Medicine ball training is a type of training which involves throwing an elastic or non-elastic ball to improve power in the athlete. It is safe for most athletes and is technically less demanding than plyometrics or Olympic lifting. The type of force production depends on the elastic nature of the ball. If it is a non-elastic ball, it is mainly concentric force, and if it is elastic, mainly eccentric force. The variety of exercises that are possible with a medicine ball is only limited by the imagination of the trainer. It is an under-rated tool to develop power in a safe manner.
What are the benefits?
- It is a great tool for developing power in clients who are not suitable for Olympic lifting due to recent injury or lack of technical skills.
- It is useful to safely improve trunk strength and propulsion force in athletes. Further, it improves rotational strength which is useful in sports like golf and tennis.
- Avoid catching a heavy medicine ball from a training partner since it can injure your fingers.
- Start with a medicine ball weighing 3 kg and build up to 5kgs, which should be adequate for providing the training stimulus for most sports.
Below is an effective medicine ball work-out which can be used as part of circuit training to build torso power, which can improve athletic performance in most sports. Aim for twenty reps of each throw in three sets.
Find an area with a masonry wall. In a side stance position, throw the ball as hard as possible against the wall to develop power in your trunk and hips.
In a squat position, lift the ball over your head. Maintain a neutral spine, bend from your hips and drive the ball through your legs in a dynamic fashion. Return to the overhead squat position and repeat.
Bounce and Side Twist
Bounce the ball in front of you and raise the medicine ball to the left hand-side, while twisting the trunk. Repeat to the other side.
Forward Lunge and Twist
Take a forward lunge and twist your trunk to the left as if throwing a ball to the side. Drive ball to the outside of the foot. Repeat on the other side.
Stork to T
Stand in a stork stance with a high knee lift. Lower ball down to touch floor with slight bend in the supporting leg. Maintain good spinal alignment and return to the stork stance.
Perform at Your Best,
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