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The Smarter Squat Exercise

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We JUST spoke about lunges yesterday and now squats TODAY?! Yes, let that undeniable sigh out. I thought a perfect opportunity to talk about how squats and lunges go together as most people screw it up completely! 

First off, I had the perfect excuse to talk about two of my favorite ways to squat in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training after DVRT Master and Firefighter, Jordan Ponder, did an awesome blog about performance and safety yesterday (you can read it HERE). 

Jordan brought up a very important and often overlooked function when we squat. That is to connect the core and legs. Most people think of squats as only a lower body exercise, but if you understand how the body is designed, you have to appreciate the role of both the lats and core in better squats. 


Yes, we have talked about it over and over, but I’m amazed how people think we are trying to make things complicated. The truth is understanding this connection makes you move better faster and stronger just about instantly! 


These connections are no small deal, they are how the body works and our job should be to create exercises that help the body move as naturally as possible. Most people in the gym go against the natural design of the body! 

People typically also miss the importance of the core in squatting. Sure, some realize they need to “get tight”, but there is much more! One of the goals we are looking to achieve in a great squat exercise is to connect core and legs. How do I mean? DVRT Coach, Ara Keshishian, posted a great saying by legendary coach, Mike Boyle, that sums it up the role of the core quite well! 


That is why I really love our Front Loaded and Fist Loaded Squat variations. Most people are far more familiar with the Front Loaded Squat and still miss many of the great coaching points Jordan makes in his video. Remember, it is all in the how’s and why’s. 

Fewer are as familiar as our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Fist Loaded Squat. It actually intensifies the squat due to the slight change in the position of the load. It can be a great drill in itself not to just make the squat harder, but to integrate even MORE core work and really teach how to create the proper tension in the squat. 

Best of all, both of these types of squats are not hard on the back and light up the natural patterns of the body. So, how do you use them in a workout with your DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training squat variations? 

First, do your lunges FIRST! Yes, they use lighter weight compared to your squats, but your stability and coordination demands they are placed earlier in the workout. Second, rotate the intensity, don’t do super intense squats and lunges on the same workout. You can use this type of cycle…..

Day 1:

Lunge: MAX Lunge

Squat: Press Out Squats

Day 2: 

Lunge: Shoulder Lunge

Squat: Heavy Bear Hug Squat

Day 3: 

Lunge: Shoulder Up Downs

Squat: Front/Fist Loaded Squats

This allows you to cycle the intensity and work on different qualities as you move through different DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training principles. Best of all, you really tap into flexibility, stability, and strength all at once! I call that one big WIN for your fitness!