A slam ball is a very specific yet also versatile piece of exercise equipment. Much like a kettlebell which can be used for a variety of exercises, slam balls offer a similar purpose but there’s one key thing to keep in mind before buying or using one and that is the size/weight.
Slam balls are not adjustable and therefore, it can be difficult to work out what the best size is for versatile – and more importantly effective – use.
In this article, we’ll cover what size slam ball you should use to get the most from your workout whilst also informing those of a preferred option before making a purchase.
How to Choose a Slam Ball Weight
Choosing the right slam ball size for you can be difficult as there are so many different weights and sizes to choose from and it can sometimes be a little overwhelming.
When using slam balls, if you don’t know how to use them properly or select the wrong weight, you can easily injure yourself which is a worst-case scenario or you’ll just have an ineffective workout – which some people view as worse than an injury!
Selecting the right slam ball weight for you requires you to know your body and your physical strength. It’s vital that you carefully consider the following:
- Your current fitness levels
- Your fitness goals
- Your size
Below, we’ll cover each of these factors in more detail.
Your Current Fitness Levels
If you haven’t exercised in quite a while or you’re completely a beginner, don’t worry! Slam balls can be extremely versatile and can cater to a wide range of fitness abilities.
The size of your slam ball that you start with will differ from someone more advanced.
When working out, it can be easy to compare to others, but especially with weights, you need to ensure that you tailor to your body and your unique fitness levels.
If you were to start too heavy, it can lead to way more damage than it’s really worth.
It’s best to start lighter so that you can master precision. Remember, it’s not set in stone – you can always start to use heavier slam balls when your body is ready.
For people whose fitness levels are more advanced, you’re going to be more aware of your physical capabilities and therefore may want to use heavier balls (if the exercise requires it that is, heavier isn’t always better).
Your Fitness Goals
The size of the slam ball you choose will depend on what kind of exercise you want to use it for.
Lighter slam balls are often used for explosive power exercises and speed. The quick movements encourage you to build up enough power to use heavier weights during training.
Typically, with lighter slam balls, you’re likely to do more reps. Typical exercises with a lighter slam ball include:
- Russian Twist
- Slam Ball Plank
- Single Arm Push-Ups
- Slam Ball Burpee
Whereas with heavier slam balls, this focuses on strength exercises that require more precision and accuracy. Typical exercises with a heavier slam ball include:
- Overhead Slam
- Squat Throw
- Slam Ball Sit-Up
- Overhead Lunge
- Squat Jump and Throw
If you want to focus on things like coordination and stamina, opt for a lighter ball. If your main goal is core stability, then choose a heavier ball.
When you’re using slam balls for exercises, you’ll need to have a firm grip. Therefore, the size of your hands will play a part in choosing the right slam ball for you.
If you have smaller hands, you may struggle to hold a larger, wider ball and so you’ll need to consider this when selecting your ball. You may want to opt for a smaller ball that’ll be easier for you to grip.
This can also be relevant in reverse. If you have bigger hands, smaller balls may be harder for you to grip and you may need a ball with a larger surface area.
In either scenario, you can get more specialized slam balls. This could mean a smaller slam ball made from more dense material to increase the weight or vice versa.
What Size Slam Ball Should You Use?
Once you’ve considered these factors, it’ll be easier for you to determine which size slam ball you should use.
Typically, men and women have different physical strengths and this will also contribute to your selected weight ball. You should choose a ball that’s suitable for your strength, but overall, it shouldn’t be too heavy that it begins to affect other factors.
Especially for slamming, reps and accuracy are key, so it’s more important to focus on your execution, rather than how heavy the ball is.
You should note that the size of the ball does not necessarily reflect the weight. Depending on the slam ball’s brand, smaller balls can be heavier and larger balls can be lighter.
For women, anywhere between 10 and 25 pounds could be ideal for you. For men, you may want to consider between 20 and 40 pounds.
According to the American Council of Exercise (ACE), beginners should use a ball between 4 and 15 pounds. For women, start on the lower end of the scale between 4 and 8 pounds, and for men, between 6 and 15 pounds.
For those with higher fitness levels, consider your goals. If your main fitness goal is to improve your cardio, you’ll want a ball between 8 and 20 pounds. If your main fitness goal is to strengthen, you’ll want a ball between 20 and 40 pounds.
It’s important to remember that with weights, it isn’t one size fits all. You may have to experiment and adjust accordingly, so if you feel that you need more or less, you should probably listen to your body.
Although you don’t want to purchase loads of different sizes, sometimes it can be a little trial and error. If you’re a regular gym-goer, you might want to test out a few before you purchase your own.
When Should You Progress to a Bigger Slam Ball?
In order to increase your fitness levels and see results, you’ll need to adjust your exercises as and when necessary.
So how do you know when it’s time to progress?
At times, you may be tempted to increase the weight of your ball, but progressing too quickly can quite often hinder your performance more than it can help it.
Similar to most exercises, it’s important to make sure that when you’re changing your routine and equipment, you do it gradually.
You’ll want it to feel natural, but also know that you are pushing yourself. If you continue at the same level and you aren’t feeling any impact from it, you’re not tailoring to your body and it could potentially affect muscle growth.
So if you feel like your current slam ball isn’t doing enough for you, then you may want to consider progressing to a bigger one.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling too much resistance, then you may need to opt for a lighter ball.
You should be adjusting your slam ball to your fitness needs. If your fitness goals change, you also need to work alongside them. For example, if you were originally focusing on weight loss, but you now want to focus on core stability, you’ll need to use a larger ball.
Slam balls are a versatile piece of exercise equipment but due to the fact that they aren’t adjustable, it can often be difficult to know what size to use for the most benefit. This is especially true if buying a slam ball for a home gym.
The size of slam ball you use will depend on your level of strength, what exercises you will be doing, and also your individual size. For a male, it would be advised to use a slam ball weighing 20lbs – 40lbs and for a female, try an initial weight of 10lbs – 25lbs.
You will need to adjust these numbers are you progress with both your level of fitness and strength so it’s best to use the above as a guideline only and as your initial starting point.