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Dryland Tip: Medicine Ball Chuck Progression

Uploaded on October 27, 2011 by G_John
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Dryland Tip By Swimming World Correspondent G. John Mullen of SwimmingScience.net and CenterofOptimalRestoration.com

Purpose: The medicine ball chuck progression is an exercise to enhance hand speed and dissociation between the legs and arms. These features are essential for breaststroke as more research indicates elite breaststrokes have a distinct pull phase, then a kick phase, separating the two to decrease drag. It also emphasizes hand speed during a common sticking point of breaststroke, the insweep and recovery.

Directions: Resisted Breast Arms: Loop a stretch cord around a pole, then face away from the pole. Have the athlete stand with feet shoulder width apart, body weight forward and the band on the inside of their arms. Instruct them to bring their arms back to their chest, then accelerate them forward as they change directions to the insweep and recovery. Have them to keep their elbows close together as they accelerate their arms forward, similar to breaststroke.

Resisted Breast Arms with Squat: Set the band cord up in the same manner as Resisted Breast Arms, then include a squat after the athlete performs the pull. Make sure, they are using proper squat biomechanics: hip, ankle, knee alignment and obtaining a vertical shin. Similar to breaststroke where the swimmer will snap their feet together while driving the hips forward, this exercise should emphasize the athlete accelerating as they come up from the squat, squeezing the glutes together and shooting their hips forward.

Medicine Ball Chucks: This power exercise is performed either with a partner or against a fence. The athlete will squat down and perform a standing long jump. Once they jump forward, they will chuck the medicine ball forward with their arms close together. The main points are to drive the body forward, then accelerate their arms forward in two distinct phases.

Each of these exercises can be performed for 15-30 seconds for multiple sets.

Dr. G. John Mullen is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. At USC, he was a clinical research assistant at USC performing research on adolescent diabetes, lung adaptations to swimming, and swimming biomechanics. G. John has been featured in Swimming World Magazine, Swimmer Magazine, and the International Society of Swim Coaches Journal. He is currently the strength and conditioning coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, owner of the Center of Optimal Restoration and creator of Swimming Science.
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