If you ask me, I would have to say that wallball is simply THE most fun someone can have standing up. It trains strength, accuracy, power, and so much more, and yet it is so simple! At the same time, it is only simple and fun if done correctly. There are a few common faults we see at the gym, and any one of them can turn this fabulous CrossFit movement into a laborious chore.
1. Not getting deep enough when squatting. First and foremost, if you don’t get deep enough, it simply doesn’t count as a rep. One rep of wallball consists of moving the ball from the BOTTOM of the squat to a target 10 ft (for males) or 9 ft (for females) on the wall. That means getting the crease of the hip below the knee. Also, however, is the fact that if you don’t squat deep enough, you won’t get as much momentum upward when tossing the ball, thus making your shoulders (which are less strong than your legs) make up the deficit.
2. Not thrusting at the top of the squat to assist with the throw. If you simply squat with the ball, then throw it to the target, you are making it quite hard on yourself. As you approach the top of the squat, you should think of violently extending the hip to generate a final BOOM of momentum upward, essentially allowing your hands to simply guide the ball upward. You may even jump a little bit. That’s ok, I do it frequently and I promise no one will call the cops on you. Again, your shoulders will have to work so much harder and tire much quicker if you fail to generate this jumping momentum. If you have thrusters in your program, the same idea applies.
3. Favouring one arm on the toss. CrossFit does recommend that you take up and learn new sports on a regular basis. Perhaps you have taken up basketball. Great, but you’re not LeBron James and definitely not when doing wallball. For whatever reason, whether it be basketball training or simply favouring the dominant hand, you may find yourself using one arm to push the wallball up to the target. Again, this is inefficient and will cause you to tire quicker, thus decreasing your work capacity. After getting that final thrust or jump out of the squat as I said, be sure to guide the ball to the target with BOTH hands.
Like every CrossFit movement, proper form is the key to maximising efficiency and thus allowing your body to complete more work in less time. Put another way, it allows your body to become fitter. You may even have some fun in the process.