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Slam Ball Exercises: Explosive Power and Full-Body Strength | Well+Good

With foam rollers, sliders, resistance bands, suspension trainers, and wearable weights (simply to name a number of), lately it looks as if there’s an infinite variety of workout tools to pick from. Nut none are arguably as versatile—and badass—because the slam ball. If you’ve seen these unassuming rubber balls on the gym, you could be considering, what’s so special about them? It seems: loads.

Slam balls are unique because of their ability to endure a ton of force. You can literally slam or throw them—against the ground or another hard surface—with all of your might, to your heart’s content, without breaking them. That means you need to use them in loads of cool ways in your fitness routine.

“Slam balls are a highly effective, full-body workout that improves strength, power, speed, coordination, and cardiovascular fitness concurrently,” says Life Time personal trainer Orrie Markfeld.

Plus, slamming a ball as hard as you may is a seriously satisfying (and protected) approach to blow off some steam and relieve on a regular basis stress.

Slamming a ball as hard as you may is a seriously satisfying (and protected) approach to blow off steam.

Ready to get slammin’? Read on to learn more about this dynamic piece of gym gear that may take your fitness up a notch (or two or three).

Slam balls 101

What are slam balls? 

“Slam balls are dense rubber balls specifically designed to resist high-impact exercises like slamming and throwing against the bottom or the wall,” Markfeld says. “They are supposed to absorb the force of the impact without bouncing or rolling away.”

How do they differ from traditional medicine balls?

“Medicine balls will be made from leather, rubber, or vinyl and have just a little more bounce to them,” Markfeld says. Unlike slam balls, medicine balls are not made for top impact slamming. If you slam them, they pose a serious risk for injury because they bounce (read: they’ll bounce back and hit you within the face, head, or one other body part), in response to Markfeld.

Who should avoid slam ball exercises?

“While slam balls are incredible, there are specific individuals who should approach them with caution or avoid them altogether,” Markfeld says. The following groups should keep away from slam balls:

  • People with pre-existing medical conditions, like cardiac problems
  • People with injuries
  • Pregnant people
  • Gym newbies
  • People who’re deconditioned

When doubtful, check in with a professional skilled before starting slam ball exercises (or any recent workout). It’s at all times a wise idea to seek the advice of along with your healthcare provider or a fitness trainer if you have got any concerns or issues that will affect your ability to soundly perform an exercise, Markfeld says.

4 advantages of slam ball exercises 

Why do you have to use slam balls in your workout? Because they work your body from head to toe. Here are a number of extra reasons to provide them a try.

1. They construct explosive power

“The aggressive and explosive nature of the slam ball requires rapid muscle contractions, which aid in the event of explosive power,” Markfeld says. And the more you do slam ball exercises, the faster you’ll generate force. Meaning: you’ll see big gains in any activities that require speed, agility, and power (think: sprinting, jumping, Olympic weightlifting, soccer, or football), he says.

2. They increase full-body strength

Don’t be surprised if all of your muscles are sore after a slam ball workout. “Because the slam ball demands using multiple muscle groups concurrently, the result’s a more comprehensive total-body workout,” Markfeld says.

On top of growing stronger within the gym, you’ll also construct functional strength (i.e., “you’ll have the opportunity to handle on a regular basis activities more comfortably”), he says. And that’s not all. Over time, plan on seeing improvements in your muscular endurance, coordination, agility, and mental toughness. That’s a boatload of bonuses to your mind and body.

3. They provide serious stress relief

Real talk: We all have days once we ponder slamming something out of frustration. Now you may (without hurting yourself or anyone else).

“Slamming a heavy ball onto the bottom with force will be extremely cathartic in addition to stress-relieving,” Markfeld says. “It’s an ideal outlet for [releasing] pent-up energy and frustration in a controlled, productive, and protected atmosphere.”

So the subsequent time life gets tough, take it out on the slam ball.

4. They up your cardio game

We already know that slam ball exercises are strenuous enough to construct full-body strength. But they’re also a killer cardio workout.

“Slam balls are metabolically demanding, as they’ll elevate your heart rate,” Markfeld says. Translation: Expect to suck some serious wind. And the more you employ slam balls, the larger the profit to your heart.

“Over time, with consistency, [your] cardiovascular endurance will improve,” Markfeld says.

6 slam ball exercises to get you began

There are a ton of the way to make use of slam balls in your workouts, but these moves are great to start with. (Don’t have a slam ball yet? For a house gym, we just like the Titan Fitness 50-lb. Rubber Slam Ball.)

1. Overhead Slam

This full-body move is a terrific approach to construct explosive power.

  1. Stand along with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Maintaining a neutral spine and weight in your heels, lift the slam ball overhead to full extension of your knees, hips, and arms.
  3. With aggressive flexion of your hip (think: the identical movement as a sit-up), slam the ball to the ground between your feet.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

2. Vertical Toe Tap

The biggest challenge with this move is ensuring you are using your core, not your lower back or momentum, to succeed in your toes.

fit personal trainer does a slam ball vertical to tap

  1. Lie flat on ground along with your legs prolonged up above your hips.
  2. With straight arms, support the slam ball over your chest.
  3. Keeping your legs straight, crunch up and reach the ball toward your toes. Utilize your core here, not your lower back.
  4. Lower your shoulders back to ground and repeat.

3. Slam Ball Toe Taps

Want to enhance your balance and coordination? Do this exercise frequently and you may be impressed with how briskly you are capable of hop from toes to toes.

male PT demonstrates how to do slam ball toe taps

  1. Stand behind the ball along with your feet under your hips.
  2. Lift one foot off the bottom and tap the ball evenly along with your toes.
  3. Quickly jump and switch feet, tapping the toes of your other foot onto the ball.
  4. Increase speed as you grow to be more comfortable with coordination and balance.

4. Slam Ball Trunk Twist

The classic oblique twist is a terrific place to include a slam ball.

personal trainer shows how to do a trunk twist with a slam ball

  1. Sit on the ground along with your legs raised off the bottom, knees in tabletop (if that is too difficult, keep your feet down).
  2. Hold the slam ball with each hands (if the ball is a clock, your hands are at 9 and three).
  3. Twist to at least one side, tapping the ball on the bottom beside your hip.
  4. Reverse the movement and twist to opposite side.
  5. Continue for desired time or variety of reps.

5. Slam Ball Windmill

Sit at a pc all day? This move opens your chest, strengthens your shoulders, and helps get some mobility into your hips.

male personal trainer hold one hand up to the sky holding a heavy ball and one hand touches his toes

  1. Start along with your feet barely wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Rest the slam ball within the palm of your right hand and hold it overhead.
  3. Maintain a locked-out arm position, along with your wrist stacked over your shoulder.
  4. Keep your eyes on the ball through the movement.
  5. Hinge at your hips while letting your left arm slide down your left leg as you bow over.
  6. Maintain an open chest, stacking your shoulders over one another in the underside position.
  7. Go as far down as your range of motion will comfortably allow.
  8. Push back up and lift your chest, returning to the starting position. Switch sides.

6. Slam Ball Alternating Push-Up

Moving the slam ball from one hand to the subsequent challenges your core and stability in a way that regular push-ups are missing.

personal trainer does alternating push-ups on top of a heavy ball at the gym

  1. Begin in a high plank position with one hand supported on the slam ball.
  2. Lower your chest to ground and take a look at to not let your hips sag.
  3. Push back up while maintaining the plank position.
  4. Roll the ball to your opposite hand and perform on the opposite side.

3 slam ball workouts 

Not sure tips on how to mix those slam ball exercises into your weekly workouts? We took the guesswork out of it for you. Try one in every of these high-intensity slam ball routines designed by Markfeld. Each one will level up your metabolic conditioning in 20 minutes or less.

Routine 1

Perform 8 rounds of every exercise for 20 seconds on (10 seconds off) with a minute of rest in between movements. The 20-second window is supposed to be hard and intense.

Routine 2

Your aim must be to finish each round of three exercises in roughly 4 to five minutes. Perform 5 rounds in total.

  • 400-meter run
  • 30 overhead slams
  • 30 push-ups

Routine 3

Your goal is to finish as many rounds and reps as possible (AMRAP) in 12 minutes. With relatively low reps for every movement, expect quicker cycle times and transitions from movement to movement.

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