Body Control for Power: Explosive Med Ball Training

Turn strength into power for sports performance with explosive med ball exercises.

Being strong is one thing, but knowing how to use your strength to produce power is another. And what turns strength into power for sports performance is body control.

Tossing, throwing and slamming a weighted medicine ball are easy and fun ways to work on concentrating your movements to increase your power.

Med Ball Workout 1

This workout is designed to get you familiar with weighted med ball exercises and develop basic movement patterns. It is important to master these movements before performing the more explosive exercises in Workout 2. (See the video below on how to perform each exercise.)

  • Standing Front Slam: Loading phase of a vertical jump in all sports.
  • Standing Back Slam: Pulling motion to build upper-back strength, great for overhead movements.
  • Twist Toss: Lower-body rotation to produce upper-body power for movements like a baseball or softball swing.
  • Vertical Push: Triple extension of the hip, knee and ankle is the primary power motion. Great for sprinting in all sports and great to teach beginner Olympic lifts (Clean, Snatch and Deadlift).
  • Wall Touches: Abdominal and shoulder stability. Ideal for overhead athletes and for developing strong blocks in volleyball and basketball.
  • Standing Wall Twist: Rotational power for all sports.

Here's another basic med ball workout you can try.

Med Ball Workout 2

Slightly more advanced than Workout 1, in which the movements were done stationary. Lunging and stepping develop bodyweight transfers for increased power.

  • Lunging Front Slams: Deceleration and follow-through motion for throwing, tennis serve and volleyball serve.
  • Lunging Back Toss: Pulling motion to build upper-back strength. Great for overhead athletes.
  • Happy Feet: Teaches athlete to transfer their body weight for additional power in moves like passing in basketball or long throws from the outfield.
  • Pocket Toss: Rotational power for fielding and throwing a baseball and for stability.
  • Partner Low Rolls: Changing directions in lateral movement like backhands for baseball or softball and stopping a goal in soccer.
  • T-Circuit: Touches, Twists and Tosses. Great abdominal circuit for all athletes.

Continue building power with this med ball explosion series.

Weight, Sets and Reps

Younger athletes and athletes new to weighted ball workouts should start with 4- to 6-pound balls. Advanced athletes who do regular weight training may start with 6- to 8-pound balls. Form is always more important than the weight used. One set of 8-15 reps of each drill is a great place to start. Wall Touches and Standing Wall Twists can start with one set of 20-40 reps. Do two complete workouts of two sets of 10 of each drill before increasing the weight. Go back to one set of 8-15 with the heavier weight.

Sample Workout Progression

  1. 4 lbs 1 x 8
  2. 4 lbs 1 x 10
  3. 4 lbs 1 x 12
  4. 4 lbs 1 x 15
  5. 4 lbs 2 x 10
  6. 4 lbs 2 x10
  7. 6 lbs 1 x 8
  8. 6 lbs 1 x 10

Check out more medicine ball drills to develop velocity.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock