Developing total body strength and power is always a goal for athletes. More specifically, building overhead power and acceleration is beneficial for athletes participating in sports such as tennis, soccer, baseball, and swimming to name a few. This exercise is done using a weighted non-bounce medicine ball.
Execution: Choose a weighted ball in accordance with the client’s size, strength and functional capacity. Stand over the ball with the feet shoulder width apart. Reach down and grabs the ball with both hands. Now extend the ankles, knees and hips while lifting the ball overhead.
Next, rapidly slam the ball down into the floor. It is fine if both feel leave the floor during the explosive phase of the exercise. Repeat this cycle for 10-15 repetitions or for a desired period of time.
Work to rest ratios will depend on fitness level and the desired training effect. In many cases, it is best to start out with a slower and more controlled movement (less emphasis on speed and power) to ensure proper form and control of the body in order to avoid poor movement patterns or injury.
Application: This exercise offers a great way to build explosive strength and power throughout the entire kinetic chain. It emphasizes an explosive pull down maneuver used in throwing, hitting, serving, swimming, etc. as well as integrating the shoulders and torso in the movement pattern.
It is a great way to train the overhead athlete seeking to improve total body conditioning and performance. The exercise can serve as a stand alone modality as part of a power training session or function as part of a circuit to elicit a metabolic training effect.
Precautions: For clients with existing shoulder dysfunction (rotator cuff or labral injury, arthritis, or a history of instability), this exercise may place undue strain on the shoulder especially if the client is not using their legs and trunk sufficiently. Therefore, use caution and modify as necessary. In addition, clients with existing back pain and/or disc pathology may not be suited for this activity.