UFC bantamweight Urijah Faber prides himself on being in shape and given his reputation for maintaining a fast pace without tiring it’s hard to question his credentials in that department. Fortunately, Faber is willing to share some secrets, and as a result one of his strength/conditioning coaches recently spoke with the UFC’s website to provide some exercises he often employs using a Medicine Ball.
Medicine Ball Chest Pass
Hold the medicine ball with both hands at chest level. Get into a squat position and then explode forward, throwing the ball to your partner’s chest. Use your whole body to generate power, getting full extension at your ankles, knees, and hips. The medicine ball should be propelled by the force of the jump rather than the strength of your arms.
TIP: Perform medicine ball throws in two fashions: Use a partner to pass the ball very quickly back and forth, and then throw the ball in an open space for maximum power and distance.
Medicine Ball High-to-Low
Get a 10- to 14-pound medicine ball and face a partner who is standing about eight feet away from you. Bring the ball behind your head, like a soccer throw-in, and slam it toward your partner’s knees. The partner will catch the ball between his knees and then, in a deadlift-type motion, throw it back at face-level to his partner. After ten throws, the partners switch positions.
Medicine Ball Overhead Throw
Place a medicine ball on the floor and stand over it, with your back to your partner. Drop into a deadlift position to pick up the ball. Push through your heels and explode upwards, bringing the ball over your head as you extend at the ankles, knees, and hips. Forcefully release the ball at the apex of the movement, sending it as high and as far as possible.
TIP: DynaMax-style medicine balls, ones that have a soft filling and a smooth surface, are ideal for partner-catch drills.
Medicine Ball Rotation
Stand perpendicular to your partner, who is about eight feet away, so your left shoulder is facing his chest. Hold the ball with two hands near your right hip. Forcefully turn the right hip over and pivot on the right foot, rotating your body and using the power of your hips to throw the ball to your partner’s chest. The motion is just like throwing a right cross.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY