If there are two areas of the body that plague so many people, it is probably the low back and shoulder complex. I’m pretty sure any fitness professional or therapist could make a whole career out of just focusing on these two areas of the body. With these two areas being so problematic, it makes you wonder why we don’t have better solutions? I’m hoping after you see some of these Ultimate Sandbag exercises you will!
When thinking about what two areas of the body would have so many problems, low backs and shoulders make a lot of sense! Why? Well, when areas of the body don’t work right so many times the problems fall into issues of the low back and shoulders.
You don’t have to be a physical therapist or have a Master’s Degree in biomechanics to understand the issues. First off, it is 2017, if we are JUST looking at shoulders and low backs when they hurt we are missing the MUCH bigger picture! We know TOO much about the body to be looking at complex issues so simply.
What you see by images describing our Ultimate Sandbag exercises like the one above is how connected our bodies actually are in life. Unless someone pounded your shoulder or you obviously have a compromise of your spinal cord or something fell on your back, we have to look how the body works. That is why we see our Ultimate Sandbag exercises differently than just a shoulder, chest, or even lower body training. We look at how we train the connections of our body smarter which is why we can do more!
Lack of Hip Mobility: Gray Cook and Mike Boyle have provided us with a simple model in understanding the purpose of different areas of the body with their “Joint by Joint Approach”. This concept has joints of the body alternating dominance of stability or mobility. You quickly see that with this model our body alternates up the chain areas of mobility and stability.
This is important because when we have an area like the hips that have a dominance of mobility, locked down, then areas above try to create the lost mobility. In this case, it causes the low back (which has a dominance of stability) to try to become an area of mobility. When an area of the body doesn’t have that ability you definitely increase the risk of injury.
One reason Ultimate Sandbag exercises work so well is we focus on creating mobility and stability at the right places, removing compensations of movement!
We also have to see that the lower body joints and upper body mirror each other. Meaning, the foot has a lot of similarities to the hand, ankle to wrist, elbow to knee, shoulder to hip. When we lack mobility of the shoulder we need to check the opposing hip too because when you watch how we move in every day life we move in opposites and the fascial lines of the body show us that the opposing areas of the body are very much connected.
An example of how we can combine elements of Ultimate Sandbag exercises to meet the common issues of low backs and shoulders!
Lack of Core Stability: Even though you plank, do your bird dogs, etc. you would be surprised how people lack proper core stability. Now, why is core stability relevant to shoulders as well as your low back? As the PNF concept states, “proximal stability creates distal mobility”. Which simply means if all the superficial and deep muscles of the trunk and pelvis are not operating at a proper level, you can have instability. So what?
If we think in an evolutionary perspective we would see that injury to our spine would probably cause death, yes, something would probably eat you! In it is a protective mechanism by the body to not open up the mobility of the hips and shoulders to expose the spine to greater trauma.
What you will find in this month’s Metabolic Stability are exercises that may seem somewhat familiar to you, but done in a manner that gets more out of these drills. Really allowing you to connect the body in the manner it is designed to move in life, not just in the gym. You will find these “traditional” core exercises change drastically when you really focus on integrating the chains of the body and giving feedback upon one’s movement.
That’s why the progressions set forth in this month’s video series is dedicated to showing you how we use load as feedback just as much as we are building strength. You will find that every exercise builds a small layer to the next. That is why having a system of training rather than just random exercises build greater success!
People have been asking us what we use, so these are some of the pieces of equipment you see in today’s break down of Ultimate Sandbag exercises and progressions: