Do this to get better at Wall Balls!
So many people hate wall balls. Even just thinking about doing them makes them think about their legs burning, heart racing and lungs panting.
It even effects their decision to workout and skip training days.
Wall balls don't have to be that bad and we've helped people who used to hate them and skip days, get better and even like them.
We did it by analyzing the 3 most common problems people have with wall balls; not hitting the target, not enough leg power and out of control breathing, and created strategies that helped athletes do them more easily and feel better about them. You can do the same. Read below!
Problem 1: Not Hitting the Target & Throwing Early
Have you ever had that perfect wall ball rep? The ball gets to the target, doesn’t take 100% of your energy and feels almost dare I say, easy? What about the rep that feels like you're throwing an elephant? It doesn’t get the height you needed and you gave everything you had into the throw.
You may be throwing the ball early. This blunts your throwing ability and strength. The wall ball is a leg dominant exercise and the power you create while you're coming up out of the squat needs to be transferred into the throw by keeping your core tight and delaying the throwing action until you have fully extended your hip and stood or even jumped. Then the throw immediately follows, like a wave of energy flowing from you standing up, into the throwing action; not all at once, not throwing as your standing, but once your finished, then immediately throwing and transferring that energy.
Problem 2: Not Enough Height & Squatting Incorrectly
Squatting correctly will assist in you throwing correctly. The squat happens first, throw second. If you perform the squat well, chances are higher the throw will go well too.
Many people who fail to get the ball to the target have issues happening during the squat. Knees cave in (keep them out!), lumbar curves and strong core positions get weak (breathing correctly will help this!) or depth isn’t achieved (focus on the squat, slow and steady).
One of the most frequent faults is when the body weight comes off of the heels and into the toes during the descent of the squat and even the ascent and before throwing. This blunts your power and doesn’t allow for a good transfer of strength into the throw of the ball.
If you’re going onto your toes during the squat you may be trying to throw way too early. Wiggle your toes and squat down in control. Continue to wiggle your toes and begin to stand up in the same controlled speed. As you reach the last 1/3 of standing up, go faster and more aggressively through your heels. Once you’ve stood all the way up, throw. At this point you may be on your toes or have even jumped.
During that entire time, keep your knees out, chest up and get your depth. Performing the squat correctly on the way down will lead to a more successful throw!
Problem 3: Out of Breath & Breathing Inefficiently
Breathing correctly when doing wall balls can make or break your ability to do them.
It’s what will make you feel like you can either keep working out, or like your legs are filling up with battery acid and that you “hate” them.
Chances are high that you’re holding your breath during the wall ball or not breathing efficiently and correctly to bring oxygen in and clear CO2 out.
Your breathing strategy will depend on your height.
If you’re taller than 5’10, the “double breath” technique may work better for you. Standing tall with the ball at the “rack position”, take a breath of air in.
On the way down, breathe out. Not all the way out so that you relax in the bottom of the squat, but just enough so that you feel like you can breathe in again.
When at the bottom, breathe in.
As you're standing and throwing, breathe out.
This is a breath of air in and out on the way down, and then again in and out from the bottom up. 2 full breath cycles.
If you’re shorter than 5’10, the single breath may work better.
Breathe in, hold it and squat down.
When you're standing up continue to hold and when you’re throwing breathe out.
These are just guidelines. You may find that one strategy works better regardless of your height.
The main thing is that you’re breathing!