Last year I wrote a blog post on some common medicine ball exercises I use for both the gymnasts I coach and the gymnasts I treat for rehabilitation at Champion. These included med ball slams, seated overhead throws, and rotational throws.

I still use these regularly but have added a great progression, Tall Kneeling Medball Transitional Slams, after it learning from our great Strength and Conditioning staff at Champion.  Here are videos, then I will offer some thoughts below.

To perform this exercises, try these key points

  • Have the gymnast either tall kneel,  making sure to keep a neutral lower back position and braced, square hip position

  • Position the athlete between two mats that are okay getting impact, or areas of softer floor so the ball can absorb rather than bounce away (or back up in their face)

  • From the stacked position, the athlete will reach overhead, then slam the ball to one side forcefully while not breaking their hip position

  • The goal is to catch the ball on the way back up, reach back overhead, and then repeat to the other side, without too much loss of momentum or power transfer

The main reasons I like these exercise are because 

  • Easy to teach, implement, and scale based on the athlete’s ability level. I’ve used foam blocks with our youngest gymnasts to start

  • They incorporate both lower body static stability while the arms/core can express power together

  • They take a large percentage of the gymnast’s knees and ankles out of the equation, allowing focus to be placed on the hips and core

  • They can be used by themselves in lower sets for power output or can be put easily into a metabolic cardio conditioning circuit

Give these a try, and if you are a little unsure of proper technique, reach out to local strength and conditioning friends to see if they can help out. Enjoy!

Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS