There aren’t very many people who ever say “I love wall-balls!” Even tall people, who have a much easier time with the exercise, don’t seem to like it much.
(For those of you not in the know, here’s a wall-ball demonstration video.)
There are three ways to make wall-balls much easier, the third of which I just discovered recently. It allowed me to do many more in a row and I even felt like I was catching my wind in some ways, although my legs were still getting tired out. Here are my tips:
- Bring the ball down no lower than the front rack position. Sometimes when you catch the ball, especially when you’re tired, you might be tempted to let the ball fall down to your chest or stomach. No! Bad! Think about it; that’s an extra foot or so you have to move the ball each rep. What a waste!
- If you can handle it, bounce at the bottom off your own springy legs. Instead of using the strength of your contracted muscles to slow yourself down to a halt and then lift yourself back up, do what the Oly lifters do on their cleans and bounce at the very bottom of your squat. Then it will be the stretch of your own muscles bouncing you back, sort of like bouncing on a trampoline or slack line.
- Take a deep diaphragm breath as you extend. As you are fully extending to heave away the medicine ball, take a really deep breath. Your chest will be too tense from the extension of your arms overhead, so you’ll have to suck the air into the bottom of your lungs, like under your abs. If you do it right you should feel a nice diaphragm stretch and you’ll feel a flood of oxygen. Also, take as many breaths as needed during the rest of the rep, but make sure to always take a deep one as you extend.
I think the main reason wall-balls are so difficult for people is because their lungs are squished and they run out of air. Keep your oxygen up by proper breathing and you should be able to last a lot longer!