Medicine Ball Slams: Why they’re Overrated & 2 Better Exercises

Medicine Ball Slams have become a very popular exercise in the fitness training realm…

 However, at Performance U we teach & train by what’s effective, not by what’s in fashion.

Although we don’t feel Medicine Ball slams are a “bad” exercise – Nor do we believe they’re dangerous – We DO believe they’re highly overrated and one of the most overused exercises by personal trainers and exercise enthusiasts.

Additionally, we feel they’re better (i.e. more effective and efficient) exercise options available.

Why we Don’t use Medicine Ball Slams to Improve Total-Body Power. And, the Med Ball Exercise Alternative We Use Instead.

The video below reveals why we feel Medicine Ball Slams have very limited (potential) benefits for improving total-body power (i.e. force summation). And, it also displays the medicine ball exercise variation we use instead of Slams to improve power in that type of movement pattern.

The Exercise Alternative we like better than Medicine Ball Slams for Metabolic (Circuit) Training.

As stated above, we’re not “against” medicine ball slams. In fact, we may use them as a part of a metabolic circuit type training scenario, like this medicine ball complex protocol displayed in the video below.

However, if our training environment gives us access to (Battling) Ropes, we’ll choose Rope Slams over Medicine balls slams (in a metabolic circuit training scenario) because we’ve found the ropes gives us more bang for our personal training buck. In that, the ropes also require us to drive the rope back up (toward the sky), which is given for free when doing med ball slams because ball bounces back up (when using a rubber medicine ball).

 Even if you’re using a medicine ball that doesn’t bounce much (like a Dynamax), you can crank out many more reps of Rope Slams than you can when doing Medicine Ball Slams because you don’t have to catch anything. And, more reps (i.e. more work) is what we’re looking for in our Metabolic training scenarios.

In other words, the transitions between the lifting and slamming action are much smoother and quicker when slamming the Ropes vs. when slamming (a non-rubber) Medicine Ball.

This video (below) displays how we use Rope Slams (at 37 seconds in). Keep in mind our goal when doing Rope Slams is NOT to make “waves” in the rope – The goal is to SLAM the rope down (to the ground) as hard as possible.

Additional Personal Trainer Notes:

– The folks at Dynamax Medicine Balls recommend (if you do want to use their Med Balls for slams) that you slam the ball onto a thick (1 inch +) matt/pad.


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