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Ultimate Sandbag Exercises for Better Planks

sandbag exercises

Annmarie Licatese, DVRT Master (Creator DVRT Run Strong and DVRT Busy Parents Programs)

If you’re a runner and the side plank is missing from your training routine then let me tell you something, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.

The side plank and all of its variations are often overlooked.  Not only is it too challenging for some but being that you’re on your side and not planting both feet into the ground, runners tend to opt for the traditional plank because it’s more popular and less challenging.

The problem with the traditional plank is that you’re typically training bilaterally instead of unilaterally – meaning that you’re training both sides of the body at the same time as opposed to working each side individually.  The benefit of unilateral exercises is that you strengthen muscle imbalances that may exist which in turn prevents common injuries and makes you a stronger (and faster) runner.

Over the course of the last few weeks I introduced a series on how to incorporate unilateral training from the ground up.  Of course, I have go to Ultimate Sandbag exercises to help me build you up! I started with the building the glute bridge then progressing the bird-dog movement.  Today, I am going to go through a series on how to properly progress the side plank using some great Ultimate Sandbag exercises.

Some great of my Ultimate Sandbag exercises for better and stronger glutes! (Find out more HERE)

As I mentioned, if you’re not doing already doing side planks (especially with these Ultimate Sandbag exercises to connect the body better!) then you’re totally missing out on a key part of your unilateral training…especially if you’re a runner.  To break it down, the side plank exercise builds lateral strength and stability –  which is KEY to not only building a stronger core but also activating the muscles that connect your lower body to your upper body, specifically the quadratus lumborum.  The QL (quadratus lumborum) acts to stabilize the pelvis and spine during activities such as walking and running meaning that if it’s weak, your running form will suffer…which clearly is NO bueno.

 As I have mentioned previously , in order to functionally strengthen your entire body and get it in prime running shape, you need to active your lats along with your core and glutes.  This is as known as your posterior oblique system. Yea, a fancy name that refers to how your body actually moves in life and protects your low back! That is why these Ultimate Sandbag exercises aren’t going to be “just add weight!”
Your lats work with your glutes during your gait pattern so making sure they all work together when you’re strength training is incredibly important.  Which is why using the DVRT System in conjunction with the Ultimate Sandbag Core Bag really makes a world of difference. The beauty of using the Ultimate Sandbag exercises along with the DVRT System is that it’s progressive meaning that you start in the most stable position first then build from there – building a foundation is imperative.

Why not just do the traditional side plank and forgo adding weight? Well, like I mentioned activating your lats is super duper important and incorporating the Core Bag allows you do to so and add weight progressively. However, I know some will wonder why THESE Ultimate Sandbag exercises are better than using a dumbbell or kettlebell? Well, first try it! Very simply, leverage and the weight distribution allows you to create tension before you start moving making you tap into more muscles for better movement.

There are actually SEVERAL Ultimate Sandbag exercises that allow variations and ways to progress it but for the purpose of this series, I am gonna keep it simple.

sandbag exercises

Next week we will continue to work our way building strength from the ground up with a series of new unilateral progressions using DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises.  These progressions will help you to build the unilateral strength you need to not only do more advanced exercises but also help to identify and correct muscle imbalances making you a stronger, faster and more resilient runner.

Check out more of Annmarie’s programs HERE and save 20% with coupon code “save”