7 Med Ball Throws to Build Explosive Power

STACK Expert John Papp provides 7 med ball exercises to develop your power and help you become a better athlete.

Strength and conditioning coaches make their money in power development, because athletes who become more powerful are better athletes.

Typically, power development exercises include Olympic lifts like the Snatch, and Clean & Jerk. But Med Ball Throws and Tosses can be just as beneficial, especially for rotational athletes.

Olympic Lifts are great exercises to increase power through hip extension, but there are a few potential problems:

  • They are extremely technical and take thousands of reps to truly master.
  • They are inherently dangerous, especially to those who haven't mastered them. Any time you have weight overhead, it is potentially dangerous.
  • Often, younger athletes don't yet have the skills or ability to perform these exercises efficiently.
  • Olympic lift movements are great in developing powerful hip extension and overhead movements, but what about rotation?

That being said, I am not downplaying Olympic lifts. I think they are amazing for intermediate to advanced athletes who want to increase strength and power. In a perfect world, all athletes would be able to perform Olympic Lifts in conjunction with Med Ball Tosses/Throws, Jumps and strength training exercises to boost their athleticism.

But it's not a perfect world, so here are my 7 top Medicine Ball Tosses and Throws to improve power. Check out the video above for demonstrations of all the exercises.

1. Lateral Scoop Toss

  • Stand perpendicular to a wall.
  • Hold the ball at the hip opposite the wall.
  • Rotate slightly toward the wall and explosively toss the ball into the wall with an underhand grip.
  • Catch the rebound and repeat.

2. Lateral Shot Put Throw

  • Stand perpendicular to a wall.
  • Place your outside hand behind the ball at shoulder height.
  • Keeping your outside elbow up, rotate your hips and push the ball through to the wall with your outside arm, just like throwing a shot put.
  • Remember hips lead, upper body follows.

3. Stepping Lateral Scoop Toss

  • Start in the same position as the Lateral Shot Put Throw but farther away from the wall.
  • Hold the ball with an underhand grip.
  • Step your outside foot in front of your inside foot.
  • When your outside foot lands, plant, rotate your hips through and toss the ball against the wall as powerfully as possible.

4. Wrap Around Toss

  • Face away from a wall and hold the ball at your chest with an underhand grip.
  • Rotate your torso to the right and toss the ball against the wall explosively.
  • Catch the rebound, rotate to the left  explosively toss the ball against the wall.

5. Chest Pass

  • Stand close to a wall facing it and hold the ball at your chest.
  • Explosively pass the ball from your chest to the wall as hard as you can.
  • Catch the rebound, reset and repeat.
  • Think of it like a chest pass in basketball.

6. Overhead Toss

  • Stand facing a wall in a split stance, one foot forward and one behind.
  • Raise the ball above your head, explosively flex at the hip and throw the ball against the wall.
  • Catch the rebound, reset and repeat.
  • Use a lighter ball for this than you used for the others.

7. Kneeling Overhead Toss

  • Kneel and raise the ball overhead.
  • Perform the same Overhead Toss as above.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock