Motor Medicine: What do Medicine Balls Do?


With the load of medicine balls being on average 10% of BW or lower, are they poor manufacturers of power? Does the 10% rule of sleds poison the use of medicine ball use? I think medicine balls are not prime developers of explosive power because they simply don’t provide much of an overload. The same rules apply to balls as they apply to bars, but the application is different. The adage is that bars produce power and balls teach power. Where did that come from? If one took a 8-12 pound body bar and did snatches, the pundits would hammer the use because the lack of overload. Add in a ball and it’s ok? For me medicine balls help teach the use of expressing power with an implement at 100% effort without catching for beginners. Intermediates use pre-jumps for overloaded plyos for PAP. Advanced do it for increasing volume safely in the early phases for training and for testing. Sometimes a heavy ball can be used for overcoming inertia as a loaded squat jump. You can use a vest or sandbag, but for skilled athletes the ball expresses the summation of forces (height or distance visually scores the throw easier) and challenges them not to drop and pop. Also you can share medballs easily while vests are very size dependent (vests are adjustable though), and athletes enjoy the process because throwing them is fun.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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