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Ultimate Sandbag Exercises to Help Problematic Knees

sandbag training

sandbag training

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Creator DVRT Restoration, DVRT Shoulder Course, DVRT Pelvic Control Course)

I wanted to finish this week of DVRT blogs strong! As many of you probably have seen, I’ve been the one posting this week as Josh thought it was worthwhile for me to be “out there” more. While it isn’t my favorite thing to be in public arenas, I’m learning if it means helping others its worth it. Especially when I have seen the power of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises help so many different people!

While I’ve talked a lot about shoulders and low backs, probably the final to the trilogy of popular injuries that we haven’t mentioned too much about is knees! How many people can relate themselves, or their clients, complaining about the problems with the knees. I get it, it sucks! Every step you take, simply bending down, or doing things you enjoy are greatly impeded by problematic knees.

Throughout all our discussions I do encourage you to always seek out a physician if you are having pain. The internet is an absolutely HORRIBLE and inappropriate place to try to diagnose anything. My hope is to give you some ideas of why you might be having issues and how DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises could be ways of improving the discomfort you are feeling.

Glutes vs Feet

When I hear many fitness professionals and even therapists talk about issues with the knee, I typically hear many references to the glutes. That makes sense to some degree as the knee is a joint with very little movement outside of forward and back. Such limited movement in other directions often means that real issues lie in other parts of the body impacting the knees.

The glutes and pelvis make sense as if you tilt your pelvis way forward you will notice your knees collapsing inwards. So, not having pelvic control COULD be part of the issue, but to the surprise of many, that isn’t where I begin!

In all our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises we start at two places, the hands and the feet! Right now the feet will be our emphasis as for the knees it makes sense how we build more resilient knees if we teach the feet to work right.

A 2011 study found that, “planus foot morphology is associated with a moderately increased prevalence of frequent knee pain and medial tibiofemoral cartilage damage.” Translation, people with flat feet have a higher occurrence of knee issues. That tends to let us think that the knees have a good correlation to what is happening with the feet.

This also makes just sense if we thought about the body being constructed like a building. What would happen to the strength, durability, and resiliency of our structure if the foundation was problematic. That is why teaching people how to use their feet is typically job number one in many of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises.

Using the half kneeling position is a great way to teach people awareness of their feet without having them worry about their knees. From here we can teach so many different great DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises. 

Another way to help encourage people to create stability through the feet that will translate through the knees and the pelvis are using bands to help give feedback to the individual.

You can combine both these elements into DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises that from the outside may seem little to do with the knee. However, once you understand how the body functions you begin to quickly gain appreciation how DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises like Sean Lettero demonstrates here can be so applicable to knees, low backs, and shoulders!


It is using strategies like these that allow us to create the magic of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises. Magic like how DVRT Master, Michele Meinville Decerio, has her 74 year old client squat like a pro!

Principles, concepts, understanding allows us to keep creating better and better solutions for our clients. We don’t want to live in these slow moving foundational drills, but we also want to put good movement ahead of everything we do. DVRT Master, Greg Perlaki, shows how we keep activity of the foot, tension of the core, and still strengthen the body in this great DVRT movement.

Again, from an outward appearance, what do DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises like this do? Well, we have the band at the foot keeping engagement of the lower leg that stabilizes the knee, increases activation of the glutes, and helps provide proper use of the pelvis. The pulling of the Ultimate Sandbag into the body creates connection of the lats/core to help have a plank from the top down while teaching the use of the hip hinge pattern. So many great things can be accomplished within one exercise if we have the right intent behind how we are teaching functional movement! Get a jump on our Fall training using the code SAVE25 , save 25% on your entire order and receive our DVRT BodyArmor Download!