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Top 5 Medicine Ball Drills For MMA Fitness

Top 5 Medicine Ball Drills For MMA Fitness

  1. Did you know you can develop tremendous explosive power and athleticism with medicine ball drills?
  2. Do you tend to get lost in terms of having a game plan when it comes to strength training with different implements (such as medicine ball drills) aside from free weights?
  3. Are you looking for a simple training implement to give your workouts a serious upgrade without the high cost of free weights?
  4. Are you looking to add more speed and power to your punches and kicks for MMA and Combat?
  5. Are you interested in learning how to move quicker and how to develop greater body control, hand eye coordination, and reaction time with medicine ball drills?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you’re going to find this article with these medicine ball drills incredibly valuable. In fact, I will guarantee you will completely transform the way you move and feel about your fitness and strength program after applying what’s here in this article to your current training game.

5 Medicine Ball Drills For MMA, Combat, And Military Fitness

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.–Bruce Lee

Just like the quote above implies being supple and able to move with fluidity, power, and precision is vital if you’re looking to enhance your MMA and Combat conditioning. Regardless of whether you’re a fighter or not you must have the ability to flow with movement, but at the same time be able to produce tension and force for optimal movement.

If you’re looking to enhance your striking abilities and reaction time then the following 5 medicine ball drills will provide you with exactly what you need. Study these carefully and start incorporating them into your training. You will move differently after you start adding these into your program.

1. Medicine Ball Drills: Medicine Ball Power Slams


This medicine ball drill will help you to develop significant force and power as it demands a great deal of dynamic core strength in order to perform it with speed and precision. The medicine ball power slam trains your ability to perform a rapid hip hinge quickly descending the hips towards the ground as you forcefully slam the soft jam medicine ball into the ground.

Since the purpose of this drill is to emphasize power and speed you are also forced to react with each repetition as the soft jam ball only produces a very slight bounce off the ground. In order to catch the medicine ball off of the ground to load up for a subsequent repetition you must be capable of pulling your butt down into the hole of a rapid squat position with each slam of the ball.


Stand with your feet at shoulder width distance apart and lift the medicine ball straight overhead (not behind the head) and forcefully drive the medicine ball down into the ground. As you drive the ball into the ground make sure to get your hips down at the same time by hinging them and bending the knees in order to get your body into position to catch the first small bounce of the ball coming up off the ground.

Once you catch the ball on this first small bounce immediately extend your body standing back up to prepare for a subsequent repetition. Perform the slams by emphasizing speed without compromising technique.


Perform 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps on your plyometric and leg power training days with an 8 to 12 lb. soft jam medicine ball.

2. Medicine Ball Drills: Gorilla Medicine Ball Slams (Single Arm Medicine Ball Slams)


Gorilla medicine ball slams are a more intense variation of the double arm medicine ball slams. By performing these with one arm you are forced to drive the weight of the medicine ball entirely with one arm, but must do this while maintaining a high level of control.

This one arm version will help you to develop significant hand speed and coordination for your MMA and Combat striking. This is done as slamming the ball doesn’t just end with you driving it into the ground. The point of the throw is to slam the ball while you must also demonstrate enough control to catch it with the opposite arm in order to load that arm up for another slam.


Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lift the medicine ball above the head by cupping your hand and portion of your wrist around the ball. From here forcefully slam the ball into the ground while rapidly descending your hips into a hinge as you did with the double arm medicine ball slam.

Once you slam the ball catch it with the opposite hand on the first small bounce and load the arm on that side to perform a subsequent slam. Make sure to fully extend your body (stand tall) to prepare for each slam. Work to perform the slams with speed and power, but make sure to do so by not sacrificing technique and control.


Perform 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps on each arm with an 8 to 12 lb. medicine ball. Make sure that the ball is light enough so that you can perform the slams with speed and precision. The point of the drill is for you to execute the movement with speed.

3. Medicine Ball Drills: Overhead Medicine Ball Throw


Since you’ve been emphasizing triple flexion of the ankles, knees, and hips by slamming medicine balls for the past two drills now this overhead medicine ball throw is going to force you to emphasize the opposite need of triple extension of your ankles, knees, and hips.

Developing forceful triple extension of your ankles, knees, and hips will help you develop significant leg power and athleticism. If we’re talking about advantages to your MMA and Combat needs this trait will help you with being able to produce more forceful jumps, kicks, and with your ability to shoot in on an opponent for the purpose of quick takedowns.


Stand with your feet at shoulder width distance apart. Squat down and cup your hands and wrists underneath the medicine ball. Keep your arms straight and forcefully explode up fully extending your joints to jump off the ground.

During your upward ascent granny toss the medicine ball in an arc over your head focusing on trying to throw the ball with as much height and distance as you possibly can. To further add to this drill once you throw the ball you can turn and sprint to pick it up and throw it back in the direction you just ran from. This way you can establish a continuous level of effort for a particular working set.


Perform 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps with a 20 to 24 lb. soft throw medicine ball on your athletic performance and plyometric training days.

4. Medicine Ball Drills: Rotational Medicine Ball Slams


Being a good fighter, or a good athlete for that matter, means you must be capable of moving in the transverse plane of motion. Much of the transverse plane demands a level of rotational movement from you during training and athletic competition.

The rotational medicine ball slam is a great drill for you to train this rotational pattern as the ball is slammed to the floor on both your right and left sides. This reinforces rotational ability of your thoracic spine which translates very well into throwing kicks, punches, knees, and elbows.


Grab the medicine ball and begin with your feet at shoulder width distance apart. Lift the ball above your head and pivot your feet as you slam the ball down to either your left or right side. Catch the ball off of the bounce and lift it above your head to rotate and slam it back to the ground on the opposite side.


Perform 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 10 repetitions on each side of your body during your upper body power days, or during a plyometric circuit. Perform the drill with a 18 to 22 lb. soft padded ballistic medicine ball.

5. Medicine Ball Drills: Medicine Throw (Rotational Throw)


Once again being able to rotate at the trunk is critical for MMA and combat fight performance. The medicine ball rotational throw allows for you to do this and develop rotational speed with the added resistance of the medicine ball.

With this drill you’re having to twist your trunk to forcefully throw the medicine ball out in front of you for distance. The cool thing about this drill is that you can modify it to accomplish a couple different things.

First, as seen here in this video you can perform the rotational throws in some wide open space to emphasize explosive rotational force in order to throw the medicine ball for maximal distance.

Secondly, you can also do these standing just a few feet away from a brick wall as well in order to make these throws both forceful and reactive. In this scenario the rotational throws are executed in the exact same way with one obvious difference. As you throw the ball into the wall it will bounce back and your objective is to catch the ball as it comes back across your body allowing you to rotate your trunk and reload for another rotational throw.


Stand with your feet at shoulder width distance. Hold the soft ballistic medicine ball at your hip opposite of the direction you’re going to throw it. Pivot the front foot to shift your weight and load the back foot. From here immediately unload forcefully bringing the ball across your body throwing it in a straight line out in front of your body.


Perform 3 sets of 6 to 10 throws on both the right and left side of the body with a 10 to 20 lb. ballistic medicine ball on your upper body power days.

The Takeaway From These Medicine Ball Drills

The goal of movement should be to combine quality of performing it with the ability to perform it with greater speed and velocity as well. This is especially true for obtaining a serious level of fitness, but this is especially advantageous when you are involved in competing in MMA and Combat as well. The medicine ball can be leveraged to achieve this end which makes it a powerful training implement.

Do you currently use medicine balls in your training? 

What medicine balls drills do you incorporate into your strength and conditioning program? 

Make sure to share here in the comments below! 

Also if you want to learn how to tie these together then make sure you check out my brand new 90 Day MMA Strength And Conditioning Program right here below! I guarantee it’ll get you into the best shape of your life, or I’ll give you your money back no questions asked.


It’s changing lives already!

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3 Top Conditioning And HIIT Workouts For MMA And Combat Fitness

3 Push Up Variations To Give You Knock Out Punching Power For MMA And Combat

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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