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How to Do a Ball Slam

The 1 Total-Body, Calorie-Burning Move Everyone Needs to Do

You've seen the medicine balls at the gym. You walk right by them and go straight to the dumbbells. We get it — they're not as popular, and they're kind of intimidating. How the hell do you even use one? Try this amazing exercise called a ball slam.

It's one of the ultimate total-body strengthening moves that will also get your heart rate zooming and burn calories. It may not look that hard, but man oh man, once you do a bunch of reps in a row, you'll see why this is a popular exercise you'll find in CrossFit workouts — it's intense and effective.

When you're first learning this move, go for a lighter medicine ball, such as a 10-pounder. Make sure it's nonbouncy so it doesn't fly up and hit you in the nose. As you feel more comfortable and get stronger, you can eventually go for a 30- or 40-pounder. Be prepared to work your legs, butt, arms, and core. Here's how to do the move.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width distant apart with the medicine ball on the floor in front of you.
  • Squat down and pick up the medicine ball, keeping your head up and trying not to round the spine.
  • Stand up, lifting the medicine ball above your head, fully extending the arms straight above you.
  • Forcefully slam the ball down on the floor as hard as you can. If the ball is light enough, catch the ball as it bounces slightly off the floor.
  • This counts as one rep.
  • Cycle through three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
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