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Ultimate Sandbag Training for Better Shoulders

sandbag training

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist

I think we are going to nail it! Josh and I have been working REALLY hard getting our newest DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training course together. Yes, that is the DVRT Shoulder Restoration course we have been promising.

What has been so interesting to see is how as we have talked about the new program is the number of people that are like, “I can’t wait to get this new Ultimate Sandbag Training program!!”

sandbag training

Of course that is a good thing, heck, we try to actually create things that are of great need and serve a purpose to all of you. The part that did surprise me a bit is with all the information we have out there with mobility, corrective exercise, and functional training overall, that people still feel so frustrated and stuck in making real progress.

To be honest, there is nothing “magical” about our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training programs. They are simply taking what we know about science of the body and placing it into a progressive system. Which yes, makes it different and special.

One of our major goals with DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is not to use terms and science to go over your head so you have to BELIEVE we are smart. Instead, we would rather empower you by making the science really accessible. Yet, when we do so, I think people still miss some of the subtle things that make DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training unique.

Case #1: Tension

Josh first taught me the idea of using tension for both strength and improving mobility. He had told me how he first learned the idea from the kettlebell world in the early 2000’s and the impact it had on his low back. I’d never head of the concept, but as he broke down the idea of irritation and core stability it made sense why this all worked together.

For those that are unfamiliar with both let me quickly break it down. Tension makes us stronger, more stable, and can even enhance movement though what is known as Sherrington’s law of irradiation states, “a muscle working hard recruits the neighboring muscles, and if they are already part of the action, it amplifies their strength. The neural impulses emitted by the contracting muscle reach other muscles and ‘turn them on’ as an electric current starts a motor.”

Now this is not a uniquely DVRT concept, but we have been one of the biggest advocates of using our Ultimate Sandbag Training not just because of the load, or the instability, but how we can apply tension to the chains of the body to enhance our results.

Of course, because it works so well, people have started doing (or at least trying to) with all sorts of tools. On the outside that makes sense, you want to use good principles whenever possible. However, there are differences.

As you can see in DVRT drills like these, it isn’t just holding the weight, but creating specific tension by trying to “rip” the Ultimate Sandbag apart which puts the elbows in better position leading to core and lat work instead of shoulders. 

The most significant is that most people use objects to create tension that also stabilize them. People think they are working because of a quick improvement they see, but because they are often supported in using sticks, suspension trainers, bars, etc. they aren’t cementing these changes into the nervous system. One way to know is to do one of these tension techniques, go do a movement, or even just walk around for a few seconds, and see if the changes last. They sadly often don’t.

My point is that we are not JUST building tension, we are also building strength through movements like our Press Outs, Arc Presses, Lifts/Chops, and Pallof Press variations.

Again, see it isn’t just about holding load or creating tension, but how we combine load and tension to create very specific outcomes that can become long lasting!

Case #2: Making Better Connections

Besides the idea of tension and strength, the reason time and time again we are able to transform people’s movement through DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is because the connections we are making throughout the body.

We have learned so much from great professionals like Thomas Meyers and Diane Lee about how the body works in life, not just on an anatomy chart. It has been awesome to combine the therapy and movement techniques that use with strength and fitness that DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training can offer. The biggest is the connecting our activating of our body’s chains.

sandbag training

We don’t design DVRT to train any one particular muscle, rather how to activate the chains most effectively. 

Educating people on this is definitely an example of where a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous. You hear many people espousing some of the ideas without really understanding how everything actually does function. Like what?

  1. Everything comes from the ground up. If you aren’t cuing “active feet” you won’t connect the chains.
  2. Hand position and grip matters. Not only creating tension with the hand, but the position of the hand will impact whether you are actually connecting the chains or not.
  3. Tension and load have to be combined, one without the other isn’t as powerful as the synergy they create by being combined.

sandbag exercises

DVRT Master, Ian Vaughn, shows how positioning the Ultimate Sandbag and gripping the correct way can completely change DVRT drills like Lateral Drags. 

The point of this post wasn’t to talk badly about others. I realize most people are just trying to help others. However, in helping others we have to be responsible to know what we are saying is actually create the outcomes we are promoting. The little things make a HUGE difference in making REAL change!

I’m looking forward to other great concepts to share with you coming up!

You want to be one of the first to get our NEW DVRT Shoulder Restoration program for a VERY special price?  Sign-up below and get notification when it is first available and a coupon code that will ONLY be good for our early sign-ups!