Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist
Core strength might sound like the buzz term you don’t want to hear, but there are so many truths of our trunk being called our “core”. Really we are talking about not ab training, but where so much movement and strength really begins. It is amazing that even as a physical therapist, I was shocked about how much I really didn’t really realize about the core until I started implementing DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training concepts.
There are really three things about core training that are HUGE that I simply did not get.
-Grip and lat integration
-Using the feet
-Putting them all together for reactive core strength
Building to more complex core training drills like these Ultimate Sandbag Training exercises requires integration of all these concepts.
Growing up as a highly competitive swimmer, I performed all the typical core exercises that we all grew up with. Tons of sit-ups, v-ups, Russian twists, you know the drills. I had a six pack, I could knock out hundreds of reps, my core HAD to be strong.
Well, ironically it was not understanding how to use my core in real life that allowed me to herniate 5 discs in my low back. One of the worst was the simple act of transferring a patient from one place to another. You would THINK being a physical therapist I would appreciate how different the real world is from the gym.
Moving in odd postures, dealing with load that wasn’t stable (i.e. a patient) are all part of real world demands and even with all my training, I wasn’t ready. After transferring that patient, I felt my back “go”, it was one of the worst pains I ever felt and it put me down for awhile! Sure, after a week or so I was moving more, but the back was still there.
Whether it was just trying to get out of bed, or exercise, I felt my back. So, when people ask me what has made me so much better, a lot of it is how I learned to integrate true core training and the difference DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training made for me!
I didn’t understand the role of the hands and feet had in our core, but it makes so much sense when you think about it. Whether you are standing on the ground, or grabbing a weight, these are the FIRST places your body starts a series of chain reactions. So, if you aren’t using the hands and feet well then you are not setting up the body for success, most importantly, your core!
It really is simple and why it is such a foundational concept of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. As soon as you create tension in the hands and feet you actually can FEEL your core turn on. Feeling this so easily even had me wondering why I wasn’t teaching this before to patients!
That is why we constantly do just have people in different positions or hold the Ultimate Sandbag casually, we do everything with a purpose! Constantly we tell people to “grab the ground” with their feet that you get the pelvis so much more active and set.
We don’t tell people to hold the Ultimate Sandbag, we explain to try to “pull it apart!” That cue doesn’t matter if you are holding the handles trying to rip them apart or holding in the Front Loaded position and trying to tear the Ultimate Sandbag apart with your forearms, you are still creating this integrated tension that causes so much core strength.
Just performing the task isn’t enough, understanding what we are doing with both our bodies and the weight play paramount roles in the outcomes of these exercises.
A great example of this is our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training lift/chop progressions. Lifts/chops can be hard for a lot of people to really get down because it is both a foreign and sometimes complicated movement for people. That is because we are trying to keep our core still while our extremities move. The real world essence of core training.
This is where those two simple concepts of creating tension in the feet and hands become so paramount. We don’t “lift” the weight with our arms, we move it by the tension we create into the ground with both our feet and the tension we make against the Ultimate Sandbag.
This DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training exercise doesn’t LOOK like your typical core exercise, but it does so much for the real qualities of core training we just discussed.
Here is the best part…it makes people understand and FEEL what they should be doing in a much easier way. We tend to underrate the value of using simple tools, like the Ultimate Sandbag and Core Strap, to teach powerful functional training concepts.
A great example is when Josh came back from New York teaching our DVRT Restoration and Level certifications he talked about an interesting discussion with a coach there. He said after going through this series she told him how this seemed to feel and work so much better than a piece of equipment they had that was LITERALLY over 10 times as expensive as this set-up.
We keep saying we want Ultimate Sandbag Training to be a solution for your clients and your fitness training. That can only happen if you really know the intent and techniques we use to empower people so simply!
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