I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Personal Trainer and I LOVE medicine balls. I program them for every athlete and general population client I have.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Medicine balls are used primarily for power development. They come in various sizes, weights, and levels of reactivity. The beauty of medicine balls is that you can move them in any plane of motion (or combination) and in ways you cannot move a dumbbell or barbell. Because of this, they’re great for building power and speed in “sport specific” movement patterns. In that same vein, they’re great for teaching the core to transfer energy effectively from the ground up.
I wouldn’t recommend using medicine balls as a replacement for,
but rather as a supplement to other strength training modalities. In our programs they are most often used in tri-sets with plyometric movements and sprints as we try to train explosive qualities in the upper body, lower body and core.
Here’s a comprehensive list of all the ways we use medicine balls to train power:
Chest pass variations
Overhead slam variations
Overhead throw variations
Scoop toss variations
Rotational toss variations
Shotput toss variations
Often, for more advanced athletes or trainees, we will pair different movement patterns in the same exercise in order to train their ability to quickly and explosively move the weight in various planes of motion.
Note: They 100% SHOULD NOT BE USED for Russian twists or crunches or anything like that. Those are horrible for your lower back. They are a power development tool.
Here’s how to make your own medicine ball:
You can also check out my YouTube channel where there are tons of medicine ball exercise demos!
Hope this helps! Please let me know if I can answer any other questions. Thanks,