Fat Burning Slam Ball Workouts for Explosive Power and Maximum Core Strength

These Slam Ball Workouts will help you develop explosive power with a low skill yet highly effective exercise by using the Slam Ball exercise in a variety of different training scenarios.

What is the Slam Ball Exercise?

The Slam Ball exercise is an explosive movement that involves throwing a slam ball or medicine ball against the floor or other surface.

Slam Ball Benefits

Slam Ball Workouts have multiple benefits:

  • Better conditioning
  • Stronger Core
  • Better movement
  • Improved warm ups
  • Enhanced power

Exercises like the dumbbell bench press and front squat are great for building strength and movement in a specific pattern, but medicine ball slams are more fluid, forceful, and dynamic. 

When performing medicine ball slams, a lifter must promote force, react to stimuli, and repeat smoothly and simultaneously, much like what is needed throughout fitness and sport.

Woman performing the slam ball exercise
Build power ©RX Photography

By slamming a med ball before moves like the bench press or deadlift, you’re bettering the connection between the muscles in play and your central nervous system. So, when you finally do get under a barbell, your muscles and brain will already have an established connection.

What Muscles do Slam Ball Workouts Work?

Slam Ball Workouts involve a full-body exercise that recruits your core, shoulders, lats, and hips.

These muscles work together to extend your body to load the ball and flex it to slam it.

Your core sits at the centre of your body, so it’s fully active throughout the entire ball slam. Muscles like the rectus abdominis are responsible for extending and flexing your torso, while the small stabilizer muscles, such as the traverse abdominis, help balance your body so you stay in one straight line.

Some medicine ball slam variations require rotation, and the obliques are fully engaged when that happens.

How to Exercise Proper Slam Ball Technique

  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent
  2. Hold a medicine ball or slam ball in your hands
  3. Lift the ball overhead with arms extended
  4. Look straight ahead, inhale, and engage your core. As you exhale, bend forward at the waist and use core muscles to throw the ball down in front of your feet with as much force as possible
  5. Let the arms follow through the movement. At the end, heels should be on the floor and knees slightly bent
  6. Let the ball bounce off the floor and catch it on the return. If the ball does not bounce, then keep your abs contracted, lower into a squat, and pick up the ball using your legs

Slam Ball Exercise Variations

  • Rotational Slam
  • Tall Kneeling Chest Pass
  • Split Stance Medicine Ball Slam

Medicine Ball vs Slam Balls

A medicine ball is usually lighter, larger in diametre, and will bounce back when you toss it.

A slam ball is more compact and denser. They will not bounce back.

Slam balls can also be much heavier, sometimes even up to 100 pounds.

Slam Ball Workouts

Add these Slam Ball Workouts into your training.

WORKOUT 1

3 Rounds for Time

  • 50 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
  • 50 Med Ball Push-Ups (20/14 lb)
  • 50 Ball Slams (20/14 lb)

WORKOUT 2

10 Rounds for Time

  • 25 Double-Unders
  • 10 D-Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 5 Ring Dips

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 10 rounds.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of Ring Dips is completed.

Raise your game ©Karsten Winegeart

WORKOUT 3

AMRAP in 26 minutes

  • 10 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 5 Deadlifts (225/155 lb)
  • 16 Ball Slams (40/30 lb)

Cash Out:

  • 800 metre Farmer’s Carry (2 x 53/35 kg)

On a running clock, complete as many rounds and repetitions of possible (AMRAP) of the Box Jumps, Deadlifts, and Ball Slams. At 26:00 move immediately to the Farmer’s Carry to complete the workout.

Score for the workout is (A) the total number of rounds and repetitions of the AMRAP portion of the workout completed before the clock hits 26:00 and (B) total time required to complete the Farmers Carry buy out (the final time on the clock minus 26:00).

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WORKOUT 4

AMRAP in 8 minutes

  • 8 Overhead Squats (45/35 lb)
  • 8 Ball Slams (40/30 lb)
  • 8 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb, 10/9 ft)
  • 8 Russian Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5 pood)

Set timer for 8 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible.

Score is total reps completed in 8 minutes.

Scaling Options

AMRAP in 8 minutes

  • 8 PVC Back Squats
  • 8 Medicine Ball Slams (14/10 lb)
  • 8 Wall Ball Shots (14/10 lb, 9/8 ft)
  • 8 Russian Kettlebell Swings (1/.5 pood)

WORKOUT 5

For Time

  • 1,000 metre Row
  • 800 metre Run
  • 50 Ring Dips
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 150 Jumping Ball Slams
  • 800 metre Run
  • 1,000 metre Row

WORKOUT 6

4 Rounds for Time

  • 23 Single-Arm Kettlebell Swings (20/16 kg)
  • 23 Single-Arm Kettlebell Overhead Squats (20/16 kg)
  • 23 Burpee Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 23 Ball Slams (20/16 kg)

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 4 rounds. Switch arms for the Kettlebell Swings and the Overhead Squats as necessary.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of Ball Slams is completed.

WORKOUT 7

For Time

  • 1 mile Run
  • 200 Box Step-Ups (20/15 lb, 24/20 in)
  • 150 Ball Slams (20/15 lb)
  • 100 Push-Ups
  • 50 Burpees

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the time on the clock when the 50th Burpee is completed.

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WORKOUT 8

5 Rounds for Time

  • 30 second Assault Bike
  • 20 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 20 Alternating Lunges
  • 20 Skull Crushers (70/40 lb)
  • 20 Spiderman Push-Ups
  • 20 Plank Shoulder Taps
  • 30 second Row

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 5 rounds.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the 30 second Row is completed.

Movement Standards

Skull Crusher: Lay on the Bench and hold the Dumbbell with both hands overhead.

Bend the elbows to dip the Dumbbell behind the head while keeping the elbows close to the ears.

Return the Dumbbell to the overhead position to count one rep.

Spiderman Push-Up: This is a variation of the standard Push-Up.

After performing a Push-Up, from the Plank Hold position, draw the right knee up and our touching the outside of the right elbow.

Then do the same with the left knee to the left elbow to complete one repetition.

Plank Shoulder Tap: From a Plank Hold position, tap the right shoulder with the left hand and the left shoulder with the right hand. That is one rep.

WORKOUT 9

For Time

In 10 minutes, establish:

  • 1 rep max Deadlift

Rest 3 minutes*

*Strip the bar down to 75% of 1RM Deadlift. Penalty of 20 Burpees if not ready after 3 minutes.

Then, 2 Rounds of:

  • 300 metre Slam Ball Run (30/20 lb)
  • 3 Deadlifts (75% of 1RM)
  • 3 Rope Climbs
  • 10 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 10 Kettlebell Swings (70/53 lb)
  • 2 Deadlifts (75% of 1RM)
  • 2 Rope Climbs
  • 10 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 10 Kettlebell Swings (70/53 lb)
  • 1 Deadlift (75% of 1RM)
  • 1 Rope Climb
  • 100 metre Farmer’s Walk (70/53 lb kettlebell & 30/20 lb slam ball)

For the Farmer’s Walk, carry both a kettlebell and a slam ball.

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SLAM BALL WORKOUTS – 10

For Time

Buy-In:

From 0:00-13:00, perform:

  • 54 Back Squats (135/95 lb)
  • 100 metre Sprint*

*Each time you rack/drop the weight, perform the sprint as a penalty.

Rest 2 minutes

Then, 6 Rounds of:

  • 4 Power Cleans (135/95 lb)
  • 8 Strict Wide Grip Pull-Ups
  • 14 Slam Ball Burpees (30/20 lb)
  • 100 metre Sprint

Cash-Out:

  • 30 Deadlifts (135/95 lb)

Section 1 is a 13-minute running clock. If completed before 13 minutes then rest until 13:00 is up. Rest 2 minutes then begin a running clock will be started “for time section.”

SLAM BALL WORKOUTS – 11

3 Rounds for Time

  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Jump Squats
  • 20 V-Ups
  • 20 Mountain Climbers
  • 20 Calf Raises
  • 30 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 1 minute Plank Hold

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 3 rounds.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the 1-minute Plank Hold is completed.

Movement Standard

Jump Squat: This is a variation of the standard Air Squat wherein the athlete jumps at full extension to complete one rep.

SLAM BALL WORKOUTS – 12

For Time

  • 10 Burpees
  • 31 Russian Kettlebell Swings (70/56 lb)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 31 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 31 Push Presses (75/55 lb)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 31 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Burpees
  • 31 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 10 Burpees
  • 31 Dumbbell Snatches (50/35 lb)
  • 1,000 metre Row

SLAM BALL WORKOUTS – 13

For Time

3 Rounds of:

  • 26 Hang Cleans (40/30 kg)
  • 11 Push Presses (40/30 kg)
  • 20 Ball Slams (20/15 kg)

Then, 3 Rounds of:

  • 26 Dumbbell Snatches (22.5/15 kg)
  • 11 Up Downs
  • 20 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)

Finally, 3 Rounds of:

  • 26 Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)
  • 11 Toes-to-Bars
  • 20 calorie Row

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the calorie Row is completed.

Movement Standard

Up Down: This is a variation of the standard Burpee.

Athlete performs a Burpee without bringing the chest to the ground and maintaining the arms fully extended. From the Plank Hold position, stand up to full extension. This counts as one rep.

Intended Stimulus

The main focus is more on muscle endurance, stamina, and cardiovascular endurance. This workout will test your grip and will power to keep moving.

Tips and Strategy

Try to go unbroken on each movement and only break it into 1-2 sets if you have to. Use the transition time as the rest period.

PARTNER WORKOUT 14

4 Rounds for Time (with a Partner)

  • 300 metre Run (together)
  • 30 Power Cleans (30 kg)
  • 30 Burpees
  • 30 calorie Air Bike
  • 30 Air Squats
  • 30 Alternating Lunges
  • 30 calories Air Bike
  • 30 Deadlifts (30 kg)
  • 30 Ball Slams (9/6 kg)
  • 30 calorie Air Bike

Buy-Out:

  • 300 AbMat Sit-Ups

With a running clock, as fast as possible complete the prescribed work in the order written with a partner for 4 rounds.

The prescribed weight for the Deadlifts is 30 kg for both men and women.

Score is the time on the clock when the 300 Sit-Ups are completed.

SLAM BALL WORKOUTS – 15

For Time

Cash-In:

  • 800 metre Kettlebell Run (45/35 lb)
  • 50 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 50 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
  • 1 minute Hang Hold
  • 50 Kettlebell Swings (45/35 lb)
  • 50 Ball Slams (20/14 lb)
  • 200 metre Farmer’s Carry (2×45/25 lb)
  • 1 minute Hang Hold
  • 50 Push Presses (95/65 lb)
  • 50 Hand Release Push-Ups
  • 50 Jumping Pull-Ups
  • 50 Tire Flips (230/160 lb)
  • 200 metre Farmer’s Carry (2×45/35 lb)
  • 1 minute Hang Hold
  • 50 Burpees

Cash-Out:

  • 800 metre Kettlebell Run (45/35 lb)
  • 75 second Hang Hold*

*Penalty for breaking during the 75-second hang hold: perform 75 burpees

For the 1-minute hang holds, athlete may accumulate 1 minute total (break if necessary, but only count time while hanging).

However, for the 75-second hang hold, a 75-burpee penalty is assessed for breaking the hold. Only one penalty will be assessed, even if the athlete breaks multiple times.

For the burpee penalty, perform the burpees after completing the cumulative 75-second hang hold to finish the workout.

Scaling Options

Perform the same workout with a partner in a “you go, I go” format, where one partner works at a time while the other rests. Except on the run: partners perform the kettlebell run together (one partner holds the kettlebell at a time).

PARTNER WORKOUT 16

For Time (with a Partner)

  • 400 metre Run with Deadball (20/15 kg)

Then 5 rounds of:

  • 40 Ball Slams (20/15 kg)
  • 2 Tuck Jumps
  • 40 Pull-Ups
  • 40 Power Cleans (40/60 kg)
  • 40 Push-Ups
  • 40 Shoulder-to-Overhead (40/60 kg)
  • 100 metre Run

Then:

  • 400 metre Run with Deadball (20/15 kg)

Time cap: 60 minutes

With a running clock, break up the work between partners as needed. One partner works while the other rests, except on the run (partners run together; one partner carries the d-ball at a time).

PARTNER WORKOUT 17

AMRAP (with a Partner) in 37 minutes

Partner A:

  • 400 metre Run

Partner B:

  • 10 Box Jump-Overs (24/20 in)
  • 15 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 20 Sit-Ups

Both partners work at the same time.

Partner A runs 400 metres while Partner B does the box jump-overs, ball slams, and sit-ups.

When Partner A returns from the run, Partner B starts the run while Partner A continues where Partner B left off on the box-jump overs/slam balls/sit-ups.

Continue in this manner until time is up. Score is the number of rounds and repetitions of box jumps/ball slams/sit-ups.

PARTNER WORKOUT 18

AMRAP (with a Partner) in 20 minutes

  • 16 Hand Release Push-Ups
  • 16 Deadlifts (155/105 lb)
  • 16 Ball Slams (50/30 lb)
  • 16 Box Jumps (24/20 in)

Partner A performs a 400 metre Run while Partner B completes as many reps as possible, then switch.

On a 20-minute clock, Partner A starts with a 400 metre Run while Partner B performs as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the Push-Ups, Deadlifts, Ball Slams, and Box Jumps.

When Partner A returns from the run, partners switch and Partner B starts the run while Partner A continues the AMRAP where their partner left off.

Score is the cumulative total number of rounds and repetitions completed of the AMRAP portion of the workout before the 20-minute clock stops.

Tips and Strategy

Since your score in the Slam Ball Workout is the number of rounds and reps your team accumulates during the AMRAP, use the 400 metre Run as “active recovery.”

Go at a moderate pace—around 70-75% of your max speed—during the Run. Go harder and faster during the AMRAP—around 85-90% of your max speed.

You can think of this as interval training: You’re “on” during the AMRAP and “off” during the Run.

Intended Stimulus

This WOD should feel like an Interval WOD—only just a little bit worse, since your “rest” is a 400 metre Run.

The AMRAP portion of this workout should feel really tough. You should be excited to take your “break” and go for a Run.

The Deadlifts and Ball Slams should feel relatively light. You should be able to complete mostly large or unbroken sets. And the box height should feel easy—there shouldn’t be any hesitation to jump up on that box.

Enjoy the peer pressure that comes from Partner Workouts—you’ll push much harder when you’ve got someone counting on you.

Scaling Options

Scale the skill (see: Box Jump Scaling | Push-Up Scaling) and/or the load of the Deadlift and/or Ball Slams.

Remember, these movements should feel light and very doable.

If you can’t yet complete big, fast sets, then scale.

Beginner

AMRAP (with a partner) in 20 Minutes

  • 16 Box Push-Ups
  • 16 Deadlifts (135/95 lb)
  • 16 Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • 16 Box Jumps (20/12 in)

Partner A performs a 400 metre Run while Partner B completes as many reps as possible, then switch.

PARTNER WORKOUT 19

Two Parts (with a Partner)

(A) For Time:

  • 1000 metre Row (Partner 2 Jumps Rope*)

*Switch every 500 metres; For each jump rope break both partners rest 15 seconds (mandatory)

(B) AMRAP in 20 minutes of:

  • 50 Partner Med Ball Russian Twists (20 lb)
  • 40 Partner Med Ball Sit-Ups (20 lb)
  • 30 Slam Balls (20 lb)
  • 20 Wall Ball Shots (20 lb)

Use a single medicine ball throughout

For Part A, start the row and jump rope together and switch each 500 metres. If partner jumping rope breaks, rowing partner must put down the rower handle and both partners wait 15 seconds before resuming.

For Part B, use a single medicine ball (or slam ball) throughout.

For the Russian Twists, partners sit back-to-back with feet elevated off the floor and rotate to hand the ball to each other. Each hand off is one rep.

For partner sit-ups, sit facing each other. Partner must touch the ball on the ground behind their head, sit-up, then hand or pass the ball to their partner to complete one rep.

For the slam balls and wall balls, break up the work as needed between partners.

PARTNER WORKOUT 20

For Time (in a Team of 3)

  • Kettlebell Swings (53/35 lb)
  • Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • Air Squats
  • Push-Ups
  • Burpees
  • Pull-Ups
  • Sit-Ups
  • Row (calories)
  • Double-Unders
  • Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
  • Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • Dumbbell Push Press (45/35 lb)

As a team, complete a total of 1776 reps involving all exercises in any order

Multiple partners may work at a time, but everyone must work together on the same movement and move to the next one together.

The only requirements are that the team complete 1,776 total repetitions, with not more than 200 reps of any single movement, and each team member must complete at least 10 reps of each movement.

Score is the time it takes to complete the full workout.

Tips and Strategy

This team workout requires a lot of communication.

As a group, take time to decide how many reps of each movement the team should do. Write down the movement order and the reps clearly so that everyone knows what to do and what movement comes next.

Organise the movements in a way that won’t cause too much burnout in any one area of the body.

For example, don’t put Dumbbell Push Presses, Wall Balls, and Push-Ups (all of which have upper-body pushing requirements) back to back to back—bounce between upper-body movements, lower-body movements, and cardiovascular movements.

Intended Stimulus

This WOD is designed to be fun! It’s a perfect workout to celebrate the 4th of July. Above all, “Team 1776” is about quality teamwork and good communication.

The team has to come together and create their own workout based on their collective strengths and weaknesses.

Since everyone is working at one time, this is not an interval-style team workout – there is no built-in rest. The pace should be strong, but sprinting too fast through this will result in a slower overall time. At the end of this workout, the team should feel accomplished and energized.

Scaling Options

As needed, scale the skill level of the movements so all teammates can move quickly and smoothly through the workout. There should rarely be long rest breaks. Newer athletes: Add a time cap to enjoy the workout without overdoing the volume.

Beginner

For Time (in a Team of 3)

  • Kettlebell Swings (35/26 lb)
  • Box Step-Ups (24/20 in)
  • Air Squats
  • Knee Push-Ups
  • Burpees
  • Ring Rows
  • Sit-Ups
  • Row (calories)
  • Single-Unders
  • Wall Ball Shots (14/10 lb)
  • Ball Slams (20/15 lb)
  • Dumbbell Push Press (25/15 lb)

As a team, complete a total of 1776 reps involving all exercises in any order

Time Cap: 50 minutes

If you enjoyed these Slam Ball Workouts try these Dumbbell Deadlift or Dumbbell Thruster variations.