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Overhead Medicine Ball Throw (forwards)

Medicine ball throw tests are used for assessing power. The Overhead throw for distance is a test of upper body strength and explosive power, involving throwing the ball forwards from over the head. There are many other Medicine Ball Fitness Tests.

purpose: to measure upper body strength and explosive power.

equipment required: 2-5 kg medicine ball depending on the age group being tested, tape measure

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Check and calibrate the equipment if required. Perform a standard warm-up. The take off line should be clearly marked. See more details of pre-test procedures.

overhead medicine ball thow testprocedure: The subject stands at a line with the feet side by side and slightly apart, and facing the direction to which the ball is to be thrown. The ball is held with the hands on the side and slightly behind the center. The throwing action is similar to that used for a soccer/football sideline throw-in. The ball is brought back behind the head, then thrown vigorously forward as far as possible. The subject is permitted to step forward over the line after the ball is released, and is in fact encouraged to do so in maximizing the distance of the throw. Three attempts are allowed.

scoring: The distance from the starting position to where the ball lands is recorded. The measurement is recorded to the nearest 0.5 foot or 10 cm. The best result of three throws is used.

target population: sports in which upper body strength is important, such as rowing, tennis, javelin throwing

advantages: this test is easy and quick to perform for an individual.

disadvantages: several people are needed to conduct this test smoothly: one to mark results, another to check technique and another to collect and return the balls. If testing a large group of participants, it can be time consuming to put all of them through this test.

comments: The angle that the ball is thrown is important. You may want to explain to the subject about the optimal angle for maximal distance, and to allow some practice attempts. You may aid in the ease of measurement for this test by extending a tape measure out along the expected path in front of the subject. 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.

variations: Some variations of this test also allow the subject to stand at the line with one foot in front of the other. See also other medicine ball throw tests. The weight of the medicine ball will obviously affect results, and should be selected to best test the age group or abilities of your participants.

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We have over 400 fitness tests listed, so it's not easy to choose the best one to use. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use for each test. Use our testing guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer.

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