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Best & Most Challenging Plank Exercise

sandbag exercises

When the lightbulb goes off for people it is pretty awesome. The moment people realize that DVRT is about teaching movement and not a “sandbag” it changes how they do everything in their workouts. That is because they begin to realize that the little things make a huge difference in what they do and why they do it!

A great example is when we use our Front Loaded position in DVRT. The simple holding position in our system is one of the first things that drew me to the idea of even using a sandbag for strength training.


When I show people the Front Loaded position I ask, “what does this position look like?” I get a lot of front squats or Zerchers. Getting them to see it is neither that the Front Loaded position is a standing plank is game changer.


Why isn’t a front squat or Zercher position? When you hold a barbell on the body it actually sits on the frame of the body. It is better than the back position, but you can’t create tension against the weight. In fact, you can remove your hands and the weight still stays in position. You may wonder why this matters, I’ll explain in a moment.

But why a plank over a Zercher? Trust me, as someone who has performed plenty of Zercher lifts in his days competing in Strongman competitions, it is different. The biggest difference again goes back to the tension we can crate abasing the weight. Okay, why does this tension against the weight make such a better plank?

When we teach the plank in our DVRT programs we teach how to brace the core by driving into the ground with the hands, forearms, and feet. When people do this in the plank, their core lights up, the body becomes in perfect position, and they learn the best way to use the core.

ultimate sandbag workouts

There is a HUGE difference in the type of full body training we get by how we hold the Ultimate Sandbag in the Front Load position. On the right is the way we see all the time that is wrong and we don’t get the great results of this holding position. The left, Sean shows how we create tension and strength of the Front Load and stimulate so much of the core muscles of the body. 

How we do emulate this concept when we get to more functional positions and start moving? After all, the goal of the plank is not to live on the ground where you can’t move. Rather, teach the important concept of bracing that has been shown to stabilize our spine.

Whenever we are in the Front Load position, we have the opportunity to bring in the plank to our movement. Not only is this great for more consistent core training, but in doing so we actually connect the chains of the body.

The core is called that for a reason. It is where so much of our movement stems from (outside of the feet and hands) and why I discussed its real job in the last post (READ HERE). Activating the core and creating a plank when we squat, lunge, step-up, or even hinge increases our ability to have a better range of motion, better alignment, and feel stronger.

It is simple, when the body feels stable, it moves better. If you like the science, it is the idea of “proximal stability for distal mobility.” That is why learning to brace with the plank is so important to do right. When we learn to PULL apart the Ultimate Sandbag during the Front Loaded position we activate that same tension the produces better strength and movement.


That alone would be a good enough reason to bring the Ultimate Sandbag into the Front Loaded position. Yet, there is one more! One of the more unique aspects of the Ultimate Sandbag we really don’t discuss is the the fact that as they get heavier, they get physically larger as well. Changing dimension is a variable we use in DVRT and most people miss.

In the context of the Front Loaded position, increasing dimension makes that plank far more challenging. That is because there is more physical mass in front of the body challenging the ability to maintain those connections, your core strength, and upper back. Thinking of this requires you to place even greater tension against the Ultimate Sandbag so you can perform the lift otherwise you will find that a little weight can feel like a ton!

Watch these DVRT moves and keep the eye on the plank, watch for how we keep tension on the Ultimate Sandbag. Most importantly see how these movements will impact your shoulders, knees, and a more resilient back. All because we see the plank more than an exercise, but a movement concept that makes you better at everything you do!

Check out why drills like the Front Loaded position make up our NEW DVRT Shoulder Restoration program HERE and save 25% with coupon code “spring2018”.

sandbag training