One of the best ways to get a lot done in less than 45 minutes is to pick up a medicine ball.
If you’ve ever worked with one of these for strength training or cardio, then you know how effective they can be.
But I’ve seen quite a few folks at the gym make some simple mistakes that didn't allow them to get the full benefits.
That's why I talked with other fitness experts and consulted my clients to get their feedback. Here are the 8 best slam ball exercises to include in your personal slam ball routine.
- The slam ball exercises include overhead lunges, ball slams, single-toe touches, squats, slam ball push-ups, sit-ups, and squat throw.
- Properly aligning yourself while handling a specific slam ball workout is the only way to attain the desired results.
- According to Harvard Health, maintaining a high heart rate during interval training, such as in slam ball workouts, is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
- I find slam ball exercises to be a versatile way to boost overall fitness, combining strength, coordination, and endurance in a single workout
Our Top Slam Ball Workout Moves
This slam ball workout should take about 30 to 40 minutes, which gives you about 5 minutes per exercise.
I would also suggest keeping the breaks as short as possible, as according to Harvard Health, it's beneficial to maintain a high heart rate during interval training .
You May Also Like: Slam Ball Exercises PDF
1. Overhead Lunges
According to a study published in the Physical Educator, working out with a medicine ball can result in big lower back gains .
I also found that lunges with a slam ball have been transformative for my lower-body workouts. They effectively engage your glutes and quads.
The great thing is that the lunge movement doesn't have a high impact, and you can gradually increase how deep you go.
Your starting position is with your feet close together and standing tall. Hold the ball overhead with your arms fully extended.
Take a long stride forward and lower your back knee to about an inch above the ground.
Your front leg should get to about a right angle before you push yourself up again.
By keeping the slam ball above your head all the time, you’ll also engage your core muscles, and it shouldn't take long before you feel the burn in your shoulders too.
Also Read: How To Perform A Curtsy Lunge
2. Ball Slams
Ball slams are great fun, and I find that a lot of my clients who have stressful office jobs or family lives get great satisfaction when they slam the ball on the ground.
But ball slams are also a great way to fully engage your entire body.
The starting position is standing tall with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent.
Lift the ball up high over your head and even try to get your heels off the ground and balance on the balls of your feet.
The next part of this slam ball workout should be obvious.
With as much force as you can find, slam the ball straight down on the ground in front of your feet.
Then pick up the ball and repeat the ball slam routine until you feel the burn.
3. Single Toe Touches
This movement requires a bit more skill and balance, and don’t get annoyed if you lose balance the first couple of times you do it.
Your starting position is with your feet slightly apart and holding the ball with both hands about chest high.
Start the move by bending forward at your hips with one leg stretched out behind you.
Lower your body down until you can reach your toe with the ball in your hands.
The trick is to keep your center of balance evenly across your foot, and it all comes down to good form over the number of reps.
That means that your upper body and back leg should get into a perfectly straight horizontal line.
4. Slam Ball Push-Ups
Incorporating slam ball push-ups into my routine has significantly improved my chest and back strength
You’ll find it in many CrossFit routines, and the important part is to get to the full range of motion and not try to force as many reps as possible.
Start in a push-up position with one hand on the slam ball. Slowly lower your upper body down until your elbow reaches the right angle point.
Then, push yourself back up to the starting position and switch to the other hand on the ball.
You’ll need to get a bit of practice with this, but I would suggest that you avoid having to reposition your feet in between reps.
It’s better to make this a nice and smooth move that only involves repositioning your arms.
Switching to slam ball squats was a game-changer for my client since he always struggled with the standard barbell squat. The slam ball offers a different kind of resistance and helps him maintain better form.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and the ball about chest high.
From here, bend your knees and lower your backside straight down as low as you feel comfortable with.
Then push yourself back up with force, and maybe even add a small jump at the top.
Another thing you can do is hold the ball overhead, as this will strain your arm and shoulder muscles as well.
Make sure you keep your upper body straight to avoid strain on your disks. A badly performed squat can cause a lot of back trouble in a matter of minutes.
Other types of exercises:
- Best Sandbag Exercises
- Best Resistance Band Shoulder Exercises
- Best Landmine Exercises
- Best Body Bar Exercises
I love adding these into CrossFit classes to really cause some pain in those core muscles.
Lay down on the floor with your legs stretched out and the slam ball over your head also on the floor.
“Slam balls are relatively soft, like traditional medicine balls, but they’re typically larger, and they handle like dead weight—no bounce, no elasticity.”
- Michael Rodio, Writer at Mensjournal.com.
Aim to lift your shoulders and arms up off the floor at the same time and then follow through with a full sit up.
The sooner you can get your back off the ground without moving your arms ahead of your body, the more this exercise will work.
Do as many of these as you can, and make sure to keep doing it as a slow move. It’s not about speed here.
This exercise, though challenging at first, has helped my clients develop a stronger and more stable core.
Other great abs exercise you should try: Pilates Corkscrew Exercise
7. Squat Throw
For this movement, you’ll need a solid wall with no neighbors on the other side.
The variation I like to do is to place the ball between my feet while I’m standing straight.
Then, squat down to lift the ball. In one powerful move, bring your body back up to a standing position and get the slam ball to about the level of your chest.
Next, you throw the ball as hard as you can against the wall and then catch the ball on the rebound.
It might take you a few attempts to get the distance to the wall right, but try and get to a stage where you don’t catch the ball below the level of your hips.
8. Reverse Lunge Chest Pass
This is a great use of slam balls, especially if you have a partner to exercise with.
Start in a standing position with the slam ball in front of your body. From here, take a reverse lunge and go down as far as you can, allowing the weight of the ball to add some strain.
Next, explode back up to a standing position and throw the ball to your partner or against a wall.
The movement should be smooth and fully engage your core as well and don't forget to alternate which leg you use to lunge back.
With just 5 minutes on each of these exercises, you should get to the 40-minute mark with not a dry patch on your gym clothes. It’s an intense workout that will build up both strength and fitness levels.
Combining Slam Ball Exercises with Other Equipment
Here's how you can seamlessly blend these tools for a more diverse and challenging workout.
Slam Ball and Resistance Bands:
- Dynamic squats: Place a resistance band around your thighs and hold a slam ball at chest level. Perform squats while maintaining the tension in the band. This exercise targets your glutes, thighs, and core, enhancing stability and strength.
- Chest press with leg extension: Lie on your back with a resistance band around your feet. Hold the slam ball with both hands and extend your arms for a chest press while simultaneously stretching your legs. This move works your chest, arms, and leg muscles.
Slam Ball and Kettlebells:
- Kettlebell swing with slam ball hold: Hold the slam ball with both hands at chest level while performing a kettlebell swing. This combination challenges your core stability and improves your grip strength.
- Lunge and pass: Perform lunges while passing the slam ball under the front leg at each step. Hold a kettlebell in the opposite hand for added resistance. This exercise enhances coordination and balance.
Injury Prevention and Safety Tips
Here's how to prevent injuries when exercising with a slam ball:
- Warm-up: Begin with a 5–10 minute warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints. Activities like jogging, jumping jacks, or dynamic stretches are effective.
- Stance and grip: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart for stability. Ensure a firm grip on the slam ball to prevent slipping.
- Body alignment: Maintain a neutral spine during exercises. Avoid rounding your back, especially when picking up or throwing the ball.
- Controlled movements: Perform each movement with control, especially when throwing or slamming the ball. Avoid jerky or uncontrolled motions.
- Cool-down: After your workout, spend 5–10 minutes cooling down. This can include light jogging, walking, and stretching.
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