In Basics

October 01, 2006

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With medicine ball training, velocity or a combination of velocity and weight should always be the overload mechanism of choice. This is the mechanism of the Olympic lifts and their variations. Olympic weightlifting’s generation of horsepower through the bilateral summation of forces from ankle, knee, hip, posterior spine, shoulder, and elbow is unmatched, as all of the joints are working ballistically in the proper sequence at precisely the proper time. Medicine ball work can also provide excellent horsepower training, using many more combinations of force summation, as long as the load is not too great.

When this is the intent, lighter balls should always be used. Where pure strength through less complicated movement is the only intent, heavier balls can be used as a strength-training implement. Coaches, trainers, and physical educators are often baffled when an individual’s performance at a physical task does not correspond to expectations based on the measured strength levels of the body segments involved in the task. Failing to recognize the reason for the discrepancy, they continue along the same path of trying to develop greater strength. Though psychological and other complicated physical factors may partially account for the performance shortfall, the primary cause is often the insufficient generation of power through the summation of the forces involved.

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1 Comment on “Weight, Velocity & Volume in Medicine Ball Training”

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wrote …

Interesting article. It brings into question some of our pratices and intents in crossfit. There is a direct mention that kinematics must not be altered or diminished to properly practice and train, especially when velocity, power, agility, co-ordination, speed, balance and accuracy are the intended training stimulus. Unfortunately this doesn't coinside with the training principals that we utilize in crossfit. With our intent to gain maximal physical fitness potential we look to step past a 100% purely unaltered state of form. That additional resistance that deteriates our form past that of perfection is allowing a stimulus to be placed on the body. This stimulus allows us the opportunity to become more efficient with the relatively heavy weight. Thus, a need for greater efficiency, provided by increases in either strength, power, speed or general technique is what contributes to a greater overall potential. We are not creating stimulus by training the body within its current capabilites.
Though I do understand that this is not entirely the intent of the article it is still interesting the divergence in views between training.

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