account My cart 0
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Better Squats = Better Results

 by Dio Vujich

sandbag squats

If you are like many people starting a new fitness program, something you will hear about a lot are squats. If you are a veteran of the gym, you will have heard the squat is the king of lower body exercises. So, does that mean that everyone is doing squats? No! There are many people that have a fear of doing squats because they’ve either never done them, can’t put weight on their back for medical reasons, have had the unfortunate experience of going too heavy combined with poor technique resulting in an injury.

Today I’m going to introduce you to a safe, effective, and incredibly efficient form of squats that can be done at home or the gym named Ultimate Sandbag Training Bear Hug Squat.

Overcome The Fear By Understanding The Benefits

Before learning how to squat you must first understand Why it’s important to squat. Here are a few benefits to squatting and why you should be doing them.

1. Makes Your Body More Resilient-While most people think of squats as hurting their backs, done correctly they can go a long ways in improving low back health. That is assuming you aim for some of our DVRT goals, one being trying to keep a vertical torso.

Now, there is a lot of discussion of doing every type of squat under the sun. Sumo, low bar, front, etc. etc. So why are we pretty dogmatic about squatting THIS way? Unless you are a powerlifter, there isn’t really a reason to squat any other.

What about getting more glutes and hamstrings? Hey, that is what hip hinging is all about. You see every squat has a pro and con to it. The trunk forward, low bar squat puts a lot of more load and stress in the low back and hip joints. Not what we really want.

Bar on the back puts a lot of compressive force through our spine and that doesn’t work out well with a lot of people. So, why not just front squats? I am not against them, but they often require people to already have good upper and lower body flexibility/mobility.

What I am talking about is a type of squat that helps you learn HOW to squat, builds strength, and better movement. What is the con of these squats? They are going to work you in ways you may not be use to! The pay off will be there!

2. Core Strength- Most people don’t think of squats and think of great core strength, but the core is KEY to squatting well. However, most people put most of the load through their low backs and take away from the core. When you learn how to use the core well, you will see not only your trunk getting stronger, but feel the impact to building stronger and better squats!

sandbag squats

DVRT Master, Michele Meinville Decerio, shows that great squatting is not beyond any of us!

The Answer is the Bear Hug Squat!

What do you do when you have had the experience of injured knees, hurt backs, and just not knowing how to squat RIGHT! That is where the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Bear Hug Squat comes into play. So simple, so effective! Time and time again are surprised how well the Ultimate Sandbag Training Bear Hug Squat works. There a few reasons the Bear Hug Squat works so well.

-The Weight is in Front: This helps put you in the right squat and because of the unique holding position the Ultimate Sandbag actually guides you through the squat. Having the weight in front also means you won’t have the weight resting on the back that often causes so many problems.

-You Work the Whole Body More: Great lifters say exercises like push-ups, pressing overhead, and deadlifts are whole body lifts, not just one area. The truth is the squat should be the same. Using the Bear Hug Squat introduces us to the idea that the upper body is so key in a good squat just as the lower body.

sandbag squats

Learning to use the upper body right allows you to build a stronger core and better movement in your squat!

-Going Deeper Than Before: Many believe that the purpose of squatting is just strength. The truth is squatting is a great check of lower body mobility as well. The better we can perform a deep squat, the less likely we are to have low back issues. The Ultimate Sandbag Training Bear Hug Squat allows us to go so much deeper than we not only build strength, but great flexibility as well!

However, just like anything, you have to know how to do it right.

How To Safely and Effectively Perform The Bear Hug Squat

Begin by standing over the middle of the Ultimate Sandbag (larger Ultimate Sandbags work better because of their increased dimension)

sandbag squats

The tension we create against the Ultimate Sandbag and the dimension creates a different squat than even kettlebell lifters are sue to!

Hinge at the hips scooping your hands underneath the Ultimate Sandbag while keeping your back straight. Your chest should be facing the ground and your shoulders retracted making sure that you do not round out your back.

With your hands scooped underneath the Ultimate Sandbag grab it and explosively drive the hips and direct the sandbag straight up the body.

You should create enough force from the hips to release the USB just prior to chest height, with your arms wrapped tightly around the middle of the USB. Hence, its name Bear Hug Squat.

  • Turn your feet slightly outwards.
  • Keeping tension in the upper body by driving you elbows into your ribs and initiate movement by pushing your knees outwards.
  • Drive your knees out as you begin and then slowly begin to sit back on your heels.
  • Go as deep as possible trying to sit back upon your heels and continually driving the knees out.
  • Pause for a brief moment and drive through your feet to accelerate your body back upwards to starting position.
  • Repeat for the number of reps in your program.
  • To release the bag after your last rep you will return to the start position by hinging at the hips and lightly releasing the bag to the floor.

If you love to learn what movement strength is REALLY about don’t miss our upcoming DVRT educational programs HERE