Build Explosive Strength With These Slam Ball Exercises
Slam balls are similar to medicine balls, except that they are heavier and have a thicker rubber shell that prevents the ball from rebounding. They also tend to offer better grip, many models incorporating a rubber tire or basketball style grip. They can be used for cardio workouts but are more commonly associated with strength training. Their versatility and flexibility enable you to mix up your daily workout routine, keeping exercise exciting.
Slam Ball Exercises
Below are 5 of the most effective slam ball exercises that offer a full body workout that activates and strengthens the core, builds muscle, and can be used to burn through calories in no time.
The Bulgarian Squat can be done with almost any weighted exercise equipment. It is often done using dumbbells or kettlebells, but the shape of the slam ball makes it an ideal alternative. The Bulgarian squat tones the legs and abs, increases flexibility in the hips, and will improve balance over time. The position of the squat is similar to that used in a lot of sports and athletics, which makes this a functional exercise that will improve everyday strength, as well. The Bulgarian squat gets your body into an anabolic state quickly, and this helps you build muscle more quickly.
- Stand in the front of the slam ball with your feet together.
- Move your right foot back and place your toes on top of the ball.
- Lower your body into a lunge position, placing your weight on the left heel and bending your right knee to a 90° angle.
- Straighten your legs and stand in front of the ball again.
Note: The video uses a gym ball but the exercise is the same using a slam ball.
Slam Ball Burpee
The burpee is respected and feared in equal measure because it quickly gets the blood pumping and the heart racing. It is a full body exercise but is especially beneficial for arms, chest, quads, glutes, and abs. Add in the extra weight of the slam ball and the extra movement of the ball slam and you have a killer exercise.
- Stand in the squat position with both hands on top of the slam ball.
- Jump and thrust your legs behind you into a push up position while keeping your hands on the ball.
- Immediately go back into a squat before jumping vertically and reaching as high as you can with the ball.
Slam Ball Smash
The slam ball smash is the classic slam. A lot of people perform this move using a medicine ball, but if you’re using your chest and leaning over the slam, there is a danger of the ball bouncing back up and hitting you. With a slam ball, this danger is eliminated because the hard rubber casing absorbs the impact. There may be a very small bounce or none at all, typically depending on the weight of slam ball that you use. A 150 lb slam ball is far less likely to bounce than a 20 lb slam ball.
- Hold the ball in both hands and raise your arms high above your head, keeping the stomach tight.
- Slam the ball down to the ground, keeping your back straight and slamming with as much power as possible.
- Squat down to the pick the ball up and stand up straight into the starting position.
Slam Ball Situps
Situps have a wide range of motion and actually work more muscles than squats and crunches. When you add the extra resistance of a 20 lb slam ball, you have a serious workout component. Work the abs and the obliques, as well as the upper arms with this slam ball exercise.
- Lie flat on the ground with your knees in the air and feet flat on the floor.
- Hold the slam ball in both hands with your arms near the ground above your head and elbows bent slightly.
- Sit up and bring the ball straight up.
- Lie back down and ensure that the ball comes back to rest in the same starting position.
There are a number of different slam ball exercises that carry the name of the figure 8. There are those that are done with the ball over or around the head, or like those in this video, where you combine a squat position with something similar to a basketball dribble, except that you won’t drop the ball. This works the abs and legs, the core, and encourages unilateral strength movements. It is also a great way to get the heart pumping, so can make a great cardio workout as long as you have the stamina to perform them.
- Get in a low squat, ensuring that you keep your back straight.
- Hold the pall in your right hand, with the palm facing up.
- Pass the ball under the left leg and into the left hand.
- Once the ball is in your left hand, bring it around to the front of the body and pass it to the right hand by swiping it under the right leg.
Slam Ball Exercise Benefits
Slam balls are great because they are easy to grip and they can be used for unilateral and bilateral exercises. Also, the sand in the ball shifts which, in turn, shifts the center of gravity in the ball. This makes the ball movement less predictable and means that you have to concentrate on balancing the slam ball at all times. It will improve dexterity, grip, balance, and strength.