*Guest post by WS performance coach, David Hefty.
At Wasserman Strength, we love medicine ball work to help increase explosive power, stability, and sequencing, which will help to prevent injury in our rotational athletes. There are many different variations that we utilize, but this article will focus on three: Medicine Ball Slams, Medicine Ball Skate Jumps and Single Leg RDL (Romanian Deadlift). Each one of these exercises is used in specific ways to help our athletes improve stability, coordination and transfer of energy!
Medicine Ball Slams
Medicine Ball Slams are a dynamic exercise that is used to specifically focus on increasing leg and core stability as well as explosive power and strength. Because this exercise also incorporates multiple muscle groups, this makes it an excellent choice for a warm-up. When performing this movement, it is important to keep the core tight and use maximal effort when driving the ball towards the ground. Usually we perform this movement during our warm-ups before any strength training. This exercise usually will consist of two sets of ten reps with a medicine ball that is not heavier than 10 lbs.
Medicine Ball Skate Jumps
Medicine Ball Skater Jumps are another great dynamic workout that we use to increase leg strength and balance. Because this exercise uses a lateral movement that shifts weight from one leg to the other, this exercise could be used to correct any muscular imbalances and prevent leg injuries – specifically protecting against Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries. When using the medicine ball for this workout this adds a rotational movement toward the loading leg thus, allowing the implementation of core rotational work. This exercise is usually performed for 3 sets of 5-8 repetitions.
Single Leg RDL w/ Medicine Ball Reach
Single Leg RDL with Medicine Ball Reach is a great way to modify Single Leg RDL to incorporate more core and balance. This exercise is found in almost all our workouts because it recruits most of the muscles that make up the posterior chain. Adding a Medicine Ball Reach to a Single Leg RDL utilizes a new element of upper body control and core strength by shifting the body’s center mass. This affects the control and balance by making it more challenging for the athlete. Single Leg RDL is usually done in 3 sets of 5-8 repetitions.
David recently graduated from PBA with a B.S. in Exercise Science and working to become a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association!