3 medicine ball slam variations

Plus, how to master the basic move

Arguably the most popular of medicine ball exercises, the slam builds total-body aerobic and anaerobic power. It teaches the core to transfer force between upper and lower body, necessary for sports performance.

“You can manipulate load, speed, reps, sets, stance, direction, and ball type to make the slam session fit your goals,” says Todd Anderson, personal training manager at Equinox The Loop in Chicago and a former Division I and professional football player.

How to do it:Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball in both hands, arms extended overhead with elbows slightly bent, keeping the core engaged. Throw the ball at the ground as hard as you can, exhaling on exertion. Squat to retrieve the ball and return to start. Repeat.

Once you master the basic move, try these three dynamic variations.
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  • Windmill Ball Slam

    Windmill Ball Slam

    Hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of hips and stand with feet wider than shoulders. Pivot to the left as you raise arms overhead; then slam the ball down on the ground, catch it as it bounces up, raise arms overhead again, and pivot to the right. Repeat, slamming and catching the ball and then pivoting to the opposite side. Continue, rotating from side to side. Continue for 30 seconds. Rest, then repeat 5 times. 

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  • Three-Way Ball Slams

    Three-Way Ball Slams

    Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a Dynamax Medicine Ball with both hands overhead. Pivot body to left and bend knees as you slam ball hard enough to bounce off the floor; catch. Rotate back through center, lifting ball overhead, and pivot to right; slam ball to floor. Pivot back through center and repeat slam in front of you. Continue alternating from side to side, moving as quickly as possible, for 45 seconds. Perform 2 or 3 sets.

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  • Ball Slam with Lateral Shuffle

    Ball Slam with Lateral Shuffle

    Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a medicine ball with both hands in front of chest, elbows bent by sides. Lift ball straight overhead, stretch, and then quickly slam the ball down to the ground as you shuffle to the left and back to center just in time to catch the ball. Do 5 reps; switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.

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