Explosive Med Ball Drills

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Olympic lifts [Cleans and Snatches] are among the best at helping athletes become faster, stronger and more powerful, because the athlete must move explosively to perform the lifts correctly. However because of the complexity of these lifts, mastering them can take months—even years.

Med ball drills, however, can provide the benefits of Olympic lifts without the necessity of perfect form. "Med balls allow you to exert maximal force in a less controlled manner than if you were holding a barbell," explains Troy Wills, assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Tennessee.

So while you continue mastering the technique of your Olympic lifts, make use of these UT-prescribed med ball drills, which will keep you making gains in overall explosiveness.

1. MB Overhead Slam

• Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding med ball with both hands close to body at chest level
• Sit hips back, then lower into squat bringing med ball between legs
• Explode up out of squat onto balls of feet while pressing med ball overhead
• Forcefully throw ball into ground as hard as possible
• Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10
Coaching points: Lower into squat with control // Keep weight on heels, with chest up and shoulders back

2. Backward Overhead MB Toss

• Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding med ball at chest level with arms fully extended
• Sit hips back and lower into quarter-squat while bringing med ball between legs
• Explosively jump out of squat and throw med ball overhead and back
• Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10
Coaching points: Bring ball between knees and shoot butt back // Forcefully extend hips forward during follow through // Keep back as straight as possible // Throw med ball for distance and height


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