Med Ball Slams

Medicine Ball Slams (How To, Benefits, Muscles Worked)

Med Ball 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.

In this guide I’m going to show you how to properly do Med Ball Slams, explain it’s benefits and provide a few alternatives in case you need them.

How To Do Med Ball Slams

Equipment Needed

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.
  • Follow through with the arms and release the ball.
  • Let the ball slam into the ground, catch it off the bounce and repeat 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 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 Slams

Stack of Dynamax Med Balls

Although there are countless core exercises, Med Ball Slams is one of the only dynamic movements that truly focuses 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.

Medicine Ball Slam Alternatives and Variations

If you’re not able to do Med Ball Slams, for whatever reason, or you’re just wanting to change up your routine a bit – here are a few alternatives you can try. Want even more options? Here are my 10 favorite Medicine Ball Slam alternatives.

Med Ball Side Slams

Side Slams are a slight variation to Med Ball Slams and I’ll often incorporate both into my programming, many times one right after the other.

Instead of slamming the ball directly in front of you, twist to one side as you hinge and slam the ball into the ground beside you. Alternate from one side to the other until all reps are completed.

Med Ball Situp and Throw

If you have a partner, Med Ball Situp and Throws are a great alternative to Med Ball Slams. (If you don’t have a partner you can use a solid wall instead)

Lay on your back as you would for situps. Reach the ball overhead, situp with as much force as you can and then launch the ball to your partner. When timed up correctly you can put some good distance on the throw.


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.

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.


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