The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


One Creative Exercise for the Whole Body

Posted in
Fit Tips

Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017

This exercise focuses on musculoskeletal fitness, specifically muscular endurance. Defined, muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or a group of muscles to contract repeatedly for a prolonged period of time. Body weight and low-resistance exercises can be adequately utilized for the purpose of improving muscular endurance. The exercise shown within this fit tip targets the whole body by combining various exercises into one.

1)    Wall Sit:

  • The exercise begins in a wall sit (squat against the wall). This requires an isometric (static) contraction of the lower body.
2)    Medicine Ball Core Training:
  •  All core training movements are performed in the wall sit position.
  • The exerciser begins the core training by tapping the medicine ball against the wall to each side of his/her body. Perform 2-5 repetitions to each side.
  • The next core movement requires the exerciser to take the medicine ball above his/her head and perform another isometric contraction for the duration of 5-10 seconds. The medicine ball should be touching the wall.
  • The last core movement combines the first two wherein the exercise begins with a side tap followed by taking the ball over the exerciser’s head and back down to the opposite side of the body. The movement should be triangular in nature. Perform another 2-5 repetitions depending on fitness level.
3)    Body Positioning Transition:
  • Upon completion of the core movements, the exerciser comes out of the wall sit and assumes the push-up position.
  • The transition from the wall sit to the push-up requires the exerciser to place his/her hands on the ground and slowly walk the hands out until the push-up position is assumed.
4)    Uneven Push-ups:    
  • The total number of push-ups performed per one round of this exercise is four, and the number of medicine balls required is two.
  • During the first two push-ups, the exerciser places the toes of one foot on the medicine ball while the other foot remains in contact with the ground. He/she then performs a push-up.
  • Switch foot placement, and repeat push-up number two.
  • The last two push-ups will utilize the second medicine ball that should be placed in front of the exerciser as shown in the video.
  • The exerciser will place one hand on top of the medicine ball while the other hand remains in contact with the ground. An uneven push-up is performed.
  • The exerciser will then roll the ball to his/her other hand and perform another uneven push up.
5)    Body Positioning Transition:
  • Upon completion of the four push-ups, the exerciser will walk his/her hands back toward their feet and assume the wall sit position.
  • Once in the wall sit position, pick up the medicine ball located between the feet and begin the second repetition of this exercise.

There are many ways to train the muscular endurance component of fitness. This is just one exercise that was specifically designed for that purpose. If muscular endurance is the goal, the general exercise prescription should focus on high repetitions (12 – 17) and low resistance (30 – 65% of 1RM). Stay tuned for more muscular endurance fit tips in the near future.