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Do This, Not That…Smarter Ways to Train!

For a lot of people, training at home can seem really tough. After you get through a few workouts, many feel like they run out of ways to build thoughtful, productive, fun, and effective ways to train. To be honest, we see this all the time when people think “sandbag training” as when we look across social media there are some really odd and honestly, just silly ways to use a tool that can be very powerful and offer tons of purposeful variety. That is why instead of just saying, “don’t do that”, we wanted what to do that was better instead!

Ugly Presses

During a podcast I was asked, “what are some of the ways people misuse sandbags?” It was hard to pick one, but I explained presses were a BIG issue! That was because how a lot of people press sandbags are actually dangerous to their shoulders.

sandbag training

This issue has been going on for years because some companies that make knock offs don’t realize how to even use sandbags correctly and show pressing like you see me do above where they press with the weight on the back of the wrists. As I show, that would be like holding a kettlebell on the wrong side of the hand and press up.

Wait, aren’t kettlebells pressed on the back of the wrists? What’s the difference? When a kettlebell is pressed, it is on the back of the wrist. However, if you look where the hand is in relationship to the shoulder, the hand is close to the body. That is what allows us to safely press by using the lats and core WITH the shoulder. When the Ultimate Sandbag is cleaned to the front load position, it pushes the hands very forward of the body. Now when you press you are over stressing the shoulder joint and putting too much into the shoulder which can cause HUGE issues! Don’t believe me pick up just about any weight and bring it to your shoulders, now move your hands a few inches out from your body and try to press. How does that feel? Lousy right?

As DVRT Master, Steve Di Tomaso shows it takes so much more accuracy to get the weight in place, which is a HUGE benefit of what we do in DVRT and using the Ultimate Sandbag. It is both a combination of strength AND quality movement!

DVRT Masters, Steve Holiner and James Newman show some techniques in how you can get the Ultimate Sandbag in the correct position to press.

Physical therapist, Jessica Bento helps me show how we want to “plank” when we press and the proper trajectory of the weight. Also how we build progression and when we use other types of press when the weight is a bit on the heavy side.

How do you progress your presses though if you don’t have a lot of different types of weight?  DVRT coach Travis Moyer shows some of our great progressions if you scroll through the video…

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If your workouts consist of 90% barbell work and you don’t train professionally for a barbell based sport, your workout is stupid! 💥 Now that I have your attention I will say that ANY workout, for the most part, is better than NO workout. Love Zumba, do Zumba. Love aquacise, do aqua use. You get the point. But for the general population a barbell-centric workout doesn’t make sense. 🤔 The barbell has many limitations. It’s limited by: 1️⃣ space 2️⃣ movement in different planes 3️⃣ use of both hands at once (unless you are an old timey strong(person) 💪 Barbell training is not real life strong. In our daily lives we move laterally, rotationally and of course up and down and forward and backward. Barbells don’t work well with the first two planes. It’s just a fact. 🙊 Additionally, for the most part, to challenge yourself further with a barbell workout you only have the options of more weight, more sets, more reps. 🏋️‍♀️ In the above videos I take an overhead press through a VARIETY of progressions without adding weight, sets, or reps to increase the challenge. So you can beat the crap out of yourself week after week to add another 5# to your 1 rep max in the barbell overhead press OR get smart and branch out into other planes which will also invariably increase your 1 rep max as well as prepare you for *gasp* life outside the gym. 💥 SIDE NOTE: I couldn’t do barbell work in my small, old Clintonville basement but I can do everything I need with sandbags and kettlebells. That, also, is just a fact. 👍🏽👊🏽💪🏽 Let’s work out smarter, not just harder. #sucessfulnotperfectandchallengednotoverwhelmed

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DVRT UK master, Greg Perlaki offers an even more progressions we use in our DVRT system to make the same weight feel heavy as well as training more of the body at once.

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Progressive Overload is Adding More Stress To tHe Body and Not Just Adding More Weight! Agree? Drop me a 🙌🏼⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Progressive Overload is often misunderstood and used as just adding more weight. Changing body position, using time under tension, vary holding positions, planes of motion, speed and volume are all need to be considered when we talk about progressive overload. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Here are some of the Half Kneeling Press options to add more stress to the body. ⁠⠀ Please IGNORE the weight of the bags as I just want to highlight the concept. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 1) Half Kneeling Press⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 2) Half Kneeling Press w Leg Switch⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 3) Hover Arc Press⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 4) Drop Lunge Press #dvrt #ultimatesandbag #functionaltraining #progressiveoverload #fitnesslondon #functionalfitnesstraining #kettlebell #metcon #hiitworkout #ukfit #trainsmart #trainsmarter #physiotherapy #physicaltherapy #sandbagtraining #movementculture #movementismedicine #movegb #performbetter @perform_better

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So, you see there are a lot of ways to use the Ultimate Sandbag in REALLY smart ways that actually save your shoulder and make you stronger. Please, don’t press the other way, we have nothing vested in you doing it our recommended way other than helping you be healthy and strong!

Weird Throwing of the Sandbag

Why did I have to add in “weird” throwing of the sandbag? Well, not only do I think throwing is an odd thing to do with the sandbag, but the manner in which people are throwing is quite something as well. For one, the sandbag isn’t a great implement to throw because it’s instability causes movement as you start to try to do any throw that can transfer the weight from your hips to your low back in an instant! That means instead of building great power, you can have a back injury fast.

Functional training

Teaching people how to throw correctly shocks many as most throw too much with the arms or low backs and create BIGGER issues. 

That is why tools like medicine balls work so much better. In fact, if you look at the load athletes use for medicine ball throws they are MUCH lower than you would see in most sandbags because great weight in throwing usually results in a lot of muscling and hurting joints and doesn’t fit the necessary requirements of power.

Above I explain where people even go wrong in teaching foundational medicine ball throws, you could imagine what happens when it comes to sandbags?!

The point is there are WAY better ways to optimize what the sandbag has to offer. For one, if you want a more challenging power movement, DVRT Master, Cory Cripe breaks down how Shouldering could be the answer!

Not to mention, there is WAY more power in learning how to produce power and decelerate than there is in just throwing a weight by itself. A lot of research has shown that lack of ability to decelerate is where most injuries occur in athletes, so the work that Greg shows gives us a WAY better overall training effect!

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4 Drills For Deceleration Strength!⠀ ⠀ What is deceleration strength? ⠀ Within this post I simply try to refer to the ability to ‘catch’ the weight. In other words to absorb force. ⠀ ⠀ Why is that important?⠀ A lot of people have issues with the kettlebell swing because the inability to receive the load that is coming down. ⠀ That’s where most injuries occur. ⠀ ⠀ 🏋️‍♂️This can be trained and should prevent most injuries. Here are a couple of ways to practice this ‘catch’. Note that there are two different hip hinges with an exercise called High Pull. One of them is a Frontal Plane movement with a slider and the aim is to load one leg/body more where the power is literally coming from the ground up 🔥 ⠀ I need to use my hips to hinge and do a powerful hip extension to drive the USB up. The control is in the hands pulling the handles apart and that helps to keep the lats and core tight maintaining a good plank. ⠀ ⠀ 🏋️‍♂️Same thing happens with the Rotational High Pull where this catch happens on both sides of the body, doing a pivot and also extending the hips with the High Pull. ⠀ ⠀ 🏋️‍♂️Another way to practice similar pattern is using our MAX Lunge and I think it was @coach_dos who invented this kicking the @ultimatesandbag forward in the MAX Lunge and what it does it teaches the body how to absorb that force just as in the High Pulls and #kettlebellswing ,the only difference is that the load goes to the outside of the body. This drill can help to get better receiving the weight and train motor control, deceleration, it’s 3 planes of motion and integrates the body to create more power using the glutes and core together. ⠀ ⠀ 🏃‍♂️Lastly, deceleration can happen when we do a Drop Step Lunge. Don’t overlook this one, although it’s foundational yet teaches frontal plane stability and we need to decelerate our own body weight while keeping a plank with the sandbag. The load here helps to keep the core engaged and with the right tension against the bag the balance gets easier! ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

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If you really want to learn the power of throwing more, you are better to optimize some of our rotational drills like Shoveling, which is a kettlebell swing that just went 3D!

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It doesn’t look too bad compare to how it felt! This is my first real attempt on Shoveling an 80 pounds Burly. There are 6 exercises that represent the DVRT System. Shoveling is one of them. You can see previous posts about the ‘Big 6’ if you scroll down. Did you know that weight standards have been set to these 6 classics in 3 different categories? There’s beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for both women and men. These standards help to see where you are in your DVRT journey and we’re going to give you tips and plans to follow to get better at the ‘Big 6’ If you’re following @ultimatesandbag head to their bio for more info on the standards. To find out how to use a systematic approach for better strength, mobility and movement to add new stimulus for your clients training, the upcoming UK workshop in Ashford is for you.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ 2nd March, Ashford @crossfitkia. Registration through the link☝️in BIO ☝️ #ultimatesandbag #ukfitness #movewell #trainsmart #anteriorobliquesling #kettlebell #functionaltraining #functionalfitness #recovery #hipmobility #coretraining #functionalbodybuilding #ukfitfam #kent #ukpersonaltrainer #movement #movementmedicine #physiotherapy #physicaltherapy #ukcrossfit #gluteexercises #functionalstrength #hybridathlete #londonpersonaltrainer #strengthtraining @perform_better @performbetteruk @perform_better_europe

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Even higher level of drills of using complexes like DVRT Japan master, Taizo Omuro, shows in dynamic snatch work that has much better carry over to sport and life! Plus, it gives us everything from power to stability training at once!

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【パワートレーニングを3Dに、そして減速も忘れずに】 スナッチと言うと矢状面の動きのみになりやすいですが、#アルティメイトサンドバッグ を活用すると動きの3面上全ての方向にトレーニングする事が可能になります。 そしてもう一つ忘れてはいけない要素として、ドスンと落とさないようにスムーズに動く事で、安全な減速(身体をコントロールする)のトレーニングにもなります! The reason I love the snatch matrix with #ultimatesandbag is that not only we can train power in all 3 planes of motion but also we can train safe decelerations in all 3planes of motion. #dvrt #dvrtjapan #ファンクショナルトレーニング #functionaltraining #functionalfitness

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The point is that there are much better uses of sandbags than throwing. They will save your body and see so much more value out of what we REALLY do!

Just Drag “Stuff” 

One of the most popular drills that we have ever created where lateral drags. However, because most people are taught that a “tool is just a tool” and don’t ever appreciate how different strength training tools function, it becomes just drag pretty much anything. The fact is they are missing the actual point of the movement. Let me explain…

The Ultimate Sandbag has certain attributes that no other tool has. For example, dimension, why does that matter? It is the size of the USB that creates friction on the ground and gives us important resistance and connection to our body as Cory breaks down.

That positioning, dimension, and friction make up a big part of the results we get from this core drill. The other part is the fact that the handle and USB are not all one piece, we can create pre-tension on it that allows us to make the important connection in the Posterior and Anterior Oblique Slings of the body which is really the goal of this exercise.

screen shot 2018 04 14 at 6 32 01 pm - Do This, Not That...Smarter Ways to Train!

That is why what Lina Midla shows is so essential. How we grab the handles and where the USB is placed. We create a lot of tension before the weight even starts moving!

core exercises

If you don’t have an Ultimate Sandbag you are better doing other anti-rotational drills, but just realize they are different! Just don’t drag stuff, but be purposeful in what you are doing!!!

functional training

If we were looking for progression it would be in theory be the USB drag, kettlebell renegade row, and lastly hand to chest touch because it has the least amount of feedback to the body! However, if you do have an Ultimate Sandbag (which hopefully if you are following us you do!) how can you build better movements? Don’t just try to go heavier and heavier, here are some great progressions that keep the essence of the movement!

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In my opinion, any #plankchallenge is pointless and an insult to your #coretraining and how your core functions #sorrynotsorry ▪️ I’ve been able to “hold” my plank for long periods of time in the past, but still would end up with #lowbackpain ▪️ There was a huge disconnect from my training to what the real world demanded and that’s why I have found #dvrt to be the most thorough system to make those connections and create a more #functionaltraining experience @ultimatesandbag #coreworkout #absworkout #lacrossewisconsin #armworkout #totalbodyworkout #plankworkout #ultimatesandbag #sandbagtraining #prehab #obliqueworkout #hiitworkout #hiitworkouts #crossfit

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Scroll through to see some awesome progressions by Greg!

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Our plank drags are probably one of the exercises we are most known for in our DVRT system. As popular as they are, most people still misunderstand their purpose and intent. The drags were meant to help teach how to properly resist rotation. Our core is made to resist unwanted movement and help connect our lower and upper body. In order to do so, movements like resisting rotation really teach the 35 core muscles to work smarter together! _______________ The core works through many chains of the body and two chains I like to focus upon when it comes to learning how to resist unwanted movement is the Anterior Oblique Sling (AOS) and Posterior Oblique Sling (POS). These chains are really important in making sure the core doesn’t allow unwanted motion, but how do we connect these chains and get them to function at a high level rather than telling people to stop rotating their hips or lower their butt in their plank? _______________ The point of using our Ultimate Sandbag in a drag was to use the grip option that USB allows for to help us engage our lats and use the friction that the USB has uniquely because of its dimension and use that to create tension and activation in the chains. That means WHERE we put the load, how we hold onto the weight, and how we move it ALL make a HUGE difference in the result we get out of the movement! ______________ @dvrtfitness_uk has done an awesome job showing some of our “how’s” and progressions, but find out A LOT more about building real world strength in our article you can get by ➡️ going to our BIO and getting the 🔗

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Strength Coach, Joel Gunterman shows another great progression of our lateral drag, but the concepts never change! That really is the point of this post. Sure there is “stuff” you can do, some of it is just not very effective in achieving anything, while other stuff is flat out dangerous. If our goal was JUST to sell you a “sandbag” we wouldn’t care what you do with it. That isn’t what we want, rather, we want you to really have something special to improve how you move, feel, perform, and look. You can only do so though when you understand WHY you are doing something. I hope posts like this really help giving you purpose and plenty of awesome things to do with limited space and equipment!

Don’t forget, you can get 3 awesome new DVRT programs for FREE HERE and we will continue to offer 30% ALL throughout DVRT HERE. Not just our best selling Ultimate Sandbags, but our powerful online education too HERE!