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Nailing the The Hardest Squat

sandbag squat

When I suck at something, I actually get pretty pumped. Weird right? Especially when you consider there are A LOT of things that I suck at! I’m not a naturally gifted athlete and having gone through four spinal surgeries, you better believe my body is extra challenging. It is by embracing the things that I am not good at that caused me to re-think how I saw strength training. There are few better examples than how difficult the pistol squat has been for me.

Being 6’3, having destroyed my ankles in over a decade of competitive basketball, I don’t scream pistol squat expert! However, seeing how so many of our DVRT coaches have developed great solutions for situations just like me makes me love our system even more.

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe has shared much of my love/hate relationship with the pistol squat, but using some of our tension techniques, even he shows how fast you can achieve with this underrated squat variation. Why the pistol squat?

For one, it is virtually impossible to cheat the movement with your low back. It is a measure of mobility, stability, and strength all at once. You must learn how to properly use your feet and create core tension to help you move better.

Now you may not think what we are showing in using the Ultimate Sandbag is much different than what you might have seen with a kettlebell, weight plate, etc. However, the differences are in the subtleties . The different dimension, the “grip and rip”, and the cuing make all the difference in the world!

You can see how we also have so many more layers of progression for the pistol squat using our DVRT principles. DVRT Australian Master, Cam Ward, showed how we use bands, our Core Strap, and these tension techniques to give feedback and instant improvement in the pistol squat.

The band allows feedback as well as offering the lifter the chance to create more tension in pulling in the weight to activate the lat/core connection to work with the lower body!

However, what if you can’t get there, I know your pain! Instead of forcing your body into a squat movement it really hates, you can build progression in using these DVRT techniques with increasing range of motion. DVRT Master, Ian Vaughn, has outlined these baselines in his new DVRT For Real World Strength & Muscle program HERE.

sandbag squat

Once you have your baseline, you don’t need to actually perform just the pistol squat to build that specific strength. A few of the more underrated exercises that can help build these qualities over time is both the step-up and lateral squats. Both these drills provide us the lower leg strength/stability, help find imbalances in the hips, and develop better core integration. As you can imagine, using the Ultimate Sandbag offers us many ways we can load the body to keep building success over the long-term.

Lateral squat variations will build a new type of strength and flexibility in a range of motion that most people miss in their training.

Pick one of these DVRT variations and you can cycle your weekly training in the following way.


Day 1: Your baseline pistol squat

Day 2: Step-up variation

Day 3: Lateral squat variation

You just took the scary word in programming called periodization and use it in a meaningful way. It is amazing how easy programming can be if we just apply some foundational concepts. This is what makes DVRT great, how we make complex ideas really accessible to your fitness goals.

That is why you won’t want to miss saving 25% off our DVRT workout programs including our NEW DVRT for Real World Strength & Muscle programs HERE with coupon code “spring2018”