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When it comes to getting the best possible workout experience, slam balls offer a great opportunity. With the increasing popularity of Crossfit, more and more people are learning about the benefits of these weighted balls. Whether you’re planning to workout from home or supply your gym with better equipment, we’re here to help you discover the best slam balls on the market.
Time is always of the essence, so if you’re in a rush, please see one of the best brands below. Rogue Fitness specializes in Crossfit equipment, and they never skimp in the quality department.
Pictured above is a Rogue MK D slam ball. They come in weights from 14 to 150 pounds.
- Weights up to 150 lbs (~70kg)!
- Always a 14-inch diameter
- Durable Rubber Construction
- Made in the USA
- Great for Home Workouts
How Slam Balls Are Used
Slam balls are a versatile piece of equipment at a fairly inexpensive price point. You can use them to perform explosive movements like the overhead slam, and even for resistance movements like the squat and overhead press. CrossFit athletes will benefit from using these balls because they offer a nice blend of endurance and resistance training.
Common Exercises Include:
Overhead Slams: It’s no surprise that the most common use for a slam ball is to slam it. This movement can improve your cardiovascular endurance while also working your entire upper body. Specifically, slam exercises are great for the shoulders, triceps, back, and core if done with proper form. You’ll sometimes hear these referred to as med ball slams, and they’re basically the same thing.
Squat Thrusts: Slam balls allow you to get into a deep squat that is similar to a goblet squat. The biggest game-changer, however, is that you can safely thrust the ball at the top of your squat to incorporate more muscle groups. You will mainly work your quads, glutes, shoulders, and triceps performing this movement.
Russian Twists: I’m a huge fan of using a slam ball for Russian twists as opposed to a plate. I prefer slam balls simply because you can go heavier as opposed to using a plate. The rounded design and set diameter of a slam ball allow you to cradle the ball when you’re twisting. When you opt to use weights above 45 pounds, it just makes more sense to use a ball rather than a large weight plate.
This list of exercises only scratches the surface of what’s possible with slam balls. They are truly a great piece of equipment for functional and resistance training.
Differences Between Balls
It’s important to know the difference between slam, medicine, and wall balls. Believe it or not, each of these three balls has its own unique purpose. Despite looking the same in form, there are exercises that should only be done with slam balls, and the same goes for medicine and wall balls. Let’s take a look at the key similarities and differences.
- To start, each type of ball can be purchased in various weights. According to Dick’s Sporting Goods, it’s common to find all three types of balls in weights up to 50 pounds.
- Another key similarity is that each type of ball offers different grips. It’s common to see smooth finishes as well as textured finishes, and what you choose is solely based on personal preference.
- Slam balls are specifically made to be durable and are often coated with a thick rubber shell. Unlike medicine balls, the construction prevents these balls from bouncing or breaking when slammed on a hard surface.
- Wall balls are constructed so that they will not damage the wall they’re being thrown at. They are usually lighter and made with a softer finish than slam and medicine balls. More often than not, these balls are constructed with a larger diameter to limit the velocity that you can throw them.
- Medicine balls are very similar to slam balls, but they are often bouncier. They do not have the same thick, rubber coating that is characteristic of slam balls. Med balls usually have a wider variety of grips, and some of them may offer handles. You will frequently see these used in physical therapy.
Best Slam Ball Brands
I’ve reviewed Yes4All products before, and they always seem to make their way back to me. The brand manages to put out quality equipment at a reasonable price. Although not necessarily a household name, Yes4All is developing into a sort of Amazon powerhouse. Their slam balls reflect the brand’s overall popularity with 4.7/5 stars and over 5700 reviews.
The key features for this product are the grip, the many colorways, and a maximum weight of 40 pounds.
The AmazonBasics brand makes a lot of stuff, and slam balls have a spot on that long list. If you’re looking for a bare minimum model, this is probably your best bet. These slam balls are not of the greatest quality, but they certainly do their job. They have a slightly textured finish but are not as grippy as other options.
More than anything, AmazonBasics makes a slam ball that is great for people on a budget. They come in weights up to 35 pounds but only come in a black color.
TRX Training Slam Ball:
TRX is widely known for its suspension trainers, but they make a wide array of CrossFit and functional training equipment. TRX training slam balls are one of my top picks because of their high-quality construction. The grip on these balls is unparalleled, and the thick rubber shell allows them to take a beating.
This product comes in weights up to 40 pounds and is a fantastic option for both commercial and home gyms. Buying this product also gives you unlimited access to the TRX training club fitness app.
Slam Ball Only Workout
It’s definitely possible to get a good workout in with only a slam ball. Feel free to reference the following template below if you’re looking to challenge yourself with just this one piece of equipment.
Overhead Slams: 3 sets of 15 reps
Slam Ball Push-Ups: 3 sets of 15-20 reps. When doing these, make sure to keep your wrists neutral and your shoulders stacked over your wrists. These help you work on stability while performing a standard incline push-up.
Squat Thrusts: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Russian Twists: 3 sets of 25 reps
Weighted Crunches: 3 sets of 25 reps
Slam balls are a wonderful piece of equipment to own, whether it be for CrossFit or general exercise. They allow you to incorporate explosive and resistance training into a single session. There are plenty of slam balls on the market, but it’s important to select one that will withstand abuse. Ideally, this implies a thick rubber coating paired with a sand-filled inner.
Throughout this article, I’ve provided you with some fantastic options. If you’re looking for the highest quality with the most weight options, I highly suggest Rogue Fitness. There are also several budget options such as Yes4All and AmazonBasics. Regardless of your expectations or budget, you should have no problem finding the right slam ball for you.