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Do This, Not That-DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training

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I thought it was a really clever idea. I don’t know if they came up with the idea, but Men’s Health use to have a nutritional concept of “Eat This, Not That”. What I thought was so clever was the idea taking something that many people thought of or used a lot, but then gave them a better option.

If it is a good idea for food, might be equally as good for exercise too. I wanted to borrow this idea to show you how DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training actually provides you with some concepts that are BETTER than maybe what you are already doing! Not only are we having a some fun with this concept, but giving you some real solutions!!! I’m playing with “Good, But This Is Better”. Okay, still working on the name, but think you get the idea.

Good: One-arm Farmer’s Walk

Not ideal position but still walking!

Better: Ultimate Sandbag Training MAX Lunge

At first glance these look like two TOTALLY different lifts, the truth is that they actually have a lot in common. Carrying weights has become very popular because most people can well, do it. If you ask the experts, carrying weights is like a dynamic plank, especially when you do it with one-arm there is a lot more stress on the core.

The hard part is there is no really good feedback on how you are either planking or for that matter, walking (yes, walking wrong is actually really common). MAX Lunges solve both issues. Having the Ultimate Sandbag moving around the body, the core must learn to react far more and faster than in walking. In fact, a lot of people do a little side stutter step initially because it is so challenging to keep your body symmetrical.

ultimate sandbag training

Strength Coaches like, Robert Dos Remedies, realize how many small and BIG things are being done when performing the MAX Lunge!

On the walking side, it may sound crazy that people walk wrong, but it is FAR more common that you think! Lunging can be a great way to almost pre-qualify people as you need good hip mobility, lower leg strength/stability, and the ability to pull yourself up from the bottom of the lunge creates very strong hip extension which is where people fail on walking well.

I know, you are thinking there is no grip on the MAX Lunge, but what fails on most people first is their ability to keep their posture and walking right! We have a million grip drills, so why don’t we work on building on what is REALLY our goal!

Good: Goblet Squat

Better: Bear Hug Squat

The Goblet Squat was a game changer. For those of us that have coached people for years, getting a good back squat was more than a challenge, almost literally impossible. I mean, you can get people to barbell back squat, but to do it well? That is a whole different story!

Sure front squats sounded like a good answer, but let’s face it, most people don’t have the mobility to get in the position well and would collapse several points in the front squat. The goblet squat allowed us to put the load in front of the body, was easy to get people in a good position, and start building foundational squat strength.

So, why change something that is good? The honest truth is because there is something better. The overall goal of the any squat is to keep the torso as vertical as possible. This is because we place far more load in the legs and not the back! Weight vs. weight, the Ultimate Sandbag Bear Hug Squat provides a more upright torso than the goblet squat. Don’t take my word for it, this picture was shot with Adrienne Harvey from Dragon Door (the group that brought back kettlebells). This was her first time doing Ultimate Sandbag Bear Hug Squats when we were shooting for our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training book. You see her goblet squat looks good, but Ultimate Sandbag Bear Hug Squat looks better!

ultimate sandbag training


Don’t just look at trunk position, but shoulder and upper back tension as well! The squat is more than just your legs, it is how you set the whole body! 

The Bear Hug Squat also has advantages of making it easier to use the upper back and make the squat a truly full body lift. We also see that the arms don’t become the limiting factor like it can with the goblet squat. The Ultimate Sandbag Bear Hug Squat makes you look like a super smart coach almost every time!

Good: Deadlifts

Better: Lateral Walking Deadlifts

Yea, I punished the deadlift pretty good the other day (you can read about it HERE). It may shock you, I am not anti-deadlifting, but rather disappointed in how people see the deadlift in only one way!

Lateral Walking Deadlifts give us a FAR better platform in looking at functional movement. Spinal expert, Stuart McGill, speaks A LOT about frontal plane (forces acting to the side) are probably some of the most important and missed training we can use to improve health and performance. Well, when our body is stable we get very little frontal plane training.

ultimate sandbag training




The Lateral Step still requires a strong hip hinge and NOT a lunge!


ultimate sandbag training


The Walking Lateral Deadlift is a simple way to make the hip hinge more dynamic.

Using a simple drill like the Lateral Walking Deadlifts solves such a problem, still teaches the important hip hinge, and gives us a TON of helpful feedback. When we deadlift to the side, you can see if people fail in their trunk by twisting (it is subtle so watch for it),or not being able to handle the hip hinge when we change the direction! I’ve seen some strong people fail to maintain their deadlift just when you ask them to move!

The “walking” part to this DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercise teaches us to create force not just down, but to the side as well. Funny to think that walking lunges have long been a cornerstone of fitness, but walking deadlifts seemed crazy. See how much you learn about your body by using this simple drill!

I hope you saw us having some fun with this concept, but more importantly got you thinking about why you do what you really do! That is the simple question I always ask in our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training certifications, “why do you do what you do?”