This Slam Ball Workout from Nike Trainer Kirsty Godso Will Seriously Test Your Strength
All you need is a wall and a (slam) ball.
Nike Master Trainer Kirsty Godso is really good at kicking up the intensity. With signature moves like the "hot sauce burpee" (the hardest burpee variation out there—try to say it's not) she'll have your muscles shaking and heart pounding almost instantly at her HIIT class at Project by Equinox in New York or literally any of her other workouts.
The New Zealand-born trainer's Instagram is full of workout inspiration that will leave you feeling breathless just watching, and her most recent post is no different. You see Godso run through a four-move, total-body workout using nothing but a wall and a slam ball—one of her favorite pieces of exercise equipment. "The slam ball is so versatile and can be found in almost every gym," she says. "I love using it to challenge core and upper body stability and for explosive movements like tosses and slams." (Related: The Total-Body Medicine Ball Workout That Carves Your Core)
Take cues from the video below and follow Godso's lead the next time you're in the mood for a serious full-body boost. (Full disclosure: These moves are not easy. If you're not ready to go all-in, you can always use them as a source of inspiration and incorporate a one or two exercises into your routine.)
Full-Body Workout with a Slam Ball
Elevated Stability Wall Climber
"This is a great exercise to challenge your heart rate," says Godso. Since you’re upside down, your heart has to work a lot harder to pump blood around the body, and it's also a great way to improve upper body and core strength, she adds. "The ball adds an element of instability which challenges your neuromuscular system giving you a heightened calorie burn and an increase in heart rate," she says. This is an advanced drill and you should practice with your hands on the floor first before working up to hands on the ball. (Check out these Advanced Stability Ball Moves for an Insanely Strong Core)
How to do it: Start with hands on the ball and step one foot onto the wall at a time. Your body will be angled and shoulders will be slightly behind the wrists. Keep your eye gaze down so your neck is neutral. Get confident holding your bodyweight still before starting to drive one knee in at a time.
Continue alternating for 30 seconds.
Single-Leg Wall Squat
"This is one of my fav exercises for glutes and inner thighs," says Godso, explaining that if you focus on pushing through your heel to come out of the bottom of the movement you’ll feel even more work in your glutes. Adding the arms in front and holding the Pilates ring adds an extra challenge to the core and arms. "It's also more of a stability challenge because you can’t use your arms to help you balance," she says. (Find out What You *Really* Do with a Pilates Ring?)
How to do it: Grab a Pilates ring and position the slam ball at the small of your back against a wall. Extend arms so that they're parallel to the ground. Lift left leg up while slowly squatting down on the right leg until it reaches a 90-degree angle. Pause and return to the start position.
Complete 8 reps on each leg.
Explosive Single Leg Bridge
"Driving the heel into the floor helps you work on increasing strength and power in your hamstrings and glutes," says Godso. "Often our quads take over in glute bridges, but the heel is the key player in helping you take the work to the back of the body. The ball toss adds coordination and a good push motion for the upper body and core and some extra weight for you to move against." She suggests finding a pause at the bottom position of each rep when the ball is at your chest, so you can get the most explosive drive or push off from the floor.
How to do it: Lay on your back with a slam ball at your chest. Lift left leg to a 90-degree angle. Tighten abs and glutes, lift hips and pelvis using the right leg while simultaneously throwing the slam ball up in the air. Catch the ball and bring hips back to the ground.
Complete 8 reps on each leg.
Burpee to Wall Toss
This move is all about speed, explains Godso. "You’ve got a stability challenge as you drop back into a high plank on the slam ball, but be sure to keep your plank tidy," she says. "Long flat back, shoulders over wrists, and glutes and core engaged. Then when you jump in using a squat, you get to work glutes and legs followed by an explosive push as you throw the ball." Think about using a chest pass movement to throw the slam ball into the wall at your max force.
How to do it: Place slam ball on the ground and jump out into a push-up position with hands on the ball. Keep your back flat and core engaged at the bottom. Jump forward toward the ball, stand up, and immediately throw the ball at the wall in front of you. Bring the ball back to the ground and start again.
Do as many as reps as possible for 30 seconds.