There is a famous book called “The Tipping Point”. The basic idea of the book is about how an idea, concept, or even business goes from plotting along to all of sudden exploding! Yes, almost like overnight. That is why it is often funny when we see something like this happen, the “overnight successes” could actually have been around for years! Makes me think a bit of how we are seeing Ultimate Sandbag exercises pushing through mainstream fitness.
It has been so cool to see Ultimate Sandbag workouts in over a dozen mainstream magazines
Fitness is not too different. An idea can be around for awhile, used by a few, and if exposed to the right group or individual with influence, BOOM! It explodes and you would think everyone has been using this idea forever!
I bring this up because I see this very thing happening with an idea we have been teaching for the past seven years. When I began DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts, I knew we would have to do things differently. If we used Ultimate Sandbag workouts just like barbells or other equipment, we wouldn’t have anything really powerful or unique.
One of the obstacles we had to overcome was the idea of progressive loading. Most of us are use to the idea of slowly adding weight. Whether it is adding five pounds to the bar, grabbing five pound heavier dumbbells, or moving the weight stack a very small amount. However, Ultimate Sandbag workouts can’t work this way.
Ultimate Sandbag workouts are the choice of lots of groups that can’t have tons of equipment around. These Marines know that and their training in the unit means they needed better solutions.
Logistically it would be a nightmare to try to add 2.5-5 pounds of weight to your Ultimate Sandbag from set to set. This seemed to be a BIG issue because how was I going to program progressions for myself and my clients if we had to make 10 pound jumps or more?
I actually reflect on this issue as being a blessing and why I think our Dynamic Variable Resistance Training system is so unique and innovative. What seemed to be an issue actually become the inspiration for concepts of fitness that are even more powerful. Why?
Trying to solve this issue gave us the idea of manipulating other areas of fitness that most ignore. The two that are most unique and special about our DVRT system became the concepts of changing body position and load position. In recent posts this week, you have already seen how changing where we hold the weight of the Ultimate Sandbag can change the outcome of the exercise. I want to focus today on my other favorite, body position.
DVRT Master, Sean Kim, shows some of the many ways we make Ultimate Sandbag workouts harder simply by changing how we hold the weight.
This was a bit of a struggle first until I really paid attention to my clients. I was often frustrated by the fact I could add a little bit and a little bit of weight to them for certain exercises, but changing the exercise seemed like a quantum leap. What do I mean? I could build people to a good squat with some nice weight, but moving to an exercise as common as lunge often seemed like I was asking them to perform outrageous physical acts. I was so frustrated!
Then it dawned on me. If adding a little bit of weight is such a foundational idea to fitness, then why don’t we take the same concept to how we move the body! It made sense! I would never add 100 pounds to someone from one set to another, but this is actually what I was doing most of the time when I made my clients move from a squat to a lunge. There had to be something in between.
That is when I thought of the Staggered Stance Squat. I needed something that could be a bit of both. Add a little bit of instability of the lunge, but still provide some of the stability and loading of the squat.
DVRT Master, Sean Lettero, demonstrates some foundational DVRT movements to advanced ones that make your Ultimate Sandbag workouts seem varied but purposeful!
I was amazed! This simple alteration to body position made all the difference in the world! I could no progressively add instability to my clients training instead of dumping it on them like a ton of weight.
The best part, is that the Staggered Stance Squat gives us a bit of the best of both single leg type training and loading of more stable exercises. It can be a bridge for more challenging lower body exercises, or a focus exercise to build both stability and strength.
The key is doing it right! The Staggered Stance Squat begins with our typical squat stance (feet slightly wider than hips and feet turned out just enough to open the hips) with one foot moved back so that the toes of the back foot are about in line with the heel of the front foot. Going too far back goes into some weird pseudo lunge that is very awkward.
The next part is critical, you must raise the heel of the back foot so you are putting pressure through the ball of foot. If you keep the back heel flat you will place yourself into a position where the pelvis is rotated and your back will not appreciate this and possibly your knees either.
You want to think of about 60% on the front foot and 40% on the back foot. That back foot is important to make sure your hips don’t rotate during the squat. From here, we have much more of a squatting motion than lunging.
Easy right? I didn’t say it was complicated and that isn’t where the power of Ultimate Sandbag workouts live. Not in complicated but thoughtful and progressive.
We also have to think that we can change the width of the squat stance. I have found over the years that whether you are trying to make the exercise a little bit more difficult or some people have bodies that just prefer a more narrow stance, that is fine. You may find yourself pointing your feet more straight ahead in these cases.
I have begun to see many fitness professionals jump on the Staggered Stance bandwagon because it works so well. I would love to claim that I created it, but the truth is that old time strongman must have though the same way I was as you can see by this very old magazine picture. However, I am excited that Ultimate Sandbag workouts can lead the charge in bringing it back as we must as the question, “why did this great exercise lose favor?” I think the answer is we lost sight of how we SHOULD be building our fitness programs.
DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts are changing fitness because they are altering what we think of strength. That is why we want you to have NOTHING but the best. Save 25% all throughout our DVRT site (excluding live events) and get our new DVRT Movement Strength series for one you when invest into Ultimate Sandbags HERE