Side Throws – Core Exercise Guide with Photos


Muscles Targeted: The side throw is a very effective exercise for developing strength and power in the core muscles. This is an excellent movement for sports related activities like football, baseball, basketball, tennis and golf. The muscles that are targeted in the side throw include:

  • Obliques – Your internal and external obliques are the large muscles towards the side of your abdomen and these muscles benefit the most from this exercise, due to the constant turning motion.
  • Transverse Rectus Abdominis – These are the muscles located in the front of your abdomen (abs) and are one of the primary muscles targeted by this exercise.
  • Erector Spinae – These are the muscles along the spine. This exercise targets all of the lower back muscles and helps to stretch and strengthen them.
  • Hip Flexors – These muscles are located deep in front of the hip and connect the leg, pelvis and abdomen. These are some of the most powerful muscles in the body and they work as a secondary muscle group with this exercise.
  • Deltoids – These are the muscles of your shoulders. These muscles control your entire upper body and are critical for use with many other exercises. The side throw helps to engage the deltoids as a secondary “helper” muscle group with this movement.


Exercise Advice: Position yourself next to a wall or to your training partner. Position your feet in a wide and stable stance and choose a medicine ball of adequate weight. The ball will be held with both hands level with right hip and your arms will be slightly bent. Initiate the throw by swinging the ball around your torso and to the other side. Release the ball against the wall or by throwing it to your partner and repeat.

Things To Avoid:

  • Avoid standing too close to the wall because when you throw the medicine ball against the wall it might rebound too quickly and you won’t be able to catch it in time which could cause it to rebound and hit you. Stand about 8-10 feet away from the wall or your training partner.
  • Avoid standing with your feet too close together because it could negatively affect your balance. You need to keep a wide stance that is natural and comfortable enough for you to move freely yet stable enough to provide a solid foundation.
  • Avoid lifting your feet completely off the ground as this would affect your stability during the exercise and you could fall over.
  • Avoid holding the medicine ball and raising your arms too high. Make sure to hold the ball at about hip to navel level for the best position.
  • Avoid rotating your body too fast before throwing the medicine ball. Although this is an explosive style movement, you need to follow proper technique and always be aware of your form.

Reps and Sets:

  • Level 1: 3-5 passes per side for 2-3 sets. Take a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets.
  • Level 2: 5-10 passes per side for 3-4 sets. Take a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets.
  • Level 3: 10-15 passes per side for 4-5 sets. Take a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets.
  • Level 4: 15-20 passes per side for 5-6 sets. Take a 1-2 minute rest period in between sets.

It’s important to note that when you are rotating your body towards one side (throwing the ball to the left), all of your weight should be on your left leg when you release the medicine ball. Your weight shift will begin on your right leg initially and as you turn and rotate your torso, you will end up with the majority of your weight on your left side.

Other Exercises To Use: You might try using Russian Twists as they are very similar to this exercise, but is performed on the floor. The Side Bridge Crunch and One Legged Cross Body Chops are also excellent to include in your core training routine as these exercises all target the oblique muscles very well.

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