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Slam balls are a great addition to your workouts if you’re looking to add some fun and train your body in ways that are more useful for daily life. Suitable for different fitness levels, they are an effective workout tool that can be adapted for a young, energetic athlete trying to improve at their sport, or for an older adult hoping to build strength, stamina, and balance. As a personal trainer, I absolutely love including slam ball exercises into my clients’ workouts and my personal routines.
Slam balls differ from other weighted balls or medicine balls because they don’t bounce. They are durable, sand-filled balls that are built to throw on the floor with all of your might, without fear of breaking either the floor or the ball. How many other pieces of fitness equipment – or any other item, for that matter - can you say that about? Perfect for those days you need to let out some serious stress or frustration!
Adults of all ages and almost any fitness level can enjoy the benefits of using a slam ball. Whether you are just trying to lose weight or training for your sport, personalize your own workout with different weighted balls during simple or more advanced exercises. Here are some benefits of slam ball exercises according to different needs:
Benefit 1: Improve speed, performance and reaction times.
Quick, powerful movements are essential for athletes’ physical conditioning. While weights are great for strength, an athlete needs to incorporate dynamic movements in order to jump higher, run faster, spring quicker or throw harder. Exercises like an Overhead Throw or Slam Burpee are intense movements that will cause your whole body’s muscles to adapt to those power movements.
Think of a baseball player who must rotate at a fast rate from the side while hitting a ball coming at them up to 105 miles per hour with equal force and drive. A few bicycle crunches will not create the core power and strength to meet that need. However, something like a Rotational Wall Slam can, due to the weight combined with force that is needed to accomplish that exercise.
Benefit 2: Increases heart rate for extra calorie burn!
Weighted ball workouts are great for anyone trying to lose weight, as long as you have established a base of core strength and healthy movement patterns (such as the ability to squat with proper form or press a weight overhead) . Slam exercises are typically fast and intense, quickly getting the heart rate up for higher calorie burn and can be an excellent way to do high intensity interval training. For instance, all out Ball Slams followed by slow Russian Twists will definitely get your weight loss journey going.
Benefit 3: Personalization based on fitness level & strength
What about an older adult or intermediate exerciser? Don’t worry, you’re not restricted from having a little fun in the gym as well. Slam balls come in a variety of weights, so while a typical 60-year old woman may not find it so fun (or safe) to press a 20-pound ball overhead, throw it down, then have to pick it up back up, they may find themselves perfectly able to accomplish that same movement with a 10-pound ball. In fact, some of my clients in their late 50’s and early 60’s love doing just that! Even if you can’t throw it, a ball can be something that’s easier to grip and hold while doing things like squats to a box.