What makes one exercise jump into legend and another become literally extinct? It would be easy to say “results”, but I just don’t believe that to be true.
When I began in the industry deep squats were bad for the knees, deadlifts hurt your back, and pressing overhead was a guaranteed way to blow out a shoulder! This wasn’t THAT long ago!
Part of it is that we admit we were wrong!
Changing one’s mind isn’t a bad thing if we learn more. After all it was Albert Einstein that said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
In the last 10-15 years we have learned a lot! We found out that good squats can help our knees, deadlifts can be part of building a more resilient back, and the ability to press overhead well is a sign of healthy shoulders. What a difference learning more as an industry causes!
One of the exercises I think we are going to see a major come back is the bent-over row. It definitely does not get the sexy promotion that deadlifts and pull-ups receive. After all, whoever asked, “what’s your bent-over row bro?” Yet it may be easily one of the most important exercise we can integrate into one’s program.
I’m not talking the ugly convulsive dumbbell rows we see on the benches at the gym. No, not the ones where people load WAY to much weight on the bar and look like a duck as they try to row the weight.
A really good bent-over teaches us A LOT about real functional strength.
A good bent-over row teaches us the valuable hip hinge in the lower body. If you can’t hip hinge in the bent-over row you have NO business deadlifting, cleaning, and snatching. No way, no how.
The hip hinge also creates the basis for another bent-over plus. When we hip hinge we create a type of front plank for the core. Since core endurance has been more highly correlated to low back health than strength, being able to hold this type of bent-over row “plank” becomes very important to that foundation of functional strength.
Does that mean we don’t build core strength though? Absolutely not! By having an appreciable load moving up and down we not only have to stabilize against gravity, but a weight that keeps changing how much stress it creates on our core.
Not to be left out, the bent-over row teaches how to pull our shoulders “down and back”. This may be the MOST important movements we can teach in upper body exercises. That is because deadlifts, presses, even squats require this technique in the upper body.
Don’t take my word for it, iron legend, Dave Draper might sum it up the best, “Thing is, they’re the toughest, meanest and most demanding upper body movement. Bentover rows are a comprehensive exercise like squats, deadlifts and standing military presses. They work large and specific muscles (the full back), yet engage the whole system in their execution–fingers to toes.”
We can use a great number of implements to perform the bent-over row, does the Ultimate Sandbag offer us any real unique benefits?
Maybe the BIGGEST advantage of the Ultimate Sandbag is all the gripping options you can use when performing the bent-over row. With SEVEN different gripping options on the Ultimate Sandbag, it gives so much more to the versatility to the bent-over row.
A barbell offers four options, a kettlebell/dumbbell, three with a single implement.That means we almost DOUBLE what we can do with the Ultimate Sandbag compared to more common strength training tools.
Different grips allow us to train emphasize different muscles in the upper body. The Ultimate Sandbag is also the only implement than can be effectively and easily used for one or two handed lifts! That means we can work on imbalances and build some serious strength!
You may be thinking, “the weight of the Ultimate Sandbag doesn’t allow me to use what I can on the bar though, isn’t the barbell then better?” That would make some sense, but that means we have discounted the unique leverage of the Ultimate Sandbag.
Having the handles far away from the center of mass compared to the barbell, any weight of in the Ultimate Sandbag feels MUCH heavier. Therefore, working through all the Ultimate Sandbag bent-over row variations with a 150 pound Burly Ultimate Sandbag would be HUGELY impressive.
Just to show you HOW impressive, check out all these different Ultimate Sandbag variations. If you want to feel what real functional strength is like, you will want to put one of these Ultimate Sandbag bent-over
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