When we hear the words "intense workout," the image of a barbell with plates come to mind. Rarely do we imagine that something simple like a wall ball or slam ball could give you a defyingly intense workout.
The reality is that workouts that exercise balls are one of the more underutilized workout tools that can add an "X" factor, leading to more dynamic movements and a stronger core. Further, storing these exercise balls requires a dramatically smaller footprint and risk factor than a squat rack or smith machine for common areas in multi-unit housing or hotel gyms.
How should you use a wall ball or a slam ball? What types of user and facility benefits most from these? Let's examine the differences between wall balls and slam balls and a few exercises that will allow users to use these tools optimally.
Wall balls are intended to be used exactly as they are named – lightly against a sturdy wall. Due to the ball shell's vinyl material composition, it is not recommended to slam the wall ball at full strength on a rough surface.
Wall balls are generally larger in comparison to slam balls, making it easier to toss and catch. They also aren't very heavy. For example, VTX Wall Balls range from 4 lbs. to up to 50 lbs. in weight. Although these weights tend to have the same size, they are usually color-coded.
More importantly, wall balls are a safe alternative for users who are intimidated by heavy weights.
Wall Ball Squats
Wall Ball Squat with an overhead throw
Sit-up & Throw
Slam balls are smaller than wall balls and are typically made of reinforced rubber shell. They are designed to be aggressively thrown, either against the ground or a reinforced wall. They are usually made of a heavy-duty rubber material that absorbs impact and bounces very little (if at all). That makes this type of equipment safe for full-body slams since it will not jump back up and hurt the user. The material also makes it durable enough to withstand its intended use.
Slam balls would work best in a facility where there is enough space to do the individual workout, making it ideal for studio or garage gyms. VTX Slam Balls are available in as light as 10 lbs. and up to 50 lbs.
Alternating Leg Lunges
Check out this great short video by Redefining Strength, where she shares an excellent overview of wall ball and slam ball exercises.