Full body/integrated exercises: Intermediate part 6

Overhead medicine ball throws

Body part: Full body/integrated, butt/hips, shoulders

Equipment: Medicine ball

Step 1

Starting Position: Make sure that you are working with a partner who can catch the ball, let the partner feel the medicine ball first so they know how much it weighs and can prepare to catch it.  Position your body directly facing your partner with the spine in neutral (normal-to-flat), shoulders depressed (no shrugging) with scapulae retracted (squeezing shoulder blades together). Keep your chest held up and out, head in line with your spine or slightly extended (raised), heels on the floor.  Stand with the feet hip-width apart, the left foot slightly forward, the right foot slightly back while holding a medicine ball between both hands; contract and brace the abdominals while depressing and retracting your shoulder blades.  Your eyes should be looking directly at the target in order to properly aim the throw.

Step 2

Keep your feet pressed into the ground, continue to contract and brace your abdominal  muscles, swing your arms upwards to lift the medicine ball overhead and bend your elbows to reach the medicine ball behind your head.  As you lift the ball over your head, shift your weight back into your right leg and lean back to engage the core muscles for extra power for the throw.  While preparing to throw the ball aim the throw by keeping your eyes on your partners hands as you pull the ball back over your head.

Step 3

Explosively step forward with the right leg and quickly bring your arms forward over your head to generate power for throwing the ball.  While stepping forward with the right leg, push the left leg into the ground create triple extension (ankle plantar flexion with knee and hip extension) and generate more forward momentum for the ball.

Step 4

Exercise Variation: Repeating throws: Use a wall with a medicine ball capable of bouncing and position yourself so that you can throw the ball into the wall and quickly catch it to prepare for the next throw.

The purpose of this exercise is to generate upper body power, use a ball that is no more than 10% of your bodyweight to ensure that you can acheive the appropriate velocity for the throw.

Overhead slams

Body part: Full body/integrated, butt/hips, shoulders, back, legs-thighs

Equipment: Medicine ball

Step 1

Starting Position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and holding a medicine ball in both hands directly in front of your chest; grasp the ball with your hands in a neutral position (palms facing each other), and elbows fully flexed (bent) and facing down towards the floor.

 

Step 2

Downward Phase: Begin your downward phase by first shifting your hips backwards then slowly moving downwards to create a hinge-like movement at your knees. Continue to lower yourself until your feel your heels about to lift off the floor. Depress and retract your scapulae (pull your shoulders down and back) and engage your abdominal / core muscles (“bracing”) to stiffen your torso and support your spine. Maintain a flat back by bending forward at the hips, keep your head facing forward and reach the medicine ball back between your legs to prepare to bring it up overhead in a rapid motion. 

Step 3

Upward phase: Swing the medicine ball upwards over your head while reaching it back behind your head and neck and simultaneously straightening your legs and rolling up on the balls of your toes to create triple extension (ankle plantarflexion, knee and hip extension); lean back while pushing the hips forward to lengthen the abdominal muscles, keep the abdominals contracted and engaged (bracing) throughout the movement to ensure spinal stability.

Step 4

Explosively bring the ball down over your head to throw it directly downwards into the floor while dropping your weight back into your hips.  As you throw the ball down, make sure you are maintaining the abdominal bracing and hinge from the hips to maintain spinal stability.

Step 5

Exercise Variation: Use a bouncing medicine ball to throw it straight down and have the ball bounce back up into your hands to perform continuous repetitions.

If using a bouncing medicine ball make sure that you have ample space for safety; if you are using a non-bouncing medicine ball (a “dead” ball) make sure you are on a solid, stable floor that can support the force of the weight being thrown explosively into the floor.

Reverse slams

Body part: Full body/integrated, butt/hips, shoulders, legs-thighs

Equipment: Medicine ball

Stand with the ball in both hands in front of the body. Jump up on the toes and raise the ball overhead, then quickly bend the elbows to slam the ball down behind the body. Turn around and pick up the ball, and repeat.

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