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Ultimate Sandbag Training for Obstacle Course Races

sandbag training

Ian Vaughn, DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Master

Sometimes all it takes to fix poor movement techniques are simple coaching cues. In my last article (click here), I talked about how Obstacle Course Races (OCR) can make you better in your fitness journey and real life goals conquering obstacles. However, OCR events can get addicting and soon we become victim of our own habits we don’t realize are costing us in the long run. Dr. Mark Cheng I believe has always said it best when it comes to movement:


So in my OCR experience over the years I’ve unfortunately seen people who have no business being on the track because of popular OCR television shows are now influencing people going from being on couch all day to an instant athlete. While there’s nothing wrong with that influence, what most people don’t see is the time and patience it takes to move like a real athlete. Trained athletes “can write bigger checks because they can cash them” as Dr. Mark Cheng states again. They’ve turned unconscious to conscious when they move. What do I mean?
Take for example the tire flip. Whether you are an OCR athlete or just like going to the gym, chances are you have seen and even tried this exercise. After all, seems simple to pick up a heavy tire and flip because it “looks cool” (unconscious). As a typical result you’ll see poor lifting technique flexing at the low back (picture below the left) putting that load there when the lumbar when it’s meant to stay in stable position (picture on the right). Notice the lines on both pictures aligning with my ears, shoulders, back, and hips. You obviously see which one looks more effective in the long run vs performing a this feat passively fast. So are you writing checks you can cash or swiping credit you don’t own yet?

Far too many people get focused on the task (lifting the tire) and don’t pay attention to the intent of moving their bodies well. Really, good lifting is about just making load the extension of good movement.
Secondly, let’s get to posture…this is your body’s language. Now coaching over a decade I can instantly see when a athlete walks into my training facility what their body is speaking before even verbally speaking. This becomes a valuable skill to make sure I don’t put load on a dysfunctional structure and possibly injure. If a athlete who is attending school for example and is wrapping up mid terms…it comes to no surprise this athlete will likely come in with slouched shoulders with a inactive posterior chain (lats, glutes, hamstrings etc.) from hours sitting at a desk. This is where cueing comes in handy when doing your warm up drill.
“Drop your shoulders down & back / anti shrug”

This will make an athlete now conscious of their movement patterns through out the rest of the workout so they don’t compensate and get injured.

So this is where DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training can play big part in your OCR training to fix these nuances. It’s the perfect tool to simulate the hip drive needed to flip a big tire and go up a steep hill as I demo in this video to bring this all together. We always say that the REAL goal of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is to make you better at the things you love, no matter what that is!


I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more on how OCR training and DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training can be a great match together. If you like this workout don’t miss my Ultimate Sandbag Training Shredder workout too!