Medicine ball training is a timeless modality that athletes and coaches love to utilize. From the ancient Roman gladiators to the modern athlete, the classic loaded ball has served as both a training tool and a rehabilitation solution for centuries. Recently, Assess2Perform and other companies have made strides in improving the medicine ball with either better characteristics and features or the ability to extract data from the throwing motions. In this anthology, we cover the best medicine ball articles and posts on the SimpliFaster blog over the years.
Whether you are a coach wanting to know how to use the Ballistic Ball properly or how to use medicine balls in general, we review everything you ought to know about the subject area. In addition to medicine ball training guidelines, we also include a few interviews with coaches who understand the throws in general. Medicine ball training is versatile, fun, and very effective for teaching athletes how to explode their body in a coordinative fashion.
Many coaches are familiar with the use of medicine ball training for power, but what about for conditioning? This article precisely investigates the idea that medicine ball circuits and workouts can enhance conditioning. In addition to the recommendations for training with medicine balls, the article expands on the research and digs into the exact metabolic pathways that the modality exploits. If you are looking for a way to improve athletic fitness without the use of running or practice, this article does a great job reviewing all you need to know about conditioning with medicine balls.
All training has areas that may create roadblocks for coaches. If you are a young coach who wants to know more about the pros and cons of medicine ball training or a veteran coach who needs to polish their craft, this blog post is a great primer. It addresses, in full detail, five common mistakes in training and includes tips to reduce the pitfalls of medicine ball throws and catches. If you are a Ballistic Ball fan or a regular medicine ball user, this is a blueprint for better training outcomes and testing.
Shane Davenport from Exceed Sports and Fitness breaks down the use of the Ballistic Ball in detail, covering everything a new user would want to know. Davenport and his business partner, Sean Smith, do pioneering work with athletes utilizing the latest technology. What coaches need to understand is that in order to have a great evaluation of a quality, you need to have a near-perfect testing protocol. This article covers every type of throw for the Assess2Perform Ballistic Ball in detail. It also includes videos that show the precise technique of how to throw the medicine ball correctly for an accurate reading.
A primary quality of medicine ball training is that it teaches the summation of forces to athletes. The summation of forces is basically the ability to generate power from the feet up through the body and finishing with the arms. Nick Garcia, a throws coach in track and field and a very good user of technology, explains why medicine ball training is a wonderful option for teaching the summation of forces. Included in this article are the details he believes are essential for fully capitalizing on this popular training method.
In this popular piece on SimpliFaster’s blog, Carl Valle includes seven effective recommendations to improve athletic power with medicine ball training. Coaches in sports performance will love this article, as it includes exactly what coaches and therapists want to know with medicine ball training. If you are a high school coach, an athlete, a parent, or an elite performance coach in team sports or Olympic sports, this discusses the cream of medicine ball training. Also included are ways to fine-tune both testing and training, as well as measuring with a sound set of protocols.
This is another article written by Carl Valle on medicine ball training that combines the research and practice seamlessly. His series on medicine ball training reviews all topics and components exhaustively. No stone remains unturned in this guide, and Valle covers some principles that would be very useful for teaching, testing, and training. “The Art and Science of Medicine Ball Training” is not just for strength coaches or track and field coaches, it’s for sports medicine professionals as well. The article is popular and a quick read, as it doesn’t go too deep into the science but does use evidence from research to keep it less opinionated and more informative.
The second article from SimpliFaster to be translated into another language, this is one of the most successful foundational blog posts for all coaches. With thousands of reads, it explains the heart and soul of medicine ball training. No other article is more exhaustive in teaching the core essentials of the modality. Videos, charts, exercise explanations—you name it, and this article has it. If you are serious about refining your expertise on medicine ball training, this article will do everything to get you started and mastering the method.
Another comprehensive article by Carl Valle, this covers all the details you need to get started with the Ballistic Ball. Valle is known for finding ways to make the complicated easier to understand and explaining how to apply technology to the real world, and here he outlines how to use the Assess2Perfom device in detail. This includes how to use the app, why athlete management system users can benefit from an API, and the nuances of using the hardware. If you are on the fence about purchasing a Ballistic Ball, this article can help guide you to the right decision.
The Chicago Bulls got lucky with Matt Johnson, who is one of the best strength coaches in the NBA. In this Freelap Friday Five, Coach Johnson explains what it’s like to train the world’s best basketball players. In one of the questions, he brilliantly points out the value of using medicine ball throws. While jumping on force plates is the new standard for evaluating leg power and fatigue, coaches can use medicine ball throws as a proxy for athletes who may not be tolerant of the impact from playing games. Coach Johnson is a great teacher and knows his way around the barbell, but if you want to know more about athletic development, this is a quick read and perfect for those in strength and conditioning.
Doug Gle nails this blog piece on finding money for your weight room, as he nearly single-handedly transformed a school from one with barely any lifting area into a school with one of the best programs in Michigan. Included in this article is a showcase of the Ballistic Ball used by high school athletes, as well as other velocity-based training products. Every coach, even those with large budgets, has to plan for incorporating equipment and renovations into their weight room at some point in their career. If you want to improve your program or sustain excellence, this primer is awesome for anyone in the iron game.
One of the most candid Friday Five interviews, this sit-down with Jim Aikens is off the charts for developing throwers. Known as a coach of coaches, Aikens is a wizard for athletes in the Illinois area. An expert on all areas of throwing, he specializes in the shotput and has helped athletes learn both the glide and the spin. Coach Aikens is currently retired, but he still coaches local athletes at the high school level, as well as in private practice. His videos are tremendous teaching examples of how to throw with better mechanics and movement quality.
Medicine ball training is a vital part of programming for Bobby Stroupe, the founder and lead coach of APEC in Texas. Coach Stroupe is known for his tutelage of Patrick Mahomes, a standout quarterback on the Kansas City Chiefs, but he has fostered the success of many athletes in the area. If you are looking for more information on long-term athletic development, he is one of the best resources on taking athletes from youth to pro, as his list of athletes is extensive. Also included in this article is a video of great medicine ball throws with some very powerful football players.
While the NFL Combine doesn’t use medicine ball throws for their assessment of football players, nearly all the scholastic combines in high school do. Popularized by Nike with their SPARQ testing, the medicine ball throw is more than just an upper body power test, it’s a great way to see athleticism. Many coaches want the medicine ball throw included in testing because they believe, and rightfully so, that the movement and load is an excellent indicator of total body power. If you are interested in hosting a combine for profit or for talent identification, this is a comprehensive review on modern combine testing and sports technology.
Rotational sport coaches are often fans of medicine ball training, but there is more to do than simply tossing a load a few times a week. Rotation is a controversial subject because there are so many opinions on what is right and wrong with training today. Instead of sharing an opinion, this article covers the necessary science and practice with all forms of training, including isometric options. If you are involved in rotational sports or want to know more on how to prepare the body for anti-rotation, this article is a compelling read. It also includes information on medical perspectives with rotation, as training and rehabilitation sometimes go hand-in-hand.
One of the most popular Buyer’s Guides on SimpliFaster is this review of systems that measure ball or sport implement speed. While most of the products are radar systems for baseball and golf, a few of them are able to measure continuous speed of the body and medicine ball. Included in this guide is a review and explanation of the Ballistic Ball from Assess2Perform and other systems from new companies. Most coaches who are looking to measure ball speed in athletic training will want to read this list of options, as it enables smarter investing in sports technology.
Circuit training is often poorly implemented and programmed in sports training, and this article reviews the principles that are essential to coaches. Specifically, it covers the use of medicine ball circuits, adding insight on how to create an effective training plan using the world’s oldest ballistic training implement. If you are interested in circuits or want a few ideas regarding medicine ball training, this article does a fantastic job of listing workouts that many athletes can use in detail and explaining the purpose behind in each session. Coaches love circuit training because it organizes groups of athletes and is simple to administer at all levels.
Updated April 12, 2020
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