I have written a lot about using Ultimate Sandbag Training instead of other activities. The truth is that a bit of bias for myself. I have written a lot about the injuries I have sustained in my youth that provide a challenge for me even today. I do so because working with a wide array of people over the years, there are many that believe that they can’t train hard because of injury. It isn’t that you can’t train hard, but you do have to train smart! I like to believe Ultimate Sandbag Training does teach you to train smarter.
However, I would miss the opportunity to help a great number of people as well if I didn’t address how Ultimate Sandbag Training could be used to help a great number of other activities. In the last few weeks we showed you a video of using Ultimate Sandbag Training to help Tough Mudder and adventure races. But Ultimate Sandbag Training has been used by everyone from professional athletes, military/fire/police, high schools, and thousands of weekend warriors for their own specific goals.
I have to admit that I never created Ultimate Sandbag Training to make people elite “sandbag lifters”. Rather, I wanted people to feel empowered by what Ultimate Sandbag Training could help them achieve in other areas of their life. One activity I want to talk about specifically using Ultimate Sandbag Training is endurance sports. Which ones? In particular those such as endurance runs. Yes, even if you do marathons, using Ultimate Sandbag Training can be a big help to you!
One of the biggest mistakes that endurance athletes is usually relying simply on their endurance training to prepare them for their race or competition. Is training for your sport with your sport important? Absolutely! Is it where you should stop? Absolutely not!
Much of current fitness programs were first used by athletes trying to get an edge in their sport. Using strength training to help performance has many benefits to sport, whether you are elite or a recreational athlete. But wait, why do endurance athletes need to perform strength training?
A huge myth is just that, endurance sports don’t require strength. In fact, just the opposite! Strength training is very important because in the most simplistic terms, keeps you moving with the highest level of efficiency. If you are stronger, you can produce more force, you can coordinate your muscles more effectively, you can work at the same level with less effort! However, what you actually DO for your strength training is very important.
Yes, this is where I think Ultimate Sandbag Training excels over a lot of different options. Sure, there is no shortage of information on what you should be doing, but they are often vague. Certain experts will say “you need to get stronger”, “you need more power”, etc. Sounds logical, but those are actually very vague ideas.
What type of strength do endurance athletes need and how does Ultimate Sandbag Training help? Sorry, just doing classic exercises like deadlifts, squats, and cleans are far from ideal. Yes, these exercises can help, but we can do better and use Ultimate Sandbag Training to do a better job in addressing specific needs.
Using Ultimate Sandbag Training for Running
You will see today in our Ultimate Sandbag Training video (designed by endurance sport coach, Steve Di Tomaso of Envision Fitness and expertly demonstrated by DVRT Master Instructor Kari Negraiff) a lot of single leg and off-set Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises. Single leg exercises are very important for endurance athletes for a few key reasons and these Ultimate Sandbag Training drills go a step beyond!
Benefits of Ultimate Sandbag Training Single Leg Drills:
Lower Leg Strength
Hip Stability, Strength
Optimizing Hamstring and Glute Activation
Many coaches will tell you that single leg exercises are important, but rarely ever prioritize them or use a systems of specific variations to get more out of them! You will see some cool things from these Ultimate Sandbag Training drills that the coaches at Envision Fitness chose.
Our Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises such as the rotational lunge clean has the weight coming from a different position other than just right in front of the body. This forces the body to stabilize and work even HARDER than normal.
Rarely do people ever do anything but really slow exercises with single leg movements. In Ultimate Sandbag Training we can incrementally change speed and eventually learn how to develop force from a single leg.
Lastly, we can change the holding position of the Ultimate Sandbag to work more on the core, more on the hip, or more on the lower leg.
One really cool benefit of Ultimate Sandbag Training that I didn’t mention was the cool complexes you could create to meet specific demands, yes, of even endurance sports. Try this great series that the coaches from Envision Fitness created and see how it can improve your running or even just your fitness!