Medicine Ball Workout

by Nathan Tomasello

Medicine Ball Workout #1 by Dustin Myers   Instagram: CoachMyers_GutCheck

Functional training and core strength are buzz words that everyone is familiar with, and I'm sure as a wrestler or coach you have tried to incorporate functional movements into your strength regimen.  Wrestling requires an athlete to be flexible and strong in often unbalanced positions. Although traditional weightlifting regimens are beneficial, I also incorporate functional movements with medicine balls, kettlebells, sleds, sledgehammers, etc., into my athletes workouts.  The trick for a generation of coaches and parents raised on bodybuilding or football-style lifting routines is finding functional exercises that are safe and practical for any wrestler.

The following Medicine Ball workout (shown in the video below with 2 x World Team member Reece Humphrey and myself) is great for building full body strength and raising your level of conditioning.  It can be done with or without a partner, is safe for athletes of all ages, and best of all it can be done anywhere. This routine is perfect for the gym, the back yard, or the wrestling room, but to show how versatile it is Reece and I decided to demonstrate it on Muscle Pharm's basketball court of all places.  Something to keep in mind: pick a weighted ball that the athlete is able to move fast and explosively while keeping a strong pace and maintaining good form/position.  If the dynamic movements like the suplex are more like a 'slow lift and dump over the shoulder' then the medicine ball is too heavy. Reece and I use a 50lb medicine ball in the video, youth athletes will need to go much lighter.

-10 Slam & Chest Pass   

-10 Overhead throw & High Pass  

-10 Suplex

-10 Front Raise

-10 Side Passes (both sides)

-10 Arches

-10 Head Circles (both directions)

-10 Front Squats

x 5 rounds

note: The video shows Reece and I performing the workout in a partner style.  If you are training solo, on the first 2 exercises you will pass the medicine ball to an invisible partner, walk over, pick it up then go again.  The next 6 exercises are done in an "I go/you go" tempo, you can rest briefly (20 seconds or so) in between exercises, or better yet just burn thru the entire routine, resting only in between rounds.  For advanced athletes: perform the workout as prescribed, but rather than resting between rounds, run 400m at a medium pace then start your next round.

Slam & Chest Pass: Start by picking the medicine ball up from a squat position.  Extend over head and then slam to the ground, while dropping your hips and flexing your abs.  Pick up then pass at chest height to your partner. When catching the ball be sure to allow your legs to flex and absorb some of the shock. 10 each of this combo.

Overhead throw & High Pass: throw the medicine ball up in the air (think of a volleyball player "setting"), catching it twice, then throw it in as high of an arc as possible to your partner. 10 each

Suplex: start in a squat position, pick the ball up and in one motion throw the ball behind you, extending thru the hips and coming up on to your toes. 10.

Front Raise: raise the ball in front of you, keeping the elbows locked.  Don't 'curl' the ball up. Lower to starting position slowly, keeping your low back in good position and core tight.  

Side Passes: start with the ball at chest height, rotate your body to one side and extend your arms.  Pull the ball back in and immediately rotate the other direction. 10 to each side.

Arches: start with your arms in front of you and rotate the ball in a circular motion to the side, up in front of your face and down to the other side.  Repeat in the opposite direction. Very important to keep your abs tight and resist letting your hips rotate with the ball (this is known as an "anti-rotational" movement).  10 each direction.

Head Circles: Pass the ball in a circular motion around your head and in front of your face.  10 each direction.

Front Squats:  Hold the ball right below your chin and squat to parallel.  Keep a good arch in your low back and your elbows up.

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