I really hope our last post about the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training “Big 6” got you enthused in not just understanding what it means to do “well” in DVRT, but to also help you build greater success. I’ve always disliked the idea that you have to do a specific exercise. We are all built differently, have different backgrounds, and even have different goals. So, to assume we all have to do the same DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises never made sense to me either so that’s why we have a system.
However, at the same time, I can appreciate people wanting direction and knowing where to place their efforts. Those that have been to our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training courses or taken our online programs, know we always have a beginning, but that beginning usually references a movement pattern, not an exercise.
Even though I thought this may clear up how DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training works, I realize that sometimes we need even more direction. That is why I listed the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training “Big 6” as the following….
-Sprinter Shoulder Squat
In the last post HERE , we broke down some progressions for the MAX Lunge and Lateral Drags because a big part of what we are doing with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is to show you how to build progressions to your programs.
Today, I wanted to address Arc Press & Shouldering (yea, we are going to save Shoulder Sprinter Squat and Shoveling for later) and help you see the layers we use to build success!
One of our most simple DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training movements can yield great power if done with purpose. What’s the point of the Arc Press? For us, it is our one arm press (yes, two hands on the Ultimate Sandbag, but only one is actually pressing), it challenges our lateral stability like a more dynamic side plank, we learn how to use our lats, and tie in the grip, shoulder, core, and pelvis to learn how to press more successfully. With all those goals in mind, there are lots of ways that people miss out on them if we don’t pay attention to the details of the movement. You will see how we build foundations and build challenge through specific DVRT principles.
Does this mean we can’t train heavy with the Arc Press? Not at all! However, you will find more full Ultimate Sandbags work better for this drill. You will see how I use a Burly Ultimate Sandbag and a more challenging body position in tall kneeling to perform such a movement.
This is a phenomenal exercise to teach people HOW to press correctly, is easier on their shoulders, makes us train in multiple planes, and connects the body at a high level. In other words, don’t overlook outwardly simple DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises until you really consider their intent and technique!
Pretty much the most iconic of “sandbag training”, Shouldering is similar to being the kettlebell swing, the barbell deadlift of the sandbag world. Which makes it even more interesting to me that so many people perform this exercise incorrectly.
As with everything we do in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, we want to explore the purpose first! The most obvious is that Shouldering is a power based movement, but it is one of the higher level “cleans” we do in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. As the classic strength training books discuss, cleans are simply defined as getting the weight from the ground to the shoulders in one “clean” motion. So you can see how Shouldering is a clean.
What makes this a more advanced movement in our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system is several factors. The first is that because we must get underneath or at least very low to the Ultimate Sandbag, we need more hip mobility which can be challenging (raising the Ultimate Sandbag onto a step or some type of platform can help). We want to grip onto the Ultimate Sandbag itself, not the handles, so we can lock in the lats and core. Weak grip, lack of familiarity with how to use grip, often throws people for a loop.
Grabbing onto the handles doesn’t allow us to create the tension in the lats and core to protect our low back during the pull. Of course the movement of the Ultimate Sandbag is another very unique aspect of the exercise. The Ultimate Sandbag must cross our midline making this a multi-planar exercise as we have to resist unwanted movement as we bring the weight to our shoulders. As Dr. Brandon Marcello explains, stability exercises are based on this very goal!
If Shouldering is such a great DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drill, why is it something we don’t discuss more? For one, most people don’t understand how to be explosive with the Ultimate Sandbag so progressions such as the following help learn how to hip hinge, create tension, and use the feet to create power (not the low back)
-Cleans to Fists
-Cleans to Front Load
-Bear Hug Clean
You can quickly see that Shouldering is a tremendous and unique DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercise, however, like the Arc Press, needs to have the right intent and techniques applied to benefit. Hopefully, it is apparent why we consider Shouldering a more advanced exercise, but used with the right person and goals, we have a powerhouse exercise!
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