Even the best superheroes need help from a sidekick sometimes.
You can build up an impressive physique working out by yourself, but some moves are much better with a partner. One of the best examples of this is any type of throw, which can help to hone body control and power. You can slam med balls into the ground or against the wall all you want, but if you really want to make the most of the med ball, get a friend to catch it.
One of his favorite two-person med ball moves is the chest pass. You can try it out standing to start, throwing back and forth between you and your sidekick — but if you want to simulate some of your favorite lifts and improve your power, lay down on your back.
“This is an upper body power exercise,” Saladino told Menshealth.com. “It’s a way to improve bench and other pressing exercises. By moving fast we improve the rate of muscle contractions, also allowing you to put more weight on the bar.”
To perform the move, get a med ball that you and a partner can reliably throw and catch. Lay on your back, with your sidekick standing above you (for an extra challenge, they can step up on a platform to make the distance greater).
Extend your arms straight up to prepare for the movement, then have your partner drop the med ball straight down to you. Catch the ball, and allow yourself to lower it to your chest before immediately pressing up and tossing it back to your partner above.
You can perform reps of the chest pass in immediate succession – like the video above – to train fast twitch muscles and coordination, or you can ask your partner to pause after they catch the ball to focus on the explosive part of the press. Either way, your bench press with thank you.
“I use this with almost everyone as a warmup and as a way to increase throwing power,” Saladino said. For your own workouts, add the med ball chest pass as a warmup of accessory to chest day with 4 sets of 10 reps. For more superhero-body building moves, you can check out Saladino’s full program.
Unfortunately, we can’t give you a workout sidekick — but we can recommend these med balls if you want to try the move on your own at home.
By Brett Williams