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Ultimate Sandbag Workouts for Seriously Strong Legs

sandbag exercises

Ian Vaughn, DVRT Master (Creator DVRT Real World Muscle & Strength and DVRT for Obstacle Racing)

My last article (READ HERE) I explained how and why Ultimate Sandbag workouts train the the entire body at once!  I shared in that article one of my favorite sayings, “you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.” Such a thought process helps us understand why DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts emphasize having strong legs. It is the power of the legs that I believe to be the true measure of foundational strength.

However, some for example feel stacking an endless amount of barbell plates on a leg press defines this measure. I myself in my younger days used to think machine leg pressing over 1,000+lbs was a impressive feat (yet could barely PR squat less a than quarter of that weight). This is pure myth, because you’re cheating range of motion (ROM). The leg press machine is doing a lot of the work because it is balancing the load for you.

Many people believe the answer lies in simply going to heavy back squats and deadlifts. What if there was a better way of developing strength that also made you more mobile as well as real world strong?! This article is aimed at helping you understand HOW Ultimate Sandbag workouts can improve better range of motion (ROM) and get you stronger for any fitness goal you have. It’s not always about the weight, it’s about the movement and the range of motion that applies to it. It is why for example, performing a Ultimate Sandbag Pistol Squat with a 15LB Core is tougher than 130LB Burly Front Squat for a lot of people.

The idea we need to constantly progressively overload our bodies with more and more weight each week is one of the many overrated principles in fitness. Yes, we need increased loads to be challenged (like front squats, swings, and suitcase/sled carries), but WHERE it’s positioned never seems to be brought up in one’s programing. DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts help us understand that overload comes in many forms and can offer superior results if we realize all the options available to us!

Most commonly when people think of squats for example, the automatic default is to place any weighted modality on the back of the neck like a barbell. This is where many confuse a philosophy, versus a tool (using a hammer to bang in screw). So in relation, there’s zero point for example to load a USB on the neck. Instead putting this unnecessary load on the neck — try this USB Squat Ladder, by bear hugging and shouldering USB both sides as demoed below to challenge your entire body. This is something you can’t do with any other tool, which therefore gives you strength like none other.

One of my favorite Ultimate Sandbag workouts using these squat variation definitely takes things another level. Here we are adding the DVRT Core Strap with a Perform Better Superband. This a great addition to the USB Front squat because you’re now resisting getting pulled forward which therefore forces you to root the feet, brace up the core (by keeping your pelvis over your shoulders) and engages the lats hugging into the chest. It’s a big reason why I have Carlos do it (video below); he’s been working with me for for awhile to help rebuild his strength on his left side from a stroke he suffered from 5 years ago. We’ve made a lot of great strides with the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts in his programming:

Lastly, the SOTS Press is where anyone will be reaching for the core USB when attempting this advanced exercise. It’s pressing the USB…at the bottom of the squat. This requires a lot of thoracic mobility, because the hips need to remain fully stable in a solid squat position with a vertical spine for the USB to go up. Please there’s difference between having a strong squat and then what looks flaccid like you’re taking a crap in the woods. So if you can’t press up from the bottom of the squat – try pressing out the USB to better build your strength toward this lift.

I hope I gave a different way to think about how you train the squat pattern with the Ultimate Sandbag. Remember to think about what’s required from your body first….AND then apply load in the best position for your strength goals.

If you love the great real world strength training ideas that Ian shares, then don’t miss saving 25% on our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts HERE with coupon code “spring2018” and all our awesome Ultimate Sandbags!

sandbag workouts