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Better Push-ups, Planks, and Shoulders

sandbag workouts

When we think about building more resilient shoulders and low backs, rarely do push-ups become the source of discussion. Maybe we should though, no, not just talk about push-ups, but what are we REALLY trying to achieve being in this extended plank position.

So many people make trying to make people better sooooo complicated. One of the great lessons I have learned as I have aged (and aged I have done in this industry) is focus more on the small things that make such a big impact. The position push-ups allow for can be so powerful if we choose to be thoughtful and look beyond these movements as being just a great “chest” exercise.

Using the position of push-ups gives us an opportunity to teach people how we engage the ground to create stability, how to brace our core, and how to connect the chains of our body to not only be stronger, but save our body (specifically our shoulders and low backs!)

However, to get strong in push-ups doesn’t mean we have to start with DOING push-ups. Teaching the concept of good movement come before doing an exercise, however, that doesn’t mean we have to stop training. Using some of these DVRT progressions below show that we want to learn how develop the proper “lines” of the body, how to use the ground to save our shoulders, and how the RIGHT cuing changes the outcomes of our exercises.

People are often surprised at how doing the foundational DVRT movement above end up making their shoulders feel better and take pressure off their low back? How does that happen, shouldn’t these movements BOTHER your shoulders? Learning how tension makes us use the RIGHT muscles and activates our core, we find that our body starts to take pressure off structures like the shoulders because it is appropriately dispersed through the proper parts of the body. A lot of shoulder problems aren’t the actual shoulder, but because we are over stressing the shoulder!

That does mean that using the position of push-ups can help build strength, stability, and mobility at the same time if we use it with the right intent. In fact, when people see drills like our Lateral Drags they totally miss the bigger picture. They think it is just another cool core exercise, but in reality we are teaching much more significant concepts of functional fitness. Ideas like how to connect lats, core, and glutes this kinetic chain is so important in healthier shoulders and low backs. We are teaching the feet to keep engagement to the ground and how pushing down with the feet actually gives strength and stability to the shoulders. In other words, a simple exercise done REALLY well with the right intent can give you so much more than you realize!

Turn up your volume for DVRT Master, Elizabeth Andrews breaking down how to get the results from this popular DVRT exercise!

This all works from the physical therapy concept we have talked about time and time again, “proximal stability creates distal mobility.” The more we create proper stability through the body and stabilize our spine, the better we end up moving. that means our shoulders and hips move better, our low back feels less “pressure” because the correct stabilizers are working and not using the incorrect flexors to keep our posture and alignment. The “magic” tricks we often do in DVRT are simply us helping people learn how to use their bodies better and using exercise to teach proper movement.

When we progress, we don’t just go heavier but we think about creating more seamless movement. One of the ideas of functional fitness that most people miss is that of creating fluidity of movement. This was a concept that one of the fathers of functional training, physical therapist Gary Gray, has long promoted. That is why in the gym, we miss the real essence as we see our movement as so segmented and to be honest, robotic. What does this really mean though?

DVRT master, Cory Cripe shows how we establish good foundations and increase challenge, results, and how we feel from adding layers.

Learning what functional training REALLY means isn’t just to find new exercises, but how to build a body that builds all around fitness. Once you understand how the body works you will NEVER go back to doing anything else in your training!

DVRT concepts don’t keep applying to just Ultimate Sandbags and their exercises. See how DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, uses the foundations we built to create some very powerful push-up progressions with Infinity Straps. Learn more with our DVRT online education HERE and our complete DVRT training tools HERE. All 30% off with coupon code “thanks”