In what is now my second consecutive post involving balls, I want to discuss one of my favourite new exercises we’ve incorporated at Ignite – SLAMBALL. No, it’s not basketball involving a trampoline (although it would be awesome if we had those facilities too). Rather, it involves picking up one of the many navy blue “dead balls” we have, and starting with the ball from slightly behind the head, slamming it into the ground aggressively with both hands. Sounds easy, right? Well, in reality you will normally need to complete more than one slamball in a given workout, so you’ll have to pick the ball back up and do it again. That’s when I’ve seen things get a bit dicey.
Now you may say, Lord Jeebus there is so much wrong with that photo! But I disagree. The only thing wrong with this photo is the way the ball is being picked up. The high bum and rounded back and shoulders simply are not the way to pick anything up off the ground. I don’t care whether it is a 3kg slamball, your kid, someone else’s kid, a cockroach, or a tractor. Contrast the above with the photo below:
Again, you may say, there is so much that is oh-so-right about this photo! But again, I disagree. What is right about this photo is the flat back, which is achieved by pulling the shoulders back as much as possible and keeping the bum low. When you go to pick up the slamball, you should essentially feel like you’re squatting down to meet the ball rather than leaning over to pick it up. Once you’ve squatted down to get the ball, jump up out of the squat as fast as you can, get the slamball overhead, and slam it down for the next rep!
That last bit is worth repeating: SLAM IT DOWN! The balls are “dead” such that they don’t bounce at all if you merely drop them. Get some force behind it and it will bounce up just enough so you can catch it if you squat down properly to meet it on its way up. Make it a goal to catch each rep on the bounce. More force equals more fun anyway!