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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

spiral line orig - The Best Upper Body Exercises You Aren't Using!

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.

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Most people think that pressing creates issues in the shoulders. The reality is the way we TEACH HOW to press is really the key in developing strong and healthy shoulders. What @dvrtfitness_uk shows in these #DVRT progressions is how we can build better upper body strength, mobility, and stability all at once by helping people understand how to use the WHOLE body to press and not just the shoulders. Unlike landmines that take away a lot of the core bracing that helps teach better upper body strength and movement, these DVRT progressions teach the body to work more effectively and efficiently by teaching principles of grip, core stability, and developing force from the ground up! Check out Greg’s great break down… ______________ 👀 I wanted to show you the Most Advanced progression first. Just to get your attention;) that’s the cover video! ❗️From the second video these exercises are built on each other! One of the key concepts of the Dvrt System is to learn how to resist force first before producing it. With that said the Half Kneeling Arc Press is one of the best exercises for that. It helps to integrate the whole body connecting lower body to the upper body. Especially when we add a resistance band to the equation. I’m using a core strap to attach the band to the Ultimate Sandbag but with some creativity the band can attached to the bag easily. 1) Half Kneeling Press Outs Both hands are being used (both lats are active too) as well as both feet. Most people will miss out on the back foot 🦶 don’t overlook that! 2) Half Kneeling Arc Press w Band Using the band is the best and most efficient way to start working on lateral strength and resisting the frontal plane. 3) Half Kneeling Arc Press Moving the sandbag from one side of the body to the other really works on frontal plane stability, lunge pattern, whole body integration and overhead press with good core stability! 4) Drop Lunge Arc Press w Band Next level up is to hover with the back knee and lunging whilst pressing. The band is actually HELPS with that lateral strength and NOT there to make the exercise harder!!! Big difference! 5) Hover Arc Press Final progression is a split stance an

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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! 

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You probably could see a “shoulder exercise” (tell you why I put that in quotation marks shortly)  , but a great knee exercise? How so right?! In order to understand how we have to first understand what often impacts the knee and the shoulder as well! Let’s take the knee first… ____________ The diagram you see on the right is one of the several chains that makes our body move effortlessly in very complex ways. What you see is that everything starts from the ground up. This means the feet are essential to create stability to help stabilize up the chain, especially the knees. Most people put bands around knees to fix those legs that cave in, but the true culprit is the feet! Being on a small balance beam isn’t about “balancing”, but being in an inline position (the front leg in line with the back leg) forces us to use our feet more because if we don’t create stability in the feet we tip over. That is what we aim to do in all these #DVRT progressions and what different levels of half kneeling from this static position to a more dynamic lunge as you will see really reinforces. ______________ That brings us to also the fact using the Ultimate Sandbag for our Arc Press is just as much about teaching the upper body to work properly as it is in forcing the core to stabilize laterally and engage the glutes through the feet and how we use the upper body to also build knee stability from the “top down”. _______________ Believe it or not, the same concepts impact the shoulders as you see in the spiral line diagram. Most shoulder issues in the gym are due to an unstable core and inactive lower body. Since everything comes from the ground up, when we activate the lower chain of the body correctly and that builds stability all the way up the body, our shoulders have a better “platform” to perform. The gripping of “pulling apart” the USB also helps us stabilize the shoulder through the relationship our grip has to our shoulders in giving them better stability. ________________ Functional training is a purposeful methodology, but we have to know how our body works to create better solutions.

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