The stress-relieving move is not for the weak.

By Faith Brar
September 01, 2020
Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Image

Vanessa Hudgens goes hard in the gym. Need proof? The High School Musical alum recently shared a video to her Instagram that shows her powering through some intense rotational wall slams with a power rope medicine ball. Yep, the workout is just as hard as it sounds — and Hudgens casually crushed 30 (!) reps in one sitting. Did I mention she finished the workout with a smile?

"Sometimes, you just gotta let off some steam," the singer captioned the video.

Despite her seemingly blasé attitude about the exercise, it's hard to miss the impressive effort that went into completing her reps — and to think this was just one move in her entire workout. (Related: Vanessa Hudgens Did an Intense "Sunday Funday" Workout This Weekend)

If you aren't familiar with a power rope medicine ball, it's essentially a medicine ball with a rope attached to it. It's great for performing traditional rotational exercises you'd do with a regular medicine ball, as well as chopping and swinging motions.

Hudgens' exercise combines both rotational and swinging movements, creating a strength and endurance move that works pretty much every part of your body. "Given the amount of pulling involved in this movement, it activates stabilizer [muscles] all over your body," says Beau Burgau, C.S.C.S., strength coach and founder of GRIT Training. (Related: 9 Total-Body Exercises that Tone Your Arms, Abs, and Butt)

Specifically, as with most rotational movements, you're forced to really engage your core and obliques in Hudgens' workout, adds Burgau. But the movement also activates your biceps, shoulders, quads, glutes, and calves, he explains.

It probably goes without saying that Hudgen's exercise is advanced and requires a serious amount of strength. "This move is intense," says Burgau. "You need stability, balance, and a strong core to help you stabilize and power through the movement without getting injured." (Related: The Tips You Need to Boost Your Fitness and Conquer Any Workout Challenge)

That said, if you think you can handle this workout, remember to keep your muscles tense and focus on your breathing throughout the exercise, says Burgau. "To protect your lower back, you'll really have to keep your core engaged and activated," he adds.

Also: Keep in mind that Hudgens is performing this move in a gym, where the wall behind her is built to handle the impact of the medicine ball. If you're doing this workout at home or anywhere outside of a gym, make sure you find a wall that's strong so you don't put a hole in it and cause damage or risk injury. (Related: The Best Total-Body Moves of All Time)

If you're intimidated by Hudgens' exercise but would love to build up to it, Burgau recommends starting with Russian twists with a medicine ball. This exercise will help you get used to the rotational movement needed for Hudgens' workout, he says.

Next, use a resistance band (or cables) to do torso twists, which will help you improve mobility and build strength, explains Burgau.

Once you've mastered those two rotational movements, Burgau recommends trying perpendicular wall ball tosses with a medicine ball (on both sides of your body), which are the closest you'll get to replicating Hudgens' exact exercise. (Related: The Total-Body Medicine Ball Workout That Carves Your Core)

Want more ways to challenge your strength and endurance while you level up to Hudgens' workout? Here are some of the hardest exercises from real trainers to help you channel your inner badass.


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