Slam Ball Exercises & X-Spin Class

November 9, 2011 · 21 comments

I’ve fallen in love.

One of the things I’ve been most looking forward to post-marathon is the freedom to take all the impressive group exercise classes at my gym. I was so excited to start squatting and doing lower body weights again.

My new love? The X-Spin class I just took for the first time yesterday. Based on the soreness in my butt, quads, and hamstrings, the class is the real deal.

X-Spin is a cross-training class with 5 different stations of interval workouts. Yesterday, two were spin bike stations. Interspersed was a slam ball station, a dumbbell station, and a TRX band station.

And let me tell ya, I am so graceful with those TRX bands. We won’t talk about the “man down!” incident that had my trainer in hysterics and me face down on the floor.

I keep saying this, but It’s a really good thing I’m not easily embarrassed.


The Slam Ball

This was my first time working with a slam ball or “slammer,” a medicine ball designed for throwing exercises. It’s big in crossfit, and it has a harder shell made of a tough rubber to handle impact against a hard surface. I’m a big fan… aaand I’m probably going to ask Santa for one of my own.


In our class, we used the following slam ball workouts for three 30 second sets:

  • Overhead Heel Slams: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold the ball above and slightly behind your head. Slam the ball as hard as you can close to your heel. Squat to pick up the ball, then repeat on the opposite side (like this, only slam it down outside of your heels). Repeat for 30 seconds. It’s important to not drop the ball. Slam it as hard as you can.
  • Weighted Squats: Pivot back and squat while holding slam ball. Step forward and pivot back to face the opposite direction and squat again. Repeat until 30 seconds are up.
  • Squat Press: Standing with legs shoulder-width apart, complete a squat while holding slam ball. Once you are standing upright again, thrust the slam ball over your head for an overhead press. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds.
  • The “Other” Russian Twists: Sitting down, put the slam ball to the left of your feet. Balancing on your butt and using your core, pull your legs to the left over the ball. Repeat, pulling legs back and forth over the ball. For added difficulty, pull your arms over your torso in the opposite direction as your legs. Twist for 30 seconds.
  • Reverse Sit-Ups (my favorite!): Lay on your back holding slam ball above your head. Keeping your legs straight, pull them up toward the ceiling and return them to the floor. Repeat as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.

All of these, with the exception of the Heel Slams, can be used with a medicine ball, but I recommend trying out the slam ball. Go get on it.

Whats the best class you’ve taken recently? Any new exercise equipment I must try?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emmarie @ Bananas and Beer November 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Arggg, My gym doesn’t have anything like this. But I have to start getting back into group exercise regardless.
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2 Amber K November 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I really wish I could try a class like that! The classes at my gym aren’t offered at good times. And they do have those TRX band things, but you have to show up at least a half hour in advance in order to score a spot in the class…

For now I’ll stick to the machines, but one day when I don’t live in a top floor apartment I’m going to utilize more of my fitness DVDs!
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3 janae November 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

That picture made my morning…you are hilarious! Girl, that workout made me sweat just reading it. YAY for trying out new classes!
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4 Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry November 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm

The only class I’ve taken lately is BodyPump…ho hum.
I really want to do the TRX strap class, as I still haven’t tried those babies! I’m sure I’ll have a similar incident and end up on the floor somehow, so luckily I am not embarrassed easily either. I also want to try slam balls! I need to step it up in the workout department, I love trying new trends.
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5 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health November 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Oh man I’m so jealous of that exercise class! It sounds awesome! And I bet slamming those balls (hehe I may have giggled after I wrote that) sounds like it would be an awesome way to relieve stress! I don’t have any great classes at my gym so I have to come up with good workouts on my own!
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6 Sara @ The Foodie Diaries November 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

One of my favorite classes at my college’s gym was body toning. It would work so many different parts of my body at once and I always felt exhausted afterwards, in a good way. I love switching things up with different classes!
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7 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat November 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Slam ball exercises sound like a blast! I love when spin is coupled with strength training!
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8 Karla November 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Goodness gracious.. I can’t wait to graduate college and find a gym with fun classes. The classes on campus are monotonous and jam-packed! Just gotta make it until May and then I’ll too be done with marathon training πŸ™‚
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9 Theresa November 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

this class sounds ridiculously awesome. i’ve never even heard of a slam ball but now i’m completely intrigued…i wish they offered cool classes like this at my gym! i’m just excited to be taking spinning again in general πŸ™‚
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10 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Oooo, thanks for the slam ball moves, they sound good! I like using those at my gym, but I don’t do it nearly enough.
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11 Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City November 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

sounds tough!!!
i have been pretty into spinning lately. but recently, i had a great yoga class. super duper challenging!
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12 chelsea November 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I’ve never heard of a class like that! Sounds like loads of fun though! Anything that gets me feeling it the next day is good in my book. I think you could really get some anger out throwing those heavy balls on the ground too lol! My new favorite class is pilates and boot camp at my new gym. I’ve always loved those two classes, but the instructor is just amaaazing at my new gym and makes me want to keep coming!


13 Kathleen November 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Hey! Love your blog- I’m a new reader (thanks to PBfingers!)… and thanks for the laughs everyday!
I’m also in Richmond (yes!! close blogger!) and am running my first marathon this weekend. Very nervous and excited! I’m thinking about doing the Shamrock half in VA Beach in the spring!


14 Lea November 10, 2011 at 2:10 am

Just discovered your blog through pbfingers today and I love it!


15 Meg November 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Screw men, I’ll marry my exercise. YES. They’ll never stand you up on a date πŸ˜‰

Meoowww love you!
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