Slam balls are a great way to add some extra intensity to your workouts, and they’re perfect for a wide range of exercises. But finding the right slam ball can be tricky – I know from experience! After trying out a few different ones, I finally found one that I love. In this article, I’ll share what I learned about choosing the right size slam ball.
So what size slam balls do you need?
When it comes to finding the right size slam ball, there are two things you need to take into account: your fitness levels and how strong you are. In general, women should use a slam ball that weighs between 10 and 25 lbs, while men should use one that weighs between 20 and 40 lbs. If you’re just starting out or you’re still relatively weak, a 10 lb slam ball is a good place to start.
Are slam balls worth it?
Slam balls, also known as medicine balls, are definitely worth the investment.
There are many benefits to weighted ball exercises, including their ability to improve strength, tone muscles, burn fat and improve neuromuscular coordination.
Medicine ball exercises are very common in gyms and can be used for HIIT or core exercises.
What Weight Slam Ball Should You Use?
The weight of the exercise or slam ball you use in your home gym will depend on your current fitness levels, goals, and body size. That being said, a good slam ball weight looks like this:
If you are new to slam ball/ medicine ball training, smaller slam balls up to 10 lbs are recommended. So, you can choose between slam balls weighing 4, 6, 8, and 10 lbs.
Working with a lighter slam ball will help you get familiar with moves such as a medicine ball squat and explosive exercises.
Once you are comfortable with those, you can progress to heavier balls.
Medicine balls are extremely versatile for women who love functional training, but choosing the right one is crucial.
Ideally, an exercise ball between 10 and 25 lbs is enough to get enough resistance for explosive power exercises.
However, consider your strength and fitness levels before selecting a slam ball.
Beginners work better with a lighter weight medicine ball, but experts can go ahead with a heavier weight without any problem.
The right size medicine ball for men is between 20 to 40 lbs, but this largely depends on your fitness levels, as I mentioned before.
Even for men, medicine ball workouts are best done with lower weights until you get used to the range of motion.
For experts accustomed to dynamic movements and explosive power exercises, heavier balls up to 35 lbs can provide a good amount of resistance.
Kids exploring the advantages of medicine ball training can benefit greatly from a lighter ball weighing between 1 and 2 lbs.
Teenagers can experiment with a med ball between 4 and 6 lbs, so they get used to it and develop good form.
Make sure slam balls are the right size
Choosing the right medicine ball is crucial regardless of your fitness level or gender. Getting enough resistance is important to work the whole body effectively.
Exercises with slam balls require a good form to perform functional movements without risking injury. Excessive resistance with heavy balls can also restrict your movements, preventing you from getting enough reps.
How to choose the right slam ball for your training
When choosing the right slam ball size and weight, how you want to train is also a consideration.
The right-size medicine ball will give you the resistance you need to target multiple muscle groups.
Weights ranging from 4 to 8 lbs are ideal for speed training. Medicine balls this size hit a sweet spot for the right resistance, so you can easily accelerate or decelerate. In speed training, you need quick reaction time for shuffles, twists, throws, and passes.
A medicine ball of the size mentioned earlier would allow for better control and a firmer grip. At the same time, the weight of this ball won’t slow you down during your training.
Medicine balls between 8 and 12 lbs are a perfect size if you are interested in core training. A heavier slam ball will give you the weight and the resistance for core exercises such as Russian twists and V-ups for ribbed abdominal muscles.
But consider a lighter ball between 4 and 8 lbs if your core muscles are not used to exercising. For an absolute beginner, you might not require a med ball as you can leverage your body weight for your exercises.
Full body workout
4 to 10-lb medicine balls are recommended for full-body workouts, whether you work out at home or a local gym. Incorporating medicine balls into your exercises is a fantastic way to encourage muscle growth, lose fat, and effectively tone your whole body.
Choose a slam ball relative to your needs depending on your body weight and size. You don’t want a medicine ball that is too heavy to tire you quickly or too light to provide enough resistance.
Squats & lower body workout
Go for a heavier ball, between 20 to 30 lbs, for squats and lower body workouts. Using a heavier medicine ball for this type of exercise can be a game changer for explosive strength as they are even more effective than a kettlebell or a dumbbell.
However, consider going lighter if the medicine ball feels too heavy while squatting. A lighter ball will help you clock in more reps which will have an incremental effect in toning your lower muscles.
The weight of the medicine balls for Crossfit training depends largely on your needs and your strength level, so the lb increment is quite flexible.
Beginners to Crossfit training can start with lighter weights, such as 4 and 6 lbs; as they gain strength, they can move up to 40 or 50 lbs.
What are the benefits of using a slam ball?
There are several advantages to using a slam ball, including:
- Building balance: Working out with a slam ball is an excellent way to build balance and coordination. Most exercises involving medicine balls require you to be in a squat position with your feet spread more than the hip width, which engages your core to the max. Not only does this target your abdominal muscles, but it also improves your balance since the core muscles play a vital role.
- Improving mobility: Passing, twisting, and catching a medicine ball involves functional movements instrumental in improving mobility. A medicine ball is a great tool for performing several exercises, such as overhead presses, lunges, squats, and lateral steps, which can improve mobility and flexibility.
This is also why slam balls are used in rehabilitation centers, where it has helped patients recover from injuries. As we age, mobility is a huge factor that needs a lot of attention, and using a slam ball is a step in the right direction.
- Improving overall strength: Power moves while using a slam ball are common and involve major muscles in the body. You increase your overall strength from the back to the shoulder, the core to the glutes, and finally, the hands and leg muscles.
- Improving performance: Many athletes include slam balls into their exercise routine because of their numerous benefits. Regular slam ball exercises build strength, absorb and redirect force, and improve explosiveness. These elements are invaluable in sports like golf, boxing, and baseball.
When is the ideal time to switch to a bigger slam ball?
Switching to a bigger slam ball will be necessary if you are consistent with your exercises.
Once you feel that the current weight of the medicine ball is too light or does not provide the right resistance, it is time to upgrade to a bigger slam ball.
It is important to upgrade your slam balls steadily and progressively. Ideally, you want to use one slam ball for at least two weeks before you think of going bigger.
Also, switching to a bigger ball is not always the goal; if a heavier ball feels too much, don’t hesitate to go for a lighter one.
Which is the best type of slam ball to use: rubber or leather?
Both rubber and leather slam balls have pros and cons, so it comes down to personal choice.
A rubber medicine ball has the advantage of a better grip, ease of maintenance, and affordability. In addition, slam balls made of rubber are also easily available and in different sizes, so you can find them easily.
The drawback of a rubber medicine ball is that it may not be great in terms of longevity.
Leather medicine balls often have hand-stitched panels, so they are exceptional in terms of grip and longevity. A medicine ball made of leather also has a better and more personalized appearance.
However, a leather medicine ball can require a lot of maintenance and carries a premium price tag.
The bottom line is the material of the medicine ball should not be a deal breaker as long as you get a great grip and it is relatively durable.