If you have a decent bit of outdoor space or have a nice park/common nearby, this outdoor exercise equipment will be the best purchase ever. The humble slam ball or medicine ball as it's also known as is so versatile and makes exercise feel like fun because most of the moves mimic everyday activities.
There are so many exercises you can perform with a slam ball and almost all of them work every muscle group in your body at the same time so you burn more calories and don't overwork one particular muscle group.
For instance the most popular slam ball exercise is the ball slam. It involves squatting down to pick up the ball. Raising it overhead as you stand tall and then throwing it back down to the floor with as much force as you can muster right on the spot where you picked it up. Then repeat for a certain number of reps or for a certain amount of time.
That very simple exercise doesn't require any special skills or practice because picking stuff off the floor is something we all do every day. True we don't throw things back onto the floor but the act of throwing the ball back down is an extra added bonus to give you some explosive strength.
Great for all ages and all abilities
Whether you're young or getting on a bit, the slam ball comes in a variety of weights to suit all sizes and abilities. Weights include 3kg, 4kg, 5kg, 8kg, 10kg, 12kg, 15kg, 20kg, 25kg, 30kg and some specialist suppliers can provide even heavier ones. It's highly recommended though that you stick to a lighter weight because that will open up so many more exercise options for you.
The one pictured above is 25lbs (around 12kg) and is the perfect weight and size for an 80kg man. You just need to work out what a challenging but comfortable weight would be for you.
Slam ball exercises will improve the strength, definition and endurance of all your major muscle groups at the same time, which will make everyday tasks such as walking, cleaning up, gardening, cooking much easier.
Other slam ball exercises
The ball slam is the first exercise you should try while you get used to using a slam ball. It works your shoulders, upper back, biceps, chest, core, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Once you're accustomed to the weight and size of your slam ball, you can then start experimenting with other interesting exercises or even create your very own slam ball workout.
Once you've completed a nice few slam ball sets and mastered the movement, you can progress to variations of the same exercise.
Just by kneeling on the ground and performing a slam ball set you will notice how much more your core is engaged. The prize is rock solid abs and a super-strong core.
Other variations include ball slams while in a squat position (amazing for your legs, glutes and core), sitting while performing ball slams (works your upper body much more than regular ball slams).
Target certain muscle groups using a slam ball
The humble slam ball is also great for targeting specific muscle groups too. Give your shoulders a real workout by throwing the slam ball as high as you can into the air.
If you want to target your abs instead you can do reverse slam ball throws. Just pick up the slam ball and hold it in front of you. Then twist your body to one side and thrown the ball as far as you can behind you.
See also: Pull Up Mate The best home/portable pull up system.
Love football? Build up the muscles you need to launch very long throw ons by mimicking a throw on with the slam ball. It will build the muscles around your neck, shoulder, bicep, forearms and chest.
Want a big chest? Lie on your back and hold the slam ball above your chest and throw it as high as you can and then catch it on the way down. This pushing exercise will build explosive power in your chest and build up your pecks.
There literally are way too many exercises you can do with one of these and that's why we think it's the best outdoor exercise equipment anyone can ever buy.
Ideal surface for slam ball exercises
The absolute ideal surface for doing slam ball workouts is grass. During the spring/summer you can slam the medicine ball without damaging the grass. It's also much easier on your joints too.
During the winter/rainy months grass isn't the best place to do your slam ball workouts because after a few sets of slamming the ball on your lovely lawn, you will find that the grass gets badly damaged and you end up just slamming the ball into mud. In a park or common that's not a problem but you might not want to ruin the grass in your garden.
If you have a paved spot or gravelled area in your garden, use that instead of the lawn during the winter months. Just be sure not to do slam ball exercises that require you to kneel, sit or jump because hard surfaces hurt!