How to Perform the Med Ball Squat Jump for Increased Strength, Balance and Stability
The med ball squat jump is an excellent progression of the basic squat jump that further builds on strength, balance and control.
The exercise is scalable across all ability levels, using differently sized and weighted MBs, depending on whether the focus is on strength or endurance.
Choose a suitable med ball. As a guideline, aim for 5-10% of your bodyweight for speed-endurance; or 10-15% of your bodyweight for strength-endurance. Hold the med ball close to the body at chest height.
Keeping the med ball close to the body, begin the squat jumps. Note that height is not important – instead, focus on proper technique and establishing a consistent rhythm.
Keep the core engaged throughout and drive the hips up and forwards, with full extension.
Repeat continuously for reps or time.
Compared to the regular squat jump, the use of a med ball requires more control of the balance. During a regular squat jump, one can correct any momentary loss of balance with little arm adjustments. When holding a med ball, you remove the use of the arms for stability; this becomes greater as the weight of the ball increases. Therefore, you will often find the core muscles to engage more during this exercise, and you will naturally maintain a lower jump height until control improves.
There are two considerations for choosing the right weight. If you wish to enhance speed-endurance, then choose a ball that is 5-10% body weight, and aim for sets of 10-12 reps (or until you start to slow down). If you want to improve strength-endurance, try using a ball that is 10-15% body weight, and aim for 5-10 reps. In both cases, you should still maintain an explosive movement with good hip drive – the real difference is the rep range.
To mix things up, try using this exercise in between full strength exercises, as part of an overall high-intensity workout.