In an entire body exercise game, you sometimes need a highly-technical workout that builds muscles and enhances strength in targeted areas. And sometimes, you just need a simple tool as a medicine ball and a super basic move to let out your rage. 

The medicine ball slams could be a vital addition to your training regimen since they can help you build a strong core and incinerate a hefty amount of calories while also letting off a lot of steam. While it may look as easy as picking up a ball and slamming it on the floor with as much force as you can, a lot can go wrong. 

Hitting the perfect form is critical to ensuring you get the most out of the exercise, especially because of the minor aspects that make it so powerful. We’re gonna show you exactly how to do it right now.

This Ultimate Guide Will Cover:

  • How To Do Medicine Ball Slams
  • Medicine Ball Slams Benefits
  • Common Ball Slams Mistakes To Avoid
  • Ball Slams Muscles Worked
  • Ball Slams vs Kettlebell Swings
  • Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, & Programs
  • Ball Slams Variations
  • Ball Slams Alternative Exercises
  • FAQs About Ball Slams

How To Do Medicine Ball Slams

What You’ll Need:

  • Slam Ball: They don’t bounce and feature a tough outer shell that keeps the slam ball from breaking when it hits the ground. Slam balls are more compact and dense, and can also be much heavier than standard medicine balls.

Alternative Equipment:

  • Medicine Ball: A lot of people use medicine balls in slams and it is fine. However, be cautious as it has a some recoil to it, and you might hit your face when it bounces.

Step 1: Position and Prepare Yourself

Choose the appropriate weight of the ball and bring it to where you’re going to perform the medicine ball slam exercise. Aside from the ball, you would need an open space for the workout and then prepare yourself to start the exercise.

Step 2: Maintain Body Posture to Begin

Assume a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent. With both hands, grab a medicine ball at chest height. This is the starting position.

Step 3: Lift The Ball Up

Extend your knees, brace your core, and push your hips forward while raising the medicine ball overhead. The ball should be high, your hips should be a little forward, and you should be on your toes due to the energy of your drive.

Coach’s Tip: If you think you can create more velocity and force on your slams by picking the ball up and pull it behind your head, or overextend your lower back before slamming, this is wrong. Lift the ball overhead, and go as tall as you can by extending your ankle, knee, and hip before you unleash your rage. This is the correct form.

Step 4: Slam The Ball

When going to hinge forward, clench your core and thrust your hips back. Drive down your heels, almost sit back into a Squat, hands are still high, back straight, and swing your arms as powerful as you can to smash the floor with the ball. At this point, your torso is angled forward and your knees are on a mid-deep squat. Allow the ball to crash onto the floor once your elbows are outstretched.

Step 5: Anticipate The Ball’s Rebound and Repeat

As the ball gets slammed to the floor, be cautious not to have the ball bounce back in your face. That all counts as one repetition. Bring the medicine ball overhead while maintaining proper form, and do it all over again to meet  the number of reps and sets you are aiming.

4 Medicine Ball Slams Benefits

1. Warmups Are Now Better

You must warm up your muscles before partaking in any hip hinge or upper body exercise. Because med ball smashes are light, you won’t feel exhausted for the rest of your exercise.

This is when the medicine ball slam comes in handy. For starters, it activates all key muscles, such as the lats during the downward slam, the hips throughout the exercise, and the chest and shoulders during the slam.

2. Your Body Will Feel More Conditioned

Don’t let the medicine ball’s “easiness” fool you. The medicine ball slam is a complete body workout that works your hips, core, lats, and shoulders. These muscles work together to stretch your body to load the ball and flex it into smashing it.

Repetitively smashing a ball is hard on your muscles and cardiovascular system. Do a few hard rounds of medicine ball slams each week, and your conditioning will immediately improve. This is especially beneficial for improving your overall athletic performance.

3. Helps You Gain Explosive Movements and Muscle Strength

Dumbbell bench presses and Front squats are fantastic for developing movement and strength in a set pattern, but medicine ball slams are more fluid, powerful, and dynamic.

Lifters must boost force, react to inputs, and repeat smoothly and consistently when executing medicine ball slams, which is similar to what is required in fitness and athletics.

4. Improving Your Body’s Core

Because your core strength is located in the middle of your body, it is completely engaged during the ball slam. Some medicine ball slam versions involve rotation, which completely engages the obliques.

The rectus abdominis muscle is in charge of stretching and flexing your torso, whereas the minor stabilizer muscles, such as the traverse abdominis, assist your body’s balance, so you stay in one straight line.

Common Ball Slams Mistakes to Avoid

Only Utilizing Your Upper Body

While medicine ball slams appear to be an upper-body workout, you should use your complete body to generate the most force and power available for each smash. You could examine yourself in the mirror.

Check that you’re in a semi-squat position before leveraging your lower body and core to force the upward swing of your arms above before finishing the slam.

Using Heavier Balls

You may be tempted to reach for the 20-pound medicine ball straight off, but greater weight isn’t necessarily better. The goal of the medicine ball slam is to slam the ball with as much velocity and power as possible using your full body.

Begin with something light and utilize as much speed and core engagement as possible to drive the ball into the ground.

Not Slamming The Ball With Full Force

Sluggish throws will not help you gain performance or power. You’re cutting the workout short if you don’t use your core and lower body to help raise and crash the ball into the ground.

Each slam should be done with as much speed, power, control, and strength as possible. When the ball strikes the floor, the objective should be to “break the ball.”

Ball Slams Muscles Worked

  • Abs
  • Hip Flexors
  • Lower Back
  • Lats
  • Glutes
  • Obliques

Medicine ball slams effectively target nearly every major muscle group, making them a perfect supplement to high-intensity training programs. The lifting and throwing aspects of the workout utilize your upper body and lower body, including your shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, and upper back.

Ball Slams vs Kettlebell Swings

Swinging a kettlebell is a fantastic way to build power and strength as it can also raise your heart rate. The kettlebell swing works your hamstrings, glutes, core, hips, and the muscles that stabilize your shoulders and back. While your quads and delts may benefit slightly, the swing targets your posterior chain or the rear half of your body.

On the other hand, the medicine ball slam is an effective kind of plyometric exercise meant to improve overall strength and power. Anyone who incorporates medicine ball slams into their training course will improve general cardiovascular conditioning, athletic performance, and multi-directional core strength.

Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, and Programs

For Heightened Endurance

If you want to improve your core endurance, you should exercise with greater rep ranges and extended durations. Begin with 2 to 3 sets of 20 to 30 repetitions, resting in short bursts as required. You may also set a timer and run extended cluster sets to increase the working period gradually.

For Power Performance Training

To enhance your power performance, ensure the load you’re utilizing isn’t so excessive that it alters the movement but still lets you attack each rep with energy.

Begin the strength training workout with 3 to 4 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions. Rest times can range from 12 to 30 seconds long if a set of smashes lasts 3 seconds.

Ball Slam Variations

Med Ball Pump Fake & Slam

This is a fantastic core workout, and to execute this workout, do everything you would do in regular medicine ball slams but let go of the ball. The ball is then raised again, and this time it is slammed down.

Rotational Slams

The medicine ball rotational slam is one of the most basic yet effective complete body power workouts because it relies on rotational coiling to generate high explosive force and torque levels. Rotate from low to high, reaching as high as possible and momentarily holding at the peak before dumping into the bottom.

Split Stance Medicine Ball Slam

When you slam a ball from a split stance, with one leg behind the other, you won’t be extending your hips much, if at all, during the slam. Compared to a typical medicine ball slam, this implies the core will be more engaged. Because of the staggered posture and more prolonged knee bend, you’ll also receive more leg activation.

Tall Kneeling Chest Pass

You’ll be concentrating solely on your upper body as you toss a ball as hard as you can against a walk from a kneeling posture. As you exert maximum force, your core will also strive to keep you steady in the kneeling posture. This is an excellent motion to perform before any chest day.

Ball Slam Alternative

Battle Rope Slams

The battle rope slam is one of several workouts that are similar to medicine ball slams, particularly in the upper body. It necessitates intense upper-limb activation while also exercising the lower limbs. It is an efficient alternative for medicine ball slams since it targets the same muscle groups and physically simulates the same actions.

Kettlebell Swings

The kettlebell swing is a low-impact workout with similar advantages to medicine ball slams. The hamstring and gluteal muscles are largely activated throughout the activity.

Although it appears to be predominantly an upper-extremity training, the action that propels the kettlebell upwards occurs from the hips rather than the shoulders.

Sledgehammer Swings

Sledgehammer swings generally engage the abdominal muscles, working the back, calves, shoulders, and forearms.

It’s done by pounding a sledgehammer into a tire and bracing yourself as the hammer rebounds back. It also challenges the individual with significant cardiovascular difficulty.

Kettlebell Snatches

The kettlebell snatch is a variation of the kettlebell swing that may be utilized as an alternative to the medicine ball slam. Kettlebell snatches develop the core and stimulate the muscles of the posterior chain while developing aerobic endurance.


The woodchopper is a specialized exercise that may be performed with various gym equipment, including a medicine ball, Cable machine, dumbbell, or a Resistance band.

As the name implies, the movement is similar to swinging a hatchet to split logs. It is also known as oblique twists because of the twisting action of the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ball Slams effectively recruit  the triceps, biceps, delts, quads, calves, hamstrings, pecs, back, and core. It is essentially a full-body workout that has powerfully simple movements. 

A ball weighing between 5 and 15 pounds is recommended for beginners. Start at the lower end of the range, between 4 and 8 pounds for women and between 6 and 15 pounds for men. Consider your goals if you have a better degree of fitness.

If you would like to increase the difficulty of the medicine ball slam, you could execute it while standing on a Bosu balancing ball. As you strive to stay upright while slamming the ball, the strain on your balance will work your core muscles even harder.

It targets all main muscle groups and is a well-rounded, well-balanced workout. The movement of repetitiously slamming the ball that engages the whole body is a great addition to any HIIT exercises that effectively taxes on the muscles and the cardiovascular system.

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