On the hunt for ways to trim those fats for a tighter torso and flatter abs? A weighted ball we know as medicine ball, exercise ball, med ball, or fitness ball is actually a great tool to work with. But, did you know that medicine balls work actually great for basketball players as well? And medicine balls are commonly overlooked, yet they shouldn’t be as they have countless benefits. With the proper drills, medicine balls can drastically improve your speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, strength and quickness. Enlisted below are the drills that can help you perform at a higher level.
#1:Squat Jump and Pass
Purpose: Increase your power, jumping ability, and passing ability all at the same time.
Instructions: Stand about 30 feet away from your partner (or if without a partner, you can throw it against a wall) and assume a squat position. With elbows wide, hold a medicine ball about six inches in front of you. Explode upward, jumping as high as you can, while bringing the med ball up into the air above your head. Then land in a squat position, and immediately chest pass the ball to your partner, who should also repeat the same jump/pass motion–or wall, if done without a partner. Complete 10 squat jump and passes. Take a 30-second water break, and perform at least two more sets. Gradually increase distance between passing partners, and use a heavier med ball if deemed necessary.
#2: Diagonal Wood Chops
Purpose: To tone waist for core exercise. A serious functional fitness maneuver.
Instruction: Stand firm with feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Bring the medicine ball to one side of the body. Slowly lower yourself down and cross your body diagonally while squatting. Imagine you’re chopping some wood at this angle, and the ball is your axe. Once you’re comfortable, you can pick-up your speed. Switch to the other side after 15 reps. Do at least 3 sets.
#3: Side Twist Decelerations
Purpose: Build strength and endurance in the shoulders.
Instruction: Hold the ball with both hands directly in front of your body. Then take the ball to the side of the body, and explosively bring it back to the front of the body. Stop the ball as quickly as possible, and repeat on the other side.
#4: Rational Side Throws
Purpose: Excellent exercise for developing rotational strength and power.
Instruction: Get yourself in an athletic position approximate 2-3 feet away. Position yourself perpendicular to the wall. Apply force into the ground, rotate your body up, and throw the ball into the wall.
#5: Shuffle Change of Direction Throw
Purpose: Works on strengthening shoulders, helping you develop passing ability, as well as strengthening your legs.
Instruction: Get yourself in a squatting position holding the med ball in front of your body 2-3 inches away with your elbows wide. Start doing laterals (4 sidesteps). Stop and throw or pass the ball to your partner, and do another laterals but change direction until you’re back to your starting position. Take the ball once more and repeat from the start.
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