The medicine ball is an extremely versatile piece of equipment that can be used for training many types of sporting events. This particular article will cover medicine ball exercises that can help developing shot putters.
One of the great benefits of medicine ball exercises is that they can be done in various places. The medicine ball can travel with you fairly quickly. There is not necessarily a need to go to a gym or training facility to do these exercises. They can be conveniently done in a park or at home in many cases. Medicine balls come in many shapes and sizes. They are straightforward to purchase online or in stores. Ideally, for the exercises used in this article, it is best to use a rubber/synthetic medicine ball with some bounce to it, making the exercises smoother and more manageable. This will be especially true if you are doing these—exercises by yourself. Suppose you are unable to purchase a medicine ball. They are relatively easy to make at home by filling an old basketball or volleyball with tape or foam and then wrapping the ball up the athletic or duct tape to secure it.
Medicine Ball Exercises Benefits For Shot Putters
The primary benefit of these medicine ball exercises for shot putters is that they work on specific aspects of the shot putting delivery motion. These aspects are essential in helping a thrower solidify a more steady and reliable technique. In most of these exercises, the key functional aspect is the ability to throw the medicine ball by exploding out of a contracted or "coiled up" position to release the med ball in a fully extended position. The ability to execute these types of movements quickly and balanced should help the developing shot putters start throwing farther and faster.
Medicine Ball Throw for Height
The medicine ball throw for height starts with the thrower holding the medicine ball with both hands while gripping the lower outside portion of the medicine ball so they will be able to throw it upwards. From this position, the thrower will bend their knees and bend at the waist as if they will get in position to jump as high as they can.
When they have finished lowering down into the throw's starting position, they should be in a similar position as if they would do a power clean or snatch from the floor. They will then dynamically drive their body upward and throw the medicine ball as high as they can.
If executed properly, the medicine ball should fly straight up into the air and come back to bounce against the ground in front of the thrower. The thrower will then let the ball bounce once before grabbing it and repeating the movement. This exercise's harder variation can be done by jumping while holding the medicine ball in the starting position first before throwing the medicine ball into the air immediately after landing from the jump. As with the basic medicine ball throw for height, the thrower should still let the medicine ball bounce once after landing before going into the next repetition. Sets of this exercise usually run between 8-10 repetitions. Then the weight of the medicine ball that should be used will range between 6-16lbs. The importance of the medicine ball will be based on the size and strength of the thrower.
Seated Side Slings
The side ball sling is an exercise that is usually best done with a partner but can also be done throwing the medicine ball against a wall so it bounces back in between repetitions. This exercise is good for rotational power development. It will require the thrower to keep seated with their legs off the ground during the whole exercise. This will keep the throwers' core steadily activated throughout the exercise and force them to focus on holding a position to maintain their posture between repetitions. When doing this exercise with a partner, the partner will begin by tossing the medicine ball into the thrower's outstretched hands, who will be sitting on the ground about 6-8 feet away from the partner who is initiating the toss.
The thrower will be seated in a "perpendicular" position to their partner so their legs are rotated 90º from them. Once the thrower catches the medicine ball, they will rotate and bring the ball across their body, and then sling it back across their body back into the hands of their partner.
This exercise will be done for anywhere from 6-12 repetitions a piece in both directions. The medicine ball's weight will be based on the thrower's size and strength, which will usually determine the number of repetitions—typical medicine ball weights for this exercise range between 4-10lbs.
Med-Ball Shot Put Stand-Throw
The medicine ball shot put stand-throw is an exercise that closely mimics the actual throwing technique in the shot put and can be done with a partner or use a wall or net to stop the medicine ball. To start the movement, the thrower will get in the "power position" with their weight back on a bent right leg (this description is for the right-handed thrower) and their trunk turned back away from the throwing direction. The medicine ball will be held against the upper right corner of their chest.
To begin the throw, the thrower will begin to open up their chest to face the throwing direction while turning the right hip into and around the body's left side.
As continue to "square up" to the throwing direction, they will simultaneously straighten the left leg and push the medicine ball away from their chest to deliver the medicine ball.
The medicine ball must leave the thrower's hands when both arms and left leg are extended. This exercise can be done for repetitions of 5-10, with a medicine ball weight ranging between 4-16lbs.
Underhand Throw for Distance
The underhand medicine ball throw is another great exercise that helps the thrower develop coordination between the upper and lower body for maximum delivery speed. The thrower will squat down and bring the medicine ball back between their legs.
From this compressed position, they will drive out with their legs and pull the medicine ball forward to throw it out in front of them.
The ball should leave their hands when their legs are fully extended while the arms stay as long as possible into delivery. As with the last two medicine ball exercises, the underhand throw can be done with a partner or thrown against a wall or into a net. This exercise will be done for anywhere from 6-12 repetitions with the medicine ball's weight based on the thrower's size and strength, which will usually determine the number of repetitions—typical medicine ball weights for this exercise range between 4-12lbs.
Low to High Med-Ball Sling
The low to high medicine ball sling combines elements of the underhand medicine ball throw with a rotational component. The thrower will begin this exercise by winding the medicine ball up behind their back while keeping their feet facing forward about shoulder-width apart (see image 5A). From this position, they will start to "unwind" from their "wrapped up" position to sling the ball around their hip to throw it directly in front of them.
As with the underhand medicine ball throw, the medicine ball should be leaving the thrower's hands at the point where their hips are squared up to the direction of the throw and the legs are fully extended.
This exercise will be done for anywhere from 6-10 repetitions with the weight of the medicine ball based on the thrower's size and strength, which will usually determine the number of repetitions. Typical medicine ball weights for this exercise range between 4-10lbs. Since it is a rotational exercise, the thrower will want to perform an equal number of repetitions throwing from either side of the body. This exercise can be done with a partner, or the medicine ball can be thrown into a wall or net if no partner is available.