Failing is always an option for trainer Rich Power. It’s how the former boxer and MMA fighter gauges progress for both himself and his clients with his unique array of exercises created to both condition pro athletes and also challenge the average joe.
One of our favorite moves of Power’s is the medicine ball muscle clock—kind of a plank on steroids. This move was born out of the San Diego-based trainer’s need for a strong and stable core, following a freak ring accident in which two of Power’s vertebrae were crushed, and muscle damage was done to the back of his head.
“I was the blooper reel on sports shows,” Power jokes.
With the muscle clock, you’re pushing yourself from one medicine ball to the next. The plank position conditions the core, and the explosive “clock” movement stretches and strengthens it.
”You’re not just conditioning your core to be strong,” says Power, “but you’re also testing your body in a way that it’s not used to. Seeing clients work their way to mastering the move is what helps make training fulfilling.”
The object is simple; the execution, not so much. Line up about five to six medicine balls like the numbers on a clock. With your feet together, either walk your hands or push off explosively from one medicine ball to the next. Then reverse direction when you reach the final ball. Power says you can up the intensity by swapping out med balls for stacked yoga blocks.
“Push up as if you’re leaning back in a Cadillac,” Power says. “It’ll keep your body up. Then kind of twist, as if you’re turning a car.”
HOW TO DO A MUSCLE CLOCK
- Space five to six med balls about six inches from one another in a clock formation.
- Line up your shoulders and wrists with hands on the medicine ball. With your feet together, push off the first ball onto the next ball, never touching the ground.
- Continue until you reach the end, then reverse.
Form Check: Squeeze your abs, and keep them squeezed, for the duration of the move. This will ensure that you stay stable throughout.