medicine ball slam alternative
Exercise Alternative

7 Effective Medicine Ball Slam Alternatives

The Medicine Ball Slam is a great plyometric power exercise that will improve the strength and power of your core. It will also promote overall upper body strength, especially through the lats.

But there is a problem with this exercise – it requires smashing a ball into the ground. That makes quite a bit of noise and it can cause damage to the floor. That makes the medicine ball slam an inappropriate workout choice in some settings.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 7 alternatives to medicine ball slams that will provide you with similar benefits without the possibility of breaking floorboards. 

1. Stability Ball Push Pull

Why It’s A Great Alternative

The stability ball push pull engages the abs and spinal erectors. This is an excellent alternative for people who have spinal problems. 

Step by step how to

  1. Kneel in front of an exercise ball with knees hip width apart. Put your hands on the top of the ball, close to your body. Pull your abs in tight nd draw your shoulder blades down.
  2. Push the ball away from you, dropping your hips as you shift your weight onto the ball.
  3. Use your abs to pull the ball back toward you to return to n upright position.

Muscles Worked

Spinal erectors, rectus abdominus

Tips

Contract your ab by drawing your belly button toward your spine.

2. Battle Rope Power Slams 

Why it’s a great alternative

The battle rope slam is a close simulation to the medicine ball slam, requiring a similar amount of explosive power. However, the continuous motion required to control the battle ropes makes this an even more effective calorie burner.

Muscles worked

Core muscles, lats, shoulders, quadriceps, glutes, forearms

Step-by-step how-to 

  1. Grab the handles of a battle rope that is affixed to an upright. Have your feet about shoulder width apart. 
  2. Drop down to quarter squat position.
  3. Begin to create an up and down wavelike action.
  4. Slam each side of the rope down to the floor, continuing in a rhythmic manner.
  5. Keep going for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets.
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Equipment used

Battle Ropes

Tips

Keep a fluid continuous motion going with the ropes; hinge the hips to maintain a relatively low body position. Battle rope exercises take some getting used to, so be patient with yourself as you learn to move rhythmically. 

3. Power Jump

Why it’s a great alternative

The Power Jump is an intense plyometric exercise that will get you puffing big time. As such it is a great calorie burner.

Muscles worked

Quads, calves

Step-by-step how-to 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hands by your sides.
  2. Drop your hips and drive to load for the jump.
  3. Explode upward as you bring your knees as high as possible, touching your hands to your knees.
  4. Lower and repeat.
  5. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Equipment used

None

Tips

Continue performing your reps in a non-stop manner, striving to get as high as you can on every jump.

4. Resistance Band Thrusters 

Why it’s a great alternative

The resistance band thruster is a great med ball slam substitute that you can do at home. This is a combination plyo and resistance exercise that works both the upper and lower body at the same time. 

Muscles worked

Quads, glutes, shoulders, core

Step-by-step how-to 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a resistance band under your feet. Hold the ends of the band at shoulder height with your palms facing forward.
  2. Squat down to parallel.
  3. Push through your heels to come back to upright.
  4. Now push the bands up to full arm extension.
  5. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Equipment used

Resistance

Tips

Maintain an upright torso through the entire movement with a neutral position in the spine. Be sure to go through a full range of motion. 

5. Sledgehammer Swing

Why it’s a great alternative

The sledgehammer slam is an even more intense explosive power plyometric exercise than the med ball slam. It works exactly the same muscles but is more continuous and, therefore, provides greater cardiovascular and conditioning benefits. 

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Muscles worked

Lats, core muscles, forearms

Step-by-step how-to 

  1. Stand in front of a large industrial tire with a sledgehammer held in both hands.
  2. Bring the sledgehammer up overhead and swing it down onto the tire with full force.
  3. Revere and repeat.
  4. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Equipment used

Tire, sledgehammer

Tips

Assume quite a low body position. Swing through in a natural, continuous manner, moving from one swing to the next without a break.

6. Kettlebell Thruster 

Why it’s a great alternative

The kettlebell thruster is another very good explosive power exercise that works both the upper and lower bodies. This one also allows you to work each side of the body unilaterally which adds extra benefits.

Muscles worked

Core muscles, quads, glutes, shoulders

Step-by-step how-to 

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and a kettlebell held in one hand at shoulder level.
  2. Descend into a deep squat.
  3. Push out of the squat.
  4. In the upright position thrust the kettlebell into the air to full arm extension.
  5. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Equipment used

Kettlebell

Tips

Keep an upright torso position throughout the exercise. Move through a complete range of motion on this exercise. 

7. Bench Jumps

Why it’s a great alternative

Bench jumps combine explosive power with cardiovascular conditioning to churn through the calories as it enhances your metabolic conditioning.

Muscles worked

Core muscles, quads, glutes, calves, hamstring muscles

Step-by-step how-to 

  1. Stand in front of a bench with your feet together.
  2. Lower you hips tp load for the jump.
  3. Jump both feet to the top of the bench.
  4. Reverse the movement to jump back down.
  5. Do 3 set of 15 reps.

Equipment used

Bench

Tips

Always land with both feet together; perform your reps in a fluid, no-stop up/down movement.

Conclusion

The Medicine Ball Slam is an awesome exercise to improve your overall power, strengthen your core and improve explosiveness through the upper body.

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If you’re in a training environment where you can’t perform this exercise, you’ve now got access to 6 alternatives to ball slams exercises that will provide you with similar benefits.

In constructing your training routine, choose 3 or 4 of these exercises and combine them into a total of 10 sets, being sure to choose moves that work the core and increase explosiveness. 

The Medicine Ball Slam is a great plyometric power exercise that will improve the strength and power of your core. It will also promote overall upper body strength, especially through the lats.

But there is a problem with this exercise – it requires smashing a ball into the ground. That makes quite a bit of noise and it can cause damage to the floor. That makes the medicine ball slam an inappropriate workout choice in some settings.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 7 alternatives to medicine ball slams that will provide you with similar benefits without the possibility of breaking floorboards. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are medicine ball slams effective for weight loss?

Yes, the medicine slam ball is effective for fat loss. It is a great calorie burner that will get you seriously puffing. Adding this exercise to your fat loss routine in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet will help you to reach your weight loss goals.

What muscles do medicine ball slams work?

The main muscles worked by this exercise are those of the core. These include the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, spinal erectors, and intercostals. It will also work the latissimus dorsi, deltoids and trapezius. 

What is the difference between a medicine ball and a slam ball?

Slam balls are specifically designed to be thrown to the floor repeatedly. As a result, they are much more resilient than medicine balls. It has a much harder shell than a medicine ball, often being made from a hard rubber material. 

Steve Theunissen

Steve Theunissen is a former gym owner and personal trainer based in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness, and fat loss.

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