Wall ball exercises are a great way to add simultaneous strengthening and metabolic conditioning exercises to your fitness routine.
Plus, doing a wall ball workout can add variety to your training, help release pent-up stress and frustration, increase your heart rate, boost your caloric expenditure, and improve functional strength in key movement patterns.
But, what are the best wall ball exercises? How do you structure wall ball workouts?
In this article, we will discuss what wall balls are, how to use a wall ball, and give you a great wall ball workout with the best wall ball exercises:
- Wall Ball Chest Passes
- Wall Ball Forward Throws
- Wall Ball Squat Throws
- Lateral Shuffle Wall Ball Thrusts
- Split Squat Rotational Wall Ball Tosses
- Crunch Wall Ball Throws
Let’s dive in!
What Are Wall Balls?
Many people are unfamiliar with wall balls.
Wall balls are weighted medicine balls that are designed to be thrown against a wall.
Some people perform wall balls exercises with standard medicine balls, although there are also specific wall balls that have a more durable or textured exterior to withstand being thrust against a wall of any material while still bouncing back.
Additionally, the best wall balls usually have handles or a grippy exterior to make it easier to catch them during high-velocity rebound bounces from the wall.
How to Use a Wall Ball
Performing a wall ball workout will require using a wall ball or a medicine ball that can safely be thrown against a wall or other hard upright surface.
Wall balls and medicine balls come in a variety of weights, and most of the best wall balls workouts will likely include wall ball exercises that might require using wall balls of different weights.
However, you can still get a good wall ball workout with one moderately-weighted wall ball.Generally, a wall ball is in the range of 3 to 5 kilograms or 5 to 12 pounds, depending on your fitness level and the specific wall ball exercises you intend to do.
If your primary goal is to improve speed, choose a lighter weight, and if your focus is on increasing strength and power, choose a heavier wall ball, as long as you can safely handle the weight.
How to use a wall ball will depend on the particular wall ball exercise that you are performing.
With that said, you will usually hold the ball with both hands and thrust it at the wall while simultaneously performing some type of exercise or movement such as a walk, trunk rotation, crunch, lunge, or side shuffle.
In this way, the best wall ball workouts provide a high-intensity, dynamic, cardiovascular, metabolic, and strengthening workout that can target all of the major muscles in your body.
The Ultimate Wall Ball Workout
Here are some of the best wall ball exercises for a dynamic, total-body workout:
#1: Wall Ball Chest Passes
This is a great beginner wall ball exercise because the movement is much less dynamic, so you can just get comfortable using the wall ball without adding more steps to the equation.
Plus, it is still an effective wall ball exercise for your shoulders, chest muscles, and arms.
Here are the steps to perform this wall ball exercise:
- Stand 3 to 5 feet away from the wall, depending on your strength, fitness level, and comfort with how to use a wall ball.
- Hold the wall ball in both hands at chest height with your elbows tucked into your sides.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart with a soft bend in your knees.
- Press through your heels, and engage your core and glutes as you explosively and forcefully toss the wall ball into the wall.
- Catch the rebound and allow the ball to come inward towards your chest as you prepare to throw it back at the wall for the next rep.
- Toss the ball back to the wall as quickly and explosively as possible.
#2: Wall Ball Forward Throws
As you get stronger and more comfortable with how to use a wall ball, you can progress the chest pass exercise to be more of a dynamic movement.
- Basically, you will do the same setup, but start about one foot further back from the wall than with the basic chest pass wall ball exercise and hold the ball up above your head.
- When you go to throw the ball at the wall, hinge at the hips, leaning your entire torso towards the wall as you release the ball.
- Keep your core tight and your back straight so that you are just leaning into the wall from your hips and not rounding or bending your back.
- Catch the ball and use your muscles to help slow down the momentum of the rebound before snapping back forward and explosively throwing the ball back at the wall.
- Continue for as many reps as you would like.
#3: Wall Ball Squat Throws
This is a great lower-body wall ball exercise.
Here is how to perform this wall ball exercise:
- Hold the wall ball in both hands at chest height and face the wall. Tuck your elbows in at your side.
- Step back so that your feet are about 3 feet from the wall, and place them slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Engage your core muscles as you squat down, sitting your hips back as far as possible as if reaching your butt back into a chair.
- Descend as low as you can go while maintaining good form with a straight spine and tight core.
- As you press through your heel to explode back upright, thrust the ball as hard as you can up to the wall about 8 feet above the floor.
- Catch the ball as it rebounds off the wall and seamlessly transition back down into your next squat rep before repeating again.
#4: Lateral Shuffle Wall Ball Thrusts
One of the best exercises to include in your wall balls workout is the wall ball toss with a lateral shuffle.
We tend to focus on exercises that move in the sagittal plane, meaning that our legs are flexing and extending and moving forward and backward (walking, running, lunging, biceps curls, etc.).
However, it is also really important to do lateral training (movements in the frontal plane) in your workouts because it helps strengthen your hips in a different direction.
This can help improve functional strength and decrease the risk of injuries that might otherwise occur due to muscle imbalances in the hip flexors and extensors versus abductors and adductors.
This exercise incorporates a lateral shuffle with the wall ball toss, activating your chest, upper back, shoulders, oblique muscles in the core, and the hip abductors such as gluteus medius.
Here is how to perform this exercise:
- Hold the ball in both hands and assume the same stance as the chest pass exercise described above. However, start about 12-15 feet away from the wall and turn your body so that you are at a 90° angle to the wall, with one shoulder facing the wall and the other shoulder facing the opposite wall of the room.
- Rapidly perform a lateral shuffle toward the wall.
- When you get about 3 to 5 feet from the wall, thrust the ball at the wall by engaging your obliques, glutes, and other core muscles to rotate your trunk and upper body to toss the ball to the wall while you stay perpendicular to the wall.
- Catch the ball and then shuffle back outward until you are about 15 feet away from the wall, and then power back towards the wall with your lateral shuffle for the next rep.
- Perform 10 to 20 reps and then switch directions so that the opposite shoulder is now facing the wall.
#5: Split Squat Rotational Wall Ball Tosses
This is one of the best wall ball exercises because it works nearly every major muscle in your body while also challenging your balance and providing a cardio boost.
You will have to hold an isometric contraction in your lunge position, which will get your quads and glutes on fire while your torso and arms are dynamically moving, challenging your stability and core strength.
Here are the steps to perform this wall ball exercise:
- Hold the ball at chest height with your elbows tucked in towards your sides.
- Step about 3 feet away from the wall and turn your body sideways so that your right shoulder faces the wall and your body is parallel to the wall.
- Drop down into a split squat position, bending each knee 90° until your front thigh (left leg) is parallel to the floor and your back knee (right leg) is nearly touching the floor behind you.
- Straighten your arms so that the ball is extended out at chess height. Then, sweep your arms towards your outer hip, moving in a downward arc while still keeping your arms completely straight.
- Engage your core and obliques to forcefully rotate your torso only, keeping your static lunge position planted while you bring your arms up and towards the wall, releasing the ball with a forceful toss.
- Catch the ball on the rebound and allow the momentum to guide your arms in the arc back toward your opposite hip. Keep your core and glutes engaged the entire time.
- Complete 15 to 20 rapid reps, moving as forcefully as you can, and then switch sides.
#6: Crunch Wall Ball Throws
To strengthen your core and shoulders, try this wall ball exercise.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor hip-width apart with the medicine ball straight up overhead behind you.
- Contract your abs, so your lower back firmly presses into the ground.
- Exhale, contracting your abs to lift your shoulders and chest off the ground while throwing the medicine ball as forcefully as possible against the wall.
- Catch the rebound, and then use your abs to resist the momentum of gravity to lower your body back down with control.
- Repeat 20-25 times.
For other dynamic exercises, check out our kettlebell workout guide.