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Ultimate Sandbag Exercises for Better Glutes & Shoulders

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist

When people ask me, “is this a good exercise?” My first response is, “for what?” Usually people have something in their mind, even when it comes to Ultimate Sandbag exercises. They want to accomplish a specific goal and many times it is the troublesome big 3 (low backs, knees, and shoulders).

Since we have been talking so much about shoulders with our upcoming DVRT Shoulder Restoration course coming out TOMORROW! I wanted to really help people understand where so many well intended programs go wrong.

sandbag exercises

A lot of people want to fix their cranky shoulders, fitness pros, strength coaches, and physical therapists are not immune to shoulder issues. In fact, even though many of us think we know everything there is to help problematic shoulders, it is still one of the biggest questions I get to related to Ultimate Sandbag exercises.

Hopefully one thing we are getting away from are isolated movements like the classic external rotator band drill. Why is something so popular outdated? For one, nothing works by itself, especially NOT your rotator cuff. These small muscles are more of stabilizers that are meant to play an important role in the entire chain of the body rather than being strong by themselves.

In actuality, exercises like Ultimate Sandbag Side Plank Rows and suspended wall slides are so much better! You might be shocked to hear me not just talk about Ultimate Sandbag exercises, but in all honesty, we believe there is a synergistic effect of knowing how great tools can work together. So, why do these two exercises work better?!

The major mistake people make is trying to treat the issue after the injury has occurred. Actually, the injury is usually the focus when in reality it is usually the outcome of the body not working optimally.

Understanding this simple idea allows us to think about how we help the body much differently. In the above example, the difference in the wall slide is being able to create tension into the ground that activates the glutes and engages the core. Pushing against the handles activates too the core, lats, and shoulder girdle. We don’t get any of these feedback in this the more classic style. So, why would we want to that?!

Same thing in our Side Plank Row and Iso Pull variations. One of the best parts about these Ultimate Sandbag exercises is not trying to build the upper back, but connecting the shoulders properly with the core and glutes.

The BEST way to improve shoulder health and function is to follow some principles of true functional fitness…

  1. Improving the body is all about making connections. That is why with our Ultimate Sandbag exercises we aren’t about just adding load to the body, but holding or positioning the weight very specifically to make these connections in the body.
  2. The pelvis and core must be strong and stable to help the shoulders. They serve as the foundation for the shoulders to move and perform from. The concept of “proximal stability for distal mobility” dictates that if we have an unstable foundation our body will shut down the shoulders.
  3. The feet and hands are just as important to having strong shoulders as the deltoids themselves. That is because pushing down into the feet activates the chain up the body as does being deliberate with the hands to the lats and core. Being purposeful how you use both creates a positive reaction in the shoulder.

A great example of how we accomplish all this with our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises is both through drills like Arc Presses and how we change how we think and see popular drills like lateral band walks.

Traditionally we only see and focus on the glutes and leg movement, but to connect these chains we have to do more. These different patterns with the Ultimate Sandbag are concepts we would use for better core function so imagine what happens when we combine it with great glute drills like this!

Grab our  DVRT Shoulder Restoration Course & Certification which will forever change how you train and help the shoulders! Go HERE now and save 35% with coupon code “fitness”