WODdoc Episode 83 Project365: Don’t Be A Ball Hugger

I traveled out to Brick New York today. Awesome place! Two story, top notch facility… super clean…. Great coaches. All around awesome atmosphere.. everyone was just real nice. Big thanks to coaches Erica, Ben, Ian.


Today we are talking wall ball technique. A really common technique flaw with wall ball shots (WBS) is collapse of the torso. I nicknamed these people wall ball huggers because of their presentation.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.03.31 AM  Don’t laugh, I see this position ALL the time!!!!

Mess of things going wrong here. From top to bottom we have: (1)Hyper extended neck because of the amount of thoracic flexion (2) Hyper flexed thoracic spine (3) Loss of lumbar extension (4) Hips above parallel (5) Weight forward meaning loss of posterior chain engagement.

This is really bad for two reason. Its a safety issue….you’re going to blow a rod someplace. Second reason… it is so much less efficient. Huge problem when dealing with high rep exercises like WBS. Ohhhhh and I almost forgot.  You can’t breath in this position… I know, I know… not important.

Lets make it look like this…

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.04.45 AM


So How:

Believe it or not the first breakdown I see is that athletes allow the ball to slip to far into there hands.  This throws the ball out farther and begins the snowball.  — The Fix: Concentrate on catching and holding the ball below the equator. Think about making a tripod to hold the ball.. Two hands, one chin.

Torso, Torso, Torso…!! Basically the rest of the faults pointed out above relate to torso angle. I harp on this like crazy. What is a WBS? Its a squat with a dynamic shoulder press.  Therefore, all the rules of squatting apply here. That means we set our torso angle with the 2” squat and it doesn’t change period. If you are not familiar with my squat progressions reference back to the first 7 episodes.

Benefits of the corrected position. Its more efficient .. less moving parts.. less energy expenditure. We can breath… with the back upright the diaphragm can do it’s job and draw air into the lungs. More power.. the correct posture allows better posterior chain engagement. Its safer.. keeping our spine in neutral positions is a good habit.. lowers our chance of injury.

In closing….

Nobody likes ball huggers. Don’t be a ball hugger.  Get that torso up. Get those elbows under your hands and catch that ball below the equator.

Today’s WODdocket:

1. 25 squats holding a wall ball. Use perfect position as shown in video.

2. 5 sets 10 WBS practicing wall ball form.