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UF 101: D-Balls

posted on May 27, 2019

How to D-balls: The Carry 


Sometimes there is nothing better than just picking up something heavy and carrying it. I love the barbell lifts but sometimes I just want to feel like a barbarian that picks some heavy shit up. The D-ball’s that we have perfectly satisfy this feeling for me. If you have never seen the D-ball’s before they look similar to the medicine balls but are covered in a near bullet proof thick rubber. They’re also much heavier than the medicine balls at 50lbs, 80lbs and 100lbs- I like to call this one the “Big Kahuna.” The regulars that come to my Monday Powerful Bootcamp class are quite familiar with my love for these awkward tools. The possibilities to use these in your programs are endless but I will stick with the main one that everyone loves to do: The Carry. There are a variety of exercises you can perform but this one is a staple. 


Did I say it’s my favorite? Just pure will of strength. This one is special for me, however; before “The Carry” begins it is crucial you are in the correct position so there are some technique cues I want to stress. 


The Start Position: Placement of the D-Ball

Make sure that the D-ball is placed directly in the middle of your feet. Visually if someone drew a line in the middle of you everything would be cut perfectly in half. 


The ball also needs to be close to you before picking it up, limiting chance of injury. If someone is looking from the side of you, the ball should be placed ideally in the middle of your shoe- the arch of your foot.



The Deadlift 

Just like every deadlift you want to bring your hips back, maintain a neutral spine as much as possible, and squeeze your glutes to pull the ball up. 


More often than not, people have an urge to start curling the ball – Try to avoid this, because you want the force to come from your hips. This doesn’t mean that your arms need to be straight but ideally staying the same degree of bent during the whole movement. 



The Hug

Do not rush this beautiful moment with you and the D-ball. 

After deadlifting the D-ball, take a second to place it in your lap. Possibly the best way I can describe it is to perform a wall sit without the wall. Meaning squat down with your chest up trying to place the D-Ball into your lap as much as possible. This position shouldn’t be strenuous if done correctly.


Once the ball is in your lap make sure to get it as close to your stomach and chest as possible. You want to fold your upper body over the D-Ball. Now wrap your arms around it to make this moment as special as possible. 



Once there is no space between you and the D-ball try to think about rowing the ball through your chest. The ball should not move but this will create more tightness and safety for your back. 


The Lift 

Once you are one with the ball squeeze your glutes as if you life depends on it. 



The power from your hips and glutes should be your ‘movers,’- how we get the D-Ball up. Everything else, specifically your back, should be stabilizing more than moving. 


Where do I put this thing? 

Once you have the D-ball up you might be asking “where the hell is this thing supposed to be?” Fantastic question. 

I believe with great posture, or as like to call it “big proud chest”, in the middle of your sternum with a tight upper back is the best place. But with female anatomy this can be difficult. So for the all the females out there, having the D-ball on a shoulder is perfectly safe as long the posture does not suffer.