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Exercise of the Week: Figure 8 Rotational Medicine Ball Shotput

Posted Mar 05 2012 7:46am

With spring training upon us, I thought I’d draw this week’s exercise of the week from a recent video shoot I did with Stack.com and New Balance Baseball at Cressey Performance with two of our big leaguers, Tim Collins (Royals) and Steve Cishek (Marlins) .  In this video, Tim demonstrates the Figure 8 Rotational Medicine Ball Shotput while I do the voice-over.

Most of my comments serve as a general overview with respect to how we approach medicine ball workouts in general, but there are a few key points/observations I should make with respect to the Figure 8 drill in particular.

1. Notice (especially at the 1:20 mark) how Tim works to keep his head back prior to aggressively rotating through the hips and “launching” the ball.  This piggybacks on something I discussed in my recent posts on increasing pitching velocity by improving stride length ; if the head comes forward, you’ll leak energy early, as opposed to storing it and snapping through with aggressive hip rotation later on.  Notice Tim on the mound; his head (and, in turn, the majority of his body weight) remains back well into his delivery.

This drill helps to teach guys how to control and time their weight shift.

2. A while back, Matt Blake wrote up a good piece on how we utilize the Figure 8 drill with pitchers; you can check it out HERE .

3. Some folks will make the mistake of going too heavy on this drill.  The med ball shouldn’t weigh any more than ten pounds – and we usually stay in the eight-pound range.  Making the med ball too heavy won’t just interfere with generating the ideal power; it will also lead to athletes creating too much tension in the upper traps and levator scapulae to resist the downward pull of gravity.  This gives us too much tension in the neck and upper back, and interferes with the good “scap load” and long deceleration arc we’re trying to create.

I hope you like it!

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