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Wall balls can offer many benefits but you may want other options. What are some alternatives to wall balls with similar benefits?
A wall ball can be a term for two things. First of all, the piece of equipment, a medium-sized weighted ball with a small bounce. Secondly, a wall ball can mean the exercise where you squat down and up and throw the ball upward against a wall.
This article will mainly be about equipment alternatives but you can use these options to do wall ball exercise alternatives like thrusters, goblet squats, jump squats, the clean exercise, shoulder presses, etc.
Among other benefits, you can use the wall ball equipment to strengthen muscles at home or in the gym, you have the mobility that other free weights don’t allow, you can throw them around, etc.
Whether you don’t enjoy using wall balls, you want a cheaper alternative, or you want an alternative for any other reason, these wall ball alternatives can help you train similar areas of your health.
Keep in mind that implementing these alternatives can offer benefits but like while using any exercise equipment, there is always some risk of injury. Make sure you use these equipment options in a safe way and if needed, get guidance from an expert.
1. Medicine ball
A medicine ball is a weighted ball that is made from relatively soft material and doesn’t bounce that well. This piece of fitness equipment can be used similarly to wall balls. You can use it in throwing exercises, as regular resistance in weight training, in balance training, etc.
You can even use a medicine ball for the wall ball exercise although you may have to stand slightly closer to the wall.
Another benefit is that medicine balls are generally less expensive than wall balls and more common in most gyms. You do want to keep in mind that not all medicine balls are made for throwing against heavy surfaces at a fast speed.
A downside of medicine balls and wall balls is that they are often not great for one-handed exercises.
There are workout sandbags that can be used as a fitness equipment alternative to wall balls. Certain types can be used for throwing but sandbags are mainly for creating resistance in a wide variety of exercises.
You can for example use sandbags in thrusters, goblet squats, jump squats, the clean exercise, shoulder presses, and many others.
A potential benefit of sandbags is that you can find heavier weights compared to wall balls. This can be helpful if you are a strong individual more experienced with resistance training.
Sandbags can also be put on your shoulders in a stable and comfortable way. This can be especially helpful for leg exercises where you need a lot of weight to make the exercise a challenge.
A downside is that sandbags do not offer the exact same mobility, bounciness, and compactness as wall balls. This means you can likely not do exactly the same workout as you would do with wall balls.
3. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are an inexpensive type of fitness equipment that are basically elastic cords. They are even more versatile than wall balls.
This is because you can loop resistance bands around your legs and because you are not limited to using the usual direction of gravity for resistance.
Some of the other benefits of resistance bands are that they are relatively inexpensive, easy to store, and very portable.
One potential downside is that the way bands offer resistance is not exactly the same as everyday life objects. The farther you stretch them out the bigger the resistance becomes. With wall balls, it’s more of the opposite since you build momentum with the ball as you move.
Resistance bands are also not the type of gym equipment you can use for the rest of your life. At least every few years you will need to replace the last set with new resistance bands.
Certain exercises will also benefit from anchoring your resistance bands somewhere. Sometimes you can attach them to objects that are already around the house. Even so, it is likely safer to get an inexpensive resistance band anchor to avoid any problems.
A kettlebell is a metal ball with a handle on top, usually made of cast iron or cast steel. There are alternatives that are more different but you can definitely not use kettlebells the exact same way as wall balls.
That being said, you can likely train the same muscles to the same extent or even better. For example in wall ball exercise alternatives like a thruster, goblet squat, or shoulder press. You can also do “throwing” exercises without letting go of the kettlebell.
Besides that, other benefits of kettlebells include that they also last a very long time without much reduction in value. Even after using them many times, kettlebells will have a very similar sturdiness and strength. You can also find kettlebells at heavier weights, use them in one-handed exercises, etc.
A potential disadvantage is that kettlebells often require a slightly bigger investment.
A dumbbell is a type of fitness equipment that is basically a handle with a weight on each side. Again this is an alternative that is not ideal for the exact same wall ball exercises.
Even so, dumbbells are even better than wall balls when it comes to resistance training in many cases. They can be used in one-handed exercises, exercises where you need to twist and turn your wrists a lot, etc.
Similar to kettlebells you can use dumbbells in “throwing” exercises without actually letting go of the dumbbell. You can also likely train the same muscles as in wall ball exercises, potentially even more effectively since you have heavier weights available.
Another benefit of dumbbells includes that they also last a very long time without much reduction in value. Even after using them many times, dumbbells will have a very similar sturdiness and strength.
A potential disadvantage is that dumbbells often require a slightly bigger investment.
6. Exercise ball
An exercise ball, also known as a stability or yoga ball, is a soft elastic ball. You can use this piece of equipment in certain throwing exercises but you don’t want to be too rough with it. Exercise balls are generally not made to slam on the ground.
Another downside is that exercise balls are not that heavy. This means using them in exercises like the wall ball exercise will likely result in less muscle growth and cardiovascular training compared to a weighted ball.
One benefit exercise balls do have over wall balls is that they can be used for a wide variety of balance and flexibility exercises. Exercise balls are also relatively inexpensive.
7. Cable machine
The cable machine is a type of gym machine where a steel frame holds weights and pulleys. Thanks to the cable going through these pulleys and attached to these weights you can do many types of strength training exercises for a wide variety of muscles.
This machine can offer a slightly similar feel as wall balls in some exercises although it is definitely not the exact same thing. Getting a cable machine for your home gym will also require a relatively big investment.
On the other hand, a cable machine does offer more resistance and one-handed exercises. It will also benefit your workouts for many years.
A barbell is a long steel bar you can put weight plates on. They are not the perfect alternative to wall balls since you don’t have the same mobility and you cannot really throw a barbell.
On the other hand, a barbell can definitely help you train similar muscles in similar ways. An example of an alternative to the wall ball exercise would be a barbell clean.
In other cases, for certain types of leg exercises like squats, barbells can be even more useful than wall balls. This is because the barbell allows you to load the weight on your shoulders instead of your hands. For most people, this allows heavier lifts.
A barbell and weight plates also often last a very long time without really losing their value.
In turn, a barbell set does require a relatively high initial investment. Especially if you get an accompanying barbell rack which will certainly be helpful.