Wall Balls

Wall balls or medicine ball throwing are a CrossFit exercise famous for stirring up love/hate among crossfitters as they do the burpees.

Unlike other weightlifting or gymnastic movements, they do not require learning a complex technique to master them. Even so, it is necessary to know a few technical aspects that will make your execution easier, more efficient and prevent you from doing "no reps"..

What is a wall ball?

Also known as ball throw or in English wall ball shotsconsists of throwing a medicine ball at the target while executing a squat or squat.

As a curious fact, there is a WOD named Karen which consists of making 150 Wall Ball with a ball of 9 kg for boys and 6 kg for girls.

At what height is the medicine ball thrown?

The height at which the wall balls should be thrown is 3.05 m for boys and 2.75 m for girls.

In the pits it is usually marked with a line painted on the wall. But it is possible to find that the target is a targetespecially in competitions.

With what weight are wall balls made?

For RX the reference weights are usually: 9 and 6 kg.

In any case it can be scaled to a lower weight if necessary.

In competitions we have seen wall ball with heavier weights.

What do you work with wall balls?

It is a very complete exercise that activates almost the entire body.

It involves all the muscles necessary for

  • A squat: quads, hamstrings and glutes;
  • and for the launch: shoulders, pecs, triceps, triceps.
  • Many times you end up making a leap and also activate the cufflinks.

This exercise helps to improve muscular and cardiovascular power and endurance.

How to make a valid rep?

Let every repetition count! Since this exercise involves so much effort, it is much better not to waste energy doing a non-rep.

The requirements established in the movement standard are two: break the parallel and touch the target.

Breaks the parallel

To initiate the movement you have to do a squat before doing the throw. Each time you when catching the ball your hips should drop below the level of your knees before throwing the ball again.

For example, in the 2016 Madrid Regionals, the wall balls that made the Annie Thorisdottir generated a lot of controversy. You can see it in the following video.

Aim at the target

The ball must hit exactly on the target assigned. The mark to aim at does not indicate a minimum height, but an exact point to hit.

Even if the ball reaches the height if it does not contact the line or the target the replay is invalid.

crossfit ball throwing

If the ball passes through above or falls below se consider not rep.


Move one step away from the wall

If we are too close to the wall we might have a hard time throwing the ball, see it fall and even stop it with our face. You wouldn't be the first 😉

If you go too far away you will see that instead of throwing the ball vertically you must also aim forward and that requires extra effort.

The ideal position is at one step away from the wall, to seek efficiency at the launch. A distance of about 50 cm away.

Catches the medicine ball correctly

The hands should be as close as possible to the sufficiently separated to be able to control the direction of the ball and close enough together in order to be able to make strength to launch it.

If we imagine that the ball is as spherical as a clock, let's say that the hands should be from 15 to 30 minutes, and from 30 to 45 minutes, and from 30 to 45 minutes to 45 minutes..

Make the movement flow

As with thrusters, it is a movement comprised of two exercises (front squat and shoulder press) but doing them separately is a bad idea.

Use your hip to propel the throw and take advantage of that explosiveness so as not to throw with arm strength alone..

height wall ball

When you pick up the ball, don't pick it up dry and then perform the squat. As the ball is descending, allow yourself to catch the ball and cushion the descent.

Think of a number

This exercise often needs to be performed in long repetition runs. If you stop every so often to rest, it can become interminable because you will lengthen the breaks and the fatigue will not help you with the motivation you need to pick up the ball again.

Facing the wall doesn't help psychologically either.

It is recommended to have an erealistic repetition and rest strategy.

For example: 8 wall balls in a row + a short rest of 5′. With a plan it is better not to think, just execute.

Progressively, you can increase the number of repetitions per set.

Where to buy

If you want to have your own medicine ball to train at home, you can buy it here:

If you don't know how to incorporate this full body exercise, we recommend that you use a Tabata.