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Top 10 DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Exercises Part 2

sandbag exercise equipment

I’m so happy that many of you found our part 1 of Top 10 DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises to be helpful. We are truly working on some projects that will help answer the important, but difficult question “where do I start DVRT?” That is because many people are starting from different places, have different goals, and unique needs. That is why our Ultimate Sandbag exercises are meant to form a system, not a “you MUST do THIS exercise” mentality. However, through going over our top 10 DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises I think we can give a lot of good ideas on what you should be considering. So, here is the next 5 DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises and make sure to check out Part 1 (HERE) if you missed it!

ultimate sandbag exercises

Press Out Squats

Like all our DVRT movement patterns, there are a lot of different squats we can use to achieve many different goals. However, none of them matter if we do NOT have a good foundation of the squat to work from in the first place. Developing the body control, mobility, and strength to squat well is key.

As simple as the press out squat seems as one of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises, it is one that I correct A LOT. Like what?

-Pressing out from the bellybutton not the chest!

-Time the press out with the squat.

-Pull the USB apart both on the out and in of the press out.

Coach Megan Berner shows how changing how we hold the Ultimate Sandbag can allow better progression. However, it is what we do with the Ultimate Sandbag that is most key!

Clean to Fists

One of the things I fell in love with sandbags at first was the ease in which to teach concepts of power that are often very difficult to teach with many other tools. Power is something that EVERYONE needs whether it is for greater injury resilience, or higher levels of fitness.

Of all our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises, the clean to fists may be one of the most challenging, but also important. If I ask most people why they want to use the Ultimate Sandbag, they typically reply with “it is unstable.” Great, but what does that mean and how does it impact our training?

We don’t want something crazy unstable because then so much time is spent messing around with the implement we don’t get to teach the body anything about better movement and strength. Having more subtle instability like the Ultimate Sandbag offers increases our need for movement accuracy. That means we just can’t muscle through the movement, we have to really understand how to move efficiency. The balance of accuracy and strength is what makes this a great but challenging drill. Plus it is essential in going into pressing movements!

DVRT Master, Steve Di Tomaso shows the progressions, but also cuing upon the fists. 

You might ask, “Josh why clean to fists versus front load?” That is a good question and raises the fact there are several ways to clean in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises. The reason clean to fists FIRST is because the compensation to the movement is over cleaning the weight into the front load position.

Physical Therapist, Jessica Bento and I break down how the different cleans and sizes work in our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises. 

Cory and Megan break down why pressing from the fists is so important both for strength and safety reasons!

Around the Worlds

The challenge in putting together this list of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises was that some were great to begin training and others are higher level drills. Why did I select drills like Around the Worlds if they are higher level? Mostly because of the lessons they teach and give us the incentive to really see how building proper foundations and progressions work.

The point of the Around the World is to teach how to create rotation from the ground up through the hips and having a reactive core. What does that mean? Spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill, points out that the highest level of core training is developing a “pulse”. If you think about it, if we walked around planked all day we would look like a monster walking around. Our core instead, has to balance rapid moments of relaxation and tension. What Jessica shows above is what happens when people try to muscle the movement or don’t get the full pivoting of the feet. The motion is coming from the feet NOT the core or upper body!

Megan shows a great way to build up to the Around the World and teach the important movement/strength skills that allow us to benefit from these more advanced core strategies.

MAX Lunge

It would be impossible to have a top 10 list of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises and not bring up the MAX lunge! One of our most famous drills, still a lot of people don’t realize the intent behind the drill. We originally named this drill the rotational lunge because of the weight rotating around the body. What we didn’t realize is that people would misunderstand that intent and think the goal was to rotate the body!

This is the opposite as the body is working very hard to resist rotation during the exercise. That is what makes it so beneficial! Not to mention we are doing so while working on deceleration strength, power, and stability all at once. An easy drill to get too ahead of yourself as Cory explains!

Shoulder Sprinter Squat

The shoulder squat is an iconic sandbag exercise, but sadly, people often do it incorrectly and miss the entire point of the exercise. Placing the Ultimate Sandbag upon the shoulder immediately puts the whole body to work! That is because the body is trying to resist the lateral forces that the Ultimate Sandbag are putting on the body. That is why we often say the shoulder squat is a moving side plank.

That is very valuable and makes a typically sagittal plane movement multi-planar. So, why don’t we teach more shoulder squats as part of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises? The thing that makes the shoulder squat can also mess a lot of people up if they aren’t aware how to stabilize or they aren’t even aware of the goal. I can’t tell you how many shoulder squats I’ve seen on the internet with the trunk/pelvis is severely leaning and/or rotated.

A good way to expose the body to these great concepts is using our sprinter stance position in our squats. Yes, over 16 years ago I offered a solution to going from a two legged to single leg squat. That was the birth of the sprinter squat that we use for rows, pressing, hip hinges alike. Having the pelvis is a slightly different position opens us to being able to use the advantage of the shoulder position for a great movement like squats.

Once we have the foundations of the movement we have all sorts of options to expand the shoulder sprinter squat as Cory shows with these great thrusters!

While this completes our top 10 DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises we have to admit there was probably 20 more that we debated upon. However, the point in sharing this with you is to help you see where to start, but also where things can go. Having a system in DVRT means that we can make anyone successful in our Ultimate Sandbag exercises just by starting them at the best level of the exercise. That is why we have awesome DVRT workouts (HERE), we are so excited about the education we give into how to build better success in training with our DVRT online education (HERE). We hope though that blogs like these give the excitement of learning more about the body and how we use true functional fitness for better solutions.