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The Best Sandbag Exercise You Aren’t Doing!

There are just THOSE exercises, the ones you keep coming back to for no other reason they work so well! Okay, there are reasons because when someone says something “works” I want to know what they mean! Works for what? We want any DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercise to give you more than a hard sweat!

Sure, I just read an article today that named the top five exercises some indiscriminate group of trainers selected. Now, the exercises aren’t bad, but you could tell they were chosen because of muscles people feel when they do them.

UGH!!! I don’t hate such a thing because it reminds me of us going back to bodybuilding (which I think is highly ineffective for about 99% of people), but could we find something LESS thoughtful than what we feel? Let’s be honest, if you and I did an exercise what are the chances we feel the same thing at the same level? Not well right?

Does that mean feeling your body during an exercise is a bad thing? Not really, but if that is what we are going off of it makes it hard to be really thoughtful about different movements. For example, I can “feel” my legs on a squat, leg press, lunge, leg extension machine, does that mean they are all equally good for me? Not if you understand and use the concepts of functional training and real world strength training.

We Need BETTER Exercises

Something I have been really trying to promote to people is not the need for MORE exercises, but just finding ones that do more. Increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the exercises we use. That is why on a “throwback Thursday” theme I wanted to go to one of the MOST used DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercise that most never use…..Up Downs!

You can see this video from almost exactly 5 years ago was a good sign of us trying to get people to think BIGGER about their DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercise selections. As DVRT Master, Troy Anderson, walks me through the steps here this was really a game changer for us.

Why? I mean, it does look really easy to do right?!

Let’s look at what just the motion of the Up Down does for someone….

-Teaches them how to decelerate appropriately which is where most people get hurt.

-People learn how to not “fall” into a lunge but rather have great control.

-There is mobility and stability of the hips being tested.

-We remove elastic energy so we get a split stance deadlift effect.

-The Up Down is possible THE most important drill in building better Get-ups.

Now if we add the Ultimate Sandbag strategically?

-We teach how to integrate lat and core with the hips, the natural chain the helps us move better.

-Teaching tension allows us to build better strength.

-The load can be placed differently to stress the core and hips in new ways.

-Compression of the load causes a huge metabolic response.

That is a HUGE number of things we get from what outwardly looks like a simple Ultimate Sandbag exercise. The key is not making exercises more complex, but identifying those that allow us to do SO much at once


For me the Up Down is one of my favorite strength training exercises because you can’t really do it wrong. If you compensate, you usually can’t do the lift. That is why it is also one of my favorite corrective drills. That is because it FORCES you to learn to use your body more efficiently.

How can you use our DVRT Up Downs? Here are two easy ways…

  1. Alternate them with something like a Clean and Press for 10-15 minutes doing five repetitions a side on the minute.
  2. Do a set of 5-6 repetitions in between sets of pull-ups and a pushing drill like a Clean and Press or Lateral Drag. Repeat for 5-6 rounds!

We are actually trying to make really great fitness simpler, not more complicated. Using great functional fitness drills is a key to that!

Want to know how to get MORE from your workouts? Check out our DVRT programs HERE and learn how great fitness isn’t for the elite!