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3 Medicine Ball Exercises For Lean Muscle, Power, And Coordination

3 Medicine Ball Exercises For Lean Muscle, Power, And Coordination

Yes…medicine ball training can go way beyond the usual Russian Twist, or from just having your training partner to drop the weighted sphere onto your stomach like you’re used to seeing in all those Rocky movies. With the right knowledge medicine balls can be leveraged to acquire some very serious gains and to help you take your performance to a whole new level.

Medicine Balls

I know I’m usually doing the research and throwing the science out there along with some common sense to help communicate my point when writing about a certain topic. With today’s post I’m doing the same, but I’m not going to pretend like I did the history research on how long medicine balls have been around and what all the strong athletes of yesteryear did in terms of medicine ball training during their time.

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As far as today’s post goes medicine ball training could have been around since 1976 for all I know which is the same year the first Rocky movie hit the big screen. The point is that medicine ball training is effective and I know of 3 solid drills I want to show you today that’ll help you in your lean muscle gains and to help you move and function at a much higher level.

1. Woodchopper Medicine Ball Slams:

This is a hell of a drill for developing power, for enhancing thoracic mobility, and for coordination. The woodchopper slam is one drill that I not only use on my students, but frequently use for myself.

This is one movement that is designed for developing quickness that can come in handy particularly in an athletic situation. This drill should be performed with a harder rubberized medicine ball designed for bouncing and throwing.

2. Double To Single Arm Medicine Ball Push Up: 

This medicine ball drill can be performed with a dense rubber (more for bouncing) type of medicine ball. You should start the drill by getting yourself into an upright push up position with one hand on the ground and the other on the ball.

Make sure that your hands are placed in the proper push up position even with the hand that is on the ball. This is very important as you don’t want to allow your hand placement to be to far out in front of you as this could cause unwanted stress on the shoulder.

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Perform a push up and as your momentum carries you upward make sure to lift the hand that is placed on the ground up to the ribcage while leaving the other hand placed firmly on the medicine ball and stabilizing your position. As you descend back down bring the lifted hand back to the ground and into the start position to repeat with the following repetition.

This drill is tremendous for developing shoulder stability, core stability, and for overall upper body power. It is way more challenging to execute than it may appear.  Give this one a try by performing 5 reps on each arm for a designated set.

3. Medicine Ball Power Slams

This is a killer exercise for developing explosive dynamic strength and total body control. This drill should be performed with a rubberized sand filled medicine ball.

Begin by fully extending your body bringing the ball overhead. From here you will want to rapidly and explosively drive the ball into the ground between your feet while simultaneously dropping your hips towards the ground.

The objective is to drop your hips fast enough to catch the ball on the first small bounce. Being this type of medicine ball getting your hands underneath the ball in time will prove to be a challenge. For obvious reasons the sand filled medicine ball will not bounce with too much ease so you’ll have to work at dropping your hips fast enough in order to make the catch.

Additionally when making the catch you DON’T want to butcher the drill by simply bending over at the waist to look at the ground. You should end in a strong and stable squat position at the base of the movement.

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Once you have gotten to this point you’ll then want to quickly stand back up to raise the ball to perform each subsequent repetition with speed, power, and precision. Once you start incorporating these 3 medicine ball drills into your strength and conditioning program you’ll notice a drastic difference in both your physique and your performance.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Have you trained with medicine balls like this? If so don’t be shy and post up in the comment section below. If you haven’t then you can learn more by signing up for the growing BRF Online Coaching Program!

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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