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Smarter Lateral Band Walk Exercises

ultimate sandbag fitness equipment

Greg Perlaki, DVRT Master UK (Creator DVRT Warm-ups That Matter Program)

It’s been a while since I published anything here. I really enjoy reading this blog on a daily basis and DVRT is part of my every day. I missed  contributing on this platform because seeing how we are able to impact our DVRT community with knowledge is the best feeling. However, life is really exciting at the moment on both personal and professional level. I have just started a new company now and have some great opportunities for DVRT in the UK (tease with information to come soon). Seeing the progress of DVRT worldwide motivated me to write about how we take a simple movement to more sophisticated levels, lateral band walks.
lateral band walks
Why change something that is so common place? Are we trying to make the simple and make it complicated? Quite the opposite! We want to take advantage of the fact that most people can perform lateral band walks and help them get even more out of them! We have to understand what is REALLY going on with lateral band walks if we want to get a great result.
The other day I was talking to a lady on Facebook in one of the groups for fitness professionals in the UK. She was concerned about using resistance bands, as she said, looking at some of the ‘pros’ on social media, she was not sure if resistance bands were safe.
My answer was like it really depends what we’re trying to accomplish with the bands or exercise. I mentioned Lateral walks and how the bands can give feedback on the glute meds and even the core. Us trainers are also part of the problem as we often tend to give out the hardest exercises just because they look cool whereas regressing the same concept to the level of a beginner is rarely discussed.
Lateral walks are also very popular nowadays especially amongst women. They are “sold” as “glute burner” exercises and while you definitely can feel your backside. There is a deeper potential for lateral band walks. Most notably an opportunity to train the lateral chain of the body. The connection of muscles that is important in stabilizing our knees and low backs. However, as you see, the glute medius is only PART of the chain. So I thought I expand on the idea how this great exercise can be even more powerful if we look at how the body is connected through the kinetic chains.
side plank
One of the MOST important but misunderstood core muscles is the quadrates lumborum. Integrating these muscles WITH the glute medius and other lateral muscles are key and they are responsible for RESISTING movement. 
First I used a regular cable machine for the lateral walk (because I wanted to bring DVRT closer to more people) and as we know the glutes work with the core together to produce movement, so the Pallof Press is a great option to connect them. It’s amazing how this simple and safe idea works so well with a very light weight. You can literally feel the whole midsection lit up when doing this anti-rotation movement properly with upright posture and the arms locked.
Even good training concepts can be expanded upon if we understand the larger intent of the movement. Take a look at how the Ultimate Sandbag can help to get more out of this great exercise integrating the glutes and the core with more dynamic planks.
Gripping and “ripping” the Ultimate Sandbag with both hands actively helps to find the lats and creates tension in the upper body and core whilst the mini band helps to engage the glutes. Functional training concepts like this helps the body to work more efficiently. In a similar way kettlebells can be used for same pressing movement in the rack position. Jessica Bento Physical Therapist had a great example of this pressing with one kettlebell and keeping the other one in the rack position to resist.
Lifts/Chops can be also added to lateral walks when using a smaller Ultimate Sandbag. These diagonal pattern movements have been used in physiotherapy for decades and they have the ability to create connection through the core with the opposite arm and hip. This type of movements really improve mobility, stability and strength.
One the reasons these lifts/chops can be so transformative is the grip. Creating tension through gripping the outer shell of the USB turns on the shoulder stabilizers when the arms are locked and the sandbag is being pulled apart.
The very same anti-rotational concept comes back in the last video when Josh Henkin uses the ARES Sled doing similar lateral walks and pallof presses. The ARES Sled provides more dynamic resistance than the cable. The friction makes it a whole new experience that cannot be replicated. It’s kind of like doing the Lateral Bag Drag properly except the continuous tension on the straps and the lever arm that engages the whole body. There are three different variations here to every level of fitness.
Understanding a deeper purpose of your functional training drills gives you the power to make more meaningful progressions. That is the real beauty of DVRT and what keeps me not just an instructor, but a major fan!
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