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WALLBALLS

There are several pieces to the wall ball that can help you improve your efficiency and make them, well suck less. Maintaining body position through out the movement can help improve your consistency and shoot for more unbroken reps. When you think about your wall balls, there is might by one or two pieces that may be holding you back. Shoulder fatigue, missing the target, dropping the ball, or losing that upright torso position. Focusing on one piece at a time can lead to better results in the end. Here are a few tips for you to consider next time wall balls pop up.

 Look at your target– No need to follow the ball. Its vertical path is within your peripheral vision so you wont lose track of it location. Keeping your eyes up may also help maintain a more vertical torso position.

Keep your elbows down and in– The closer to your mid-line your arms are the stronger your shoulders will be. If you were to draw a line down the center of your body, think about keeping your arms as parallel to this as possible during your shots and catches. Especially if you are one to flare your elbows out, think about keeping them shoulder width apart. This will also put your hands more underneath to support the ball as opposed to squeezing it from the sides. It will take some practice and may feel more difficult at first but improve your overall technique and take some stress off your shoulders.

Hands back and fingers spread– If you draw a line down the middle of the ball, keep your hands slightly behind the mid-line towards you. This will help you throw the ball up and slightly forward to hit the wall. Keep your fingers spread apart and pointers towards to ceiling to maintain a solid grip.

 Throw form your hips– What? Your arms are should be used more as a guide than the primary way of launching the ball. Push your feet into the ground from the bottom of your squat and drive your hips forward towards the wall. This is where your power is generated. Remember, wall balls are like front squats and thrusters! The movement needs to be quick so you don’t lose out on the kinetic energy being created. So if you feel yourself using more arms to shoot the wall balls, try increasing your speed from the bottom of the squat to the top.

Catch and throw from your chin– The best place for your wall ball shots to start and end is around your chin. Like the thruster, you can use your leg drive to transfer momentum from the floor threw the ball to help you reach your target. However, you want to avoid resting the ball on your chest and use your arms locked at a 90-degree position to hold the ball. Catch too low and you may lose your upright position, momentum and waste energy bringing the ball back up. Catch too high and you miss out on the full power transfer.

 Extend your arms at the top– Once you’ve released the ball let the momentum from the throw extend your arms. If you are stopping your extension after the ball is released, you may not be getting the most out of your power transfer. Think about reaching towards your target.

 Catch and squat together– When the ball is on its way down, your extended arms should be ready to receive the ball again and lower it towards your chin. This deceleration of the ball should be done simultaneously as you lower into your squat again. Compare it to a domino effect- ball hits hands elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles bend. Once you’ve hit the bottom, drive upwards for the next rep. The more fluid you can make your catch and throw the easier they become.

Check out this video of good vs. bad wall balls for a side-by-side comparison:

http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_Wallball.mov