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Creating Better Upper Body Workouts

sandbag workout programs

It might sound like a bit of a contradiction for us to talk about parts of the body. After all, DVRT is based upon the idea that the whole body is connected (which all the science says it actually is so…). However, we can help bridge how we communicate with people that we are trying to help create better workouts by using language they may be more familiar with and lots of people still struggle (even fitness pros) with the idea that total body exercises can build muscle and get you leaner.

When it comes to building better upper body workouts, functional training is highly effective, especially as we will discuss. Many don’t realize they make their upper body workouts MORE inefficient by trying to isolate all the various muscles in the upper body. There are around 120 muscles in the upper body, but yet, people tend to only care about isolating a few (which is confusing right?), they also fail to realize how these muscles all work together and even function with the lower body to produce strength.

corrective exercise

Axel Bohlin author of “The Fascia Guide”, most miss how the body is actually designed to function and produce strength. This means we reduce the strength and muscle that we can really achieve by trying to focus on muscles in isolation…

“The map of Fascia lines shows the longitudinal bands and loops of connective tissue including muscles and organs, which is based on the relatively new anatomical knowledge and analysis of how the musculoskeletal system really works.

The old view of muscles, the theory of “isolated muscle function” is that muscles only work between attachment and origin and mostly contracts and resists during extension. If we add on the knowledge of the Fascia’s power transmitting function, the picture is much more complex.

All tissue in the body is naturally linked to the network that the Fascia forms, but these lines are more clearly distinguishable from other tissue and appears to transmit signals / operating with more power through these pathways.”

functional strength functional strength functional strength functional strength functional strength

Instead of trying to isolate the muscles in our training for effective upper body workouts we SHOULD be looking to integrate the body. That is why if we focus on pushing and pulling for the upper body we can have almost infinite options for better upper body workouts. Let’s look at a few examples….

Below you see that not only do I integrate my feet, hips, and core for all these kettlebell rowing variations, how I use the kettlebells (lifting at the same time, alternating, or more unilateral) to all get different results for various upper body workouts.

Nidal Sinnuqrut shows how we use different body positions during our overhead presses that increase or decrease the challenge of the upper body depending upon what position we choose. Using the Ultimate Sandbag makes upper body workouts even more challenging because you can’t really cheat the movement. Having an unstable weight on the fists like this forces the lifter to not just be more accurate, but also have to use MORE muscles in order to press the weight correctly.

Greg Perlaki shows how we combine these elements for more effective upper back exercises. When you see such drills in upper body workouts people think they are LESS effective because they can’t use as much weight. In reality, we are building strength that will have a BETTER carryover to life and sport because you ALWAYS have to use the whole body when performing in life. Laying on benches and so forth takes away the real weak link that causes shoulders, pecs, and upper back muscles from optimally perform.

Coach John Rhodes shows how we put all these concepts into practice for upper body workouts, but greater overall body training that allows us to accomplish so many fitness goals at once!!!

Don’t miss 35% of ALL our great DVRT online education. From our Progressive Kettlebell Movement programs/certifications, Loaded Integrated Functional Training, our Myofascial Integrated Movement programs and so much more! Take advantage of this great opportunity to upgrade your training and really understand how to create better training with code “corrective” HERE