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Getting MORE Out of the MAX Lunge

sandbag training


There might be no more iconic DVRT exercise than our MAX Lunge. I came up with the idea realizing that the Ultimate Sandbag gave us an opportunity to move in far more ways than typical weights offered. That was really exciting because most of us knew that movement happens more than up and down, but sadly, we didn’t have the right tools to accomplish these goals. So, when it hit me how we could use the Ultimate Sandbag to target more functional fitness qualities I was in!

sandbag training rotational lunge

Probably like a lot of people, when you invent something you don’t realize the rabbit hole you are going to go down. Initially, I called the MAX Lunge the Rotational Lunge because I was referencing what the weight was doing, not the body. That is really important because if you think of it as “lunge with rotation” as many people call it now, it is actually dangerous!

That is because trying to rotate when the hips are fixed forward through the lumbar spine, that is how you really crank on your low back. Remember, the lumbar spine has very little motion and the hips have far more. Hence, why our rotational training in DVRT centers around feet and hips while keeping a plank!

Getting MORE Out of the MAX Lunge

Notice the pivot that creates the movement from the hips while keep the low back stable. 

However, if we review Mike Boyle’s and Gray Cook’s “Joint by Joint” approach we see that hips are mobile, low back is stable, but thoracic spine has mobility. That means that the rotation in the movement is really coming from some small movement of the thoracic spine while the low back is being stable.

Getting MORE Out of the MAX Lunge

So, before we are going fast, or around the world, or doing the “sexy” aspect of the MAX Lunge we have to own the foundations as DVRT Master, Steve Holiner breaks down below.

How can we emphasize some of these aspects of the MAX lunge? Well, we can use various feedback tools, regressions, and cuing that we are going to share here. For one, so many people miss the beauty of simple DVRT drills that teach a lot of the positional and control aspects of the MAX lunge like in our Up Downs.

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe shows a couple of variations. The point is how to decelerate, develop strength to come up, and control the pelvis and core by using the feet. 

After spending some time with Up Downs we can use a regression of the MAX lunge in the front loaded position. This is a drill that most people misunderstand. The point of the drill is to move at the SAME time from the thoracic spine and stepping action. The reason we use the front load position is because we can create tension on the Ultimate Sandbag and teach how to use core tension to create stability.

Our coaches in Asia show the relationship of the Front Loaded position and the hip loaded positions. You can see how the Front Loaded doesn’t over rotate, just about 20 degrees. 

We also have options to use other DVRT drills to help teach the mechanics of the MAX lunge, that is the beauty of having a system versus just a bunch of exercises. What Jessica shows below is how we use a band around the foot to engage more foot activity to stabilize the knee and engage with the hip. The half Around the World allows us to teach a more reactive core that will be needed when we go fast!


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One of my favorite methods of helping people learn the MAX lunge comes from our DVRT South Korea Master, Raymond Lee. Learning how to absorb the force of the MAX lunge and retransmit the force is super important. That is why creating the “pulse” is a powerful way to build strength specifically for the MAX lunge but also core and glute strength that will carry over to so many other movements.

The overall point is that if we understand the movement then we can break it down into so many levels that anyone should be able to benefit from the great success that the MAX lunge offers. Eventually you can do some of the really cool movements that DVRT Master, Cory Cripe shows. However, there are two things we never look past…purpose AND progression!

Learn how we build great movement, success, and fun training with DVRT. For only ONE more day save 30% all throughout DVRT (excludes live events) with coupon code “dvrt” HERE and learn how we are transforming functional fitness!


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