The Wall Ball, as a CrossFit staple, is a move that taxes the entire body.
You conduct an explosive front squat holding a medicine ball which you then release at the top.
The Wall Ball WOD really only requires 20 pounds of resistance, and it helps to work your entire lower half, core, triceps, and delts.
It can also help to boost cardio and increase your metabolism and core strength.
Wall ball shots should be seen as a great conditioning tool. They can also offer supplementary movement for leg hypertrophy work.
Lower muscles tend to respond better to high reps, so using light weights shouldn’t be an issue.
It can also be the perfect exercise for fat loss and HIIT cardio.
It is a great home workout.
How to Do a Wall Ball WOD
The most effective way to execute the Wall Ball WOD is to use a heavier ball that weighs 5 to 20 pounds.
The actual weight of the ball is dependent on your fitness level.
You also need a ceiling that is at least 10 feet high and a solid wall made from cinder block or brick.
Before a wall ball shot, the first thing to do is stand in front of the wall, roughly at arm’s length.
You then hold the medicine ball in front of you. Ensure that the medicine ball is in line with your upper chest.
Your elbows also have to be tucked in, with a stance that shows you are ready to throw the ball vertically.
You then move to perform a full squat, exploding all the way up from the bottom of the squat. Use that momentum to throw the ball up from chest level. You should aim to throw the ball about 10 feet every time.
Catch the ball on the way down and use that momentum to go into the next rep. When you do your wall ball workout, you should do so with a particular rhythm. You should not be rushing through your reps. Rather, you should continuously do your reps taking as few breaks as possible during your set.
The Karen WOD is done for time. It is 150 wall ball shots. Complete all 150 repetitions as fast as you can, resting as needed.
While resting, hold the ball or hold the ball on the ground. Your score for the Karen WOD is the total time it took you to complete all 150 reps.
Most beginners can do this workout in 12 to 15 minutes, while a more advanced and elite CrossFit athlete can get it done in under 5 minutes.
The Karen WOD is a good wall ball shot exercise and makes for great squat practice.
It can improve core strength while helping you keep your torso upright. Find a good pace and rhythm, and scale each functional movement as you see fit.
Related: More benchmark WODs like the Karen.
Tips for Success
When you go down for your squat, ensure that you descend with your hips down and back. At the bottom of the squat, your hips should be lower than your knees.
You should also maintain your lumbar curve.
This means that your knees should track with your toes all the way through each functional movement.
Ensure that you keep your elbows off your knees. Rapidly extend your legs and hips before throwing the ball to the target.
Also, have a look at these wall ball alternatives if you want to change things up.