Sun Prairie Wisconsin’s Jimmy the Groundhog and Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil both agreed this year. After seeing their shadows on Groundhog’s Day, they “predicted” the country was destined for six more weeks of winter. Sure enough, snow and extreme cold temperatures continue to plague much of the country with March coming in like a lion instead of a lamb.

Was your body prepared for the endless shoveling this winter? Shoveling uses muscles in the arms, shoulders, low back, abs, and legs.

Many people complain about low back pain after shoveling. Keep the load in the abs, glutes and thighs to reduce the load in the low back.

Try these medicine ball exercises to strengthen important shoveling muscles.

Medicine Ball Twist Avoid Low Back PainLunge Twist

  • Strengthens: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs, Obliques
  • Starting position: Feet hip width distance, arms extended chest height holding the medicine ball, abs braced, chest lifted.
  • The move: Step right foot forward to lunge. Twist upper body toward right corner, moving ball with you. Hips stay square. Step forward with left foot and reverse.

Squat Extensions

  • Strengthens: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Abs, Shoulders
  • Starting position: Feet wide, toes turned out, medicine ball to chest, abs braced, chest lifted.
  • The move: Bend knees (knees and toes point same direction) and lower hips. Ball stays at chest level. Straighten legs and press ball overhead. Repeat.

You’ll never forget which exercises to do using a Smart Medicine Ball since they are printed right on the surface! For more shoveling tips, click here.

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