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The Best Upper Body Exercises You Aren’t Using!

Ultimate Sandbag Fitness equipment

One of the biggest challenges we have at DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is helping people see and take the time to appreciate what we are trying to teach through our DVRT movements. One of my favorite examples is the Arc Press. Yea, I use to call it the “Shoulder to Shoulder” drill (I am known for my super creative exercise names:), but I found people missing the whole point of these upper body exercises.

The problem of calling the Arc Press movement as shoulder to shoulder was that people were more focused on the act of moving the weight from shoulder to shoulder rather than HOW they were moving the Ultimate Sandbag. Naming the exercise closer to the actual goal of this powerful upper body exercise has helped people really appreciate what makes this drill so unique and effective. How so?

The Arc Press Is A Full Body Exercise

Like so many of our DVRT movements, even our upper body dominant movements like the Arc Press are really full body exercises. If the feet, hips, and core are off, the Arc Press suffers. That is because our upper body and lower body are connected (via our core) so you see how if we want strong upper body exercises

The spiral line that Thomas Myers made popular shows how our foot and opposite shoulder are connected. This means in our upper body exercises we want to integrate the entire body in the movement as DVRT Master, Cory Cripe breaks down.

The Arc Press Is A Single Arm Exercise

What so many people are intrigued to learn is that the Arc Press is really one of the best single arm upper body exercises we can use. Wait?! Aren’t there two hands on the Ultimate Sandbag as we perform this drill? Absolutely, but the inside arm is just helping create tension and stability while the outside arm is the one really pressing. So, if upper body mobility is somewhat limited this is a great drill to safely build upper body exercises with pressing overhead which demands more from the core and lower body.

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DVRT Master, Sean Lettero shows the BIGGEST mistake people make in the Arc Press that decreases the effectiveness of such upper body exercises. That is in the first picture you see his hands aren’t pulling the Ultimate Sandbag apart and this will place more negative stress through his shoulders and make him feel much weaker. Meanwhile, in the picture on the right, he is having BOTH hands actively pulling the Ultimate Sandbag apart which helps us use our lats and core so we actually can build shoulder mobility and strength at the same time. This HUGE cue is why other tools don’t work well (like medicine balls) because with other tools you press in and not pull apart. Pressing in causes more issues in the shoulder and doesn’t teach how to perform upper body exercises correctly.

We Have A Push & Pull

Whether we are lowering the weight down to the same shoulder or going to the other side, one of the most important cues in upper body exercises that have us pushing is that when we are lowering a weight we want to focus on pulling the weight down. So, really, in essence, we have vertical pushing and pulling upper body exercises.

DVRT UK master, Greg Perlaki does a great job breaking down these concepts that completely changes your upper body exercises as well as getting more out of our Arc Press.

We Change Position & Force Vectors More Than Actual Weight 

As much as I love the Arc Press, most people seem to give up the drill because they can’t figure out how they keep progressing in the movement because as Ultimate Sandbags become heavier, they can become challenging to use the Arc Press because the USB becomes larger. That is why our DVRT system addresses these issues mostly by changing our body position when it comes to progressing the Arc Press.

You can see for one, we’ve been teaching these concepts for a long time as this video is from 2012! More importantly, you see how we can change our body position in many ways to make Arc Presses more challenging upper body exercises. Another point is the speed of movement. So, when you see Greg use the same concept in different ways, you want to move the weight of the USB in the same manner.

So, Greg is changing his body position but also using another strategy we love to use which is using our Ultimate Core Strap to add resistance from another direction. Many times going laterally is a great way to teach how to keep the feet active and identify any faults in technique as the band will immediately expose such mistakes in technique.

Ben Beeler does a great job of demonstrating how a simple addition in our Ultimate Core Strap and changing positions of the band really makes for a great corrective and tons of better upper body exercises. Physical Therapist, Jessica Bento, also provides some of the same concepts but different progressions to give the Arc Press more meaning and ways to challenge the body. So, you don’t have to feel you hit an endpoint in using the Arc Press because going heavier may not seem practical.

When you take the time to really learn our DVRT system, the number of exercises and solutions you can create becomes almost endless! You can get our DVRT Online Education, Core Strap, and so much more 25% off for this week only with code “oct2020” HERE. When you do invest in any of our Ultimate Sandbags you will get 2 FREE DVRT workout programs and a mini band. That is because we want you to have the knowledge and the right tools to build success!