Apr 21 2010

Q/A: Medicine Ball Power Training.

Here’s a question I got from Dr. Conway in regards to medicine ball training for developing power with fighters that I wanted to share with you all.

Dr. Conway:You recommend a 6-8 pound medicine ball for the rebounder on the power exercises. What would be the maximum weight of a medicine ball that could be used with a rebounder? I wondered about the controllability of a heavy medicine ball bouncing off a rebounder.

Rob: Yes, too heavy of a medicine ball could cause problems, if the student doesn’t catch it correctly, it can damage their teeth, face in general, or hit someone else or damage the gym. I’ve never used one heavier than 12 on the rebounder, on a mason/concrete wall yes. The ideal weight will be factored by the persons strength level, experience training with med balls/ability to control

Dr Conway: I have 12# and 15# medicine balls that I use now and wondered if those are too heavy to use on a rebounder? This may be redundant depending on how you answered question #2.

Rob:This depends on the persons strength level, training age, and experience with medicine ball training with the rebounder, using the rebounder changes a lot. Keep in mind that the prerequisites for explosive power is maximal strengthXspeed. so if the person isn’t strong enough to throw it with speed, they will build little power.

Dr. Conway:I know a heavy medicine ball may not be the best to use during a power cycle, but I thought maybe a 12# MB could be used for explosive work in a strength cycle preceding a power cycle. The ATTEMPT to move heavy implements quickly builds explosive power even though the implement is not moving fast. Your thoughts?

Rob:Yes the mental energy put into applying force to a heavy load builds strength speed and improves motor unit recruitment, also you can’t lift max effort lifts slow but it doesn’t improve explosive power because to train for speed you must move explosively and terminate the movement when speed declines. Using max effort lifts and tying to move them faster allows for greater II A motor unit recruitment that helps build the foundation for power, ( and applying this force also allows you to complete the lift!) the more explosive type II B motor units are recruited best with explosive movements and short reps/time. That is speed strength now compared to strength speed and again power is best built with lighter more explosive loads as technique can slip, potential for injury increase, and the cns is severely taxed with strength speed movements.

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