Wall Ball – CrossFit Exercise Guide with Photos and Instructions


Overview: The wall ball is a very popular CrossFit exercise that targets the entire body while providing a great cardiovascular workout that burns a lot of calories. This is a widely used movement in many CrossFit WODs (workout of the day) since it is a true test of strength, endurance and conditioning.

Muscles Targeted: There are multiple large muscles that are targeted during the wall ball exercise. These include the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, abdominals, lower back, chest, deltoids, biceps, and triceps. This is one of the best exercises you can use to get a total body workout.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Choose the correct weight for your ball. Balls come in a variety of weights, so make sure to choose one that is best suited for your level of strength.
  • Grab the ball with both hands and face the wall. A great way to determine where to stand is by holding the ball out in front of you at about chest height, making sure that your arms are fully extended. You want the ball to barely touch the wall. Once you’ve found this position, take your stance with your feet placed about shoulder width apart. This is your starting position.
  • Hold the ball at about chin level with your hands placed firmly on both sides of the ball.
  • Now it’s time to squat down. Drop all the way down into a full squat. This is often called the “goblet” position.
  • As soon as you reach the full depth of your squat while holding the ball at chin level, explode up by extending your legs and simultaneously push the ball up as high as possible onto the wall.
  • Carefully catch the ball as it descends back down and be ready to get right back in the goblet position by immediately squatting back down again and get ready for the next repetition. This is a continuous motion with no pausing in between repetitions. Continue in this manner until you have completed the desired number of repetitions.

Things To Avoid:

  • Don’t choose a ball that you can’t manage. Choosing a ball that is too heavy for you will only make the exercise ineffective. Remember, you are going to be doing multiple repetitions so keep this in mind and make sure to choose a weight that is challenging, but manageable.
  • Don’t stand too close or too far away from the wall. Standing too close to the wall could lead to having the ball land on your head when it descends back down. Standing too far away will make it difficult to catch the ball as it comes back down from the top of the wall.
  • Don’t hunch your shoulders or round your back. Keep your back flat with your chest out and your shoulders back with your feet positioned about shoulder width apart during the entire movement.
  • Don’t pause between catching the ball and squatting. This is improper execution. You must absorb the ball as it comes down from the air which means catching it as you transition directly into the squat portion and then into the full extension where you explode up and push the ball high into the air.

Reps and Sets: A great starting point for beginners is to use a very light ball and perform 5-6 strict repetitions for 2-3 total sets. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to add more reps and sets as you progress.

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