T Nation

Dropping a plate on your abs...

Is this harmful to your organs? How about a medicine ball being thrown? (not dropped).

If you’re talking about Waterbury’s article this week, the drops were short and he did say to use the flat side of the plate. This would create a lot of surface area and not be ‘sharp’.


Do not drop a plate or a medicine ball on your abs!

I do not know you but I can assure you that this has the potential to harm you, and that would be a shame.

I gotta second the plate and it have a larger surface area spreading out the impact. The medicine ball will put more impact in one area.

Either way I am not going to rush out and start doing either.


Q: Are the plate drops potentially harmful to your organs?

A: Maybe, but unlikely if you follow my guidelines.

Q: Can any exercise be potentially harmful?

A: Yep.

Q: Are the plate drops intended for all trainees?

A: Absolutely not.

The plate drops are ONLY intended for those who need to condition their abdominals to take an intense blow to the midsection (insert joke here).
Here’s the bottom-line guys: all contact sports are potentially harmful. Plate drops are intended to help a trainee condition himself/herself to minimize the potential damage caused to by being struck to the abdominals. Crunches and sit-ups will only help to a small degree. That’s why our Military Special Force trainees perform exercises such as running across the midsection of 8-10 guys laying on the floor, shoulder to shoulder in a line. Plate drops are a method to specifically condition yourself to adapt to being struck in the abdominal region. I would not prescribe this exercise to a weekend warrior or a middle-aged housewife. But for those who have no choice but to get pounded in the abdominal region due to their sport/lifestyle of choice, Plate Drops will help condition the abdominal musculature.
Every good trainer/coach assesses the risk/benefit ratio of any exercise. Plate drops are high risk, but the benefit offsets the risk to boxers, grapplers, Special Force fighters, and Ultimate Fighters. As for anyone else, the risk does not offset the benefit.
The Plate Drops are awesome for anyone who must be learn to be struck in the midsection, but they’re not awesome for anyone who sits at a desk all day.
I’m merely here for a different perspective on training due to the type of clients I train. If the exercise doesn’t sound appealing to you, I would not be offended if you didn’t try it.

Plate drops aren’t meant for everyone, but depending on what you do, i think they have a lot of value.

i played rugby on and off for the last 10 years, and taking a medicine ball in the gut really prepared my body to take midsection hits.

otherwise, i’d suggest getting a sweet blonde to use you like a trampoline to work those abs (among other things)

GREAT post CW!!! Hit the nail on the head. It’s NOT for everyone! But remember at one point ALL of us have shunned a movement or thought one was too ridiculous to use but we do them now. If something you’re doing requires you to take a blow to the stomach then this movement is for you.

I like this exercise using a Medicine ball. If this is too weak, have a partner toss the ball at your abs.

i immgine they can be quite harmful to your organs. especially if you miss and drop it on your sack.


I wasnt trying to put down your recomendation in any way. I realize you recomended it to a fighter, someone whom needs that type of stimulation.

While I have gone a round or two in my day I am not out looking to make it a daily habit. That is why I commented I wasnt going to start implementing them into my traing.

I can see their usefullness.


I am gonna start doing these to help me get ready for rugby.

Your priority should be to improve your body position moving into contact so you avoid taking gut shots as much as possible.

Hey, maybe boxers can experiment with dropping a plate on their face.

I used have a parter throw a medicine ball at my stomach, however I quit doing it after someone pointed out that it might affect my organs.

SO new question… if you drop a ball or plate on your stomach and you find it doesn’t hurt is it harmful in any bit to the organs?


you’re right about the body position. shame on me for running high and taking mis-hits for doing so (i’ve learned my lesson since!)

but i still think sport specific midsection impact work is important for some, just not for all.

DavidL: im with you on that one
as for traing them for contact, why not get a partner to strike them, two people training at the same time… sure one is having more fun than the other but, hey, if it has to be done…

Should one drop a plate on their face to get accustomed to receiving blows to the head?

Hey, it worked for Van Damme in Kickboxer. The old Muay Thai master would drop a heavy load onto Van Damme’s abs from a very high tree.

It’s great conditioning. I used to do that in junior high. But I wrapped mine in a towel because all I had were the vinyl weights, and those left abrasions like a son of a bastich. Just start low like suggested then raise it on your own. Works well, but I can’t remember where I got it from. Either Marco Lala, or improvisation to a suggetion.