How To Do Medicine Ball Slams – Muscles It Works & Benefits

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT
Written by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Medicine ball slam is a robust and dynamic exercise that works the abs, hips, thighs, calves, shoulders, back, and arm muscles. It burns some serious calories and is great for developing strength, endurance, and power. Read on to know how to do medicine ball slams correctly and the health benefits it provides. Scroll down!

How To Do Medicine Ball Slams

On the surface, medicine ball slams may look easy. But doing them incorrectly can cause muscle pull and pain. To avoid that, here’s a step by step guide on how to do medicine ball slams:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold a 4-6 pound medicine ball in your hand.
  • Lift the medicinal ball overhead with your arms extended.
  • Look straight ahead and inhale.
  • Bend forward at the waist and use your core muscles to throw the ball down in front of your feet with as much force as possible. Contract the abdomen effectively and exhale while doing the exercise.
  • Let the arms follow through the movement to prevent falling.
  • In the end, the heels should be on the floor and knees slightly bent.
  • If it is a bouncy ball, let the ball bounce back, and you catch it. If the ball does not bounce, then keep your abdomen contracted and pick up the ball.
  • Lift the ball back to the starting position, inhale, and slam!

Note: Do not bend forward completely to life the ball while performing this exercise. Squat and lift the ball to prevent injury to the lower spine.

As you do this exercise, you activate and work the following muscles:

Which Muscles Medicine Ball Slam Works?

Medicine ball slams work the abs, deltoids (shoulders), biceps and triceps (arms), lats (upper back), glutes (hips), quads, hamstrings, and calves (legs). It is basically a full-body workout and has many benefits. Let’s take a quick look at what those benefits are. 

What Are The Benefits Of Medicine Ball Slam Workout?

The medicine ball slam is done for developing power, strength, and speed. It works best for triceps, abdomen, shoulders, calves, back, glutes, quads, etc. This exercise increases heartbeat and burns a good number of calories. 

  • It burns calories.
  • It is a full-body exercise (1).
  • Improves stamina and muscle power (2).
  • Have shown to improve cardiometabolic stimulus in children (1).
  • It is great for strength training (3).
  • Improves functional fitness (4).
  • Improves eye and body coordination.
  • Burns fat but retains lean muscle.
  • Improves full-body muscle tone.
  • Improves sports performance.

But before you pick up a medicine ball and start working out, you must know that there are various types of medicine balls. Here’s a list and the kind of med ball you need for various functions. 

What Kind Of Medicine Ball Do You Need?

Medicine balls come in various sizes and weights (2-50 pounds or 5-20 pounds). Medicine balls that are heavier are designed to be slammed; they don’t bounce and have a rubber surface to absorb the throwing impact. These balls are great for overhead slams, chest pass, squat throws, lateral throws, med ball plank, med ball push-ups, and board jump to pass.

The lighter medicine balls are designed for ball throws and have a rough or zig-zag surface for better grip. They also vary in size and are larger than weighted balls. They are good for crunch throws, side throws, and overhead wall ball toss.

Note: Medicine balls are different from BOSU balls. BOSU balls are larger and are meant to improve balance and stability.

Choose the right kind of ball with the right weight. Do not start with a heavier ball as you may injure yourself. Start with the lightest of the lot and improve your stamina and muscle power before moving on to a heavier med ball. Here’s a sample workout regimen for you.

Sample Workout Regimen

Start a stopwatch and perform the following routine:

  • 8 medicine ball slams, 1 burpee, 10 seconds rest.
  • 8 medicine ball slams, 8 mountain climbers, 15 seconds rest.
  • 8 medicine ball slams, 8 jump squats, 15 seconds rest.
  • 8 medicine ball slam, 8 crunches, 15 seconds rest.

You may add other exercises to amp this sample workout routine. Keep the following precautions in mind.


  • Always warm up for 10 minutes before starting to exercise.
  • Before beginning the medicine ball slam, check the bounciness and weight of the ball.
  • If you are using a bouncy ball, it can bounce back to your face. Do not throw the ball straight down. Throw it a bit forward.
  • Avoid using more than 2-6 pound med ball in the first go.
  • Train with a trainer initially to get the posture correct.


The medicine ball slam is a great way to keep your body fit. Enjoy med ball slams on your own or with an exercise partner, and for sure, you will notice a difference in your weight, body tone, agility, flexibility, stamina, muscle power, and sports performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are medicine ball slams good for?

Medicine ball slams are good for strengthening, toning, and improving muscle power, endurance, stamina, and full-body fitness.

How heavy should a medicine ball be?

Amedicine ball should never be too heavy for you to lift and perform 12 slams in the correct posture. If you are thrusting your hips forward and slamming it, the medicine ball is too heavy.

Does medicine ball slams help lose weight?

Yes, medicine ball slam workout is a full-body exercise that helps burn calories and lose weight.

What exercises can I do with a medicine ball?

  • Overhead slams
  • Med ball crunch
  • Med ball V-ups
  • Medicine ball push-ups
  • Med ball plank
  • Medicine ball Russian twist
  • Medicine ball burpees
  • Med ball bridge
  • Med ball squat
  • Med ball overhead throws

Here are the best 22 fat-burning med ball exercises you can do.


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Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.