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The Secret to Unlocking Strength

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By Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner

Master DVRT, Master RKC, MFF Coach and OS Lead Instructor

Do you suffer with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Cleans, High Pulls or Snatches?

Do you look at your hands or shoulders and wonder why they are sore or you have little bruises? Let’s face it, that isn’t right!

You could be missing out on the a key concept of how to make the Ultimate Sandbag “float”. Just as if you pounded your wrists with kettlebells, learning the RIGHT way to perform these great exercises means paying attention to the little things. 

How do you know if this is an issue for you?!

Does the Ultimate Sandbag feel insurmountably heavy even though the weight is realistic?

It can be as confusing as to why Marvel can make such amazing films and DC not so much? 

In terms of the movies, my money’s on DC needing patience with better scripts, sorry side tracked. 

On the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training front, I guarantee you’ll see more glory if you show more patience with better setups. EVERYTHING comes back to how you set your body, far before the weight even starts moving. 

Here are two key things that will improve your set-up and success!

-YOUR LEGS! An Ultimate Sandbag is not a kettlebell or a barbell. Mind blown right?! While that point seems obvious, most folks tend to set up as if the Ultimate Sandbag Training is a kettlebell or sumo stance barbell lift with their feet too wide apart. There is a crucial misconception that we need a wide stance to match the greater dimension of the Ultimate Sandbag. This type of setup leads to a big loss of drive and power when trying to make the Ultimate Sandbag fly off the floor.


Too wide, arms bent, just not the strong, safe, and effective position my friends!


Just try this, get ready to jump as high as you can. Without hitting your head on the ceiling, look down at your feet, where are they? I’m betting pretty close to underneath your hips not out wide. If you STILL don’t believe me, try to jump with your feet under your hips and feet out wide. What happened to your power production? Drop big time?! Yes, proper stance your first step! 

DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training setups are more akin to the conventional barbell deadlift foot placement. Elevate the USB if you’re unable to hinge and reach it with a neutral spine in a hip width stance. Don’t go wider first! We’re looking to find high tension in your hamstrings at the bottom of your setup. That increased tension will help you drive hard into the floor and make that USB soar vertically. Set your hinge and feel those hammies!

-YOUR ARMS! Your arms should be straight and fairly relaxed at the bottom of your setup. Grab the neutral or clean grip handles of the Ultimate Sandbag and pull them apart to activate your lats and keep the shoulders down. This is HUGE, this outwardly simple concept will change EVERYTHING about how you feel when you perform the exercises. Not only will you feel stronger, you will find that this is KEY in creating your float and receiving the Ultimate Sandbag in the right position and not scrapping up your body.

Do not over grip the handles or tense your biceps. While you will feel your triceps turn on when you pull the handles apart, the arms need to be relaxed to guide the Ultimate Sandbag for cleans, high pulls and snatches. Remember, we are NOT trying to yank the Ultimate Sandbag with our arms. Our arms are directing the path of the floating Ultimate Sandbag. 


The right set-up makes all the difference in the world in the performance of many DVRT exercises



The great thing about these tips is that they are super easy to self assess.

Let’s go with some internal troubleshooting first. Is there tension in your hamstrings? Adjust your feet, hinge and possibly Ultimate Sandbag position if not.

Is there a good degree of tension in the biceps and elbow? If so, you’re likely ready to yank the Ultimate Sandbag and make the arms do the work instead of the legs. Straighten and relax the arms more. 

For an external checklist, pull out your futuristic space phone and record a few Ultimate Sandbag Training cleans. Take a look at your foot position, your hinge and your arms. Are we too wide? Are we bending at the arms? Make any necessary adjustments and record another set. 

There’s one critical thing to look for on video that you may not feel when doing sets. Are you initiating the pull with a bounce? DO NOT TRY TO BODY-PUMP the Ultimate Sandbag off the floor. Find your ideal hinge. Drive. Make the USB fly!

It’s all in the foundations guys. Success begins with your setup!

Give these ideas a go and let me know how it works for you. 

Thanks for the time!


*Fingers crossed for the Justice League film.

Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner’s superhero headquarters is Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC. Fury’s also a Master DVRT, Master RKC and an Original Strength Lead Instructor. He is available for classes, semi-privates, instructor training and programming at MFF. Fury also does online training and is available to teach workshops. 

Visit coachfury.comfacebook.com/coachfury Instagram@iamcoachfury and Twitter @coachfury for more info.