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?