Recently, the infamous question was asked of us again. “What is your FAVORITE DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercise?” If you ask around our DVRT Master instructors you will probably get a bunch of different answers, all with great perspectives. However, I think it is easy to say with confidence that it is the Clean and Press.
Does that mean I don’t think the Rotational Lunge, Around the World, Shoveling, and the other 395 exercises aren’t incredibly valuable? Absolutely not!! However, the Clean and Press is my favorite because of what it does so differently for fitness that is so badly needed.
What is that I am eluding to? The Clean and Press has the ability to train the whole body at once, it has the ability to look at core strength, upper body flexibility/strength, power and stability at the same time. However, these benefits are STILL not what I am talking about.
It is learning how to graduate and absorb force that is so vitally and yet often never discussed concept in fitness. So much of fitness is about going super heavy, all out speed, or super slow, but rarely anything in between. This is a HUGE problem because both the real world and sport rely HEAVILY on the ability not to go super fast or super slow, but rather quickly change speeds.
The Marines at Camp Foster learning how to produce the RIGHT amount of work during the Clean and Press Test!
Think about the infamous “first step” in sport. Besides sprinting and a few others, most of sport is based upon the ability to go from one speed all of a sudden to another. There have been plenty of athletes that weren’t all that fast (like one of my favorites, Larry Bird), yet had an amazing ability to beat their opponent because they knew how to go not just 0-100 mph, but go from 55-85 within a millisecond of time.
If you think about every day life, we usually don’t go from resting to all out efforts. Rather we go from one speed to another, we look at how to become efficient. You see that is what functional training is really about. Developing qualities that help improve our efficiency of movement.
That is why when people struggle, in particular the Clean to Fists of the Ultimate Sandbag, I know they are missing a very important aspect of functional fitness.
Some may think our goal is to just Clean heavier and heavier, but I am often most impressed with those lifters that can make any weight of Ultimate Sandbag look the same in their technique. They know just the RIGHT amount of force to use, yet they make it all look the same!
If you are struggling with your Clean to Fists, watch this great series by DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Steve Di Tomaso, on how to build the proper technique so you can gain mastery of this very important drill!