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Seated Medicine Ball Throw Test

The seated medicine ball throw test is used to test a clients upper limb power. This page shows you how to conduct the test.

The purpose of this test is to measures a client’s upper body power. By keeping the back in contact with the wall the power of the upper body (in particular the arms and chest) is tested.

Equipment required: 1-2 kg medicine ball, floor mat, wall, tape measure

personal training seated medicine ballDescription / procedure: The client(s) sits with their back to a wall, on a mat facing the area to which the ball is to be thrown, and with the legs extended and slightly apart. The ball is held with the hands on the side and slightly behind the centre. The ball is brought to the chest, then thrown vigorously out as far as possible. The back should remain in contact with the wall at all times. Three attempts are allowed.

Scoring: The distance from the wall to where the ball lands is recorded. The measurement is recorded to the nearest 5 cm. The best result of three throws is used as the clients result.

Advantages: This test is easy and quick to perform for an individual client.

Disadvantage: Several people being available to help the tester can make life a lot easier and helps the testing run smoothly.  Ideally having one person to mark results, another to check technique and another to collect and return the balls. If testing a large group, it can be time consuming to put all clients through this test.

Variations: The seated medicine ball toss can also be done with the client facing the other way and throwing the ball over their head for maximum distance. The test can also be performed without a wall, so that the torso can also be used to help propel the ball.  The weight of the medicine ball will obviously affect results, and should be selected to suit the age group and abilities of your client(s).

Comments: The angle the ball is thrown is important. You may want to explain to the client about the optimal angle for maximal distance, and to allow some practice attempts. It helps if you extend a tape measure out along the expected path in front of the client. When recording the distance, you can either move the tape to where the ball landed or less accurately align where the ball landed to the approximate distance on the tape. This test is also called the medicine ball chest pass test.

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