Muscular verbs bring vitality to your writing without needing adverbs, they can also be a very economical way to enhance description.
The boy held the ball. Could change to:-
The boy cradled the ball.
The first example doesn’t tell us much more than what is happening. The second version gives us more information. Why is he cradling the ball? Has he lost it before? Does he value it? Does he want to protect it? Does he cradle the ball for comfort?
One word change makes such a difference.