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Ending Deadcember with Strong Deadlifts

sandbag training

I love whenever people have fun with fitness. I know we can sometimes appear we take fitness too seriously with DVRT, but we do like to have fun with actually educating people. So, when our DVRT instructors wanted to use December to be a fun excuse to talk about how we see deadlifts differently in DVRT, I was all for it.

The fact that we do look at strength so differently throws people for a loop. A lot of people say they believe in movement strength training, but it is often reflected in what they actually do. Especially when it comes to deadlifts. Sure, some people will go wide, they may elevate themselves, they may play with our Sprinter Stance, or even different tools, but they don’t really think about the system of how or why you use any of these different deadlifts.

First off, why do look at deadlifts so uniquely? Because we look at human motion in life and look at how exercises enhance it. While most look at individual muscles and HOPE they make us better in life, we do the opposite. Why not start with HOW we move and then make exercises to meet our movement and take some of the guesswork out of it?

One of the big things that makes us look at deadlifts differently is that people often think that the point of the exercise is to strengthen our body to lifts things off the ground. Sure, that could be, but when was the last time you tried to lift something 500 pounds off the ground, right?

The REAL point of deadlifts is to strengthen the chain of muscles that go from our feet all the way up our entire core. The same integration of muscles that help us walk, run, and move better in a variety of ways that look very little like deadlifts in the gym.

This even means teaching the glutes and core to work together to stabilize the body as we move through space. I know, that doesn’t sound like a PR social media moment, but it does start to change what we think deadlifts do and how we should approach them.

So, how does DVRT allow us to get really strong even though our weights never go above 160 pounds? Because we use 3 simple DVRT principles to make 100 pounds feel like 400 or more!

Step 1: Changing Holding Position

One of my favorite ways to manipulate deadlifts is to change our holding position. While most people lose sight of the hip hinge being a movement pattern and deadlifts just being a version of the movement, our Front Loaded Good Mornings are a combination of both.

Creating tension and loading the body in this manner instantly enhances what we get from deadlifts. The core stabilizers fire harder, the lats connect to our body better, and we learn how to create more force from the ground up! This DVRT LOOKS simple but is one of the most powerful ways to get more out of deadlifts.

See the difference DVRT Australia Master, Cam Ward, shows in creating or losing tension of the Ultimate Sandbag. 

Step 2: Change Body Position

Changing stance is not something new in fitness, but doing so in a progressive manner is a big concept that people really haven’t thought about. The reason that moving from a two legged deadlift to single leg is so difficult is because it is NOT nearly a progressive way of challenging stance.

How can we make it far more progressive? Altering our stance from very small steps with specific direction to longer steps and more complex directions.

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, shows some of the ways we introduce these DVRT deadlifts to real clients.

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#DVRT DeadCember Day 4 – We haven’t quite figured out the nomenclature difference between the two yet, but… – Here we have two #UltimateSandbag Lateral Step Deadlift variations. The first with the moving leg being the working leg and the second with the stance leg being the working leg. – While we may not know how to differentiate the name simply, there is no question that the exercises feel very different and do very different things from one another. – Both challenge the frontal plane and side to side from the hinge, which is important because too often people get caught up in only doing Lateral Lunges as their side to side movement and either create imbalances because of it, miss out on the benefits of frontal plane hinging, or both. – #hinge #deadlifts #sidebooty #gluteworkout #glutesworkout

A post shared by Danny Twoguns (@dannytwoguns) on

DVRT Master, Daniel Jackowicz, shows that moving our entire body one direction versus just stepping a leg out can be a very different level of building progression. 

Step 3: Combine Deadlifts with Stance and Load Position

The best part is to start combining these elements into more sophisticated deadlifts. In using all these strategies at once we can really challenge the movement of the hip hinge at the highest levels. Sure, this gives us TONS of variety, but more importantly it teaches us how we make the same weight feel heavier. It also allows us to provide better solutions that not everyone needs to do deadlifts, but they have to do the RIGHT deadlift!

You can see the ultimate goal is to have fluidity between these different deadlifts. This teaches that we possess the important combination of mobility, stability, and strength. Isn’t that what we are really chasing? 

I hope you can see, we aren’t different to be different. We are different to be better! Most programs are quite limited in how they can progress you and how they can address your specific needs. It’s amazing to me how small changes how we outline in DVRT really expose weaknesses that people were totally unaware of and more importantly make them better in ways they couldn’t imagine!

Find out more about how we don’t think different, we think better about functional fitness. Save 35% with our DVRT Online Educational Programs with coupon code “yearend” and see where our training really can go HERE!