Underhand Forward Medicine Ball Throw

Hey CT,

With reference to your last article and the best test for athleticism, what are your suggestions and key exercises to improve one’s distance on the throw?

This throw is a key requirement for a sports team I’m training towards and would like to learn how best to work from getting from 16m to 19m.


I’ll start by saying that I hate the whole concept of “training to ace a test”. You should train to become the best athlete possible. When you do that your tests should obviously go up. But training specifically to improve on the tests you’ll have to do is wrong.

Even if a test is well adapted to evaluate your physical potential for a specific sport, it doesn’t mean that spending a lot of time training for that test will make you a better athlete… it will only make you better at the test.

That having been said, besides simply getting stronger overall the exercises that will help the most are:

  1. Power variations of the olympic lifts (power clean and snatch variations)
  2. High pulls
  3. Very heavy KB swings (I have a handle with which I can do swings with as much as 200lbs)
  4. Various medicine ball throws… just getting good at throwing the ball many various ways will allow you to transfer the strength-speed gains you make from the above to explosive/ballistic moves like throws

Agreed with your notion - training for the throw is peripheral, but since it’s less common in the circles I’m involved with I want to make sure that there wasn’t an obvious solution I was missing.

Thanks for the recommendation, I’ve incidentally just received a 200lb KB a couple weeks ago so it’s encouraging to hear that my instincts on the subject were in the correct ball park. Thank you for your time.