The Medicine Ball Shotput: Phase 1

The medicine ball shotput is a great power drill for overhead throwing athletes. The shotput conditions the scapular and humeral stabilizers to the eccentric demands of throwing and teaches athletes to link upper and lower body rotation for smooth and explosive power. Phase 1: Standing Shotput During Phase 1 we keep the athlete in a static stance so that we can focus on teaching 3 fundamental pieces of the pattern. 1). Loading The Rear Hip As you can see in the first part of the clip I transfer my weight posteriorly from the lead hip to the rear hip during the cocking phase. Teaching athletes use hip rotation to “load and explode” is a fundamental part of generating rotational power. Watch the athlete to ensure they are loading the movement by rotating through their hips not through their lumbar spine. Athletes will struggle with this movement on their non-dominant side, continue to cue them and develop proficiency as this will help offset the rotational asymmetries that occur in many throwing athletes. 2). Dynamic Scapular Control Have the athlete position their active arm parallel to the ground. Abducting the shoulder puts the scapula and humerus in the best position to produce force through the ball. Watch that the athlete can control the scapula throughout the movement, keeping an eye out for excessive winging or elevation. Ensure that all athletes have adequate static, closed chain scapular stability before introducing this drill. 3). Deceleration It’s important to cue the athlete to follow through to train deceleration in both the hip and scapular stabilizers. Position the athlete far enough from the wall so that they can follow through and not have to worry about rebounding the ball off the wall. We want the athlete to follow through by rotating into the lead hip and fully protracting the scapula. I cue the athlete to follow through by telling them to “punch the wall.” Resist the urge to use a large ball during this drill. Speed and explosiveness is the most important thing here. I would recommend using a 2-3 kg ball for most athletes. Stay tuned tomorrow for our Phase 2 progression: Dynamic Medicine Ball Shotput. – @kev_in_carr

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