Upper Body Plyometric Drills

These animated plyometric drills are used to develop explosive power in the upper body. Lower body plyometric exercises can be found on a separate page.

There are several different methods of power training. The simplest is to perform classic weight lifting exercises, such as bench presses, as explosively as possible. The problem with this method is that the barbell has to be decelerated at the end of the movement so the lifter can keep control of it. This inevitable slowing down causes a loss of power. These upper body plyometric drills allow maximum power to be generated because, unlike barbells or dumbbells, the medicine ball can be released into the air.

Racket sports such as tennis, badminton and squash, the throwing events in athletics, basketball, volleyball, rugby, and football, the martial arts and wrestling all require upper body power. Plyometric drills can be used to convert an athletes maximal strength training into sport-specific power helping to further improve performance.

See the sport specific approach to strength training programs article for more details about how plyometric drills fit into the annual strength and conditioning plan.

Plyometrics has not had the same level of scientific study compared to traditional strength training. As yet there are no definitive guidelines regarding volume, intensity and frequency etc. However, guidelines have been set out by leading authorities in the field. See the plyometric training article for more details.


Upper Body Plyometric Drills

Over head throws Overhead Throws
1. Stand with one foot in front (staggered stance) with knees slightly bent.
2. Pull medicine ball back behind head and forcefully throw ball forward as far as possible into the wall.
3. Catch ball on the bounce from the wall and repeat according to prescribed repetitions. Keep the time between pulling the ball back and starting the throw (transition phase) to a minimum. Can also be completed with a partner instead of a wall.




Side throw plyometric drill Side Throws
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart; place left foot approximately one foot in front of right foot.
2. Hold medicine ball with both hands and arms only slightly bent.
3. Swing ball over to the right hip and forcefully underhand toss ball forward to a partner or wall. Keep the stomach drawn in to maximize proper usage of muscle.
4. Catch ball on the bounce from
your partner or wall and repeat.




Over back toss drill Over Back Toss
1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Have a partner or trainer stand approximately 10-15 yards behind you.
2. Grasp ball and lower body into a semi-squat position. Explode up extending the entire body and throwing medicine ball up and over the body.
3. The goal is to throw the ball behind you as far as you and generating most of the power in the legs.
4. Catch ball on the bounce from your partner and repeat according to prescribed repetitions.




Slams Slams
1. Stand with feet parallel, shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
2. Pull medicine ball back behind head and forcefully throw ball down on the ground as hard as possible.
3. Catch the ball on the bounce from the ground and repeat according to prescribed repetitions.




Explosive start plyometric drills Explosive Start Throws
1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Knees should be slightly bent.
2. Pick medicine ball up to chest level.
3. Quickly explode up and press the ball straight out as far and fast as you can.
4. As you press the ball forward explode with either leg so that you actually sprint forward a couple of steps.




Single arm throws Single Arm Overhead Throws
1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
2. Grasp medicine and lower body into a semi-squat position. Explode up extending the entire body and throwing the medicine ball up into the air.
3. The aim is to throw the ball as high as you can and generating most of the power in the legs.
4. Catch ball on the bounce and repeat.




Squat throws Squat Throws
1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Knees should be slightly bent.
2. Hold medicine ball at chest level and squat down to a parallel position.
3. Quickly explode up and jump as high as you can. As you start your jump you should start to shoulder press the ball up and reach full extensions with the arms when you are at the peak of your jump. Push ball as high as possible into the air. Try to minimize the time spent in the squatted position. It should be a quick squat and jump.
4. Catch ball on the bounce and repeat according to prescribed repetitions.




Plyometric push-ups Plyometric Push-Ups
1. Start by getting into a push-up position.
2. Lower yourself to the ground and then explosively push up so that your hands leave the ground.
3. Catch your fall with your hands and immediately lower yourself into a push-up again and repeat.



Return from this plyometric drills article
the main plyometric training section




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