Don’t want to get older? Take your medicine!
THE MOVE: Medicine Ball Chest Pass
MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Hinge: posterior chain, hamstrings, glutes. Horizontal push: chest.
WHY DO IT: If you want to maintain your vitality as you age, it is probably a good idea to take your medicine.
Medicine balls, that is. The reason why is because as we age, one of the first things we lose is power. Yes, we lose a little bit of strength as well, but we lose a lot more of the speed that powers movement.
As Power is the product of Force x Velocity, a decrease in speed means that power is affected dramatically. As another example, the time it would take to pull 400 pounds off the ground in a deadlift would be a lot higher for your 60-year-old self than for your 30-year-old self. The bar is traveling the same distance; but the speed of the movement is slower.
This is why you want to maintain your power as you age, and one of the best ways to do so is by using medicine balls. Throw them, slam them, toss them, it doesn’t matter. Pretend that the ball is a bad ball, and do not be gentle with it.
Medicine balls are great as well because research has shown that power output is maximized at sub-maximal weights. This once again comes down to speed. You can slam an 8-pound ball faster than you can a 20-pounder, and often times that results in greater power output.
A lot of power in athletic movement also comes from the hip, which is why we teach the Medicine Ball Chest Pass with explosive hip drive and extension. This is all part of the equation to maintain power as we age.
Be sure to watch our video for a full discussion of the importance of power, as well as proper technique for maximizing it!
HOW TO DO IT: The Medicine Ball Chest Pass should be done in the very beginning of your workout when you’re fresh. I’d recomment it for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. You’ll be able to display more power with less sets and reps, but you can use more sets and reps for more of a conventional training effect. Remember to use your hips, and not just your chest here! 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.