Med Ball Side Throw

Medicine Ball Side Throw (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Med Ball Side Throws are one of the absolute best exercises for developing rotational power. They should be a staple in just about all training programs for rotational sports and, honestly, pretty much any program for an athlete, regardless of sport.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to properly do Med Ball Side Throws, including important coaching points, common mistakes and alternatives.

How To Do Medicine Ball Side Throws

Equipment Needed

  • Medicine Ball

Muscles Worked

  • Obliques Externus Abdominis
  • Rectus Abdominis

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Grab a medicine ball and stand perpendicular to a sturdy wall*.
  • Distance away from the wall will vary based upon the type of medicine ball you have**.
  • Stand in a good athletic position, feet shoulder width apart, hips and knees bent.
  • Begin by rotating away from the wall, reaching the medicine ball toward the back hip.
  • Now, aggressively rotate toward the wall, turning on the ball of the back foot, opening the hips toward the wall and releasing the ball into the wall.
  • Catch the ball off the ball, reset and repeat. Once all reps are completed switch sides.

Coaching Points

The biggest mistake I see athletes make is using their arms (and not their hips) way too much to throw the ball. Power for the throw should primarily come from rotating the hips and torso and the arms should be secondary.

*If you have a partner, you can throw to each other instead of into a wall.

**The distance away from the wall will vary depending on what type of medicine ball you have. If you have a hard rubber medicine ball then be prepared for the ball to bounce a good ways back off of the wall. If you have a soft Dynamax-type medicine ball then you can stand much closer as the bounce off the wall will be much less.

Med Ball Side Throw Alternatives

Looking for an alternative for Med Ball Side Throws? Here are a few alternatives you may be able to use as a substitution.

Med Ball Seated Twists

Seated Med Ball Twists

If you don’t have a wall (or a partner) to safely throw the medicine ball into, you may want to opt for Med Ball Seated Twists instead. Sit on your butt, feet off the ground and rotate side to side with the ball.

You won’t get the same power development as with the side throw, but you will still get some quality rotational core work.

Also, if you don’t have a medicine ball, seated twists can be done with a dumbbell, plate or done just as a bodyweight exercise.

Med Ball Side Slams

If you have a medicine ball, but no wall to slam it into – Med Ball Side Slams may be a great alternative.

Stand tall and aggressively drive down while rotating to one side and slam the ball into the ground beside your feet. Alternate back and forth or do all one side at one time. Either way it’s a great exercise to develop power and get the obliques involved.

More Links and Info

Featured Image Photo Credit (Srdjan Randjelovic /

Looking for more Core exercises? Make sure to check out the Core Section of our Exercise Library.

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