I love to hate my Wall Ball Workout
Cross training is important for runners. It can help prevent injuries, increase running efficiency, enhance motivation and improve endurance. But what are some of the best exercises? I wrote before about AirFit, which is great for strengthening your core. Another one of my favorite cross-training exercises is “wall balls.”
Actually, I love to hate wall balls.
I hate them because they are so freakin’ hard and they make my legs feel like Jell-O, but I love them because they work.
Here are three reasons you should give wall balls a try:
1. Upper and lower body blast
Wall balls work your work your upper and lower body at the same time. which ramps up the cardio burn. According to 12-minute athlete (2013) wall balls work 11 different muscles in your body. The 11 muscles include the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, triceps, biceps, deltoids, chest, back, abs and lower back.
- Cardio and Strength
Wall balls are both tough for your cardiovascular system, giving your lungs and heart a workout, but they also require strength. Add these together and you have a dynamic exercise that will boost your endurance.
- Functional exercise
Wall balls are a functional exercise, meaning that the exercise will help you in everyday movements. Think about how you often need to reach above your head, squat to pick something up and use multiple joints at the same time. Wall balls enhance all of these areas, meaning you will be more efficient in everyday life.
How to do them?
I’ve posted a snipped of a video from my wall ball workout. I use a 14-lb. wall ball and I do 300 reps. I spilt it out into three sets of 100, doing wall balls in between weight sets. My daughter helps count my reps!
How to perform the exercise:
- Start with a wall ball that is a comfortable weight for you.
- Approach the wall and to ensure you are the proper distance from the wall, hold the wall ball out in front of you at chest height with straight arms until the ball touches the wall.
- Once you are in position, hold the ball on either side and hold it at chest height.
- Drop into a full squat. Keep your shoulders back, chest high and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Explode to standing position and using the momentum to through the ball towards a target on the wall.
- Catch the ball as it comes off the wall and immediately squat back down. Repeat.
I had to work up to 300 reps, so choose a quantity that feels good to you and set a goal to increase your reps over time.
Do you like wall balls? How often do you do them?