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The ball is your friend

by Meghann on October 17, 2012

I had my butt handed to me at CrossFit this morning.


It doesn’t look like much, but trust me, this WOD was a killer.

Warm Up: 400 m run, 10 ball slams, 15 back extensions, 20 sit ups

I love warm ups that that start with a run. We did a lap around the parking lot, then came back to work on ball slams. When I first saw “ball slams” I thought we would be working with standard medicine balls. I thought wrong. I was sent to a rack that contained weighted balls that were 3x the size of my head.


These balls were soft and cushiony, but they were also heavy. I grabbed a 14 pounder then followed the instructor as he showed us how to do a proper ball slam. Basically, you jump up in the air and throw the ball down then try and get low to catch the ball as it bounces back up. This was my first time attempting this and it was a little awkward with that size of the ball.

The slams were followed by back extensions (lay on your stomach and lift your upper back up like a crunch) and sit ups.

Skill focus: review sit up form

Today was heavy on the sit ups and I made the epic mistake of wearing running shorts with a zipper pocket in the butt. Definitely learned my lesson on that one. After so many reps with the 14 lb ball (we had to tap the ball behind us, then tap the ball in front of us for a full sit up), I’m pretty sure I had a permanent zipper indention in my butt. Owie.

WOD: 400 m run w/ ball, 20 wall balls, 20 sit ups w/ ball, 5 RFT (rounds for time)

When we were introduced to this workout, we were told to make friends with the ball since it wouldn’t be leaving our side today.


(I had the 14, not the 16, and I would say we didn’t become friends so much as we learned to tolerate each other)

The large balls are just so awkward, especially for the 400 meter run. I tried holding it to my side, putting it on my shoulder, carrying on my back, etc. but the most comfortable I felt was when I carried it out front like a pregnant belly. I’m pretty sure that’s the closest I’ll come (at least for another couple of years) to knowing what it’s like to run with a belly of that size, and let me tell you, I was not a fan. More power to the pregnant gals who run for miles on end with the belly on front. You ladies rock.

Before the WOD even started I heard a couple of the guys griping about the 20 wall balls listed. I had no idea what a wall ball was, but I thought surely it couldn’t be that bad. Again, I thought wrong. It wasn’t until we got a quick demo before the WOD and our instructor started throwing his 20lb ball high up into the air and then catching it while going down into a squat position that I started to get worried.


(source: )

There was a paw on the wall that we had to aim to hit as we came up, then we had to go to a full squat before repeating the move. If done properly, it should all be one fluid move, at least that was the goal.

I started my first set with my 14 lb ball and was about in tears by the time I was close to 20.I felt like I was using every muscle in my body to get the ball in the air and my arms felt like jello. This was hard. Really, really hard.

Once the wall balls were done, I hopped on my mat for the full sit ups (touching the ball behind me, then sitting up and touching in front of me). Again, the awkward heavy ball made it that much more challenging. Burn baby, burn.

I took the WOD one round at a time and pushed through all 5 as quickly as I could without killing myself in the process. I’ll admit I did need to stop and rest during the wall balls on multiple occasions and there was some walking on the run portion. The instructor came over me for my final set of sit ups and started counting out loud as I tried to slam out the 20. Knowing he was counting pushed me to go faster and harder than I probably would have done without him hovering me.

I collapsed on the mat after my final round and refused to move for a full 5 minutes. I was done, beyond done, and all I wanted was a pillow and a place to nap.


RX = prescribed weight. I just did the recommended ball weight listed on the board, I didn’t realize I had a choice!

I know my arms are going to be feeling this one in the morning. Good thing I have swim practice tonight and not tomorrow.

After I finished my WOD, I drove home for breakfast.


  • plain Chobani
  • pear
  • trail mix
  • almond butter

A simple breakfast, but a good one. I love the crunch of the nuts and pear with the yogurt.

Now I need coffee. A big cup of coffee.

Have a great hump day everyone!

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