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