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Do you sometimes feel like slamming something down and getting rid of all your negative energy, but you have nothing you could use? A slam ball comes in handy for this purpose as well, since it’s highly durable and withstands strong bangs.
The slam ball will not only help you clear your mind, but also improve your strength, agility and overall physical fitness. There is much more to do than just slamming and throwing it. You can use it to spice up the most common exercises, such as push-ups, core exercises, or even intensive burpees. The slam ball will bring your old training routine to a new level, so it is definitely a great idea to include it in your training plan.
What is a slam ball?
Perhaps you have already seen this black ball, but you didn’t know it could serve as a great training aid. The slam ball is a type of medicine ball which does not jump and is filled with sand. The sand moves inside the ball, making it more difficult to manipulate. As a result, this untraditional training aid makes you engage the muscles you don’t use very often in traditional weight training.
The surface of the slam ball is made of durable rubber. It can be found in various sizes and weights, starting from quite light ones. But there are even slam balls with the weight of 80 kg. They are mostly used as a part of functional and circuit training. The slam ball is often included in the training plan of cross fitters, basketball and rugby players who seek to improve their explosive strength (agility) and dynamics.
If your goal is to improve agility and dynamics, you should not miss out the jump rope workout explained in more detail in our article Weight Loss, Increase in Physical Fitness and 8 Other Reasons to Start Jumping Rope.
Slam ball workout will improve your sports performance
Slam ball workout offers many types of exercises and movements you cannot perform with barbells and dumbbells. You can for example raise it above your head and throw it using your strength, throw it over your shoulder or toss it together with your gym partner.
By performing such movements, you will engage the muscles of your whole body and develop abilities you can profit from not only with sports, but also in daily life. In other words, thanks to the right slam ball workout, you can also be better at basketball and don’t get injured while helping your friends move heavy furniture.
By exercising with the slam ball, you can improve the following movement skills:
- joint range of motion,
- explosive strength,
- reaction rate. [1-3]
On top of that, you will be also able to build muscles, improve your physical fitness and strengthen the core of your body. And you will also support weight loss, considering all the burnt calories. In addition, exercising with the slam ball is fun and will help you spice up your training routine. You can include it in your circuit training, HIIT, or even classic strength training. [4–5]
If you are looking for other ways to alter your training routine, feel free to try TRX workout, described in more detail in our article How to Exercise with the Suspension Trainer. Try These Effective Full-Body Exercises.
Slam ball exercises to do for a total body workout
Before you start the workout, warm up slightly. This part is also important for your mind which needs to be switched from working mode to training mode. It is improper to think about what you missed at work or what awaits you at home. You are here to unwind and do something for your health and body. Whether you are going for HIIT, strength training or intense cardio, try to pay attention to all these parts.
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1. Warm up
Warming up helps prepare your muscles, heart and lungs for the upcoming exercise. Warming up can have many forms. A fast walk on the way to the gym, running on the spot or on the treadmill, a few burpees or jumping on the skipping rope will be great. All you have to do is perform this activity for 5-10 minutes. You should breathe lightly. Do not perform too intense exercises in the first phase of your training.
2. Take your time for dynamic stretching
The warm-up should then be followed by dynamic stretching. Prepare all your joints for the upcoming workout by doing a circular motion, just as you learned in elementary school in physical education classes. This will improve the range of motion in the joints and reduce the risk of injury during your training. 
If you want to learn more detailed information about the topic of warming up and stretching, be sure to read our article Warming up, Stretching, Cooling Down – Are They Really Important?
3. Move on to the main part of the workout
After spending a few minutes warming up, the highlight of the evening, so your training, awaits you. Try all the slam ball exercises following our video, or only choose those which suits your current training plan.
4. Cool down after an intense workout
After the main part, you probably still have a higher heart rate, you are short of breath and your muscles are probably already calling for rest. The goal of the cool down phase is to get the heart rate back to normal, to calm down and relax the ongoing muscle tension. This part is especially important if you have just finished a high intensity workout, such as CrossFit WOD, HIIT or heavy leg workout.
5. Stretch lightly at the end
Even if you are already looking forward to taking a shower and enjoying your post-workout meal, take a few more minutes of static stretching. It will help you improve your flexibility and posture. You can also speed up regeneration later after a workout by using massage rollers or a massage gun. 
If you are interested in things that will help you accelerate your regeneration, then read our article How to Support Regeneration Using a Massage Gun and Other Tools?
Get ready for the effective slam ball exercises
If the slam ball is completely new to you, start with smaller weight, and you can raise the load over time. Get inspired by our video with effective full-body exercises which you will find below in the article. If you don’t have a slam ball, you can also perform the exercises with a soft medicine ball.
What will you need and what to watch out for during the workout?
- except from the slam ball or soft medicine ball, a classic exercise mat will come in handy, as well as two pieces of puzzle mats to cushion the fall of the ball while slamming it on the ground,
- try to maintain your back naturally curved during all the exercises and at the same time, engage your core to achieve a better technique and higher efficiency,
- at first, perform the exercises slowly and once you’re familiar with the technique, feel free to speed up the pace.
1. Kneeling slams
Get down to your knees and place the puzzle mat in front of you. Take the slam ball with your both hands, straighten your back and raise it above your head. Then dynamically throw the slam ball on to the mat in front of you. Use the strength of your shoulders, arms, core and pelvis. Catch the slam ball right after you slam it and repeat the movement.
2. Plyometric push-ups
Put the slam ball on the ground and get to the plank position, grabbing the ball with your upper limbs and lean on it. Your arms and legs are extended in the initial position. Engage your core, do a push-up and keep your back straight (don’t bend your lower back). Come up dynamically and hold the slam ball tight throughout the whole exercise. Try to rebound from the ground using the explosive strength, so that the ball doesn’t touch the mat for a second. Then move on to the next push-up.
Easier variation: You can make the exercise easier by standing on your knees or by skipping the plyometric phase with the rebound.
Get in the plank position with your arms extended and lean on the ball just like you did in the previous exercise. Hold the slam ball tight, get up through the squat and dynamically raise it above your head. You do the same movement as you would with burpees. You just raise the slam ball on your way up and then actively slam it on the puzzle mat. Then you catch the slam ball, get to the plank position and repeat the exercise. Try to use the strength of your core on your way up.
Easier variation: You don’t have to raise the slam ball – leave in on the ground and just lean on it in the lower position.
4. Side-to-Side Push-Ups
Again, start in the plank position with your arms extended. Lean one arm on the slam ball and do a push-up. Then roll the slam ball to the other side, lean the other hand on it and repeat the push-up. On your way down, try to get your chest as close to the mat as possible to activate more muscles. Repeat the movement for 30 seconds.
Easier variation: You can do the push-up on your knees.
5. Reverse Lunge with Twist
Start in a wide stance with feet along your hips. Hold the slam ball with your arms bent and keep them in front of you throughout the whole exercise.
Do a reverse lunge with the right leg and at the same time, rotate to the left side. The knee of the hind leg may touch the ground slightly. Then put your leg to the initial position and do the reverse lunch with the other leg. When rotating, the entire upper half of the body rotates, including your head and bent arms holding the slam ball.
6. Russian Twist
Sit down, grab the slam ball on both sides with your arms bent. Bent your knees slightly and then raise them. You can place the foot of one leg on the instep of the other leg to be more balanced. Your legs should stay in this position throughout the whole exercise. The closer your legs are to the ground, the harder the exercise will be. The movement begins with the rotation of the upper half of the body to one side. The slam ball should touch the mat during the rotation. Do the same motion on the other side right after.
Easier variation: Bend your knees slightly, but leave your feet on the ground throughout the whole exercise.
7. Slam Ball on Legs Crunch
Lay on your back and raise your legs. Bend the knees, so that the front of your tights and torso create an angle of approx. 90°. The same angle is applied to the back of your tights and calves. Extend your arms above your head and grab the slam ball. Then bring it to your shin by activating your abs. Always do one crunch with the slam ball and one with just your body weight. Try to push your lower back to the mat throughout the whole exercise.
Start in wide stance with your feet along your hips. Grab the slam ball with your both arms extended. Raise your arms to the side slightly and do a dynamic oblique bend. This motion reminds of chopping wood, that’s why the exercise is called this way. The ball is aiming toward your shin and may lightly touch it. Then come back to the initial position and repeat the motion. Perform the exercise for 30 seconds on one side first, followed by a 15-second rest and then on the other side.
9. Jumping Squats
Start in a wide stance with your feet along your hips. Embrace the slam ball with your both hands and press it to your chest. Do a squat, not necessarily a super deep one. Just try to maintain your back curved naturally throughout the whole exercise. Your knees and toes are in a line and turned out. Use the explosive strength of your legs during the jump. Raise your feet from the ground in the upper position, then fall down on the ground and repeat the motion.
Easier variation: Do the regular squats without the jump.
10. Side-to-Side Slam
Take two puzzle mats and place them on the ground next to your feet, each on one side. Start in a wide stance with your feet wider than your hips. Grab the slam ball with your both arms extended. Raise your arms and slam it to the mat on one side. Then grab the ball again, raise it up and over and slam it on the mat on the other side. Bend your knees on your way down and at the same time, change the position of your feet and turn them to the side you are working on.
11. Slam Ball Plank
Put the slam ball on the ground and lean on it with your forearms. Extend your legs and activate your core. Then start to roll the ball to the sides using your forearms. Try to do circles to one side, then to the other.
Easier variation: Stay in the plank position as long as possible and without rolling the slam ball.
Full-body workout with a slam ball
What should you remember?
The slam ball is an unconventional exercise aid which will help you diversify your training and improve various sports abilities and skills. You will not only engage and strengthen the muscles of your whole body, but also support weight loss. You can use the slam ball for HIIT or strength training. You can get inspired by our video with complex full-body exercises.
Do you have any experience with the slam ball, or you’ve never come across with it? Share your experience in the comments. If you liked the article, don’t forget to share it with your friends, so that they can also learn about the possibilities of using the slam ball in their training routine.
 OriGym. 9 Benefits of Medicine Ball Training – https://origympersonaltrainercourses.co.uk/blog/benefits-of-medicine-ball
 Trajković, N., Madić, D., Andrašić, S., Milanović, Z., & Radanović, D. EFFECTS OF MEDICINE BALL TRAINING ON PHYSICAL FITNESS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN . – https://doi.org/10.22190/FUPES1701185T
 Greatist. A Ball of Energy: Building Explosiveness with a Slam Ball Workout.– https://greatist.com/fitness/slam-ball-workout
 BarBend. The Main Benefits of Medicine Ball Slams And How to Do – https://barbend.com/benefits-of-medicine-ball-slams/
 Healthline. Slam Ball Exercises: Increase Muscle Power. – https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/slam-ball-exercises
 Mayo Clinic.Weight-training do’s and don’ts. [https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/weight-training/art-2004584
 LIVESTRONG.COM. What Are the Three Parts of an Exercise Session & Why Are They Important? [https://www.livestrong.com/article/165240-what-are-the-three-parts-of-an-exercise-session-why-are-they-important