Wall balls can be used for many different movements including the push press. Find out how this changes the effects of the exercise.
Compared to regular push presses, the wall ball version is typically done even more explosively since you can really push it up in the air without having to stop. This can be helpful for training shoulder muscle power.
The wall ball push press may also feel safer due to the softer surface of the ball.
One downside of this variation is that the typical wall ball weights available may be too easy for many individuals to train muscle power optimally.
On the other hand, push presses can also be part of cardiovascular-focused wall ball workouts if you use lighter weights and do more repetitions in a row.
Additionally, sets of push presses will typically have a smoother flow than sets of strict explosive wall ball shoulder presses.
How to do a wall ball push press
As the name implies, you need a good wall ball and a sturdy wall for this exercise.
Additionally, you want to warm up your muscles and joints before doing this explosive exercise.
In the case of push presses, you can do arm circles in both directions while slowly doing bodyweight squats as a warm-up.
Once you have the equipment and have done the warm-up, take the following steps to do a wall ball push press:
- Stand one or two steps away from the wall with your face toward it. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart and the wall ball at about shoulder height with your hands under it. You want your upper arms to point at about 45-degree angles to the horizontal line of your shoulders.
- Lower your upper body a small amount by folding your knees.
- Raise your body explosively by stretching your legs. At the same time, push the wall ball up explosively with enough force to launch the ball against the wall at the top of the movement.
- Catch the wall ball in your hands with slightly less than stretched arms and legs
The main thing to keep in mind for wall ball push presses is pointing your upper arms somewhat forward. This will put your shoulders in a position with lower injury risk.
Next, for muscle power wall ball exercises that you do explosively and only for a few repetitions, you want to choose a weight where you can barely do about 5 repetitions.
You can also choose a lighter wall ball and do more repetitions if you want to train your cardiovascular health.
Wall ball push press muscles worked
Similar to the regular version, wall ball push presses work your front deltoids, middle deltoids, triceps, trapezius, quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.
Of these, your deltoids, triceps, and trapezius will typically have the hardest time.
Additionally, your forearm muscles may have to work slightly harder to grip a wall ball compared to holding something like a barbell.
By choosing heavier weights, doing more explosive movements, and doing fewer repetitions, the wall ball push press focuses a lot more on muscle power compared to something like a strict barbell shoulder press.
This could align more with your training goals.
One potential downside is that the wall ball weights available may feel too easy for the push press exercise for many people.
Making the movement challenging enough is an important condition for growing and strengthening muscles and improving muscle power in them.
Whether or not this is an issue depends on details like your goals, personal situation, workout routine, etc.
Wall ball push press benefits
Using a wall ball in the push press exercise can offer some benefits. Here are a few of them:
- Train more explosively: With equipment that is less throwable, you can’t overdo it with pushing at the end of the push press movement. When using a wall ball you can go full speed for the entire exercise.
- Can be less scary: Individuals who are new to push presses may find the exercise scary with a heavily loaded barbell. The consequences of failing are less bad with a wall ball. This can be helpful to become more confident during the push press.
- Can be more fun: A big part of getting and staying fit is being consistent. Switching things up with different equipment and being able to throw the wall ball can make things more fun.
If you don’t mind the lower weights available, wall ball push presses can offer some relatively unique benefits on top of the typical positive effects of exercising.
Wall ball push presses can be helpful but similar to many exercises, there is some form of risk too.
More specifically, this movement can be hard on your shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees.
If you have (a history of) issues in these areas you want to be careful about doing more wall ball push presses. You may need to start with lighter exercises first.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to warm up before explosive exercises like the wall ball push press. This will also allow your body to perform better.
If you do notice any pain while doing wall ball push presses, this is a sign that you are likely doing suboptimal.
In that case, you could need more rest, better habits in other lifestyle areas, and/or a lighter workout program.
Is the wall ball push press an effective exercise?
Doing wall ball push presses can offer benefits in a variety of ways.
They can help you train muscle power in your deltoids, triceps, and trapezius and/or engage your cardiovascular system.
Using a wall ball for push presses can be helpful in the sense that they allow you to go full speed throughout the entire movement instead of having to slow down at the end.
They can also make the push press feel safer and more fun.
Something to note is that you still need enough resistance to see muscle-related benefits. Whether or not wall balls offer this for you depends on how strong you currently are.
Additionally, you want to keep in mind that your enjoyment of exercises matters too. If you like the workouts in your plan, it becomes easier to stay consistent.