Starting Position: This is a partner drill and it is recommended that you work with a training partner who has experience with strength training and/or sports conditioning. Set-up a bench and a stretch mat so that they are perpendicular to one another (in a T position). Lie on your back on the mat with your head in the direction of the bench. Your knees are bent and feet flat on the floor. Your training partner should be standing on the bench holding a medicine ball directly over your outstretched arms and hands.
Your training partner should communicate with you to let you know when he or she is releasing the ball. They release the ball to allow it to drop straight down. As you prepare to catch the ball keep your abdominals engaged (braced) to stabilize your spine.
Catch the ball with both hands and slow down the speed of the ball (decelerate) as you bend your elbows and bring the ball in to your chest. The elbows stay wide and out to the side.
Once the ball touches your chest, explosively push the ball away from your chest by straightening your arms and throwing the ball up in to the air. Make sure that you throw it straight up so your training partner can catch the ball and prepare for the next repetition.
Exercise Variation: This exercise can be performed without a training partner by lying flat on a mat and throwing a medicine ball straight in to the air and catching it as it travels back down towards your chest and hands.
Keep your abdominals engaged and contracted with your feet pushed in to the floor to ensure core stability throughout the range-of-motion of this exercise.