How to Master the D-Ball Crawl for Harder, Stronger Abs and Full-body Co-ordination - Men's Health Magazine Australia

How to Master the D-Ball Crawl for Harder, Stronger Abs and Full-body Co-ordination

Sit-ups certainly have a place, but for a strong midsection that can transfer serious power, it’s well worth making this your go-to move.

It can be easy to forget that a muscled midsection is good for more than just showing off in a well-heated gym. The D-ball crawl trains your core to do what it’s designed to: that is, transfer power from head to toe, and back again.

“By alternating between pushing, pulling and stabilising, you ensure you hit those muscles from all angles,” says fitness expert Andrew Tracey, “which teaches your core
to do its job much more effectively than crunches and planks ever could.”

The crawl position forces your trunk to stabilise. In the ‘push’ it has to transfer power from your legs through to your shoulders and arms to drive the ball away; in the drag back it contracts, crunch-style, to pull the ball back in. “It’s the full package,” says Tracey.

It works more than what you see in the mirror, improving balance and coordination. “The carry over to other lifts – and everyday life – is huge with this move,” says Tracey.

d-ball crawl


Drive your hands and feet into the floor, knees up 5-10 centimetres. Start with a heavy ball in front of you. Crawl forwards on your hands and toes so that the ball ends below your chest.

d-ball crawl


With a flat back, roll the ball forwards with your right hand. Keep tension in your body as you crawl forwards on your toes, finishing over the top of the ball, two ‘steps’ from your starting position.


Repeat with the other arm. Alternate, steadily driving the ball forwards for 10, 15 or 20m. Keep your hips low and core tight. Focus on pressing through your entire body, not just your arms.

d-ball crawl


After you’ve covered your distance, stop, reset and reverse, crawling back. Roll the ball back towards the midline of your body. Alternate arms with each step. Once again, try to focus on contracting your abs.

By Andrew Tracey

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