How To Use Medicine Balls For Power Training
Medicine balls are common place in gyms these days; big heavy balls which are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Commonly used in core training, these balls can be thrown or held as additional load to challenge movement. Medicine balls are also a key tool in power training and can be thrown from various positions.
Power training is why you apply maximal forces in the shortest possible time period. Sports such as athletics and gymnastics require high power outputs from athletes but even if you aren’t a competitive athlete, power training can still be beneficial to increase your overall athleticism and to recruit large amounts of muscle, giving you a challenging and efficient workout.
The key to power training is the intention to move the load quickly. Power training can be done with a variety of different loads but even if the load is heavy and moves slow, as long as the person is moving with maximal intention, research has shown this to be enough to elicit improvements in muscular power output.
Power training will also give you good variety in your training routine and keep you enjoying those sessions! The key is to perform each throw with maximal effort, giving you a fast explosive movement.
Begin with 2 sets of 4 reps of each throw, with a 3 minute rest in between sets to ensure full recovery. A full recovery is important between each set to ensure you can give maximal effort into the next set; power training is not about working under fatigue.
Try these simple throws to get you started:
1. Squat throw
Hold the medicine ball in front of you, bend into a squat and as you ascent from the bottom of the squat, launch the medicine ball overhead. The drive up should be done maximally and it is the legs bringing the power to the throw, not the arms.
2. Lunge throw
Hold the medicine ball in front of you, drop into a lunge position and as you ascent, launch the medicine ball overhead. Again, ensure the drive up is a maximal effort and use the power from your legs to get some height into your throw. Check out our video above of this exercise being performed.
3. Shot putt throw
Balance the ball on a single hand and face side on to the direction you are going to throw. Bend down to load the legs, then push through the ball, driving it horizontally as the shot putt is performed. Aim for maximal length on your throw. Again the key to this is using the legs to initiate the throwing action rather than relying on the arms.