11 Step Guide to Crush your HYROX Wall Balls

A man performing a wall ball exercise while looking up at the title 'Hyrox Wall Balls'

Ever eye a wall and think, “I want to throw a ball at that?” Welcome to the HYROX Wall Balls – where you get to do exactly that at the end of a gruelling race.

Love to be able to glide up and down through 100 wall balls like the pro’s do?

With 10,000+ Wall Balls in the bank I’m here to guide you through everything you need to know to fight the pain and smash your HYROX Wall Balls.

Let’s get straight into it…

1. What are HYROX Wall Balls

HYROX Wall Balls are a full-body functional movement that combines squatting, throwing, and catching. They are the last HYROX exercise in the Race. You will have completed the following by the time you get there;

1km run,

1000km Ski Erg,

1km run,

50m Sled Push,

1km run,

50m Sled Pull,

1km run,

80m Burpee Broad Jumps,

1km run,

1000m Row,

1km run,

200m Kettlebells Farmers Carry,

1km run,

100m Sandbag Lunges,

1km run.

A full breakdown of the event and what to expect can be found here.

At this station you’ll complete between 75 – 100 reps at a Wall Ball weight of 4-9kg.

The height you will throw the ball is 2.7 – 3meters.

The rep range, weight and height is dependent on your sex and standard or pro status;

2. HYROX Wall Ball Standards

The Weights and Height

WOMEN: 75 reps with 4 kg (white marking) 

WOMEN PRO / MEN: 100 reps with 6 kg (grey marking) 

MEN PRO: 100 reps with 9 kg (black marking) 

Target height WOMEN and WOMEN PRO: 2.70 m 

Target height MEN and MEN PRO: 3.00 m

The full rule book of weights and movement standards can be found at the HYROX Rulebook

The Official Wall Ball used in HYROX Races

The balls utilised in the HYROX events are of premium quality, offering robustness and a consistent feel.

HYROX Equipment - Official HYROX Wallballs

HYROX OFFICIAL WALL BALL

The Official Ball Identical to those at the Race.

3. Average HYROX Wall Ball Times

If you don’t prepare properly for the Wall Balls it can single-handedly ruin your HYROX race.

During the 2022/23 HYROX Season the average Wall Ball times for each category were;

Womens Open: 04:41 mins

Womens Pro: 06:10 mins

Mens Open: 06:50 mins

Mens Pro: 06:46 mins

Womens Doubles: 03:16 mins

Mens Doubles: 04:10 mins

Be sure to keep an eye on the elite HYROX athlete times to see how your training is coming along.

The master tips below will help you perfect your technique and energy efficiency to Smash through this element of your HYROX race.

Data Courtesy of https://www.theroxzone.com

4. The Correct HYROX Wall Balls Technique

Stance and Grip

Start by assuming a stance slightly wider than your shoulders, grounding your feet firmly into the floor. When holding the ball, your grip should be secure yet not overly tense; think of embracing a large pizza – firm but not crushingly so.

Hold the ball at chest height, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Trainers play a bit role in your stability, if you haven’t for the pair right for you yet take a look at our HYROX Trainer Review

The Initiation

Before you kick things off, ensure you stand upright with your hips and knees fully extended. Grasp the ball firmly and initiate a squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, descending smoothly into the squat position.

The descent should be controlled, not a free fall.

The Squat Phase

Once in the squat position, focus on getting your hips below your knees, achieving a depth below 90°. Keep your chest up, and back straight, avoiding any hunching forward.

It’s a demanding part of the process, but think of it as the necessary grunt work before the grand launch.

The Ascent and Throw

As you ascend from the squat, drive through your heels, engaging your quads and glutes powerfully to rise. Once in a half-standing position, use the momentum to thrust the ball upwards towards the HYROX target for your category.

Extend your arms fully, releasing the ball with both hands to strike the target accurately.

The Catch

After releasing the ball, get ready to catch it gracefully, well, as gracefully as you can while catching a heavy ball hurtling towards you.  As the ball descends, initiate a slight squat to cushion the catch and seamlessly transition into your next repetition.

Repetition Consistency

Maintaining a consistent rhythm is key. After catching the ball, immediately proceed to the next repetition without any pause. This ‘touch and go’ rhythm not only helps maintain a steady pace but also keeps your muscles engaged throughout the session.

Maintain Form

No matter how enticing it is to bang out just one more rep, never compromise on form. Ensure your squat depth is consistent, and the ball strikes the designated target each time to avoid any invalid repetitions.

Maintaining a proper form protects you from strains and injuries and the dreaded no rep calls.

Referee’s Role

In competitive settings, a referee might be involved to ensure all athletes maintain the standard movement patterns. The referee might utilize a box to verify the depth of the squats, ensuring fairness and uniformity in the competition.

See below YouTube video explanation;

5. How to Train for HYROX Wall Balls

1. The Wall Ball Weight:

Start by training with a Wall Ball that matches or exceeds the weight you’ll face on race day. Think of it like a boxer training with heavier gloves; come race day, your standard ball will feel like a feather (well, almost).

2. Use the Right Height:

If your gym’s wall targets don’t match HYROX standards, time to get creative. Mark the correct height on a wall or invest in a portable target. Accuracy in training equals no surprises on race day.

3. Muscle Prep:

Incorporate exercises that complement Wall Ball movements. Think squats for those powerful lower body thrusts and overhead presses to build shoulder endurance.

6. HYROX Wall Ball Race Day Strategies

Pacing is Key:

Don’t blast through your first set of Wall Balls like there’s no tomorrow. Start steady, find your rhythm, and remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You want to avoid hitting the dreaded wall at the Wall Balls. There is nothing worse than looking up at the target from the bottom, knowing you’ve gone out too hot and don’t have enough to get back up.

Breathing Technique:

Inhale on the way down, exhale on the throw. It’s like a meditative mantra but sweatier. This rhythm will keep you from gasping like a fish out of water by the 50th rep.

Focus on Form:

When fatigue kicks in, form usually takes the first hit. Keep your squats deep and your throws accurate. It’s better to take an extra second per rep than to have no-reps called on you.

Mental Grit:

Remember, your mind gives up way before your muscles do. Keep a mental image of crossing that finish line. Maybe even a cheeky post-race pint? Whatever keeps you pushing!

Visual Cues:

Focus on a point on the wall or the target. It’s like a beacon guiding you through the stormy seas of fatigue. The body moves where the head looks.

Team Spirit:

If you’re in a Doubles or Relay, use your partner’s energy. Cheer each other on, tap into their strength, and share the burden. It’s not just your race; it’s your team’s victory lap.

7. Common Mistakes in HYROX Wall Balls

Wall Balls are hard enough without mistakes.

Here’s a breakdown of the common mistakes people make, and how to avoid them so you can put maximum focus on grinding them out.

Insufficient Squat Depth

Dipping just a little during the squat phase? Well, that won’t do. You must descend until your hips are below your knees to fully engage the muscle groups involved. Shallow squats not only reduce the efficacy of the exercise but can also lead to muscle imbalances and injuries over time.

Improper Target Hitting

Each throw must connect with the designated target area. For men, it’s hitting above a particular line in the centre; for women, it’s hitting the centre.

Erratic Throwing

Throwing the ball without control can lead to missed targets and increased fatigue as you chase after a rogue ball. Ensure a controlled, focused throw, directing the ball precisely where it needs to go.

Overextending the Back

An overarched back can not only result in an ineffective Wall Ball exercise but also pave the way for back issues. Keep your back straight and engage your core throughout to maintain a healthy posture.

Neglecting the Catch

After releasing the ball, some may stand still as if admiring a piece of art. However, this isn’t the time for admiration; prepare to catch the ball in a slight squat to maintain the rhythm and flow of the exercise, avoiding any unnecessary pauses that break the momentum.

Ignoring the Breathing Pattern

Breathing is not just for staying alive; it’s also vital in Wall Balls. Maintain a rhythmic breathing pattern, inhaling during the descent and exhaling powerfully as you rise and throw the ball. It’s kind of like blowing out birthday candles, but with more sweat and less cake.

Misplacing the Feet

Your feet should remain shoulder-width apart, offering a stable base for the exercise. A too-narrow stance can make you wobbly, while a too-wide stance may limit your power generation.

Underutilising the Hips

The hips play a crucial role in generating power during the ascent. Engage your hips effectively to add that needed power.

8. Tips for Improving HYROX Wall Balls

Stance Perfection

Ah, the art of standing correctly; sounds easy, right? But there’s a trick to it. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart to provide a sturdy base for your spectacular movements. Picture yourself as a tree, grounded yet ready to spring into action; that’s the stance you’re going for.

Gripping the Ball

Grip the ball at the sides and keep it close to your body, allowing for a fluid motion that seamlessly transitions from the squat to the throw.

Smooth Transitions

The golden rule here is to catch the ball softly as it rebounds, ready to transition into the next squat seamlessly. Maintain a rhythmic flow.

Breath Control

If you’ve been holding your breath waiting for the next tip, now is the time to let it out, slowly and rhythmically. In sync with your movements, your breath should be your guiding rhythm, helping to maintain a steady pace and reduce early fatigue.

Target Focus

Keep your eyes on the prize, or in this case, the target. By maintaining a steady gaze at the target, you ensure a consistent throw, reducing the chances of missing and having to chase after a runaway ball.

Select the Right Clothing

Choose breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics to stay dry and avoid restrictions during movements. Go for stable, non-slip footwear for safe and powerful throws, and consider gloves to maintain a consistent grip on the ball. Click here if you want more info on the Best HYROX Clothing

Regular Practise

Last but not least, be consistent with your practice. Wall Balls are not mastered overnight. It’s a journey, with each session bringing you one step closer to being that person who makes Wall Balls look like a piece of cake, a very sweaty piece of cake.

Looking for expert tips for all round fitness improvement?

9. Benefits of a HYROX Wall Balls

  1. Stronger Muscles: Wall balls make lots of your muscles work hard. Your thigh and bottom muscles help you jump up, and your shoulder and arm muscles help you throw the ball. Your tummy muscles keep you stable and safe.
  2. Healthier Bones: Doing wall balls often can make your bones stronger, which is good for preventing bone diseases.
  3. Better Heart Health: These exercises make your heart work harder to pump blood, which is good for your heart and can help keep your blood pressure healthy.
  4. More Calories Burned: Wall balls are great for speeding up how fast you burn calories, even after you stop exercising.
  5. Better Coordination and Speed: You get better at moving quickly and smoothly because you keep squatting, lifting, and throwing.
  6. Tough Mind: Doing wall balls, especially when you’re tired, push and improve your mental limit.
  7. Happy Feelings: Like many tough exercises, wall balls release endorphins which make you feel good and happy after you’re done.
  8. Strong Core: Your core muscles get stronger, which helps you balance better in everyday life and prevents injuries.

Wrapping Up

Wall Balls are a great work out. 100 Wall Balls at the end of a race are however a completely different ball game.

I hated them to start with and suffered lower back pain until a coach showed me I was leaning too far forward.

If you get discomfort other than exhaustion and muscle burn, might be work checking you are doing it right with a coach or experienced training buddy. If you prefer to share the work with your buddy in a race, check out the HYROX Doubles and HYROX Relays

If you follow the tips and ensure your form is correct you’ll be blasting them out in no time.

And if you’re new to HYROX try our 6 Week HYROX Training Plan for Beginners to get you started.

FAQ’s

How high are the wall balls in HYROX?

The target height for Women and Women Pro is 2,70 m 

The target height Men and Men pro is 3,00 m

When should I avoid Wall Balls?

Don’t try wall balls if you have knee, back, or shoulder issues, or if you are experiencing any signs of high fatigue to prevent the risk of injury.

Always consult with a healthcare provider if unsure.

How many pounds is a 6kg wall ball?

A 6kg wall ball weighs approximately 13.23 pounds.

Is HYROX training good for weight loss?

Yes, HYROX training can aid in weight loss due to its high-intensity workouts that burn substantial calories.

Are wall balls effective?

Yes, wall balls offer a comprehensive workout, working multiple muscle groups and providing cardio benefits. Add a Ski Erg, Sled Push and Pull, Burpee Broad Jumps, a Row, Kettlebell Farmers Carry, Sandbag Lunges and 8km of running and you’ll have the full HYROX package.


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