Everything you need to know about slam ball sizes and ultimately, which weight you should get for your fitness goals.
Reviewed by Brian Richards, CPT, CSCS. Last updated 16th December.
Slam ball workouts are a great way to build functional strength, burn calories and get fitter – but they require you to select the right size ball for your fitness level and goals.
When we talk about “slam ball size”, we’re really talking about the weight of the ball, as this is the defining factor in influencing your workouts (they tend to all be similar sizes in terms of diameter).
Selecting a slam ball that’s too light simply won’t challenge you enough – and selecting one that is too heavy will mean you struggle to perform the movements properly (or for the desired repetitions and sets).
In this article, I’ll provide an overview of what slam ball sizes I think are best suited for specific exercises and experience level, as well as things to consider when buying them.
How to Choose a Slam Ball Weight
Slam balls come in all sizes, so it’s important that you decide what you need prior to buying the first one that you come across. Getting too heavy of a slam ball will prevent you from getting the range of motion that you need. There are countless brands to choose from, but let’s focus on what you need to look for when purchasing a new slam ball.
Here are five ways to choose a slam ball weight:
Have you ever used a slam ball? They’re not too complicated, but choosing the right size is key to success. If you’ve never handled a slam ball, start off with 20 pounds for men or 10 pounds for women. Elderly people or those with muscle limitations can start with 8 pounds to learn the ropes quickly.
Measure the size of your hands. Some slam balls are very wide and hard to handle for people with small hands. You need a solid grip in order to maintain the proper form throughout the exercise. Fluctuate 2 to 5 pounds depending on the size of your hands to adjust for the weight of the ball.
Are you an active weight lifter? Those who are common visitors to their local gym might find it easier to use heavyweight slam balls. You should still start lower than your expectations, though. As all trusted fitness gurus claim, learning the movements is far more important than lifting the maximum weight.
According to Spunk Fitness, you can use a heavier weight if you’ve developed your cardio. Since slam balls are half strength, half cardio, those with active lifestyles will undoubtedly learn how to use heavier slam balls in a short period of time. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, consider starting as low as 10 pounds, so you don’t overdo it.
Are you going through a fitness program? Some programs require a certain weight to go through their training course. Those that are geared towards strength use on 40-pound slam balls, whereas those that focus on cardio-strength hybrid training usually use 8-pound to 20-pound slam balls.
When Can You Get a Bigger Slam Ball?
As with all exercises, you should slowly increase the weight that you use with slam balls. Using the same weight for too long can result in no muscle growth (or very little if anything). On the other hand, don’t try to increase the weight for the sake of it. The whole process should be comfortable and natural.
So, how do you know when it’s time to get a bigger slam ball? Review the following suggestions:
If you’re running through the exercises without very much resistance, then you’re doing more harm than good. There’s no point in wasting your time on a slam ball that’s too lightweight for your strength capabilities. The only thing you’ll be doing is throwing a ball at the ground and picking it up, ruining the muscle growth.
If you feel like you’re not getting sore anything, then you might want to consider increasing the weight. However, Elite Daily shows us that you could not be getting sore simply because your body is getting used to it. Nonetheless, you should feel a good muscle pump after every exercise.
If you change the purpose of using a slam ball from cardio to strength, you’ll definitely need to move up a few pounds. As you’ve read a couple of times in this article by now, heavyweight slam balls in short bursts are much more influential for strength gains. You won’t see the same results by using a high-rep slam ball.
You might also need to get a smaller slam ball if you’re feeling too much resistance. Without the full range of motion, there won’t be significant muscle growth. Don’t be afraid to go down a size. You’ll be better off allowing your heart, arms, core, and back to reap all of the benefits from a lightweight, easy-to-use slam ball.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
Seeing results is often the primary indicator of success in fitness. If you don’t notice muscle growth and definition, then why do it? Strength is undeniably part of the process, but cosmetic improvements are often the primary goal.
Whether you’re in it for cardio, massive triceps, or a healthy warm-up, constant progress is the only way. You should incorporate slam balls into your regular routine as much as possible. As with most other muscle growth plans, healthy dieting is crucial for results.
It usually takes between 2 to 3 months to notice fairly big results from slam balls. If you’ve never seriously exercised in the past and you’re eating well, then you’ll notice bigger results even quicker. After that, it usually takes about 6, 9, and 12 months to see more changes in your definition and growth.
Remember that strength shouldn’t be forgotten. Just because you’re looking more defined doesn’t mean you’re getting stronger. Stagnant muscle gains paired with fat loss can make you look bigger, giving you the misconception that you’re progressing. While fat loss is great, it doesn’t immediately result in muscle growth.
If you’re able to do it, try to increase the size of your weights and slam balls every one to two months. There will undoubtedly be a plateau as you increase the weights across all of your exercises. As you raise the size of the slam ball, you need to also start lifting more with barbells, dumbbells, and weighted vests (if you use any of them).
As Evo Fitness proves, slam balls shouldn’t be the end all be all for fitness, but they’re definitely an incredible asset to have on your side. For some, they represent a gateway to better cardio and strength. For others, they can bridge the gap between decent muscle growth and Herculean strength. Write out your goals and follow this guide to meet them as quickly and efficiently as possible!
Choosing the right slam ball size can help you get through numerous helpful exercises. You can use them to gain muscle, build up your cardio, or make yourself comfortable with regular exercise. Whatever you want to use them for, stick with it, and don’t skip your workout days.
Here’s a quick recap of the post:
- If your goal is to improve your cardio, choose a slam ball between 8 to 20 pounds.
- If you’re aiming for better strength gains, get a slam ball between 20 to 40 pounds.
- If you’re a beginner, opt for a lighter ball to begin with and progress as you build up your strength.