Medicine Ball Exercises for Track Athletes

It is important to train for strength, speed and explosive power to be a successful track athlete. Medicine ball exercises are a great addition to traditional weight training and plyometric workouts. The medicine ball provides great core strength exercises as well as explosive power movements involving the upper and lower body. There are several different combinations of exercises to perform with the medicine ball, but it’s more beneficial if you target the ones that mimic that of a track athlete.

Medicine Ball Sit-ups

Sit-ups using the medicine ball train the core and shoulder muscles and work best with a partner. Start by lying down on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor. Have your partner stand facing you–about 3 feet in front of you. With the ball in your hand, extend your arms straight back over your head. As you sit up, throw the ball to your partner. While at the top of the sit up, keep arms straight above your head and catch the ball on the way back down to start position.

Medicine Ball Push-ups

Medicine ball push-ups work the chest and triceps muscles and require the use of a partner. Begin on your knees, in an upright position. Have your partner stand facing you–about 3 feet in front of you. Hold the ball at chest level. As you proceed to go down for a push-up, toss the ball to your partner before your hands touch the ground. Push yourself back up, bringing hands off the ground. Catch the ball after returning to the start position.

Over the Back Toss

Begin with your feet shoulder width apart. While holding the medicine ball in both hands, extend arms straight down in front of you. Squat down keeping your arms extended. While quickly exploding back up and pushing off the balls of your feet, toss the ball over your head.

Explosive Start Throws

Begin by placing your medicine ball on the ground about 2 feet in front of you. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Pick the ball up to chest level and proceed to explosively throw the ball forward while sprinting two to three steps.

Modified Hammer Throw

This exercise can be performed with a partner or a sturdy wall. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. With the medicine ball in both hands, extend arms out in front of you. Turn your body to the right and pivot the left foot as you turn. Using your core muscles, quickly and explosively throw the ball to the left side of your body, (pivot your right foot as your turn to the left). Release the ball towards your partner or the wall.

About this Author

Based in Atlanta, Javonne Blackley has been writing health and fitness-related articles since 2009 for Examiner.com. As an ISSA-certified fitness trainer, she runs a personal training business with more than 10 years’ experience in the fitness industry. Blackley serves as a positive influence to individuals looking to effectively maximize optimal health and fitness.