Medicine ball slams are excellent full-body strength and cardio exercise (Image via Instagram)

What Are Medicine Ball Slams? Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits, and Common Mistakes

Sneha Santuka
ANALYST

Medicine ball slams are an excellent plyometric exercise designed to enhance all-around power and strength. The movement helps enhance overall athletic performance, improve cardiovascular conditioning, and develop multi-directional core strength.

Although a significant component of the exercise is the throwing, ball slams work your entire body. Your lower body and core are engaged in the throw to help protect your spine. It also gives you a good cardio workout, pumping your metabolism to burn serious calories.

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Ball slams involve forceful throwing, so avoid them if you have a weak core, lower back pain, or shoulder pain, or wait until you're stronger and free of injury to try them.


Medicine Ball Slams: Tips, Technique, and Correct Form

You will need a medicine slam ball and a little open space (at least a 5-foot by 5-foot area) to perform this exercise.

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Slam balls are softer than medicine balls, with a little more give. Slam balls won't bounce the way standard medicine balls can, thus preventing any injuries that can happen if the ball bounces forcefully back at you.

Here's how you can perform medicine ball slams:

  • Start by standing upright with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, your knees and hips slightly bent, holding a medicine ball in both hands at torso level. Your core should be engaged, your abs drawn towards your spine, and your shoulders rolled back for the perfect posture.
  • Squat down slightly, then, in one powerful motion, inhale and press through your heels before rising and lifting the medicine ball overhead. The ball will be almost straight overhead, and your arms straight and extended at the height of the movement.
  • Use the power from your core and your arms to slam the medicine ball straight down between your feet with as much force as possible. Press your hips back and bend your knees to improve your power as you slam. Exhale while slamming the ball down.
  • Squat down to pick up the ball from the floor, and then immediately move into the next slam by powerfully using your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Rise on the balls of your feet again as you lift the medicine ball overhead.
  • Repeat for the required number of reps or a time interval.

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Benefits of Medicine Ball Slams

Medicine ball slams work out just about every major muscle group, making them an excellent addition to high-intensity workout routines. Check out the benefits of medicine ball slams listed below.

1) Full-Body Workout

Medicine ball slams ensure a coordinated effort between your upper and lower body to maintain the flow of the exercise.

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The exercise uses your core muscles, glutes, abdominals, low back, spinal erectors, and even your rotator cuffs to work together to power the movement. Ball slams enhance core strength and stability.

2) Increased Agility

Athletes require agility on the court or field. Everyone needs the skill to move more smoothly through life.

Improved coordination, enhanced core stability, and strength will help you adjust to unexpected physical challenges you will face daily. This exercise will condition your agility.

3) Increased Metabolism

Medicine ball slams are great for increasing your metabolism. Powerful, full-body, repetitive exercises like ball slams in your routine train your cardiovascular system harder to provide oxygen to your working muscles, mainly when the exercise is performed for a specific time interval.

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However, even lower-repetition slams using heavier weights will increase your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) in the 24 to 48 hours after this high-intensity training, thus keeping your metabolism humming. This provides overall improved conditioning to the body.


Common Mistakes

1) Using a Heavier Weight

It might be tempting to grab the 20-pound medicine ball immediately, but greater weight isn't always better. The medicine ball slam exercise is meant to engage your entire body in slamming the ball with as much velocity and force as possible, and a lighter ball better serves this purpose.

2) Too Much Too Soon

The exercise may seem easy, but adequate rest between sets is needed if you are a newbie. Perform 3 to 5 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions, allowing plenty of rest between sets.

Your goal should be to perform each repetition with perfect form while moving as quickly as possible.

3) Not Using Enough Force

Weak medicine ball slams will not build power or performance. You must engage your lower body and core to help lift and slam the ball into the ground.

Each slam needs to be performed with as much power, strength, speed, and control as you can muster. Your goal should be to "break the ball" when it hits the floor. You have to put everything into every single throw.


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Edited by Piyush Bisht
 
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