6 Great CrossFit Wall Ball Alternatives to Try Out

If you are an experienced boxlete, you’ve probably done wa a number of times. The wall ball exercise is great because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment, can be done in a confined area, and works a number of muscles.

For example, those who perform CrossFit wall ball exercises regularly will work the glutes, hamstrings, quads, core, chest, biceps, upper back, and shoulders.

At the same time, there might be situations where you cannot perform the CrossFit wall ball exercise. Maybe you do not have the right equipment, or perhaps you are concerned about damaging the wall.

In this situation, it is important to have alternative exercises to perform.

So, what makes a good CrossFit wall ball alternative, and what are a few examples of exercises you might want to try?

How To Perform The CrossFit Wall Ball Exercise

Before diving into a few CrossFit wall ball alternative exercises, it is important to take a look at how to perform the original exercise.

  • To perform the CrossFit wall ball exercises, the steps you need to follow include:
  • Make sure you have access to a wall and medicine ball.
  • Start by facing the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Place the medicine ball and both of your hands at chest level. Make sure you have a firm grip on the ball.
  • Then, dip your legs down into a deep squat position.
  • Once you have reached the bottom of your squat, push upward with your legs and draw your hands upward at the same time.
  • Throw the ball as high in the air as you can, but make sure the medicine ball makes contact with the wall.
  • Make sure you stay in that upright, launched position until the ball strikes the wall and comes back down.
  • When you catch the ball in your hands, repeat another repetition by dipping into the squat position again.

This is a relatively straightforward exercise, but it works a variety of muscle groups and is a great endurance workout.

You can watch a good demo video of the CrossFit wall ball exercise here.

Now it’s time to take a look at a few alternative exercises you might want to perform if you cannot (or don’t want to) perform the CrossFit wall ball exercise. What are a few ideas?

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What Makes A Good CrossFit Wall Ball Alternative?

When looking for exercises that make a great alternative to the traditional CrossFit wall ball exercise, there are several factors to consider. They include:

  • An exercise could be a great alternative to the CrossFit wall ball exercise if it works some of the same muscle groups.
  • An exercise also makes a good CrossFit wall ball alternative if it doesn’t require more equipment. For example, you might be looking for an exercise that you can perform that will work the same muscle groups even if you don’t have access to a medicine ball.
  • All good alternative may also help you scale up to the wall ball exercise. For example, you might be looking for exercises to improve your strength and coordination so you can perform the CrossFit wall ball exercise more efficiently down the road.

CrossFit wall ball alternate exercises are going to fulfill different sets of requirements. That is why these exercises come in many shapes and forms.

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6 Best CrossFit Wall Ball Alternative Exercises

Some of the best alternatives to traditional CrossFit wall ball exercises include:

1. The Standing Medicine Ball Chest Throw

One of the most popular wall ball alternative exercises is the standing chest row. This is a good wall ball alternative because it will work similar muscle groups without the requirement of a high ceiling.

Basically, if you don’t have high ceilings in the room, you can’t effectively do traditional CrossFit wall ball exercises.

During this exercise, you’ll work your core, legs, shoulders, and arms. Also, you can perform this exercise with a partner if you are looking for a way to get other people involved.

To perform this exercise, there are several steps you need to follow, including:

  • Start by standing directly in front of the wall. Have your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Then, hold the medicine ball at chest height. Launch the ball at the wall as hard as you can.
  • When the ball comes back to you, catch it with your arms extended. Then, gradually bring the ball back to your chest to work your arms and shoulders.

You can perform this exercise while standing in front of a wall, or you can perform it by throwing the ball to a partner.

Make sure to use your legs and core as a part of this exercise to work the same muscle groups.

You can watch a video of the standing chest throw medicine ball exercise here.

2. The Overhead Medicine Ball Slam

Another exercise you can perform using a medicine ball is the overhead slam. The biggest reason why this is a great alternative to the traditional CrossFit wall ball exercise is that the overhead slam does not require any wall at all.

You simply need a couple of feet of floor space in front of you. If you don’t have a lot of space, this exercise is ideal.

This is a plyometric workout routine that will work just about every major muscle group in your body. You should feel it in your calves, quads, hips, core, back, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. You’ll also need to focus on coordination and dexterity to deal with the ball when it strikes the floor.

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To perform the overhead medicine ball slam, there are a few steps you need to follow, including:

  • Assume an athletic stance. Keep your knees and arms slightly bent. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your body upward on top of the balls of your feet, at the same time, with the ball directly over your head.
  • Lower the medicine ball back behind your head if you can.
  • Then, exhale. Use your core, shoulders, and arms to throw the ball forward at the ground as hard as you can.
  • Immediately after this motion, squat downward to pick up the ball with your calves, quads, and glutes.
  • Lift the ball back to the original starting position, and repeat the motion again.

To get the most out of this exercise, you need to remember to work your core and legs as you go through the routine.

You should also try to throw the ball as hard as you can. That way, you can make sure you work every muscle in your body.

3. The Medicine Ball Rotation Throw

If you have access to a medicine ball but are relatively tight on space, then you may want to check out the medicine ball rotation throw.

This is a great exercise to perform if you have access to a wall but don’t necessarily have access to high ceilings. Further, if you are looking for an exercise routine that will work your core muscles a bit more, this is definitely the one to try.

If you want to perform this exercise, there are a few tips to follow. They include:

  • You should start by standing in an athletic position. Hold the medicine ball at the level of your waist. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Instead of facing the wall, you should be at a 90-degree angle from the wall.
  • Then, shift your body weight back to the hip that is farthest from the wall. As you do this, bring your shoulders, arms, and medicine ball back from the wall as well.
  • Then, use your legs, calves, core, and shoulders to rotate the ball toward the wall as hard as possible.
  • Launch the ball directly at the wall. Then, when it bounces back from the wall, catch it with your arms before bringing your body back to the original position.

You should make sure to do the same number of repetitions on the other side, so you can work your core and oblique muscles on the opposite half of your body.

You can take a look at a video of the medicine ball rotation throw here.

4. Burpees

You might also be interested in using burpees as an alternative to the traditional CrossFit wall ball exercise. Burpees are great because they are a cardio, body weight exercise that will also work nearly every muscle in your body.

And because they work the same muscles as the CrossFit wall ball exercise, they make a great alternative. They can also be done in a confined area and do not require any equipment.

To perform burpees, the steps you need to follow include:

  • Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Then, immediately drop down into a push-up position.
  • Perform a push up. Drop your body to the ground, and then push yourself back up.
  • When you push your body back up, assume a squatting position.
  • Finally, launch yourself into the air as high as you can before returning to the starting position.

You can perform this exercise as quickly and for as many repetitions as you desire.

You can also take a look at how to properly perform burpees here.

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5. Thrusters

Thrusters are another great exercise that you can use to replace traditional CrossFit wall ball exercises. Thrusters are commonly incorporated into cluster workouts, but thrusters alone can be a great substitute for the traditional wall ball exercise.

Thrusters provide a great cardiac workout while also helping you build muscle strength.

And thrusters work the same muscle group as CrossFit wall balls, essentially working every muscle in your body.

Furthermore, you don’t need to have access to a wall or a medicine ball. As long as you have some sort of weight, such as a kettlebell or a barbell, you should be good to go.

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You can even perform this exercise using dumbbells.

To perform thrusters, the steps you need to follow include:

  • Begin with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Grab whatever way you are using in a neutral grip. Then, take the weights and clean them toward your shoulders.
  • Then, flex your knees and hips slightly. Assume a squat position, moving down until your hips and knees are parallel with the floor.
  • Once you reach the bottom of this position, launch yourself upwards and push the weight toward the sky using a press motion.
  • After you have become fully extended, gradually bring your weight back down to the original position near your shoulders.
  • You can complete this motion again, doing as many repetitions as desired.

If you are feeling a bit of shoulder pain, you may be better off switching from a kettlebell to a dumbbell, which will still give you a great workout. Also, when you reach the top of the launch position, you might want to rotate your elbows outward.

This could help you prevent injuries by removing stress from certain ligaments.

6. Goblet Squats

Another exercise you can perform if you do not have a medicine ball is called a goblet squat. This is a good alternative to the CrossFit wall ball exercise because it does not require a wall, it does not require a ball, and it will still work the same muscles.

Even though it might not deliver the same cardio benefits, it is still a great way for you to build muscle strength.

The exercise mostly focuses on the lower body, but you will be holding a weight in your hands, so it will give you some upper body exercise as well. Plus, the goblet squat does not strain the shoulders nearly as much as the other exercises on the list.

To perform a goblet squat, there are several steps to follow. They include:

  • First, make sure you grab whatever weight you are using. It could be a kettlebell or a dumbbell. Make sure you hold the weight with both hands at the center of your chest.
  • Then, start bending your knees and hips. Assume a squatting motion and move downward until you are parallel with the floor.
  • Then, use your feet and legs to drive yourself back to the starting position.
  • You can repeat this exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

You can adjust the position and direction of your feet to alleviate stress on your knees.

You should try to keep your torso and chest upright during the entire exercise to prevent a back injury.

You can also take a look at a video of this exercise here.

Get The Most Out Of Your CrossFit Exercises

These are just a few of the many alternatives you can perform if you do not want to perform CrossFit wall ball exercises or if you do not have the equipment or space to do so.

The CrossFit wall ball exercise is great because it works nearly every muscle in your body while building strength and endurance. But there are other exercises that work the same muscle group, so you may want to consider giving them a try.

Tim Rollins, Editor

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