Spring is just starting here in the city, so here’s the first edition of Move of the Week this season!
THE MOVE: Tall-kneeling Overhead Med Ball Throw
MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Vertical pull: lats and abs.
WHY DO IT: We haven’t done many medicine ball moves here in our weekly feature, so here’s one to fill in that gap. In my opinion, med balls are meant to be thrown, tossed, and slammed; and not just lifted from side to side in cute but suboptimal ab exercises, like Russian Twists.
Med Ball Throws are a great way to fulfill this criteria. In today’s move, not only is the medicine ball meant to be thrown; it is meant to be thrown hard. This helps develop power, explosiveness, and intent–athletic qualities that are often left untrained in fitness routines.
The Tall-kneeling Overhead Med Ball Throw is a dynamic way to work the vertical pull pattern (think pull-ups and pulldowns) with less loading. This is useful since many gym-goers have trouble with bodyweight pull-ups, leaving few options to work the vertical pull movement.
Finally, this move also works the core. When the ball and the hands are overhead, the abs are in a stretched position. To initiate the throw, they contract to help the arms pull down on the ball harder and faster. The result of this should be a follow-through where the torso bends forward as the hips move back, almost like a deadlift.
HOW TO DO IT: Set up a few feet away from the wall in a tall-kneeling position. Bring the medicine ball above your head. In this position, your abs should be stretched, but not to the point where your ribs flare or your back hyperextends. Your abs should still be engaged, and this “pre-stretch” so to speak, is kind of like a wind-up to help you throw the ball into the wall with force.
Now, simply throw the ball into the wall by pulling the arms down hard. This movement should be hard, fast, and purposeful–throw it like you mean it. You should finish in a position where your hips are back and you torso is inclined forward. Finishing in this position ensures that you’re actually throwing the ball and not just flicking your arms forward.
The Tall-kneeling Overhead Med Ball Throw is meant to build power, explosiveness, and intent. As such the medicine ball should be kept relatively light to maximize speed and power. I’d recommend 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps at the beginning of a workout. Be sure to make use of this if you’re looking to build athleticism in your fitness routine, and let us know what you think on Twitter or Instagram @halevylife !
by Jeremy Lau
Jeremy Lau is a Senior Staff Coach at Halevy Life.
Jeremy graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering and received his Master’s in Exercise Physiology at Columbia University. In addition to his academic accolades, Jeremy is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Prior to joining the team at Halevy Life, Jeremy completed a coaching internship at Cressey Sports Performance, where he coached both amateur and professional athletes, among whom were many professional MLB baseball players.
As an athlete, Jeremy has played baseball competitively for most of his life.