It is tough, I do understand it. Heck, I would probably do the same thing if I were in many of your shoes and I probably HAVE done it! When I see something I haven’t done for the first time, I try to put it in perspective of what I have already done. That often leads me to questioning if what I am watching or looking at really has anything unique to offer or if it is someone board just looking for a way to “spice” things up. That is why I wanted to talk about why Ultimate Sandbag get-ups aren’t quite what you think they might be.
I have written quite a bit about the get-up over the years, mostly because it was one of those kettlebell movements back in 2002 that I learned that really inspired me to think about strength training differently. Sure, we can talk about core and shoulder stability, we can talk about hip mobility and movement, but now over 15 years since the get-up made a comeback, why do people REALLY like it?
In the old time strength book by old time strongman Alan Calvert, “The Truth About Weightlifting”, he shares a really interesting idea about why certain types of strength are a bit different than we may think. Mr. Calvert was one of the original proponents of heavy lifting in the early 1900’s and had a barbell company to boot! (hmm, funny how people don’t see that as a conflict of interest, anyways…) In his book he talked about the easiest form of strength is “supportive strength”
What Mr. Calvert talked about was how “supportive strength” was so much easier than trying to move a weight. It was the type of lift many strongmen used in their performances because when the body is locked out, or relying on structure and not having to rely on moving anything we can be much stronger than we ever imagined. Ironically, Mr. Calvert questioned the real value of this type of strength, but I do think it is valuable. HOWEVER, why people really like get-ups is a lot of what has to do with supportive strength.
Once you learn the movement of the get-up, many people can just use structure to handle big weights. Is there strength there? Sure, however, it is much easier than trying to move the weight and body in a way that allows you to live off your bodies structure. While this isn’t a bad thing, if you look at most points of the get-up, the load is in a strategic position of strength over the body.
Whew, while all that? Because we like to look at Ultimate Sandbag get-ups a bit differently. Instead of focusing on how much lifting, we like to focus on how we can stress the bodies movement to really build whole body stability and true movement strength. That is why you see us use what is called “Leg Threading” instead of Ultimate Sandbag get-ups at first.
Leg Threading allows us to build many of the subtle qualities people miss in the get-up like a rolling pattern, ground integration, and lateral stability. Due to the movement of Leg Threading, you can’t purely live off structure like you do in a typical get-up.
You learn that the tension you apply to the ground and the Ultimate Sandbag makes this a very unique way to perform Ultimate Sandbag get-ups. That is because we are emphasizing the parts of the body that most people are really weak.
It is the lateral system of the body that the get-up and like variations can really improve. This shouldn’t surprise most people that it is the lack of strength in the chain we show above that causes a lot of knee, low back, and shoulder issues. So, can the get-up be powerful? Sure, but if you know what you are trying to achieve it I think you will fall more in love with lots of these Ultimate Sandbag get-ups to get a very different experience from your get-up training!
Try this challenge from Strength Coach Joel Gunterman on learning how the lateral system of our body wakes up muscles you may have been missing this WHOLE time! It can be the key to unleashing strength like you haven’t experienced before!
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