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Better Upper Body Strength Training with Ultimate Sandbag Exercises

More and more I find myself reading about social psychology. You might think that is a bit weird for someone who loves fitness so much right? Well, I am doing so mostly because success in fitness is largely about habits and behavior. That can be the TOUGHEST part of succeeding. So, how in the world do Ultimate Sandbag exercises come into play with such an unusual discussion?

One of the things I have learned over the years is when people are posed with more options, they generally do worse. There is tons of research showing this and I get it. We may THINK more options is awesome, but in fact, it confuses us and when we feel like we don’t know the RIGHT thing to do we do nothing or something else. This happens many times with Ultimate Sandbag exercises.

sandbag exercises

Many people don’t get into Ultimate Sandbag exercises because they see SO MANY different movements they can’t think of where to even start. They don’t understand how do you solve the most basic questions like, how do you make the weight just a little heavier? These are important points and that is why I wanted to help people understand how Ultimate Sandbag exercises fit into our DVRT system.

Let’s look at a practical example in Ultimate Sandbag exercises, the Overhead Press. Most people will work on just pressing more weight in this exercise. However, we don’t increase the weight of our Ultimate Sandbag by just 5 or 10 pounds (why we don’t we will discuss shortly), so changing how you stand while performing these Ultimate Sandbag exercises is very important and can create a more powerful change than if you just increased the weight.


Why does this work so well? When we change the level of stability in which you work from, you start to stimulate muscles that often get passed over when you are more stable. For example, most people can’t dumbbell bench press as much as they can barbell bench press. This is because there is more stability of the shoulder needed in the dumbbells. You hit more of those smaller muscles. The instability of both body position and the Ultimate Sandbag itself is what makes Ultimate Sandbag exercises so different and effective.

Changing your standing position in Ultimate Sandbag Training does the same thing! You already are using a more unstable tool with the Ultimate Sandbag so we can add challenge by how you position yourself. Ok, back to the Overhead Press!

sandbag exercises

It is best to think of our Ultimate Sandbag Training as having five ways to change your Overhead Press. I know you are thinking, FIVE, geez, thought you were going to make this easy Josh! I am, if you know the sequence you can mix them up in a few different ways I will describe. First, let’s hit those five

Ultimate Sandbag Training Upper Body Variations

  1. Bilateral
  2. Military
  3. Staggered
  4. Kneeling
  5. Half Kneeling

If you follow the above sequence it moves from easiest to hardest. In other words, you can lift the heaviest Ultimate Sandbag from the bilateral stance and probably the least in the Half Kneeling. Great, so what do you do with this information?

sandbag exercises

Let’s talk about putting an Ultimate Sandbag Training program together with this information. There are a few different ways you can approach this and I am giving you options because some of you are going to be in different positions where you have more USBs or less. Just choose the right one for your goal and situation.

Option 1: One USB, Progression Over Time to Build Strength

Weeks 1-2: Bilateral Overhead Pressing

Weeks 3-4: Military Pressing

Weeks 5-6: Staggered Pressing

Weeks 7-8: Kneeling Pressing

Weeks 9-10: Half Kneeling Press

Option 2: Multiple USBs Available

Weeks 1-2:

Day 1: Bilateral Overhead Pressing=Heavy Work, Reps 4-6, Sets 3-5

Day 2: Military Pressing=Medium Work, Reps 6-8, sets 3-5

Day 3: Staggered Pressing=Light Work, Reps 8-12, sets 2-4

Weeks 3-4:

Day 1: Military Pressing=Heavy Work, Reps 4-6, Sets 3-5

Day 2: Staggered Pressing=Medium Work, Reps 6-8, sets 3-5

Day 3: Kneeling Press=Light Work, Reps 8-12, sets 2-4

Weeks 5-6:

Day 1: Staggered Pressing=Heavy Work, Reps 4-6, Sets 3-5

Day 2: Kneeling Press=Medium Work, Reps 6-8, Sets 3-5

Day 3: Half Kneeling=Light Work, Reps 8-12, sets 2-4

Option 3: One USB, Using All Body Positions, Changing Tempo

Now we can change the stance from set to set of an exercise.

Set 1: Half Kneeling Press: Reps 3-5

Set 2: Half Kneeling Press (opposite leg): Reps 3-5

Set 3: Kneeling: Reps 6-8

Set 4: Military Press: 10-12 Reps

This seems like a lot of options, but it really isn’t. Just three simple ways you can change your workouts by slight changes of Ultimate Sandbag exercises with body position and speed. In order to keep making progress these slight variations of Ultimate Sandbag exercises allow you to periodize and make the same exercise feel very different.

Yes, you can use all three you can have MONTHS worth of workouts just from using these simple strategies. Again making Ultimate Sandbag Training something REALLY different!

Now, where does adding weight come into the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises? We can always make the Ultimate Sandbag heavier as long as we don’t alter our technique! Yet, we aren’t going to increase it by 5 or 10 pounds. Why?

Adding such a small amount of weight to your Ultimate Sandbag changes the feel of the bag itself. Usually such small amounts of weight “flop” around and just make the training uncomfortable. That is why in our Ultimate Sandbag Training system we have not only USBs of different weights, but dimension as well. I tell our instructors to stick with one wight for a cycle. Meaning for a few weeks and then you can either another filler or a bit of more sand to a filler. Our fillers are the length they are so you don’t have that flopping while training! Unstable and flopping are two different ideas:)