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Top 10 Overlooked DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Exercises

sandbag exercise equipment

Teaching people in today’s world is difficult. You have to grab their attention before you can delve into a much deeper discussion. In over 12 years of teaching our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises people actually tend to get overwhelmed by the number of Ultimate Sandbag exercises possible. Others see a few “cool” looking drills and miss how much more is available. So, I thought writing a post about the Ultimate Sandbag exercises that have HUGE ability to increase your results would actually be fun and give you a better insight into our system.

ultimate sandbag exercises

Up Downs

Probably the LEAST “sexy” of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises, I think it is one of our most important. Since so many people struggle to lunge well, have proper hip mobility, and core stability, Up Downs are such a great problem solver for so many people. Not to mention it really drives up the metabolic output which is so helpful for those that want to lose body fat but are building up their functional fitness qualities as well.

Press Outs

One of the most deceiving of our Ultimate Sandbag exercises, press outs teach important concepts that transfer to many of our drills. We learn how to create proper tension, use the lats, engage the core correctly, and how to create force from the ground up. While many people look at it like “no big deal”, every time people do it correctly their eyes almost jump out of their head!

DVRT Master, Cory Cripe breaks down some of the nuance of the Press Out to get the power they offer!

Sprinter Stance Shoulder Squat

There are A LOT of different squats we use in our Ultimate Sandbag exercises without EVER putting our weight on the back (not a good idea). One of the more unique ways is using the Shoulder position. This simple looking technique is actually very advanced as the challenge is not only to lift the weight, but to resist unwanted movement that the Ultimate Sandbag creates. Physical therapist, Jessica Bento (did a great post HERE) about it.

Cory describes why the Shoulder position makes these Ultimate Sandbag exercises so beneficial and challenging. 

However, most people don’t have the mobility to use the Shoulder squat in the more familiar standard squat position. However, when we use our Sprinter Stance (a great progression basically any of our Ultimate Sandbag exercises) this exercise becomes much more accessible. We develop the ability to not just build strength, but stability at the same time!

DVRT UK Master, Greg Perlaki, helps demonstrate and explain why Ultimate Sandbag exercises like the Sprinter Stance Shoulder Squat is far more powerful than it may look!


I like kettlebell swings a lot! I think they are a very valuable and unique drill. At the same time, I have no need to do hundreds upon hundreds in my training. For one, that often means my body is too efficient and not becoming better because there is less to adapt to in training. Second, you run the risk of overtraining specific parts of the body when you do so.

Instead, I like adding layers of complexity and Shoveling is a great example. Shoveling is a great example of one of our Ultimate Sandbag exercises that are horrible to do with other tools. The dimension and the chance to create tension by pulling the handles apart helps us keep ourselves strong and stable as we perform more of this rotational kettlebell swing.

sandbag exercises

Many people struggle with rotation and more so when we add a hip hinge into the equation. That is why Shoveling can teach so much about our functional movement ability.

DVRT Master, Sean Lettero helps break down Shoveling in being safe and effective!


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A post shared by Cory M. Cripe (@corymcripe)

Progressions are still key and knowing how to build up to such great movements requires that knowledge.

Bent Rows

I thought putting a discussion of bent rows after Shoveling fit well. I’ve heard coaches promote heavy deadlifts, endless repetitions of kettlebell swings, but be terrified of bent rows. Of these 3 movements (deadlift, swing, bent row) it is rows that should have the least likelihood of causing issues.

Since the body is holding a static position, we are focusing on both good core stability and core endurance. Both are essential by experts like Dr. Stuart McGill in building better low back resilience. The awesome thing about Ultimate Sandbag exercises like rows is we have so many options to challenge the movement in both how we grip the weight and the position we row from!

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Late last week we hit on a popular topic of showing how to build efficient, effective, and fun workouts with thrusters. That turned into some great ideas by our #DVRT coaches like @joelgun10. We thought if people love thrusters, we want something that balances out the squats, lunges, and pressing with some hinging and upper body pulling. That is what made us want to share some of the ways we build greater success with these deadlifts patterns with rows. ______________ Where most people take OUT the core and lower body with their upper back training, we emphasize it more and more. Why? Your body can only use the strength that the core can stabilize. Plus, our upper body and lower body are actually connected so why take essential parts of the body out of the equation?! So @joshhenkindvrt and I team up on this post to show you how versatile using our DVRT principles and all the options the Ultimate Sandbag allows for in building better exercises and workouts! _______________ We give even more great examples and detailed explanation in today’s post. ➡️ You can find the 🔗 in my BIO.

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Bear Hug Cleans

Power training is important for just about any fitness goal. It helps build resilience, improves functional performance, and helps us build better HIIT workouts. However, helping people learn how to be explosive can be challenging especially if they have never lifted weights quickly before. Therefore, having drills like our Ultimate Sandbag exercises to teach progressive power training is ideal. While we talk a lot about our DVRT power cleans, a version that most overlook is our Bear Hug Cleans.

While they may look simple, they do a great job of teaching how to lift with the hips, not the arm, how to absorb force, and decelerate well too! Due to the movement, it usually requires larger and heavier Ultimate Sandbags so we build great strength and conditioning all at once. You may have to shake the Ultimate Sandbag from set to set if the sand disperses in a more unstable USB.

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Results are what we are all about. We want to know the “best” exercise for this and that goal and it can be challenging as that depends a lot on what your #fitnessgoal really is?! For most people they want to look, feel, and perform at higher levels. They aren’t setting out to be powerlifters, or be in the Olympics. That means learning #functionaltraining skills that can teach us to be strong in many different ways is so much more than just focusing on an exercise. …. Using our Ultimate #Sandbag we have an ability to teach great #strengthtraining concepts with multiple options. Learning our Bear Hug Clean to #squat is a powerful way to teach practical and real world ways we lift objects from the ground and how to develop foundational power. The Bear Hug Squat engages the lats and #core to give a better squat that puts the load actually through our legs and not the low back! …. Changing load placement like the Shoulder position really challenges common exercises in a new way. The lateral load upon the structure of the body makes this like a moving side #plank like you have never experienced before. The goal isn’t to simply survive the exercise, but to resist the movement from side to side while we move up and down. This is just like what our every day movement requires yet skills we almost never address simultaneously in the #gym . Thinking of how we move in life, helps us realize what #fitnessforlife really means and how we develop strength that makes us great in and out of the gym! #ultimatesandbag #absworkout #movementismedicine #fitnessgoal #movementculture #sandbags #corestrength #crossfit #squat #kettlebell #hiitworkout #personaltrainer #fitnesscoach #sandbagworkout #coreworkout #mensfitness #conditioning #strengthandconditioning #sandbagtraining #fitforlife @perform_better

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This is how we can use such Ultimate Sandbag exercises like these into workouts to accomplish more in less time!


We wrote a more extensive post on Ultimate Sandbag snatches HERE, but they still stand to be one of the most important DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises we have. Snatches allow us to create more power (as it has a higher finishing point), work on core stability as well as upper body stability and mobility.

DVRT Master, Steve Holiner helps show the similarities and differences in our Ultimate Sandbag exercises like snatches with kettlebells. 

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Training at home can make a lot of people stressed! They want to achieve great things, they have the time to train right now, but limitations in amount of equipment or the size of their gym can make them feel like it is very difficult to achieve these goals. That is why we love showing how we can take one movement and turn it into something special. A drill that allows us to accomplish a lot and make our training really fun and effective. _____________ The snatch we use in our #DVRT system is a great example. While there are many forms and tools that use the snatch, we use it as way to increase what functional training can offer. From upper body mobility/stability, to core strength, to a super powerful movement that builds true real world glute strength. Most people see the snatch only in one form, but in our blog today we break down how many different ways we can use the snatch to achieve different fitness goals. _____________ Even if you have never done a snatch before, or consider yourself a seasoned veteran with the barbell (or maybe even kettlebell), we believe you will have a whole NEW appreciation for this lift and how it makes your home training something that doesn’t make you missing the gym. Find out how the snatch can be an answer to your training goals and the great job that @corymcripe @evan_the_personal_trainer @larisalotz @dvrtfitness_uk @shaunasevon @joelgun10 show some great ideas that we tease! ➡️Check out the 🔗 in our BIO!

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Off-Set Position

Okay, I’m cheating a little bit here. The off-set position of our Ultimate Sandbag exercises doesn’t apply to any one movement. Instead, it is how we use the Ultimate Sandbag in doing one arm movements. The benefit of using the Ultimate Sandbag in this manner is the core integration that comes with gripping in the manner we describe.

Strength Coach, Troy Anderson shows how we can make this one workout. 

Around the Worlds

Probably the most “odd” looking of our Ultimate Sandbag exercises because it doesn’t look like anything we do in the gym. The funny thing has been watching how drills like mace 360’s and kettlebell halo’s are pretty popular now but are frightened by Around the Worlds. It is what freaks people out that gives the BIGGEST benefit to Around the Worlds to these other types of movements.

What you can see is how the Ultimate Sandbag creates a MUCH bigger range of motion and stress to the body to these other tools. So while these others aren’t “bad”, they don’t get the same level of core activation that we do with Around the Worlds. Plus, these Ultimate Sandbag exercises have many layers of progressions where you can use them to resist or produce rotation.

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How are these Around the World variations the best core exercises you aren’t using? Find out as #DVRT master, @corymcripe, describes… ——— It’s really not fair to talk about individual muscles if we’re talking about functional strength training is it? The best exercises for your obliques are the ones including other muscle groups, especially the lattes and glutes and our obliques are living their best life when the body is rotating and resisting rotation, too. So here are some of my favorite Around the World variations you can use to build greater stability, strength, and mobility. Why is that important?Building the strength necessary so you and I can live our best lives! ➡️ Get full 🔗of article in our BIO

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Above Cory demonstrates in the first slide the rotational version and then resisting rotation as we use more functional patterns.

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Power training needs to go further than moving just up and down. Life happens in 3 dimension and training should reflect the same qualities. Of That’s why these unconventional #deadlifts are critical to develop strength, stability and power in 3 planes of motion. These drills help to connect the glutes to core and opposite lats through the chains of the body known as the Posterior Oblique Sling, but also are powerful for the Lateral Chain and the Anterior chain of the body. Meaning we get to build more impactful strength training. These types of #DVRT movements teach deceleration and resisting rotational forces and help to move more dynamic ways (the true meaning of stability training). The slider under the opposite foot is helpful to keep contact with the floor and load the working leg better without being completely single legged. Building progressions is key, that is why you will want to check the link in my BIO for the 🔗 to the full article. Strong work by @dvrtfitness_uk

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Greg does a great job breaking down these differences in our Ultimate Sandbag exercises.

MAX (Multiple Axis Drills)

This one was kinda tough because on one hand our MAX lunges are VERY popular and one of the drills that people use in our DVRT system all the time. What I wanted to address is that the MAX concept (where we move in all 3 planes of motion while our thoracic spine is mobile and our lumbar spine and hips are stable) actually works in a multitude of drills.

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Who's Done This Exercise and Loved It?⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ A lunge with rotation is really common to see in almost every gym. Some people like to do it walking too. Usually it's done with holding onto a plate or a medicine ball. Not many knows why this lunge can be so transformative when it's DONE RIGHT!⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ The Correct Movement is Lunging and Slight Rotation the Same Time!!! ➡️➡️➡️Swipe Right to see How NOT to do it!⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ The Front Loaded position allows us to create core tension against the @ultimatesandbag The rotation occurs through the thoracic spine and NOT the lumbar spine (the lumbar spine is not designed for that, meant to be stable whereas the thoracic spine is mobile – designed for rotation)⁣⠀ The degree of this rotation is not more than 20 degrees!⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ This variation of lunge is a prerequisite in our DVRT System to the popular MAX (Multiple Axis) Lunge where we lunge and RESIST Rotation. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Comment below if you want more information on Lunges.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ I'm going back to North West England, to Chester to run a DVRT workshop on Sunday 5th May in @s3_fitness ⁣⠀ Grab your ticket through the link in BIO! #fitnesseducation #fitnesscoach #functionalfitness #functionaltraining #ultimatesandbag #londonpersonaltrainer #onlinepersonaltrainer #ukfitfam #ukfit #trainsmart #trainsmarter #coreworkout #coretraining #glutetraining #gluteworkout #sandbagtraining #singleleg #unilateral #movebetter #movementculture #movementismedicine #mobilitytraining #hipmobility #strongforlife #corestrength #lunges

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Greg shows a great progression of our more famous MAX lunge with the front loaded version of these Ultimate Sandbag exercises. The goal is to keep tension against the USB and move the thoracic spine at the SAME time, NOT do the lunge then quick torso turn. It creates a very different training effect and challenge to the movement.

Sean shows how dynamic we can get with these functional training ideas!

The point of this post was to show how much more there is to DVRT than most people realize. Not just there is a lot you could do, but why these movements are so effective and what they teach us about making our fitness better. It may take you thinking a bit differently, but that rewards you with results that are much better too!

Our camo Ultimate Sandbags are back in stock so we are celebrating with 25% off our Ultimate Sandbags. When you do invest in any of our Ultimate Sandbags you will get 2 FREE follow along workouts to show you how to put all the great concepts of DVRT into practice. Just use code “camo” HERE