It's every athlete's desire to become more powerful and explosive. And the basis for this explosiveness is to develop your body's ability in the triple extension mechanism. In case you don't know what triple extension is, it is extending your hip, knee and ankle all in one quick motion.
(See photo below)
Athletes perform triple extension vertically - as in a vertical jump, horizontally - as in sprinting or bounding, and in lateral movements - like a running back cutting sideways.
If you've read my posts before you know that all of these movements have their foundation rooted and grounded in strength. Get stronger to apply more force to the ground to move faster and jump higher.
Another way you can help this motion is to add a load - or weight - and actually practice the movement. "The skill to do comes from the doing", said an ancient philosopher.
Enter: the overhead medicine ball toss. This exercise has been proven to improve the coordination of the triple extension mechanism and overall athletic power.
This exercise helps the athlete develop explosive power through triple extension. Check out some of my basketball players practicing it here:
Some performance tips:
: : Start with the ball high above the head
: : As you lower the ball between your legs crouch down to load the lower body ready for vertical jump
: : Drive your hips as you forcefully release the ball overhead keeping your arms long
: : Look to extend your body as high vertically as possible making sure to end on the toes, even leaving the ground
: : Try and throw the ball as far as you can. Measure the distance. Then look to improve your distance over time
Here's a great example in slow motion of an overhead medicine ball throw:
A good starting weight for youth athletes can be 10 - 15 pounds although a bigger, stronger and more mature athlete can throw a heavier ball. The basketball players in these videos are throwing 20 and 30 pound medicine balls.
Now get out there and work hard!