Your Get-Started Guide to Slam Balls (Plus, the 6 Best Exercises for Beginners) | Livestrong.com

Replace your dumbbells with a slam ball for an extra-challenging exercise.

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When it involves coaching instruments, there are loads. So many, actually, chances are you’ll typically end up reaching for a similar ones every time — dumbbells, resistance bands, stability balls. The draw back? You could be overlooking gear that may actually add to your train routine, just like the slam ball.

The slam ball is comparatively cheap, easy to make use of and very versatile — that means regardless of your exercise targets or routine, the slam ball can add a bit of somethin’ particular. Read on to study extra about what a slam ball is and does, and get concepts for how one can work it into your subsequent at-home or health club exercise.

A slam ball is much like a drugs ball, however it will not bounce and hit you within the face.

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A slam ball is a weighted, rubber-coated ball you’ll be able to slam into the bottom. Unlike a drugs ball, a slam ball bounces little or no. Slam balls are sometimes additionally name smooth medication balls — you may discover they really feel a bit squishier — or wall balls.

And although a slam ball and conventional medication ball are each weighted orbs, the slam ball is often sand-filled, which causes uneven weight distribution and means that you can practice at the next depth, Percell Dugger, a licensed power coach and founding father of GOODWRK, tells LIVESTRONG.com.

“Medicine balls are great, but they bounce,” he says. “And the element of danger involved in throwing or slamming one takes away from our ability to truly get the max intent out of an exercise. That’s not the case with slam balls, because the ball won’t bounce back and smack you in the face.”

Because of its development, you need to use the slam ball in a spread of workout routines to construct power, energy and cardiovascular endurance. This makes it a preferred piece of kit in CrossFit exercises, in addition to varied group health courses.

The Best Slam Balls for Beginners

When it involves the slam ball, “the value is in its versatility,” Dugger says. You can construct muscle and power with a slam ball, and you can too get one hell of a cardio exercise. It all is dependent upon how you utilize it (extra on that in a minute).

“It can be used for strength training, cardio, agility, speed, plyometrics, mobility and stability training,” Dugger says. “You can use them to perform regressed versions of complex movements such as squats, split jerks and deadlifts; to prep for more dynamic exercises like box jumps; as well as a fast finisher to build your aerobic capacity and increase your metabolic needs.”

Using a slam ball will even offer you a sneaky core exercise: When you throw a slam ball into the bottom or in opposition to a wall, you utilize a ton of core power and stability as you preserve kind, retrieve the ball and throw or slam it once more. And in case your slam ball has sand in it, the uneven weight distribution will problem your core much more.

Beyond the slamming motion, you can too maintain a slam ball and use it like another free weight for power strikes like squats, lunges and extra. Since you grip it in another way than a dumbbell or kettlebell, you may interact extra stabilizing muscular tissues in your arms and chest.

Last however definitely not least, slamming a ball into the ground with all of your may is a reasonably nice strategy to blow off some stream.

How Do You Use a Slam Ball?

While it is a comparatively easy piece of kit, like another strength-training software, you must know how one can use it accurately to keep away from getting harm — and to maximise the advantages. Consider these tips earlier than you begin:

  • Choose the Right Weight:​ A ten-pound slam ball is an effective place to begin for most individuals, Dugger says, although he reminds people to proceed with warning. “Starting with a light weight is always best, then progressively load once you perfect each exercise.”
  • Perfect Your Pick-Up Technique:​ When choosing up a slam ball, decrease down right into a squat to seize it from the ground. Picking it up incorrectly (learn: bending from the again and attempting to muscle it up) provides stress to your again, inflicting potential harm, Dugger says.
  • Remember to Breathe:​ Often instances, individuals maintain their breath when power coaching, which is an enormous no-no. The method you breathe impacts your efficiency. “Your breathing pattern during strength training helps to complement the physiological stress during a workout,” Dugger says. “For example, for slower movements, you want to take long deep breaths; whereas for quicker, more dynamic movements, you want to take shorter, quicker breaths.”

You can use slam balls in seemingly infinite methods. One is to, sure, slam it into the ground. To do this: Stand together with your toes shoulder-width aside, elevate the ball above your head and use each arms to slam it into the ground barely in entrance of you.

As you slam, bend your knees right into a squat place. From right here, catch the ball after its small bounce. Stand up, carry it overhead and do it once more. It will not take lengthy so that you can really feel the burn — in your lungs and in your legs.

Another widespread method to make use of a slam ball: by throwing it up on the wall in entrance of you and catching it. Throw out of your chest, extending each arms as you do. When the ball comes again down, squat as you catch it. This helps take in the impression in order that it isn’t slamming into you and hurting your again.

To goal one facet of the physique at a time — and to coach rotation — attempt both slams or wall balls to 1 facet. For the slam train, carry the ball over your head and slam it into the ground simply to the skin of your foot. Your torso ought to rotate a bit, however your legs and hips ought to keep sq..

For a wall ball transfer that works rotation (and people indirect muscular tissues on the facet of your torso), stand with one facet dealing with the wall. Start with the ball in each palms on the reverse facet of your physique, then rotate to throw the ball into the wall with some pressure. Then, catch the ball with smooth knees and rotate again to the opposite facet to “wind up” for one more throw.

General rule of thumb: The extra pressure you place behind your slam or throw and the faster you wind up and throw once more, the upper demand you may put in your cardiovascular system. High weight, pressure and velocity will practice your energy; a extra average weight, pressure and velocity will do a greater job at coaching cardio endurance. Any method will noticeably elevate your coronary heart charge, quick.

Finally, you can too use a slam ball instead of different free weights, like dumbbells, kettlebells or sandbags. Simply maintain onto the ball with each palms as you squat, or press it overhead or maintain it in entrance of your physique to carry out a deadlift.

6 Great Slam Ball Exercises for Beginners

To enable you grasp the slam ball, Dugger recommends six strikes that concentrate on the physique’s main muscular tissues teams and joints — and get you shifting in all instructions.

“These exercises help warm up your primary movers — hips, hamstrings, quads, core and shoulders,” he says. That makes them a good way to “prep for more complex movements like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, power cleans and split jerks.”

Even for those who aren’t engaged on Olympic lifts, these strikes make for a hardcore exercise on their very own. Try including one or two into your exercise as a cardio blast or string a number of collectively on the finish of a exercise as a finisher — the place you slam out each final little bit of vitality you’ve got left.

Tip

Start with a reasonably gentle weight till you study correct approach and really feel comfy with the actions. Aim for two to three units of 10 to 12 reps. Up the load or rep/set counts as you’re feeling prepared.

1. Slam Ball Split Jerk

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  1. Holding a slam ball at chest degree, stand with toes shoulder-width aside and decrease right into a semi-squat.
  2. From this place, bounce up, stepping one leg ahead to land in a break up stance. Your entrance thigh ought to be practically perpendicular to the ground and your knee bent to 90 levels whereas the rear leg is absolutely prolonged.
  3. Simultaneously, press slam ball up above head with arms absolutely prolonged and core engaged.
  4. Jump up once more, bringing toes again to middle as you decrease ball again to chest.
  5. Repeat transfer, this time with reverse leg.
  6. Continue alternating legs with every rep.

Tip

“Focus on taking a very fast, big step with whatever foot you’re stepping with,” Dugger says. “At the same time, keep the core engaged and neutralize the spine to help alleviate pressure on the lower back.”

2. Slam Ball Lateral Bound

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  1. With a slam ball in your palms, stand together with your toes collectively.
  2. Bending your left knee, bounce so far as you’ll be able to to proper facet, main together with your proper leg and touchdown on the center of the suitable foot with knees bent, hips hinged and a slight lean in your torso.
  3. Simultaneously, twist your torso barely to the suitable.
  4. Then, bending proper knee, bounce so far as you’ll be able to to the left facet, main with the left leg and repeating transfer on left facet.
  5. Continue alternating sides with every rep.

Tip

According to Dugger, you need this transfer to be fluid, fast and explosive.

3. Slam Ball Percy Thruster

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  1. Holding a slam ball at hip degree, stand tall together with your toes collectively.
  2. Take a step to your left, touchdown so your toes are flat and toes are identified to 10 and a pair of o’clock.
  3. Curl and press the slam ball above your head.
  4. From right here, squat down as you concurrently slam the ball onto the ground.
  5. Grabbing the slam ball, carry toes collectively as you stand again up, curling and urgent the load above your head once more.
  6. Continuing shifting to your left for desired variety of reps, then swap sides and repeat on the suitable.

Tip

“Remember to squat down instead of lunging when picking up the ball,” says Dugger, who additionally notes to maintain your toes extensive once you squat down and preserve a gradual cadence when shifting.

4. Slam Ball Lunge Jump

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  1. Holding the ball at chest degree, stand with toes shoulder-width aside.
  2. With core tight, bounce up, stepping one leg ahead and one again to land right into a lunge with each knees bent to about 90 levels and again knee hovering over floor.
  3. Immediately, bounce again up, switching legs and repeat.
  4. Continue alternating with every rep.

Tip

“Make certain your entrance foot is flat on floor,” Dugger says. And do not let your again knee contact the bottom.

5. Slam Ball Percy Sit-Up

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  1. Lie face-up with legs prolonged alongside the bottom and holding a slam ball in each palms at chest degree.
  2. Curl your torso up as you press slam ball straight overhead whereas bending your left knee and putting your left foot firmly on the bottom.
  3. Lower again to begin, rising up once more, this time bending proper knee and putting left foot firmly on the bottom.
  4. Continue alternating legs with every rep.

Tip

“Watch your breathing,” Dugger says. “Inhale when lying down and exhale when sitting up.”

6. Slam Ball Front Squat

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  1. Stand with toes shoulder-width aside and a slam ball balancing on the within of the forearms of your outstretched arms.
  2. Keeping chest excessive and abs tight, push your hips again to decrease down, bringing thighs to simply beneath parallel.
  3. Push into heels to rise to standing.
  4. Repeat.

Tip

Dugger says one of many keys to this transfer is to inhale deeply as you decrease into the squat and exhale once you rise to standing.

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