With my great emphasis on lunging, different types of deadlifts, and other more commonly neglected lower body based movements, it may seem I am not big on more popular exercises like squatting. I could see why some would feel that this is the DVRT thoughts process, but it really isn’t.
There are really two reasons that I don’t talk about squatting in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training as much as some might believe. The most important is that I truly believe, have seen, and experienced other lower body exercises to be just as impactful, if not more so. Strengthening the legs can come a lot of different means, but the coordination and stability that other lower body DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills build in addition, makes them often more valuable in my mind.
The second is that I have seen time and time again spending time on different DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills directly help people’s ability to squat well. When we teach squatting actually towards the end of our DVRT certifications, people are always shocked at how with minimal coaching, their squats have gotten better without squatting!
All in all though, I am not against squatting at all. I do tend to roll my eyes when people write about them being the cure for cancer but then go on to talk about their hip, knee, and low back problems. Hmmm, something is really wrong!
Squatting is definitely a pattern we want to develop, but the way we look at squatting in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training tends to be more about why we are using a certain type of squat.
For example, if we want to teach people the correct way to squat, the Squat Press Out is the perfect choice. The leverage the is created by the pressing of the Ultimate Sandbag creates both a counterbalance and strong core activation. The counterbalance component allows people to find the right groove in which to squat and turn off the breaks within their body that usually occur in most other types of squats. The core activation is important because if we can teach people how to properly brace the trunk while squatting their hips will move better and they will feel more stable in the movement. The end result? A much better squat!
The Bear Hug Squat is a perfect bridge from using the Squat Press Out to more strength based training. Using larger Ultimate Sandbags allows us to once again get some counterbalance (not as much as the Press Out), but with significantly more training for the lower body. Now we are reinforcing the right squat while build strength in the pattern.
Front Hold (no, not Zercher, learn why it isn’t HERE) now removes much of the counterbalance we received in the first two DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills. The new position of the Ultimate Sandbag can make a light weight feel awfully tough! I’ve seen many 300 pound plus barbell squatters find the Front Hold position with 150 pounds just brutal! We are beginning to challenge your ability to not just have strong legs, but the right balance of core, upper body, and lower body strength. Yes, the squat SHOULD be a full body lift!
Finally we have the much maligned Shoulder Squat. Oye, if I could get people to chnge how they do ONE DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, it might be the Shoulder Squat. The whole point of the Shoulder Squat is to introduce lateral instability into a largely up and down movement.
This looks at getting “stronger” in a whole new light. Just lifting more can give us an artificial sense of being stronger and then we do something in every day life and we are shocked and how inept we feel. What the hell? This is something I have heard from a surprising number of people that are strong in the gym, but when it comes to real world strength they miss the whole body connections that the Shoulder Squat is all about making.
These variations are a lot different than how most people see squatting variations. Many fitness programs just change the type of squat, just to do something “different”. Our goal the whole time has been to be more purposeful with our workouts so that you can see the great results we rave all the time about! So, next time don’t ask yourself, “should I squat?”, rather “what type of squat should I use?”