Medicine ball training can serve to assist with training objectives in sports performance. Adding medicine ball exercises as part of the active dynamic routine can help improve overall athletic ability. In addition, medicine ball throws can be part of circuit training for athletes.
In most warm up routines, athletes start with general movements to warm up the body and prepare for the rigors of training. Adding a medicine ball to some of the basic active warm up exercises can add an extra element of strength, stability and balance.
The activities can be used in a short routine for a warm up, for example 10 exercises for 10 repetitions. For an endurance work out, the athlete can do several sets of the 10 exercises to build the stamina needed for longer time frames, such as cross country running. In a speed and power activity like the shot put, 100 repetitions of the dynamic warm up routine is all the is needed before the event specific warm up begins.
With circuit training, incorporating medicine ball throws with plyometric activities and torso exercises helps build overall athletic ability. With sports requiring more endurance, circuit training can be used with repeated throws, jumps and torso exercises as a total body workout.
Athletes with lower strength to body weight ratios: circuit training can be used with bodyweight exercises to help develop strength for athletes that are not quite ready for free weight training.
Athletes can use also circuit training to develop work capacity. In the early stages of the season when training sprinters, for example, a circuit that includes medicine ball throws can be used for general conditioning. A total body circuit for the runner can include a three-part routine: medicine ball throws, plyometric training and torso work. For work capacity a routine; 20 repetitions of three exercises for five sets will help build the endurance needed for longer training sessions during the season.
When training with medicine balls keep in mind the objective of the exercise and the placement of the activities in the training routine.
Medicine ball routines can develop strength, speed, stability, flexibility, technique and many other qualities that help athletes succeed.
During all phases of our training, you will find Big Ten Champions and All-Americans throwing medicine balls as a daily part of the regimen. Sprinters, jumpers, throwers and distance runners all use medicine ball training to improve bio-motor abilities. The speed, power and other benefits from using medicine ball throws has help the University of Iowa win individual and team championships.
Circuit Training Ideas
- Single leg alternate jumps on a box
- Side throws
- Double leg box jumps
- Hammer style throws
- Standing twist with a plate
- Side single leg alternate jumps on a box
- Shot put style throws
- Supine plate twist