How To Do Medicine Ball Overhead Throws

Med Ball Overhead Throw (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

The Med Ball Overhead Throw is an excellent dynamic core exercise that can really help develop core power. Being able to brace and generate power overhead is critical to many sports and it’s why Overhead Throws are one of my favorite core exercises for lacrosse players.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly do Medicine Ball Overhead Throws, including important coaching points and a few alternatives in case you don’t have a medicine ball.

How To Do Med Ball Overhead Throws

Equipment Needed

Muscles Worked

  • Abdominals (Rectus Abdominus, Obliques Externus Abdominus)
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Secondarily: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

How To

  • Find a partner or solid wall and stand a safe distance away*.
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Reach the medicine ball overhead and brace the core.
  • Now, throw the ball as hard as you can – aim for maximum distance.

Coaching Points

*If throwing with a partner, stand far enough away so that the ball will bounce before it reaches your partner. Catching a medicine ball out of the air can lead to a jammed wrist or finger. If throwing against a wall, allow enough space so the ball bounces once after it hits the wall before you catch it.

Medicine Ball Overhead Throw Variations

Here is a simple tweak that can add a little variation to your Overhead Throws:

Step and Throw

Adding a forward step to the throw can add two benefits to the movement.

One, it can add power to the throw, but more importantly, it forces coordination between the upper and lower body which can be a huge added benefit for athletes. Make sure to step with both the right and left (you’ll probably notice that one feels more comfortable than the other).

Med Ball Overhead Throw Alternatives

Don’t have a medicine ball? Here are a few alternatives you may be able to try out instead.



One of the important aspects of the overhead throw is bracing the core. Being able to properly (and strongly) brace the core is such an important factor in being able to put power into the throw itself.

While Planks may not be dynamic like an overhead throw, they will teach and improve an athlete’s ability to brace better than maybe any other exercise.

Knees to Elbows

Knees to Elbows are a dynamic core exercise that is about as close as a core exercise can get to a total body movement. Knees to Elbows will challenge the shoulders, back, biceps and grip in addition to being a very difficult core movement.

More Links and Info

If you’d like to see even more core exercises? Head over to the Core Section of our Exercise Library where you’ll find dozens of core exercises, all with complete detailed instructions.

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