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The Best Slam Ball Exercises For a Complete Full-Body Workout

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 2, 2021

I love doing a full-body workout, especially during cutting phases. And 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’ve decided to share my personal slam ball routine.

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 to maintain a high heart rate [1].

1. Overhead Lunges

man doing overhead lunges with slamball

Lunges are a great way to really engage your glutes and quads, and I would recommend doing these as your warm-up routine.

The great thing is that the lunge movement isn’t 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.

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

woman doing 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

This movement is designed to give you some targeted chest and back training.

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.

5. Squats

lady doing slamball squats

If you struggle with a standard barbell squat, then try to use a slam ball instead.

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:

6. Sit-Ups

I love adding these into CrossFit classes to really cause some pain in those core muscles.

Nothing says “I’m sore” as much as a slam ball workout that causes you to feel every single ab muscle.

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.

Other great abs exercise you should try: Pilates Corkscrew Exercise

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7. Squat Throw

woma doing squad throw slamball workout

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.

Are You Going To Try These Slam Ball Exercises?

If you’re no stranger to using free weights for your training, then you know how difficult it can sometimes be to do a full upper and lower body workout.

And that’s where using a medicine ball or slam ball can make a huge difference. All the above movements are suitable for beginners and advanced athletes, and they’re a lot of fun too.

Give it a try and then let us know on social media how it worked out for you.


References:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/interval-training-for-a-stronger-heart

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