Wall Balls

A simple yet powerfully effective circuit and home gym exericse. The wall ball is designed to be thrown against the wall, then caught by the thrower. This action involves legs, arms, back, shoulders and core muscles.

Sounds easy doesn't it? Throw a ball against the wall and catch it, how does that involve the arms, legs, shoulders, lower back and core muscles? The weight of the ball ensures you have to mobilise all these muscle groups. Throwing a 4kg ball against a wall requires force in the first instance, then as the ball comes back from the wall it requires catching which involves further forces to stop it's path and momentum. Repeated throwing and catching is then working those muscles - especially your core.

This type of functional training is great for involving not only the targeted muscles, but the adjoining ones too. The ball invariably doesn't come directly to you which means you have to rotate to catch invoking core and side muscles as well. Add in squats and you can work those legs. See how versatile a simple ball is!

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Wall Balls

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Wall Balls

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buying guide for wall balls

Wall Balls Buying Guide

Wall balls work the lower and upper body and require you in essence to combine a squat movement with a push press. They can be used in place of free weights and to improve your cardio workouts. They also improve muscle mass and hand eye coordination.

What's A Wall Ball?

A wall ball is a medicine ball that is weighted and usually made of leather. You can also buy them in hard plastic coating or dense rubber. They may also be called an exercise ball or fitness ball.

How Do You Perform a Basic Wall Ball Move?

If you stand with your legs shoulder width apart and face a wall. Stand 16-24” away from the wall. Hold the medicine ball in front of your face and descend into a squat. Driving through your heels stand up and explosively throw the ball up into the wall. Catch the ball on the rebound whilst descending back into a squat. This entire movement counts as one rep. The idea as you squat throw and then squat again is that the movement is smooth and controlled, it should all feel seamless.

It should be a strong dynamic movement and up to 11 different muscle groups will get a workout. These include quads, glutes, calves, hamstring, abs, lower back, chest biceps and triceps.

To keep things interesting you can set targets. So aim for 12 shots in 30 seconds, 50 shots in 2 minutes 100 shots in 4 minutes.

How To Improve Your Wall Ball Technique

Torso. Keep your torso as upright as you can. This will help you translate power from your hips to the wall ball.

Feet. If you keep your feet wide then it is easier to work your hips. Go slightly wider than your shoulders and keep toes slightly out. Your hips are really important in this move. Too many people will focus just on arm strength, your hips are stronger, use them!

Bottom. Remember when you squat to move your bottom down not out.

Throw. Remember to try and throw towards the wall not just up and down. If your throw is too vertical then it is hard to catch and reload quickly.

Arms. Keep elbows down and in.If your elbows flare out your shoulders will get very tired quickly. And your forearms are your steering wheel, they need to point to where you want the ball to go. The arms will give you accuracy, remember it is your hips that drive you in this move.

Hold. Keep the ball right in front of your face, the bottom of the ball should be at or above the top of your chest. Too many people make the mistake of holding the ball directly in front of the chest or abs.

Catching the ball. Catch the ball high and try and ride it low with your elbows under the ball.

Alternative Exercises

You can also use your wall ball in your ab workout by doing your sit up 6 to 12” from the wall. Once you are in the middle of the sit up toss the ball against the wall while you continue to crunch up, catch the ball and return to the floor.

You can also uses wall ball with a partner. Chest, overhead and bounce passes will work your arms, chest, back and abs.

What To Look For When Buying a Wall Ball

Check the materials used. Always look for high quality, that way you will get years from your ball. Also look for double stitched seams throughout. This will also reduce the chances of impact injuries.

Some manufacturers offer different weights but the same diameter of ball. This can be useful as you can progress your way up the weights without having to alter your technique.

Check what is inside the ball. Some manufacturers use a mixture of sand and steel shots. Some balls will also have a compression valve which enables you to adjust the air inside.

Check the grip surface for ease and comfort. The ideal is to find a wall ball that is tough enough for the throw but also feels soft.

As with all gym equipment look for a good level of warranty. Most wall balls should offer you at least 12 months warranty.

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