There are a lot of drills in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training that I could point to in having completely uniqueness compared to other exercises and equipment. My list would actually be quite extensive and that is why it is often hard for me to answer the question I may get the most, “which Ultimate Sandbag exercise is the best?”
This question is also very closely related to, “what is the one Ultimate Sandbag exercise I should be doing?” I hope by trying to answer this question I don’t alienate the long list of other DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills that are incredibly important.
However, in almost ten years of teaching DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, there seems to be one drill that has come to the forefront, the Rotational Lunge. Probably because the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Rotational Lunge just looks so unusual, people are naturally drawn to it.
As I think about it though, the Rotational Lunge is one of the MOST misunderstood and incorrectly performed DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills. That is why I went to my David Lettermen side and decided to share with you the top 5 reasons you should love the Rotational Lunge.
5. It Makes You Lunge!
Oddly enough many people will talk about things like “functional training” and when I ask them how often or much they lunge they look at me in a strange way. As though I just asked them the square root of 656,291!
The truth is that most people don’t lunge! Lunging is one of the primal patterns listed by experts like, Paul Chek, Dr. Stuart McGill, Gary Gray, and many more. Yet, I can’t tell you how many times I get emails from people telling me that they have been following this or that program and still can’t lunge!
If you can’t lunge, no, if you can’t lunge really well, your training is not functional at all!
4. It Is Knee Friendly
Of course, just like any exercise, if done correctly the Rotational Lunge is incredibly knee friendly. Any problems related to the knees is probably more of an indicator of weakness in the foot, ankle, and/or hip.
In fact, the unique eccentric forces that act upon the body are the reason that top strength coaches like, Robert Dos Remedios, love the Rotational Lunge to help prevent ACL injuries in his athletes. According to Coach Dos, “Rotational Lunges = perhaps one of the best exercises ever created for athletic performance, strength, power, and multi planar deceleration.”
3. It Burns! Big Time!
There are very few exercises that I have seen gain the types of heart rate that can be achieved with the Rotational Lunge. The cool part is that you don’t even have to go fast to do so! The amount of movement that both the body produces and the forces it has to resist makes the body work over time. That is why only things like all out sprints come close. Unfortunately, all out sprinting has many limitations and doesn’t do what point 2 provides.
2. Great Flexibility & Mobility
Mobility and flexibility aren’t the same thing. In the simplest of terms, mobility is the ability to produce a desired movement. Flexibility usually refers to the ability to move a joint through a full range of motion. Without a dissertation on the topic, we need both, but how does the Rotational Lunge relate to this?
One of the biggest reasons that people can’t lunge is that they are flat out tight! They don’t move well in their hips, quads, even sometimes torso. There are two reasons that the Rotational Lunge is so great and different from other lunge variations.
-X-patterns: Our body works in natural X-patterns (think of how the opposite arm and leg work during walking) and training the body in these natural patterns can release a lot of tension that is held through the body. That is because our body is much deeper than just muscles and restricted mobility and flexibility can be a function of other things like fascia and our nervous system. Working these X-patterns can basically give the body an “okay” to release a lot of this tension.
-Anchoring: When the Ultimate Sandbag translates to the side of the lead leg there is a pull upon the opposite side of the body. If you follow our DVRT methods and make sure to actively push through the ball of foot on the rear leg you get a really great dynamic stretch!
In just a few repetitions you can really feel yourself loosen up!
1. A More Complex Swing
Kettlebell swings have become all the rage. I remember first doing them in the gym in the early 2000’s while other trainers whispered I was going to throw out my back. Fast forward almost 14 years and it is almost strange to NOT see someone perform a kettlebell swing in their workout.
With all that said, it should make the Rotational Lunge even more exciting to insert into your workouts. It is kinda like looking at that painting that you are suppose to see an object, but can’t quite make out. Then someone tells you what it is and then BOOM you are like, duh! Well, that is the Rotational Lunge especially as it relates to the kettlebell swing.
Both require powerful hip extension to move the weight, both are projections of the weight, both have powerful eccentric (downward) forces that quickly load the hamstrings and glutes. As you can see the Rotational Lunge is a more complex kettlebell swing. One of the big reasons that you see such powerful heart rate and calorie burned numbers is because of the greater amount of movement of both your body and the Ultimate Sandbag during the Rotational Lunge.
The great part is that you can have so many levels to working up to the Rotational Lunge because all of the moving parts. That means you DON’T start by trying to swing the Ultimate Sandbag to the highest point (chest height) your first repetition or even first workout. Over time as you get stronger and build proficiency speed is an option you can start to build. Unlike the swing, we can increase weight and slow down the movement and still get a pretty incredible fat shredding and strength building workout.
In the End
One of my big motivations in writing this type of post is to get people away from doing exercises just because they are “cool”. That is not to say that I am against you doing things because they are cool, but don’t make that your primary reason. Otherwise you start jumping from exercise to exercise, program to program, and really never end up getting anywhere. By having a little of the “why’s” you start understanding why these exercises are so pivotal to your goals and when you maybe feel inspired to try the random exercise of the day, you stop, you think, does this really help you move to your goals?
I truly believe, no, I know that DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training can give you those results, but there is one thing. You have to actually do it! You can examine, you can argue, you can debate, you can even love the idea, but doing it is a whole different story. Use these DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training workouts and programs we are providing you and see how you can revolutionize your fitness in 2014!