Med Ball Slams: How and Why You Should Be Doing Them

(Last Updated On: September 15, 2021)

Everyone needs a good workout to stay healthy and fit. And if you’re looking for a way to spice up your routine, then med ball slams might be the solution!

Med ball slams are an explosive full-body exercise that is guaranteed to get your heart pumping and leave you feeling accomplished.

The best part? You can do it anywhere with just a little bit of space and a med ball. With this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics so that you can start adding them to your routine today. So put on those workout shoes because this one’s going to be fun!

Med Ball Slams

What is a Med Ball Slam?

The med ball slam is an explosive, cardiovascular exercise that can help you improve muscle power and explosiveness for sports or just to burn some extra calories.

As if the name didn’t tell you how to do this exercise, you slam the ball against the floor or a wall.

 

What are the Benefits of Med Ball Slams?

There are many benefits to med ball slams. They are great for improving your power, explosiveness, speed, coordination, and even your vertical. Basically, med ball slams are a great full-body exercise that can help you take your workout to the next level.

Med Ball Slams:

  • Improves power
  • Increase explosiveness
  • Challenge coordination and agility
  • Improve vertical jump  + more!

 

Related: Build Explosive Power With These 7 Med Ball Exercises

 

How To Do A Med Ball Slam

The video above shows you exactly how to do a med ball slam but I am also going to tell you how because Google likes words.

Step by step instructions on how to correctly perform med ball slams so you get the most out of this exercise. *Proper form is important when doing med ball slams as it will prevent injury and ensure you’re getting the most out of each repetition.*

1. Start by standing over the ball with a hip-width stance. “Squeeze” your feet into the ground, then sink down to grab it and keep your lower back flat as you move!

2. As you stand in an “athlete stance”, rise up onto your toes and extend outwards with arms extended upwards. Raise ball above your head like it’s going to explode.

3. Explosively contract your body as you rotate the med ball into the ground below you by rotating your arms and legs downward. Use your hip power to help slam the med ball into the ground with the force of 100 suns.

4. Depending on what kind of ball you have, be prepared to catch the ball if it should bounce back up so it doesn’t blast you in the face. They do make balls for slamming that don’t bounce, more on those later.




 

What Muscles Are Used When Performing A med Ball Slam?

When you med ball slam or med ball jump, your entire body is utilized. This means med ball slams are an excellent full-body exercise. Key muscle groups that are used in med ball slams are:

Abs – The abs are used to generate the downwards force during a slam. The harder you hit, the more they’ll have to keep contracting as if performing a crunch from a standing position!

Lats – The medicine ball is an overhead exercise that requires you to draw your arm down in front of the body. The primary function of lattisimus dorsi, or back muscles as it’s also called, comes into play with this slam because there are many secondary movers such as shoulders and arms which must move accordingly for maximal strength development while focusing primarily on core stabilization through extension at virtually all times so we don’t end up like a limp noodles salad!

Hip Flexors – These muscles are used to propel you upwards as well as decelerate your body when med ball slams come to an end.

Obliques – Not just for good looks, med ball slams require rotational strength to stabilize the body while med ball slams are being done. These muscles come into play when med ball slams are performed with a med ball that bounces.

Glutes – This muscle is used when med ball slams are performed where med ball bounce is involved.

Lower Back – The med ball slam focuses on core stabilization throughout the entire med ball slam. The lumbar region of the back is involved when med ball slams are performed so core stability can be developed.

ball slam girl

Who Should Do Med Ball Slams?

Athletes – Med ball slams are a great way for athletes to build athletic power without having to go through the lengthy process of learning Olympic lifts. Plus med ball slams are good for all types of athletes. Whether you run, play basketball, football, etc., med ball slams will help get you stronger and increase power to help prevent injury which helps get you more playing time!

Non Athletes – Med ball slammers aren’t just limited to the athletic sector. Anyone from a weight loss patient to a ninja warrior will find med ball slams beneficial because med ball slams are an easy way to work your entire body all at once! Plus med ball slammers provide aerobic benefits as well.

Strength Competitors – Adding med ball slams into a strength training routine is not only beneficial to athletes but can be fun for anyone looking to get stronger. Plus med balls are great to work grip strength!




 

Related: How to Use the Dynamic Effort Method to Build Explosive Power

 

How Many Med Ball Slams Should I do?

Generally, it is recommended that med ball slams should be performed 1 to 3 times per week.

If you are an athlete looking to build explosive power I would recommend doing 3 sets of 6-8 reps with about 2-3 minutes between sets.

If you are looking to use med ball slams for cardio 3-4 sets of 25 reps with 1 minute or less of rest between sets.

med ball slams with a slam ball

Med Ball Slam Variations.

Rotational Slams.

The medicine ball rotational slam is one of the simplest yet effective full-body power exercises as it focuses on using rotational coiling to produce high levels of explosive power and torque. Focus on rotating from low to high while reaching as tall as possible and briefly holding at the top before unloading into the floor.

Med Ball Pump Fake & Slam

This is a really nice core exercise. To perform this exercise you do everything you would in a normal med ball slam but you don’t let go of the ball. Then you raise the ball back up again and this time you slam it down.

Credit on the med ball pump fake and slam: Dr John Rusin

 

Where Can A Med Ball Be Purchased?

You can purchase med balls at many sporting goods stores, most fitness equipment retailers or online. Rogue has some really nice ones that are durable and well made or you can get them at the Fitness Factory or on Amazon.com.

 

What Size Med Ball Should I Get?

– Sizes vary depending on the med ball slam. Slamming med balls are usually 1ft in diameter, whereas med ball drills can utilize med balls that are 1/2 ft in diameter. Larger med balls are used for med ball exercises which incorporate rotation so med balls come in different sizes ranging from 6 to 12 inches or more.

What About Slam Balls?

Slam balls are balls that are made specifically for slamming so they are tougher to damage or break open. They are made not to bounce off of the ground and are usually heavier than med balls. Slam balls vary in size and can be as light as 10 lbs and usually go up to 50 lbs, although I have seen them as heavy as 100 lbs. I have never used one before but could imagine doing slams with 100 lb slam ball would be a serious workout. Maybe I’ll add that to the bucket list.

That being said, doing slams with a 100 lb slam ball is not the same type of workout as it is with a 10 lb slam ball (obviously). If you are looking to build power then lighter is better, a 10 to 30 lb ball is perfect.

Doing ball slams with a 100 lb slam ball is more of a strength exercise just getting the ball off the ground and over your head, slamming it on the ground will practically take care of itself.




 

When Will I Be Able To See Difference When Performing Med Ball Slams?

It’s important to remember that great things take time. It takes months to see noticeable improvement when performing med ball slams but this doesn’t mean it will be long either! Some people notice improvements immediately while others might not notice any difference until months later.

 

What If I Don’t Have A Med Ball?

There are med ball alternatives like slam balls which can be used, but med balls are the preferred slamming method because med balls bounce back up instead of rolling away or becoming difficult to cleanse. If you do decide on using a slam ball make sure it’s a coated slam ball so their is less of a chance of the med ball tearing open.




 

What Are Some Good Med Ball Slam Alternatives?

I am going to go way outside of the box with this first one so bear with me…

Post Hole Digging

I put up a small fence in my back yard last weekend. In doing so I had to dig 5 post holes with a post hole digger. It was an incredible workout and the motion was quite similar to that of a med ball slam. In fact, I would say post-hole digging is a better workout than med ball slams. Whoever invents the post hole digger machine for gyms will be a millionaire.

Find a descreet spot in your yard, dig a post hole, fill it back in and do it again. Your upper body will turn to jelly in no time.

 

Sledgehammer a Tire

Take a sledgehammer over your head and slam it onto a tire. The motion is pretty similar, just make sure you don’t hit your foot or ankle by accident, that would be really bad.

med ball slam alternatives

Chopping Wood

Get manly, let your chair hair puff out of your flannel and do some good old fashion wood chopping. Again, do not hit yourself in the foot or ankle with the axe, serious pain will result.

 

Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes are another alternative, although not as good as the 3 above in my opinion they are much safer.

Battle ropes aren’t quite the same but they are pretty badass, read all about them in our beginner’s guide to battle ropes.

Battle Ropes

What Is A Good Warm Up Before Doing Med Ball Slams?

It is a good idea to stretch out before med ball slams because med balls can be thrown towards your shins and low back so it’s important to ensure you don’t have any injuries that med ball slammers might aggravate.

 

What Is A Good Cool Down After Doing Med Ball Slams?

It is a good idea to perform med ball slams with a partner and always make sure your partner knows when you’re done med ball slamming before they move in on the med ball – trust me it’s an easy mistake to make! Because med ball slammers are high-intensity exercises it is important after med ball slams finish stretching out or foam rolling, whichever one helps get rid of any pain you feel post med ball slam.




 

Med Ball Slam Wrap Up

Conclusion paragraph: If you are looking for an effective way to train your core, med ball slams may be the perfect fit. They work to strengthen and tone muscles in the abdominal area while improving flexibility, stability, coordination, power output, and balance.

The next time you’re feeling like doing some physical exercise but don’t want to go through the hassle of getting on a treadmill or bike at home; try a med ball slam routine instead!

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