I was about 21 years old, man I was feeling STRONG! Like many young men my age, I was following an elite powerlifting program and also like many young men I was somewhat addicted to how fast I was making progress in my training. Felt like every workout I was getting better and stronger!
Ironically, there were two instances where I ever got hurt working out. Both happened during this phase of my training journey. One was a squatting episode that lit up my back unlike anything that I had experienced since the injury itself. The other, was on the bench when I was having nothing but success for quite a few months. Then it happened though, I partially tore my pec and immediately knew it!
Those of you that have ever suffered an injury know sometimes that you get mad when you get hurt. It isn’t even necessarily the pain of the injury, although that doesn’t help, but rather you knew it could have been avoided.
At that moment I didn’t know that the injuries could have been possibly prevented, I thought more so they were inevitable if you were going to train to be strong and unfortunately, I think a lot of people think this way!
That’s why we chalk up our declining strength and fitness often times to “getting older” when in reality many just never learn from their mistakes. Going through those injuries at such a young age did leave me to think if the path I was following was a positive one. As I have often said, I don’t regret going through the injuries I have experienced because each one has made me become a better coach and fitness professional. In this case specifically it made me think about what plagues so many people, bad shoulders!
Since having that pec tear I haven’t had any issues to my upper body, shockingly, not even shoulder issues. This may be surprising to hear since I have torn my rotator cuffs, had the partial pec tear, and neck issues. Yea, sports had been kinda hard on my body and when you start lifting at such a young age you end up doing a lot of stupid things!
I tell you this not for sympathy sake which I don’t mind, don’t get me wrong, but more importantly to share with you because I am very sympathetic to people that are worried about problems in their shoulders.
Having said that, I think people really get stuck when they have problems in their shoulders and think it is JUST a shoulder problem! in reality it can be related to several other issues and we are going to look at how you can use DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises to greatly help a lot of your shoulder challenges. Now, this is NOT medical advice, but along with Jessica’s help we have found these to greatly help a lot of the common shoulder problems.
You aren’t using your core!
Core training isn’t about just feeling and using your abs. It is about how you use it to help create a strong foundation from your body to move from. After all, as much as people often hate the name “core” it is actually very appropriate.
You’ve heard me use the line “proximal stability creates distal mobility” from the therapeutic technique PNF. This concept which I am sure you hear more and more about basically teaches us that if the spine feels unstable, the extremities like your shoulders, shut down to protect the body from trying to do something while it feels unstable.
Planks and crunches though don’t just get your core going, teaching your body to make better connections through. That is because your core is a lot more than just your abs, it is many muscles that are responsible for creating stability.
That’s why you often see DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises that don’t seem like your typical core training. Does that mean you don’t “FEEL” your abs working when you do these exercises? Sure, but if we use that as the measure of their success then you are missing the point.
Why? We have muscles in our body that are small, deep in our bodies, they are SUPER important to our stability and no, you probably aren’t going to feel your multifidus (for example) burning up. That’s why some of these DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises are deceiving in what they do for your fitness!
You are too focused on using inefficient muscles!
It is the oddest thing for many people to hear, but it is sooooo true! When you think about lifting overhead with your shoulders, it sounds good at first but looking at how small they are in compared to the rest of your body you quickly realize how inefficient it really is to think of just muscles.
What SHOULD you do? A HUGE game changer in our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises is to focus on pressing DOWN into the ground while pressing the weight. This integrates your core and glutes to create a strong platform that saves you from leaning, loading the shoulders badly, and a host of other things that are no good. What should you do? Try some of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises like these progressions!!
You don’t use your lats!
One of the biggest things that saves people’s shoulders is really learning that they aren’t pressing with their arms, they are pressing with their body. Like I said before, you REALLY want to use the bigger muscle groups and in this case it also means the lats!
These HUGE muscles are the ONLY ones that connect your core and lower body to your upper body. So, you think it would be really important to use them, but how do you teach people this concept?
DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, does a great job of showing some of our favorite DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises that may at first look too easy until you understand their real intent! By being “active” with your feet and the handles of the Ultimate Sandbag you will quickly learn how to use your WHOLE body to be strong!
These three simple seaming concepts help people from feeling like they are broken to doing things they never thought possible! Like Physical Therapist, Scott Corso, has shared with us how he has used this SAME concept to help people’s backs!
“I am loving the impact the DVRT Restoration concepts are having with my patients. I had one patient, a lobsterman, with a history of low back pain that couldn’t do a side plank with discomfort even with proper cueing, but as soon as he did it with acore bag ISO hold, his pain went away. Another patient, a 60+ year old ski instructor was unable to perform any of the segmental rolls without extreme difficulty and compensation. Based on the weekend discussions on sling systems, I had her do just 5 deadbugs and 5 bridges with the Ultimate Sandbags and her rolling in all positions improved 100%! She was shocked (surprised me some too).”
This isn’t magic, but using our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercise to teach the body what real life strength training is all about. If you want to truly learn how to transform people check out our upcoming programs with New York, next on our list HERE