Throwing med balls always seems to go hand in hand with power training. Exercises like shot tosses, scoop tosses, crunch throws, jump throws, chest passes and partner variations (mb tennis) have been used in our programs for years.
These activities build power in several ways:
- Coordination: concentric synchronization of the lower body to assist the upper body in coordinated movements (throwing, striking, putting, etc.) as well as eccentric synchronization as the body learns to catch, control and quickly reposition for power.
- Strength: for our younger or lower level athletes the weight of the ball can develop core, upper body and lower body strength.
- Power: concentric force production as the athlete pushes the foot into the ground and transitions into a powerful burst from the lower body, through the core and out the upper body.
- Reactive Strength/Power: a plyometric, reactive force in our MB “doubles” as the athlete learns to quickly absorb and transition from the catch to the throw in our jumps, shots and scoop tosses.
Although we have seen tremendous results from the power training with med balls, they work best as a introductory strength modality, coordination development modality and/or power training modality for athletes that already have a base of strength. Many athletes still need to develop a base of traditional strength (squatting, pressing, pulling) as research (1) will often show that training with medicine balls, although great for improving strength at 30-50% of 1RM does not typically develop a players 1RM (max strength).
- Ignjatovic, A, Z Markovic, et al. “Effects of 12-week medicine ball training on muscle strength and power in young female handball players.” Journal of strength and conditioning research. 26.8 (2012): 2166-2173. Print.