Dr. Jon Hyman

Jon Hyman, MD

Wall Ball Shots

wall ball technique illustrated

Concepts: From a standing position, holding the wall ball, do a full squat and explode back up while thrusting the hips open and push/launch the ball to a wall target 10' off the ground.  

Risks: Hyperextending the neck and traps by almost constantly looking up, straining the low back by catching the ball in a manner that causes excessive forward bending of the trunk

Tips:  Stretch your traps well and have good mobility of the lower back. Consider warming up with a wall ball between your ankles so your bottom touches it at the bottom of your squat, so you can gauge the depth of your squat consistently.  Keep a tight core and midline during the movement.  Try not to let the ball get too far in front of you, ie too close to the wall, as catching it when you are too far back from the wall will cause you to bend toward the wall and strain your back.  If you don't use your hips powerfully, you will rely more heavily on your shoulders to thrust the ball up.

* note, this is probably the ONLY movement in CrossFit where height is an advantage. You are moving a fixed weight to a fixed vertical height.

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Our thanks to FlexBuilding: A New Way to Move. A New Way to Live. for providing the anatomical images for this website.

Tips & Techniques

Box Jump Overs

Whether jumping over a box, a tire, or a barbell, the jump requires explosive recruitment of specific muscles. Pre-loading muscles and increasing starting spring coil length has an impact.


To get the maximum benefit from the movement, and to protect your knees from injury (especially the patella or knee cap cartilage), it is important not to smash your trailing knee into the floor.

Muscle Ups

This complex gymnastics movement has become a trademark move of sorts in CrossFit. It requires power, coordination, timing and technique. Some people take years to get muscle ups.


The appearance of the plank carries a degree of simplicity that masquerades it's power. Proper form in this position creates a great deal of core stability and base power.

The Kettle Bell

Tough on the low back. Keep chest up and don’t let it pull your face down toward the floor as the kettle bell passes back between your legs.

The Rope Climb

Multiple Injury opportunities here. When executed well, you can blast up and down the rope like a seasoned inchworm on steroids.

Wall Ball Shots

Moving a fixed weight a fixed distance. Up. A great exercise when done in good form. A good benchmark to use to measure your progress in strength and endurance.

Your Body & Injury


The biceps tendon can tear up by the shoulder (rupture of the long head of the biceps) or tear by the elbow.

Foot and Ankle

Achilles Injuries. Most commonly, CrossFitters will sustain overuse tendinits.


CrossFit and Plyometrics involves a fair amount of squatting and crouching. Wallballs, slam balls, olympic power lifts, eg squat cleans etc, all involve ‘dropping down low’ and getting your hip crease below knee crease.


Knees are more than just the platform that supports our stance, run and squat.


Muscle physiology is a complex science. There are fast twitch, slow twitch muscle fibers and elaborate mechanisms of enhancing strength, power, endurance speed and fatigue resistance of muscle.


There are two labra or labrums in the body. They are both at somewhat high risk in the Sports of Fitness activities which involve a lot of deep squatting and overhead lifting.


The spine is a complex anatomic masterpiece of axial structural support for our body.


Sprains and tendonitis are the most common ailments.

American Academy for Orthopaedic Surgeons American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
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