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Contributing Factors to Performance of a Medicine Ball Explosive Power Test: A Comparison Between Jump and Nonjump Athletes.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2003

The present study examined the factors contributing to performance of a backward overhead medicine ball throw (B-MBT) across 2 types of athletes. Twenty male volleyball players (jump athletes) and 20 wrestlers (nonjump athletes) were evaluated on 4 measures of power, including B-MBT, chest medicine ball throw (C-MBT), countermovement vertical jump (CMJ), and power index (PI). The athletes also completed 3 measures of strength: a 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) bench press (BP), a 1RM leg press (LP), and combined BP + LP strength. Jump athletes demonstrated greater absolute scores for CMJ, C-MBT, and B-MBT (p < 0.05), whereas nonjump athletes demonstrated greater strength scores for BP and for BP + LP (p < 0.05). When performances were examined on a relative basis, jump athletes achieved superior scores for C-MBT (p < 0.05), whereas nonjump athletes had greater scores for BP, LP, and BP + LP (p < 0.05). For both groups, B-MBT had strong correlations with PI (r = 0.817 [jump] and 0.917 [nonjump]), whereas for C-MBT, only non-jump athletes demonstrated a strong correlation (r = 0.842). When expressed in relative terms, B-MBT was strongly correlated with C-MBT (r = 0.762 [jump] and 0.835 [nonjump]) and CMJ (r = 0.899 [jump] and 0.945 [nonjump]). Only non-jump athletes demonstrated strong correlations with strength for absolute LP (r = 0.801) and BP + LP (r = 0.810) strength. The interaction of upper- and lower-body strength and power in the performance of a B-MBT appears complex, with the contributing factors differing for athletes with divergent skill sets and performance demands.

(C) 2003 National Strength and Conditioning Association