Fitness / Strength Training

10 Slam Ball Exercises to Do For a Total Body Workout

These moves burn calories, increase core strength, and improve athletic performance.

A slam ball is a piece of exercise equipment designed to be durable enough to withstand strong slams into the ground or a wall without breaking open.

There are two types of slam balls: rubber slam balls that bounce, and dead weight, no-bounce slam balls that contain sand or steel shots that shift within the ball. Both types of weighted balls can be incredibly useful for strength training and cardio workouts.

“Medicine ball” typically refers to weighted balls that do bounce and/or have a larger diameter than slam balls. Several of Aaptiv’s workouts contain medicine ball exercises, and these moves are equally convenient and joint-friendly in the gym or at home.

Indeed, weighted ball training is budget-friendly, less complicated, and takes up less space in comparison to barbell or dumbbell training.

Here are some examples of no-bounce slam balls:

Here are some examples of bounce-friendly, “wall ball” slam balls:

Try the following ten exercises that use both types of slam balls to build core strength, burn fat, and increase muscular endurance. And remember, there’s no need to enter a crowded gym and hope your weights are there—just grab a ball and go.

Squat and Slam

How to Do It:

  1. Start with a dead weight slam ball held overhead with arms extended towards the ceiling and legs straight with feet shoulder width apart. This is the starting position.
  2. Simultaneously squat and slam the ball as hard as you can into the ground. This may cause even a heavy dead weight ball to bounce a little bit (an inch or so).
  3. Keeping your back straight, scoop your hands under the ball, drag it back up your body, straighten your legs and return the ball to overhead (the starting position). That’s one rep. Do three sets of ten reps.

Squat Jump With Throw

How to Do It:

  1. Start in a squat with a dead weight slam ball between your heels, arms extended down and holding the ball, and head facing straight ahead. You can do this move in front of a sturdy wall or play catch with a partner.
  2. Extend the hips forward and up like you would during a kettlebell swing. As you do this thrust motion, forcefully toss the ball against the wall using an underhand grip which will cause it to slightly rebound back to you. If you’re facing a workout buddy, they will catch the ball either on one small bounce or in the air before it hits the ground. Then, they will do the squat jump and forward toss back to you.
  3. This is a total body move­–your feet should leave the ground as you launch the ball forward. Do three sets of ten reps.

Depth Push-ups

How to Do It:

  1. Get in push-up position with hands on a hard medicine ball (five to eight pounds) and elbows extended. This is the starting position.
  2. Quickly remove the hands from the ball and drop down. Contact the ball ground with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows slightly flexed. Allow the chest to almost touch the ball by letting the elbows bend a bit.
  3. Explosively return to the starting position by extending the elbows and placing the palms back on the ball.
  4. Increasing the size of the medicine makes this move more difficult. Aim for two to three sets of five to ten reps.

Side Toss

How to Do It:

  1. Stand next to a sturdy wall with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent while holding a bounce capable medicine ball with arms fully extended in front of your chest. This is the starting position. If working out with a partner, they will be catching the ball off the wall after you toss it, then giving back to you to throw against the wall. Otherwise, you’ll act as your own rebounder.
  2. Rotate your abs away from the wall while keeping your arms straight then quickly turn your core back towards the wall as you toss the ball against it.
  3. Catch the ball after it bounces back or let your partner catch it. That’s one rep. Do three sets of ten reps on each side. This move improves rotational strength and targets the oblique muscles.

Figure 8

How to Do It:

  1. Get into a low squat while holding a small diameter but moderate weight (ten to 20 pounds) medicine ball with your right hand so that your palm is facing up toward the ceiling underneath the ball.
  2. This move looks similar to a basketball player dribbling a basketball between their legs except the slam ball will never touch the ground. Transfer the ball from your right hand to the left hand by swiping it through and underneath the left leg. Now, use the left hand to bring the ball around to the front your body and transfer it to the right hand by swiping it underneath the right leg.
  3. Continue this back and forth transfer while in a low squat with the back straight for 30 seconds. Repeat for two to three rounds. This move improves grip and forearms strength without the need for dumbbells or barbells.

Slam Ball Snatch

How to Do It:

  1. Get into a low squat with a ten to 20 pound medicine ball held between the heels and head looking straight forward. This is the starting position.
  2. Keeping the ball tight to the body, drag the ball up your body, jumping once it reaches chest level. As you jump in the air, continue bringing the ball towards the ceiling resulting in the ball being above your hands with arms fully extended, just as a barbell, kettlebell, or dumbbell would be overhead during a snatch. The ball going from ground to overhead should be one fluid motion.
  3. Return the weight back down in one fluid motion, reversing the steps by dragging the ball back down the body and to the ground between the heels. That’s one rep. Do two to three sets of ten to 15 reps.

Rainbow Lunge

How to Do It:

  1. Stand with feet hip width apart while holding a light (five to ten pound) medicine ball with arms extended overhead. This is the starting position.
  2. Simultaneously chop the ball diagonally and to the right as you step forward with the right leg, getting into a lunge so that the left knee is one to two inches off the ground and the right thigh is parallel to the ground.
  3. The end of the move is when the ball is low and outside of the right knee while you’re in a lunge with left knee hovering off the ground. Now, explode up and return to the starting position by stepping the right leg back to a standing position and bringing the ball back to overhead.
  4. Do three to five reps on the right side, then alternate legs. Step forward with the left leg and rotate ball to the left side as you lunge down with the right knee. Do three to five reps on the left side. Aim for two to three rounds each side.

Medicine Ball Chop

How to Do It:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart holding a ten pound medicine ball at the outside of your right foot. This will cause you to be in a crunched position, but try to keep your back as straight as possible. This is the starting position.
  2. Raise ball diagonally across your body until it reaches above the left shoulder. Reach as high and as far as possible for a full range of motion. That’s one rep. Repeat for ten reps per side for three sets.
  3. This move builds rotational core strength while targeting the obliques.

45-Degree Sit-up

How to Do It:

  1. Lie on the ground with your back facing up (supine position) a few feet away from a sturdy wall. Hold the ball with both hands in front of your chest and sit on the floor. Anchor your feet under something sturdy like two heavy dumbbells for support.
  2. If using a partner, sit on the ground holding the ball out in front of you with the trunk at about 45 degrees. The partner should be in front of you.
  3. If using the wall as your rebound, explosively sit up and throw the ball into the wall and then catch it on the rebound. Lower yourself back to the ground with the ball. That’s one rep. Do three sets of ten reps.
  4. If you have a partner, you can throw the ball to them instead and let them throw it back. Catch it, lower yourself back to the ground, do a sit-up, then come up and throw it to your partner.

Slam Ball Burpee

How to Do It:

    1. Stand holding a dead weight (no bounce) slam ball overhead. Slam it as hard as possible into the ground.
    2. Squat down, place your hands on the ball, jump out both legs into a solid pushup position, then immediately jump the legs back into the low squat position.
    3. Next, vertically jump as high as you can with both hands holding the ball overhead. Land with both arms overhead holding the ball. That’s one rep. Do one to two sets of ten reps at the end of your workout to burn calories and leave sweaty for sure.

If you’re looking to increase strength or get into amazing shape, check out the workouts in the Aaptiv app. Download it today.

Mark Barroso is an NSCA-CPT and Spartan SGX Coach.

Fitness Strength Training


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