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.
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.
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.
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.
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Coach Sean Lettero helps break down Shoveling in being safe and effective!
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Progressions are still key and knowing how to build up to such great movements requires that knowledge.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Above Cory demonstrates in the first slide the rotational version and then resisting rotation as we use more functional patterns.
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.
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.
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!
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