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Dead Ball (D-Ball)

The D-Ball (aka: Dead Ball or Slam Ball) is a conditioning tool (and sometimes a strength tool if it’s heavy) that challenges you in the same way the Olympic lifts challenge you: it tests your speed, power, and stability. Typically filled with sand, this implement is named for the way it lands dead on the ground, with no bounce.

Why the D-Ball?: D-Balls add an important element to your routine: they are what’s called an “odd object,” and odd objects challenge your body differently than standard pieces of equipment like barbells or dumbbells. You have to do things like bend down low, heave the ball explosively, and control the imbalanced nature of the object.

Exercises: When it comes to using the D-Ball, you can do variants of many barbell movements. So instead of doing barbell cleans, deadlifts, ground-to-overheads, and shoulder-to-overheads, use the D-Ball. It’ll really challenge your stabilizers and core to use the D-Ball instead of more standard pieces of equipment. You can also perform exercises like ball slams and D-Ball push-ups (using the D-Ball as the surface instead of the ground, allowing for more stabilizing and tricep work).

It’s a D-Ball, Not a Med Ball: Although they look similar, don’t confuse D-Balls with other kinds of Medicine Balls; D-Balls have rubber exteriors and don’t bounce. Typical medicine balls, on the other hand, have a softer exterior and filling, bounce more easily, and weigh up to 30 lb. D-Balls can weigh 150 lb+!

Ready to do some odd object training? Try out some of the benchmark D-Ball WODs below!