Throwing is one of the best ways to become more powerful and explosive. If you can do that your performance on absolutely everything will improve. But how should you work throws into your training?
I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my years as a collegiate thrower and professional Highland Games Athlete, and I’ve experimented endlessly with my training. Let’s just say that results have been mixed. But there is one constant that always works, and you almost certainly don’t do very often.
If you want to be explosive and perform at your best, then you need to be throwing stuff around.
How to throw
Throwing is a fundamental full-body movement. It doesn’t matter what you compete in, a good athlete must be able to stabilize and coordinate their body while developing force very rapidly.
There’s a reason why Olympic-level throwers are some of the strongest and most powerful athletes in the world. It’s silly not to take a hint and incorporate some of those basic methods into your program.
Medicine balls are easy. Chances are your box or gym has a couple of them. If not, just go online and by a few, maybe one light and one a little heavier. That will give you some throwing options. All of these can be done with a med ball 16-20 lbs. Just use what is comfortable.
I suggest starting with 3-5 sets of 5-10 throws. Make sure to keep your core stable stable while performing each throw as quickly as possible, with as much force as possible.
The essential throws.
Start with these awesome movements:
1. Med-ball slam
This is easy stuff. Pick it up off the ground with both hands. Bring it overhead jump and then slam it down as hard as you can.
Every track coach on the earth has their athletes do these. I don’t care if you’re a sprinter, distance runner or thrower. Put two hands on a med ball. Start by facing forward with the ball held overhead, then bring it down between your legs and throw it forward as far as you possibly can. Ideally you’ll look like a sprinter firing out of the blocks the moment you let go of the ball.
This will train you to extend everything fully, which really will help out your clean and snatch tremendously.
These are basically the same as Unders, but you’ll throw back over your head. Again, get two hands on the medicine ball. Start with it above your head, bring it down between the legs, then throw it backwards over your head. You should take a couple steps back after the throw to “catch-up” with yourself. That’s how you know you’re extending fully and quickly.
4. Bucket toss
Start med ball on the ground. Gran it with both hands and get into a full squat. Just like starting a clean, jump and throw the ball straight up into the air. Really, you’ll get the greatest effect by jumping and throwing as hard as you possibly can. Keep your focus on each throw.
When the medicine ball lands, catch it on the bounce and then throw it right back up as high as you can. Try to keep a rhythm, as this will really help develop your explosiveness and athleticism.
5. Video summary of throws
Matt breaks down the essential throws that you should include in your training.
These are easy and fundamental movements. Experiment with different loads and rep ranges as you get better at throwing. Throw different kinds of implements. Toss for maximum distance or height. If at all possible, compete with some friends. Add a few pints of Lager to the mix if you want, that will all make the throwing better.
I think it will really make a really big difference in your training and overall athleticism. Give it a try. If you have questions for me, feel free to toss them in the comments below.
- For more info make sure to check out MattVincent.net. You can also check out Matt’s new video series, the Drifta Lifta. It’s well done.
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Awesome info, now I can get the beat down from the medicine ball in more ways than one
I really Enjoyed this last article on throwing. I am going to be incorporating these movements for my youth athletes i work with. I love how over throwing and under can be a great stepping stone to cleans and getting into extension.
Thanks for all the amazing content Barbell daily!