Jessica Bento, MSPT
There are SOOOO many great DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises, it can be hard to think of which ones you make a priority.
Fortunately there are some DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises that are almost transcendent.
The Overhead Lunge is just one of these movements!
I know, you may not heard about the Overhead Lunge as the Overhead Squat seems to get far more attention.
Let me explain though why the Overhead Lunge will forever change how you see the value of these two movements.
For many years the Overhead Squat was only performed by the very few that competed in Olympic lifting. To see such a lift in the gym would be a very strange occurrence. However, with the popularity of functional training in the late 90’s, many exercises made a comeback, the Overhead Squat was definitely one that regained a great deal of popularity.
Promoted for its ability to develop core strength, shoulder stability, and flexibility, it would be hard to ever argue that this shouldn’t be a mainstay for any fitness program.
What if there was?
As the Overhead Squat gained popularity, people with all sorts of backgrounds began to try this lift. What we began to see is that one could mask many issues in their movement and still perform the Overhead Squat.
You can see from the pictures above, when the Overhead Squat position is achieved, the shoulders are not too far in back of the body. This is the bottom of the Snatch which the Overhead Squat is used to build strength and stability in performing. The amazing mobility these lifters demonstrate a big contrast how the Overhead Squat looks in many fitness oriented programs.
In the above two examples we see how one could think they are doing any Overhead Squat, but in reality really wrenching their shoulders. As much as you may cringe looking at these photos, such execution of the Overhead Squat is very common.
Enter the Overhead Lunge!
With the Overhead Lunge cheating the movement is far more difficult. Due to the alignment of the body, it is almost impossible to compensate and get through this exercise. The Overhead Lunge is also a far more effective exercise in building flexibility than the Overhead Squat. Yes, it takes great flexibility to Overhead Squat well, but I seriously question whether the exercise is a demonstration of flexibility versus building it!
The Overhead Lunge does a much better job in finding our weaknesses and building them up.
Now, why use Ultimate Sandbag Overhead Lunges?
A few reasons.
1. We have two different holding positions we can use. The Snatch position allows us to be more stable and actually use the weight of the Ultimate Sandbag to help build upper body flexibility. The Fist position is far less stable and teaches the lifter to be very accurate with their movement and how to create stability while being mobile.
2. The Fist position is also more shoulder friendly. Not having the palms facing forward takes a bit of stress off the shoulders and can also be a much easier way to introduce Overhead Lunges with a history of bad shoulders.
3. Due to the instability of the Ultimate Sandbag we force the body to do more work and therefore activate way more muscles throughout the entire body.
4. We can start to create endless combination exercises that make any DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workout a powerhouse!
Overhead Lunge with Snatch Grip
Overhead Lunge with Ultimate Sandbag on Fists
Try incorporating the Ultimate Sandbag Overhead Lunge into your program and see how it changes not just your fitness, but how you move!