USATF Men’s Shot-put Development Chairman
successful in today’s track and field environment, athletes
must work on a variety of components of athletic ability.
strength, speed, power, agility, balance, technique,
kinesthetic awareness, endurance, psychological development
and injury prevention are all areas that need improvement for
an individual to become a successful athlete. As individuals
become more athletic their performances will equally improve.
time restraints, and athlete will usually only concentrate on
one or two areas. For example, a discus thrower may only work
on strength (by spending a great deal of time in the weight
room) and technique (by taking a large volume of throws). The
discus thrower is bypassing many significant training areas
that are equally important to their success. Optimum
performance level is never fulfilled.
virtually impossible to select each individual component of
athletic ability and improve each component by isolating
activities for just that area. There is simply not enough
time. Therefore, coaches and athletes must use activities that
will "cross train" many areas at the same time. This is the
importance of medicine ball "functional" training.
some drills that will allow the athlete to work on many
components of athletic ability at the same time; including
balance, kinesthetic awareness, agility, speed & power,
strength, endurance and flexibility. A proper training program
"housing" all these areas of athletic ability will decrease
the possibility of injuries.
Balls come in a variety of sizes and weights. In most cases,
athletes should start out with lighter balls, and as higher
athletic ability levels are obtained, increase the weight of
the balls. The standard "rule of thumb" is to always use a
ball whose weight allows the correct technique of the drill to
be performed. Using a ball that is too heavy will cause
breakdown in skills. Sets, reps and recovery time are also
important and are specific to the athlete’s individual needs.
Too many sets or reps, or not enough recovery time could cause
fatigue and improper skill performance. In general we suggest
use of basic sets and reps. (For example: 3 sets of 8 reps or
4 sets of 6 reps is an excellent place to begin). It is also
important to perform each drill with both sides of the body.
Balls that we recommend and why:
Place Medicine Balls:
well and are great for working out alone or with others.
more for a higher bounce.
surface provides excellent grip.
range from volleyball to basketball size as weight
Place Core Balls:
handles make it excellent for core and torso work
against wall to develop power or on field for distance
weights are 11" diameter.
– easy to grip and throw.
bounce than the First Place Med Ball.
balls (1, 2, 3kg) are approximately volleyball size.
balls (4, 5, 6, 7, 8kg) are slightly larger than
rope for swinging, chopping, rotational drills.
without rope as a traditional med ball.
well – inflate for higher bounce.
diameter increases proportionally with weight.
handle for rotary drills, dumbbell simulation,
throwing & running movements.
explosive power by throwing underhand, overhand or sidearm
does not bounce
weights are the same size.
and easy to grip, catch and throw.
- Do not
ranges from 3.5" to 10.6" from smallest to heaviest
Medicine Ball Drills:
Start with ball on hip opposite of throw/delivery side.
Start transferring weight from backside to delivery side
by turning back foot, while twisting body’s core. Finish
by throwing/delivering ball at shoulder height with your
weight balanced over delivery side. This throw can also
begin at shoulder height, instead of by hip.
Begin at 90
degrees to wall, with ball on hip, and more weight on that
leg. Deliver ball at hip height, with weight now
transferred to front leg. Catch ball and repeat.
Start with ball behind one hip with more weight on that
leg. Throw ("Put") the ball while turning and reaching
towards the direction of the throw. Finish the drill in a
ball at belly button height, arms length away from body,
behind right or left hip. Start by moving ball to the
right or left. Keep core tight and turn/rotate your back
foot to allow greater range of motion.
Leg Russian Twist:
above, but when weight is off of back leg, take it off
of the ground.
ball behind and above ear. Move ball diagonally across
body, ending near opposite knee. Return with the same
pattern. Rotate/turn back foot to increase effective range
diagonal chops, but balance on one leg while performing
ball overhead at arms length. Chop down and stop when
ball is between your feet.
ball at ear level, but with arms extended away from body.
Move the ball through a figure 8 pattern continuously – in
front of and beside your body from left to right.
Begin with ball overhead and move ball in a circular
motion as big as possible around your body.
Keep ball at
arms length while performing a squat. A variation: start
ball at chest and press up or out when squatting –
returning ball to chest on ascent.
ball at arms length straight in front of body. Squat on
one leg, keeping ball held out in front as a
counterbalance. Leave free leg in front. (You can also
leave the free leg to the side or the rear). Variation:
Ball can start from belly button and be pressed out when
ball at belly button level. Take a step forward with one
leg while moving the ball to the side of the lunging leg.
Continue alternating legs by either walking or switching
ball at belly button. While lunging forward raise the ball
up overhead. Either leave the ball overhead while
continuing to lunge or return the ball to belly button on
Sagittal or Front Reach:
ball at belly button. Step forward and extend arms towards
front foot. Return and repeat in place with same foot or
or Side Reach:
ball at belly button. Step and reach laterally to one
side. Continue reaching and stepping to one side or
Transverse or Rear Reach:
ball at belly button. Open (turn) and step/reach between
90 and 180 degrees to the rear. Return to start and repeat
with same leg or opposite leg.
ball under one hand and perform a pushup. Try doing one
pushup with hand on ground, pushing hard enough to catch
yourself on the ball for next rep. Begin to roll ball
across to opposite hand between reps if you want a bigger
wall about an arm’s length away. Keep hands above head
initially keeping throwing range short. Work towards arms
being bent and further away from wall. You can also do
this with one arm only.
Begin with ball overhead. Throw ball down, using your
core. You can also do this with one arm only.
Throw to Push Up:
knees, with ball in front of chest. Throw ball forward and
follow it with upper body. When your body extension is
complete, catch yourself in a push up position. This can
also be beginning from an overhead ball position.
feet from wall. Swing ball to an overhead position,
stretching upper extremities. Throw ball, aiming 1-2 feet
above the bottom of the wall, using your core.
ball at belly button. Swing ball to an overhead position,
and step forward with one foot towards the wall. Shift
weight completely over front throwing leg, using core to
throw. Aim 1-2 feet above bottom of the wall.
ball at chest or overhead. Quickly squat lowering ball to
calf level. Jump and throw the ball as high as possible
directly overhead. Let the ball bounce once, reposition
and repeat drill.
the ball overhead and bring it forward and down to knees.
Begin throw as soon as ball gets to knee level. Throw by
extending ankle, knee, hip and delivering the ball
overhead backwards, keeping toes on ground. This is a
great total body power test.
Core Ball or Power Ball): Start bent holding ball with one
hand between feet. Throw ball as high as possible,
straight overhead (not backwards) by extending at knee,
ankle and hip. Ball should move close to body for best