Yes, You Can Tone Your Entire Body With This One Simple Move
Medicine-ball slams achieve what few other exercises do: they’ll tone your entire body, up your heart rate and feel as therapeutic as screaming into a pillow. While the latter is self-explanatory, there’s science behind why you always feel so winded when you’re just slamming a ball on the ground: you’re using your inner Hulk-like power to chuck the ball as hard as you can. “This multi-joint exercise is a dynamic way to build full-body explosiveness,” explains muscle physiologist Tayla Faulmann.
Not feeling out of breath? You’re not doing it right. “Because it’s a power-based exercise, it’s important to ensure maximum force generation for each rep, which is why reps are kept low,” says Faulmann. Boxing trainer Sanchia du Preez agrees. “You’re not meant to go as heavy as you can. The aim of this exercise is to move as quickly and violently as possible,” she says.
Tone Your Whole Body Like This…
Just because your arms are doing the throwing doesn’t mean the rest of you isn’t working as hard. As you move up and down, you’re recruiting your butt, abs, thighs and back to help. If it’s your first time, start with a 5kg ball and slowly progress to a heavier ball – but don’t exceed 10 kilos, says du Preez. Try to bang out three sets of 10 throws.
Make this move work even harder with these kilojoule-busting variations…
Throw To Burpee
This combines two explosive moves into one, so you get a double cardio kick. – Sanchia du Preez, boxing trainer (pictured)
Try throwing the ball against a wall to recruit your obliques and test your agility. – Tayla Faulmann, muscle Physiologist
Signs You’re Doing It Wrong
You’re not putting in the effort. “You have to slam the ball into the floor with as much force as possible. If not, you aren’t getting the training effect it’s meant to give you,” says du Preez.
You’re not squatting. “As you slam, bend your knees into a squat, dropping your heels,” says du Preez. Not doing this puts your back at risk, since you’re lifting a load.
You’re not using your whole body. “While only your arms are physically handling the ball, your legs, core and back are vital in executing the move effectively,” says Faulmann.