:

  • Start with a small figure 8 right in front of your chest and hips. At first minimize the twist, overhead reach and the squat. Gradually increase the range of motion that you are working.
  • If you increase the weight of your ball or other prop, for the first few days decrease the range of motion that you are moving. Once you know your body will tolerate the additional weight, increase the working range again.
  • Holding the ball closer to your body is easier then holding it out with straighter arms.
  • Watch the hip and knee placement in the video below. As he brings the ball toward the floor he squats down and back, his hips and tail bone reaching back, his spine long.