3 Explosive Med Ball Exercises for Football Players

Build power for the football field with these med ball exercises.

There are many different ways to train athletes, but med ball exercises for football players have proven to be among the most effective. In football you don't have to be the biggest athlete on the field to make big plays or even deliver big hits, but you just might have to be the most explosive.

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Have you ever wondered why or how the smallest defensive back on the field could take on blocks from significantly bigger receivers and still make the tackle, or even lay a big hit on a much larger offensive player downfield? Or maybe how a 6-foot-2, 260-pound fullback moves a 300-plus-pound defensive lineman with ease?

These athletes are very explosive. They got that way by learning how to transfer power from their lower body to their upper body. The technique is widely known as triple extension, which refers to extension at the ankles, knees and hips.

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When a football player makes contact with an opponent, he initiates the movement low to the ground, and as the time of contact nears, he begins driving into the ground with his lower body and transferring the power generated to his upper body (and the point of contact) by fully extending his ankles, knees and hips.

There are many ways to train triple extension, but by using medicine ball exercises, football players can achieve the most effective and safest mode of training.

Push Pass

  • Stand tall holding the medicine ball at chest level with your palms underneath it and your hands gripping it.
  • Descend into a quarter squat, then drive into the ground and fire the medicine ball straight up into the air.

Explosive athletes may come off the ground as they reach triple extension.

Overhead Toss

  • Assume an athletic stance holding the medicine ball below your waist with your arms locked out.
  • Initiate the movement in your lower body by pushing your hips back and immediately explode to throw the ball up and back over your head.

Broad Jump Chest Pass

  • Similar to the Push Pass, assume a standing position holding the ball at chest level.
  • Push your hips back and initiate the throw with a powerful broad jump.
  • As you drive force into the ground, begin to extend your hips and arms, firing the ball forward.
  • Finish in a good landing position after the jump and throw.

To get the best possible results and achieve the best carryover to the field, perform  these exercises on numerous occasions throughout the week. For most effective programming, perform 3 sets of 6 throws each session. Recover fully from each throw so that your next repetition will be as powerful or even more powerful than the previous one.

These throws work well when paired with a jumping variation or even the lighter warm-up sets of a main lift (e.g., Bench, Squat or Deadlift).

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