Are you tired of mundane gym routines? Do you need a new challenge to push you toward your fitness goals? Look no further than the wall ball workout. This classic exercise has been a staple in the fitness world for years, but don’t be fooled by its simplicity. Wall ball workouts offer a full-body workout that targets several major muscle groups while also improving cardiovascular endurance. Whether you’re a seasoned gym junkie or just starting out, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about crushing a wall ball workout. So grab your gym bag, dust off those sneakers, and let’s get started!
What Is A Wall Ball Exercise?
Wall ball is a strength training exercise that targets multiple muscle groups of the entire body. It is a highly efficient compound movement that can be performed by both beginners and advanced individuals (7).
The basic movement of a wall ball is simple: you squat down, throw the weighted ball against a wall, and catch it as it bounces back to you. It may sound easy enough, but this exercise will quickly challenge your strength and coordination.
The key to mastering the wall ball exercise is to keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement. This will ensure that your back and hips remain in proper alignment, maximizing the effectiveness of the exercise.
Here are the steps to follow and ensure proper form for your wall ball workout:
- Begin by standing with feet hip-width apart and gripping the wall ball with both hands.
- Keeping your core tight, lower into a squat position while simultaneously throwing the ball against the wall.
- As the ball bounces back toward you, explosively stand up, catching the wall ball at chest level.
- Make sure to land softly in a squat position before throwing the ball again.
- Repeat this sequence for desired reps or time periods.
What Do Wall Balls Work?
As a full-body exercise, wall balls can work multiple muscle groups at once, such as:
The quads are the primary muscle group worked during wall ball exercises (12). As you swing the weighted ball up against the wall and catch it, your quads will be working to stabilize your legs.
Strong quads will not only improve your wall ball performance but help protect the knees from injury as well.
The hamstrings are also engaged during this exercise as they help you move from a squatting position to standing upright when catching the ball.
Strong hamstrings will help increase your power output in other exercises such as sprinting, jumping, and deadlifting.
Your glutes (buttocks) are activated as you lower into the squat position. A strong glute will provide stability for the hips and lower back, which is essential for preventing injuries during any type of lifting exercise(9).
Well-developed glutes are also aesthetically pleasing, giving your body a toned and athletic look.
Your core is engaged through every rep of a wall ball exercise. As you lower into the squat position, your abs must work to stabilize your body weight and maintain proper form. A strong core will keep your spine safe and allow you to lift heavier weights (13).
Shoulders And Upper Back
The throwing portion of the wall ball exercise will work your shoulders and upper back. Your shoulders are responsible for generating power as you swing the ball up against the wall, while your upper back must stay tight in order to maintain good posture throughout the movement.
Strengthening these muscle groups will also help improve your posture and reduce the risk of attaining injury.
The triceps are engaged as you catch the ball on the way back down. As you lower your body into a squat, your triceps must work to control the weight of the ball. Well-developed triceps will help you perform other pressing exercises with greater ease(11).
Day-to-day activities, such as carrying groceries or pushing your car door open, will also be easier with stronger triceps.
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Are There Different Types Of Wall Ball Exercises?
Yes! There are several variations of wall ball exercises that you can use to mix up your routine.
Below, we list and explain the most common wall ball variations:
The Russian Twist
This variation requires you to stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the wall ball out at arms’ length in front of you. As you twist from side to side, the ball should remain at chest level.
The Wall Pass
This exercise is similar to the basic wall ball movement but requires you to pass the ball back and forth between two people. As one partner throws the ball against the wall, the other catches it and throws it back.
The Overhead Press
This variation requires you to stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the ball up at chest height. As you press the ball straight up over your head, you have to make sure that your core is tight and your back is straight.
The Medicine Ball Slam
This exercise is great for a full-body workout and is performed by explosively slamming the ball against the floor. As you catch the ball as it bounces back up, be sure to squat low and stay in control.
Is Wall Ball A HIIT Workout?
Yes, a wall ball can be used as a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. HIIT is an effective way to maximize fat-burning benefits in a short period of time. And to turn your wall ball routine into a HIIT workout, you just simply have to adjust the reps and rest periods as you see fit.
For example, you can perform 10 reps of wall ball exercises followed by a 15-second rest, then repeat the sequence 4-5 times for a quick, intense workout.
Remember that HIIT workouts should be challenging but not impossible. Also, be sure to use a wall ball weight that is appropriate for your fitness level and allows you to perform the exercises with proper form.
Benefits Of A Wall Ball Workout
A plethora of benefits are offered by doing wall ball exercises for those looking to improve their physical fitness, such as:
1. Targets Multiple Muscle Groups
Wall ball workouts engage multiple muscle groups, including your quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, chest, and core (2). This makes it a great full-body workout that can help you develop strength and endurance across all major muscle groups.
2. Increases Explosive Power
The explosive movements involved in wall ball workouts enhance your power and speed (3). By throwing the ball against the wall, you learn to generate force from your lower body and transfer it to your upper body in a coordinated manner.
This can improve your ability to perform explosive movements in other sports or activities.
3. Provides Functional Training
The movements involved in wall ball workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities and sports. This makes it a form of functional training that can help you develop strength, power, balance, and coordination, which can be applied in real-life scenarios (5).
4. Enhances Flexibility
Wall ball workouts involve a wide range of movements that require flexibility in your hips, shoulders, and spine. By practicing these exercises regularly, you can improve your overall flexibility and reduce the risk of injury (1).
5. Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Wall ball workouts provide a combination of strength and cardiovascular training. By engaging in a HIIT workout that involves a lot of movement, you can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions.
6. Improves Core Strength
Wall ball workouts strengthen your core muscles, which helps you with better posture and balance (8). Throwing the ball against the wall requires your abs, lower back, and glutes to work together, this, in turn, helps tone and strengthen all these muscles.
7. Burns Calories
Wall ball workouts can help you burn a significant amount of calories in a short period of time. By throwing the ball and performing squats, you put your muscles to work, ramping up your heart rate and increasing your metabolism.
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8. Enhances Coordination
Wall ball workouts require a lot of focus and coordination between your upper and lower body (10). Practicing these exercises regularly can improve your overall coordination and make you more agile in your day-to-day life.
9. Builds Endurance
The combination of cardio and strength exercises in wall ball workouts can help you improve your overall endurance (4). As you continue to perform these exercises, you’ll gradually be able to do more and push yourself harder, building up your stamina over time.
10. Stress Relief
Exercise, in general, is a great way to reduce stress levels. Wall ball workouts, in particular, can be an effective stress reliever. The concentration and physical activity of the workout help clear your mind and provide a mental break from any stressors you may be facing (6)
How To Choose The Best Ball For Wall Ball Exercises?
There are three major types of wall balls: medicine balls, slam balls, and rubber balls. Each type has its unique features.
Medicine balls are the most common type of wall balls. They are made up of leather or rubber outer cover with an inner filling of sand or pellets. They come in varying weights and diameters.
They are usually between 14-16 inches in diameter and 4-30 pounds in weight. The diameter and weight of the ball dictate its intensity. Heavy medicine balls are best suited for individuals looking for intense workouts, whereas lighter ones are ideal for beginners or warm-up exercises.
Slam balls are made from high-density rubber, making them much heavier and denser than medicine balls. They are designed to slam onto hard surfaces repeatedly. They range from 5–100 pounds in weight and are usually between 5-14 inches in diameter.
Rubber wall balls are becoming more popular in gyms and training centers. They are made of solid rubber, which makes them much more durable than medicine balls and slam balls.
They are available in a variety of weights, ranging from 4-30 pounds, and sizes, with diameters between 14 to 16 inches.
Differences Between Ball Types
The diameter, density, and durability of the ball are some of the significant differences between the types of wall balls. While medicine balls are suitable for beginners, slam balls are preferred by advanced trainers who want to take their workouts to the next level.
Rubber balls are known for their durability and are best for high-intensity workouts.
When choosing a ball for your wall ball workout, you need to consider factors such as budget, gym equipment availability, and personal training goals. If you’re a beginner and want to use a ball solely for wall ball workouts, a medicine ball might be a better fit.
Similarly, if you want a long-lasting ball, a rubber ball is more durable than other options.
How To Do Wall Ball Exercise At Home?
You can try this sample wall ball HIIT workout for a full-body workout at home:
- Medicine Ball Squats – 20 Reps
- Wall Balls – 10 Reps/Side
- Burpee to Shoulder Tap – 10 Reps/Side
- Mountain Climbers – 15 Reps/Side
- Reverse Lunge with Rotation – 10 Reps/Side
- Medicine Ball Push-Ups – 10 Reps
- Wall Sit with a Twist – 20 Seconds per side
- Plank Knee Taps – 10 Reps/Side
- Star Jumps – 30 Seconds
Rest for two minutes and repeat the sequence three times.
The Bottom Line
A wall ball workout is a great way to build strength, endurance, and coordination. It’s also an effective form of HIIT training that can be done at home or in the gym with little equipment required.
With the right tool for your wall ball workout, you can get the most out of your exercise routine and reach your fitness goals faster!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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- 9 Benefits Of Medicine Ball Training (2020, origympersonaltrainercourses.co.uk)
- Does Medicine Ball Training Improve Athletic Power or Explosive Power? (2019, researchgate.net)
- Effects of Medicine Ball Training on Fitness Performance of High-School Physical Education Students (2005, researchgate.net)
- EFFECTS OF MEDICINE BALL TRAINING ON PHYSICAL FITNESS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN (2016, research.net)
- Exercising to relax (2020, harvard.edu)
- Introduction to Wall Ball Coaching Guide (2010, ukwallball.co.ke)
- The effects of a 6-week plyometric training program on agility (2010, nih.gov)
- The effects of gluteus muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients (2015, nih.gov)
- The Effects of Wall Ball and Traditional Handball Training Programs on Coordination in Young Handball Players (2020, wku.edu)
- The Importance Of Triceps Exercises(2023, ipl.org)
- This Full-Body CrossFit Exercise Works for All Fitness Levels | Livestrong.com (2021, urologyofva.net)
- Why a Strong Core Can Help Reduce Low Back Pain (2020, clevelandclinic.org)