Use Rotational Medicine Ball Throws for Total Body Power

Medicine balls are a great tool to help develop both upper- and lower-body power. The ability to throw the weight allows you to generate maximum force and velocity in the movement.

Certified strength and conditioning specialist, Sam Thielen, at Sanford POWER in Fargo, NDMedicine balls also facilitate more complex, rotational movements. Whether you are training to swing, throw, cut, tackle, rake leaves, or throw something into the back of your truck, rotational medicine ball throws are a very athletic or functional exercise.

Learn a few variations that do a good job of coordinating the legs, core and upper-body muscles in a powerful way.

  1. Med Ball Shot Put

Stand six to 10 feet away from a throwing wall, with your feet perpendicular to the wall. (The wall is on your left in this example.)

In an athletic stance, hold the ball in front of the right half of your chest with your right hand, wrist, and elbow held up behind the ball.

From there, rock your weight back away from the wall, then drive your left foot toward the wall and push the ball as hard as you can toward the wall at about chest height, similar to throwing a punch.

Let the ball bounce back to you and repeat the remaining reps. Use a heavy ball (20-40 lbs.) for shot puts, and perform two to four sets of two to five reps with each side.

  1. Med Ball Side Toss

Stand about an arm’s length from a throwing wall, with your feet perpendicular to the wall. (The wall is on your left in this example.)

In an athletic stance, hold the ball in front of your waist with your hands on the bottom half of the ball. Swing the ball back, just off your right hip, and then throw it across to your left into the wall at about rib height.

Catch the ball and repeat for the remaining reps. Use a weight that you can throw fast (10-16 lbs.) and perform two to four sets of six to 10 reps with each side.

  1. Med Ball Side Slam

In an athletic stance, hold the ball in front of your right hip. Swing it up high over your head, and slam it down just outside your left foot.

Catch it off the bounce, swing back overhead, and slam down outside your right foot. Continue for the remaining reps.

Be sure to drop your hips down some on each slam to generate as much power as possible. Use 10-20 lbs. and perform two to four sets of three to six reps per side.

Sam Thielen, CSCS