Get to throwing already!

The grand opening has come and gone- I am so excited about everything.  I’m excited to be back writing, filming, and sharing some of what I love to do with all of you…

In this post I want to talk about medicine ball throws.  When do you write them into the session?  How many reps?  What weight should you choose?  What brand works well?  Should you wear a shirt when you do them?  [I say no, or at least no sleeves]…  Medicine ball throws are awesome.  I am on a HUGE kick with them- mainly because I’ve been stuck training in a commercialized gym for the past few months while we designed and built my new home.  And by home I mean Beyond Strength Performance training center within Disciple MMA Academy. 

I attended a seminar a few months back at Synergy Athletics in upstate NY, run by Joe Hashey.  Joe exposed the glaring truth to me that NOT doing medicine ball throws over the last year or so really caused me to suck at them.  It was at that time that I commited to being awesome… at medicine ball throws.  As you know, I’m already awesome at just about everything else.  :-)

We have been playing around with different types of throws.  Check out this video to see some pretty awesome partner throws I’ve been using with our MMA athletes.  Both of them require decelerating a load before exploding in the opposite direction…

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When do I include them in the session?

There are two main times I like to use medicine ball throws.  The main one would be after our dynamic warmups.  We typically “ramp up” at this time and try to get our nervous system into overdrive, preparing our bodies to lift, push, pull, and all around destroy some heavy things.

The other time that we use medicine ball throws is in our conditioning.  Whether they are involved in a “finisher” or a conditioning session in itself- they are great to pair with things like battling ropes, kettlebell swings, thrusters, carries, burpees, etc…

How many sets/repetitions?

This really depends on the goal of the phase we are in- but in actuality, I never really do “high” repetition medicine ball throws.  They are intended to be an explosive, angry movement.  We want to perform them with as much velocity as possible, and I find that after 8 or so repetitions (tops) we tend to drop off in intensity.  I typically stick between 3-6 repetitions with throws per set, but I will occasionally go higher. 

What weight should you choose?

At Beyond Strength Performance we have 2, 3, and 4kg medicine balls.  Could we have gotten heavier ones?  Sure.  But for the purpose of throws, as stated before, I want maximum velocity!  Even our bigger guys haven’t gotten “too fast” with what we have- if that’s even possible.  The video below above was done with 3kg medicine balls…  I invite you to try them- 3kg does the trick.

What brand do I prefer?

I love the First Place medicine balls from Perform Better.  They are not super “bouncy,” so you shouldn’t have problems with clients getting rocked in the face from overhead throws, or them returning off the wall too fast.  They are also extremely durable.  Al medicine balls will eventually break, just some do it faster than others.

So there you have it!  Start programming medicine ball slams into your workouts…  If your gym doesn’t allow them, doesn’t have the space, or the members look at you funny- get a new gym!  If you are in Northern VA or State College, come train with us!

Until next time,


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Chris Merritt

Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA

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