Med Ball Side Slams

Med Ball Side Slams (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Med Ball Side Slams are a great dynamic core exercise that can add some nice variety to any workout in place of more ‘traditional’ (aka boring) core exercises. Side Slams are a slight variation of the more popular Med Ball Slams that get the obliques more involved.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to properly do Med Ball Side Slams, explain the benefits of adding them to your routine and provide a few alternatives in case you need them.

How To Do Medicine Ball Side Slams

Equipment Needed

  • Medicine Ball

Muscles Worked

  • Abdominals
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Teres Major

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Grab a medicine ball and stand tall with feet roughly shoulder-width apart.
  • Reach the medicine ball high overhead.
  • Using the core, pull the body down – hinging forward at the hips – while simultaneously rotating to one side.
  • Follow through with the arms and release the ball. The ball should hit the ground just to the outside of the feet.
  • Let the ball slam into the ground, catch it off the bounce and repeat (alternating back and forth to each side) for the designated number of reps.

Coaching Points

First and foremost, test how ‘bouncy’ your medicine ball is before starting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen athletes almost have their face smashed by a medicine ball bouncing much harder and rebounding much faster off the ground than they were anticipating.

The biggest mistake I see with Med Ball Side Slams is athletes not utilizing the core and simply throwing the ball down with their arms. The bulk of the force should be generated by aggressively using the core to hinge forward. If done correctly, it should almost (and actually might) lift your feet up off the floor.

Benefits of Med Ball Side Slams

Although there are countless core exercises, Med Ball Side Slams are one of the only dynamic movements that truly focus on the core. Think of them as an Olympic lift for the core. Dynamic and explosive.

Great for athletes and really anyone that wants to add more functionality to their core training.

Med Ball Side Slam Alternatives and Variations

If you’re not able to do Med Ball Side Slams, for whatever reason, or you’re just wanting to change up your routine a bit – here are a few alternatives you can try.

Med Ball Slams

Med Ball Slams

As I mentioned at the start of this guide, Med Ball Slams are the more well-known variation to Med Ball Side Slams. I’ll often incorporate both into my programming, many times one right after the other.

Instead of rotating to the side, Med Ball Slams call for you to hinge directly forward and throw the ball into the ground right in front of you. Again, be careful not to get caught off guard by the ball bouncing hard off the ground.

Med Ball Side Toss

Med Ball Side Toss
Photo Credit (Srdjan Randjelovic /

Med Ball Side Toss is another great dynamic core exercise using a medicine ball. Grab a partner (or a sturdy wall) and throw the ball back and forth by rotating completely through the core. It’s somewhat similar to swinging a baseball bat.


If you don’t have a medicine ball, V-Ups are about the closest core exercise that mimics the dynamic effort involved in a Med Ball Slam.

Lay on your back with arms and legs both outstretched. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs and have them meet directly over the stomach. Lower arms and legs down to six inches off the ground and repeat.

More Links and Info

Need a Medicine Ball?

If you’re in the market for a medicine ball, I did a cost comparison for all different types of med balls that may be worth checking out.

Finally, if you’d like to see more step-by-step instructions for Core Exercises, I have a growing Exercise Library that you can check out – all for free.


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