Tip: Do Ball Slams Before You Lift

Ball slams will help you recruit more muscle fibers. This means you'll be able to go heavier and build more muscle during your regular weight training.

In the short term, explosive exercises improve your workouts by activating high-threshold motor units to fire on all cylinders and recruit more muscle during your training. In the long-term, you'll recruit more muscle fibers with less effort. This makes it easier to call all the troops to action and smash heavy weights, thus improving your explosive power and muscle-building potential.

Ball Slams

These work the explosive shoulder extension, forcing the lats, triceps, posterior delts, and pecs to rapidly generate force. It also forces your core to work double time, transferring force from overhead towards the ground while preventing your spine from flexing forward.

How To Do It

Use a non-bouncy medicine ball and hold it overhead. (If the ball is bouncy, you'll need to wear a nut cup and mouth guard.) Brace the abs like you would before someone pokes you in the stomach. Now, with the weight overhead and abs braced, throw the ball to the ground while keeping the chest tall and eyes straightforward. Your goal is to throw as hard as possible without bending through the waist or rounding in your shoulders.

Do three sets of 4 to 6 reps with 60-90 seconds rest between sets. Use about an 8-12 pound ball. Perform on upper body training days before you hit the weights.

Eric Bach is a highly sought-after strength and conditioning coach, located in Colorado. Eric specializes in helping athletes and online clients achieve optimal performance in the gym and on the playing field. Follow Eric Bach on Facebook