Wall Balls are a staple of a CrossFit Workout. The movement of taking a weighted ball, performing a squat and then projecting the ball upward to a target on the wall is the pure example of core to extremity.
Founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman explains:
“The wall ball drill comprises two highly functional classical weightlifting movements brought together at light loads and extended duration to create a super—potent metabolic conditioning tool with an enormous potential for increasing athletic performance.”
So Love them or hate them? Whatever your opinion, they are a fantastic movement for your CrossFit workouts.
1. Core to Extremity Functional Movement
In CrossFit, we talk about “functional” exercises. The Wall Ball recruits many multiple muscles, multiple joints and is performed in multiple planes. A core to extremity exercise with movement required below parallel (the squat) and overhead (the launch). Wall balls are a highly functional movement, carrying over to sport and human performance in general.
Wall balls are a beautifully scalable exercise. Both the weight and height can be scaled based on the level of athlete. Standard scaling options including the weight of the wall ball with options such as a 10 pound or 20 pound. Then, the height of the target is also scalable, whether you want to aim for a 6ft or 10ft target. Regardless of your ability there is an option for you as an athlete to get the most out of this exercise.
If you have ever experienced a WOD with a high volume of wall balls, you would have come to realise that they start to challenge you quickly. The thought of launching a weighted ball into the air and having to catch it can become a confronting task. Ever been hit in the face with a wall ball as you have getting tired? So have we! As your quad’s start to burn with lactic acid and shoulders start to tingle, it then becomes a mental game. Push your mental boundaries, how many reps can you push through before the wall ball hits you in the face?
4. Get better at Thrusters
The movement of a wall ball in fact mirrors a thruster. Work your wall balls, in either weight or volume and you will no doubt see your FRAN time improve. Focus on a powerful explosion at the hips and full extension on release. Don’t forget to keep balanced, ensure your chest is up to maintain quality squat mechanics. You will change your mindset from thrusters suck, to thrusters rule!
5. Work Capacity
Want to build your engine? Wall balls are an awesome cardio respiratory exercise. Set to not only light up your muscles, but give your heart and lungs a good workout. A simple exercise to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
Wanting to test it out? Try out one of these workouts:
150 Wall Balls
Men – 20 lbs to 10′ target and Women - 14 lbs to 9′ target
Think you are a bad ass? Try out “Karen”, a WOD with 150 Wall Balls using a 30 pound wall ball to an 11ft line.
2. Open Workout 12.4 & 13.3
12 Minute AMRAP:
150 Wall balls (Men – 20 lbs to 10′ target and Women - 14 lbs to 9′ target)
**Excerpt from "The WODLIFE Australia"
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