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3 Ultimate Sandbag Exercises Get Better Going Heavy!


I admit, it can be a bit confusing! We talk A LOT about load not being the only training variable to be concerned with when you talk about progressing your workouts and that’s true. However, some are mistaken that we aren’t about load, nothing could be farther from the truth. We believe load is EXTREMELY important, but more so how we use heavier loads to teach better movement and more functional strength.

sandbag exercises

Of course, the right weight or going “heavy” is relative to the individual, but I hear people say things like “I’m using Ultimate Sandbag exercises like the power clean to get me ready to use the barbell.” For one, they are often using a Core Ultimate Sandbag (which is a size I love but not for power cleans) which is often too light for people to truly learn how to develop power.

Second, why are you trying to get to the power clean barbell style? I don’t mind if people do, I am just asking what are you trying to achieve? I have a friend who is a national level Weightlifter. He can clean a barbell with higher weights than most can deadlift. When we were at a conference and he was adding some Ultimate Sandbags to his gym he wanted a Burly. He grabbed the only filled Burly I had and said, “crap, that’s heavy, how much does that weigh?” I told him it was 100 pounds and he quickly called me a liar lovingly.

sandbag exercises

Dimension plays such a big part in how we progress, challenge, and actually solve issues for people with our Ultimate Sandbag exercises. Here are a few examples.

Bear Hug Squats

The truth is that some of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises are best done with certain sizes of Ultimate Sandbags. That is because the dimension of the sizes allow us to accomplish different things in our training and Bear Hug Squats are a great example.

Again, a Core USB isn’t probably great because it is too light and too small for Bear Hug Squats. Strengths can be possible but if they aren’t heavy enough they can fold on people and be logistically tough for some. Forces don’t have the width to accomplish what we want.

sandbag exercises

Coach Dos’ volleyball athletes would regularly use 100 pound plus Burly Bear Hug Squats in their training!

That is why Powers and Burly Ultimate Sandbags are ideal. The Powers were purposefully designed to be “thicker” for drills like Bear Hug squats where creating tension and making the weight “part of your body” are so essential. Burly’s work for this reason too, but the greater weight and dimension helps pull us into our squat even better and builds tremendous full body strength!

MAX Lunge 

Wait what?! MAX Lunge is this super dynamic lunge that creates all this force as we swing the weight around our body. How in the world can be going heavier be good?!!!

Well, if we go heavier on kettlebell swings, barbell snatches, why can’t we go heavier on MAX lunges? Sure, you can’t start swinging the weight like a crazy person, but that’s just being silly. One of the great lessons I learned as I began teaching the MAX lunge to more and more people was the simple fact people didn’t to get STRONGER in the lift before they began swinging the weight.

Building strength in the MAX lunge is not only good in building incredible legs and glutes, but creating the foundation of strength that will help you absorb the great force the load coming down on the body creates!


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Heavier Ultimate Sandbags increase the need for movement accuracy because the load is not just heavier but more unstable as well. When we move into DVRT Flows like you see above, we can build strength, stability, and conditioning all at once. 

The shear size of the Ultimate Sandbag makes it more unstable and the load makes you have to react more to the movement. This means we have to learn how to create proper tension in the feet and the handles. We have to combine stability, mobility, and strength all at once!

As we increase speed, we increase these demands and the level of the movement that really teaches you the difference of true functional training as Strength Coach, Joel Gunterman, shows.

Cleans and Presses

I’m kinda cheating because these can be individual exercises, but they are also so great to combine to develop total body strength in ways few other movements can replicate. Now you might think I’m just talking about the standard clean and press, which is great, but only a tip of the iceberg. Of course you have to master the foundation, this just starts our journey.

What heavier loads like Burly’s offer is “movement accuracy”! Huh? Yes you need to be strong and powerful, but because the dimension causes instability, you have to put all the pieces of the movement together perfectly! If ANYTHING is off, you simply won’t be able to do the movement. Especially getting the weight to fists is something that even the strongest people struggle with in using heavier Ultimate Sandbags because they are use to muscling everything they do!

Once we get the foundation down, combining our movement patterns and unique progressions of DVRT we transform these Ultimate Sandbag exercises into something really special!

You see Joel doing a VERY advanced version in going rotational. Being able to be accurate as we move in an unstable environment with heavy load is some of the highest forms of training we can achieve!

When you combine our DVRT principles of altering body position and plane of motion in a movement like the clean and press you learn so much MORE about your functional strength abilities. 

Does it mean the Burly and our heavier Ultimate Sandbags are JUST for these 3 movements? Of course not, but these are a great place to start! How do you put our heavier DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training into a workout? DVRT Master, Cory Cripe gives a great example of an awesome total body workout below.

This week ONLY we have 30% off our Ultimate Sandbags, DVRT Workout Programs, & Online Certifications/Courses with code “vday” HERE


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