Somehow it seemed to fall down the lists of important exercises. At one point this drill was actually considered one of the most critical drills in functional training. Maybe it was the simplicity, maybe it was the lack of good pr, maybe it was people didn’t know how to do it really well to get the incredible benefits that come from placing emphasis on it.
As you can guess by the video above, I am referring to the step-up. Not just the step-up, but the way we do step-ups in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. Why the step-up though, isn’t that see something in cheesy aerobics classes?
No! The DVRT step-up requires actually a ton of hip, lower leg, and core strength. Let’s face it, most people screw up this exercise so badly I get why it doesn’t get the respect it should. We usually start implementing it as soon as people can properly glute bridge on the ground. Why?
The step-up is basically a standing glute bridge. Oh wait, a super powered glute bridge because we have to navigate gravity, balance in all three planes, and coordinate tension with relaxation. Sounds a bit more sophisticated than just laying on the ground and pumping tons of weight on bridges? Yea, well, it is.
You can find out far more about where people are weak or strong by how they perform our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training step-ups. So, what are some keys?
-Start with one foot on a relatively small box, maybe 12 inches. That top foot is your working leg, you want to use that back leg as little as possible.
-Stay tall, a lot of people want to lean into the step-up, the goal is to keep the trunk tall and press through the foot on the box to extend the whole body upwards.
-Start in the Front Load position as this will give you core feedback and alert you to compensations in the movement.
-Fully extend that hip, you should feel the leg on the box fully extend and your glute get really tight.
-Coming down isn’t just falling down, rather as slowly keeping tension in your hip and trying to lower yourself without the all too common “plop” to the ground.
Most people will find this FAR more difficult than they would expect. I have seen people that can deadlift weights over 300 not be able to do a proper step-up with a 40 pound Strength Ultimate Sandbag. It goes back to intent, you must have it!
When you can perform 10 repetitions with the above form then we add a balance step, not add more weight or even change body position. This helps reinforce the hip extension and control of the hip in the lateral plane. You got that down? Then you will want to follow this simple progression of holding position of the Ultimate Sandbag.
-Shoulder Contralateral Side (opposite)
-Shoulder Ipsilateral Side (same)
Wow! You got a lot more options than you may have thought, at each stage we look to see if you are beginning to compensate or show weakness. You will be shocked at how a new position can feel like a whole new exercise. Then we focus on adding weight and finally height to the box.
What you get with the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training step-up progressions is a complete movement. It is a screen, a strength exercise, stability drill, and sets the stage of power development. In other words, it HAS to make some of your workout programs if you want to see serious results!
See these videos to learn how to maximize the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training step-ups and use coupon code “ultimate” to save 25% on our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training packages or workouts HERE
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