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Weirdest & Best Ultimate Sandbag Training to Fix Shoulders!

sandbag training

Every time we do a DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training course I think I learn as much as our attendees. That is because while I have seen our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training concepts dramatically change people for the past eight years, it never gets old. Not only seeing people improve, but how people with different issues and backgrounds seem to change instantly!

No, this is magic talk, but simply the application of science to real world training! This past weekend in New York we had some pretty awesome people and enjoyed working with every one of them. Seeing each improve so much is the best part of our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training events. Well, that and seeing them get SO excited to take the information back to their clients to help them reach their goals.

Every course there are a few instances that really stand out. This one was no exception. Today I want to share a great story about Samantha. What I appreciated about our group and Samantha particularly was their open minds about what we were teaching. I’ll admit it, what we teach isn’t what most people have ever heard before, that is what makes it pretty exciting.

sandbag training

Why single out Samantha though? For one, she is incredibly strong! She is currently training for the kettlebell Iron Maiden challenge (which for women is using a 62 pound kettlebell for one press, one pull-up, and a one legged squat). Few have accomplished it and the fact she is well on her way to doing it speaks to the fact that she is really strong!

My experience with strong people (men and women alike) is they can sometimes be shut down to new ideas because they are so focused on what they have accomplished and their goal. However, Samantha was not unlike many serious lifters I’ve met. In her effort to achieve such an impressive goal she had developed some right shoulder and upper trap discomfort. Enough to the point where I could see her actively working on it between breaks.

To be honest, I was pretty curious how our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training concepts would impact her. Obviously my hope was that she would see the benefit even that weekend and apply the concepts so she could get not only to her goal, but do so with less aches and pains.

sandbag training

We talk a lot in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training that strength is not just what we can lift, but what we can resist. However, “resisting strength” can be far more difficult to measure than just looking at what we can lift. Yet, it is our ability to resist forces that keeps us from suffering injuries to a large degree and allows our biggest muscles to produce at their highest levels.

One of the ways we think of this in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training is building progressive challenges of different planes of motion. You have heard me talk a lot about the simple fact that in every day life we move through all three planes of motion, yet, in most of our workouts we only focus upon the sagittal plane (up and down motion).

Interestingly enough, there is so much research that tells us the plane of motion that has a HUGE impact upon our injury resistance and performance is the frontal plane (side to side). I often joke that people think they got that covered because they throw in their token lateral lunges and call it a day.

The reality is that we want to both move through the frontal plane, but also resist it. An easy example is in the lunge. When you see many people struggle in performing lunges you typically see them waiver from side to side. That is in inability to resist the frontal plane.

In DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training we spend a lot of time providing you drills that teach you how to resist such forces, but what does it really mean in the actual training situations and what is the impact?

Renowned Strength Coach, Mike Boyle, and physical therapist, Gray Cook, have a system they call the “joint by joint approach”. It is meant to be a simplified look at how the body functions and if one area is compromised how it could impact another area? They basically break down joints into “stable” or “mobile”. Now, before we get into needless arguments, the reality is every joint has elements of both, however, we are talking about their dominant role.

For example, your foot is suppose to create stability because it is your first contact to the ground. The ankle is mobility, the knee stability, hips mobility, and lumbar spine stability. See a pattern here? So, the shoulder is a mobility joint, but if we look at the shoulder its design is a lot like our hips. What people often miss in the joint by joint approach is not just labeling joints, but how they relate to one another.

Due to the fact that our body works in opposites, you will see commonalities. For example, our foot is a like our hand, our ankle is a lot like our wrists, our knees are a lot like our elbows, and like we just said, the shoulders are a lot like our hips.

How in the world does all of this relate to Samantha, her shoulder, getting strong, and Ultimate Sandbag Training? Glad you asked! During a simple test of Samantha’s frontal plane hip stability she was surprised how weak she was. Later talking to her, I would find out that she also had some hip injuries to the hip.

We went over this DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training glute bridge variation that ties in a lot of the concepts we were just talking about and her hip stability improved. Not only her hip, but her shoulder was already a little bit better. Now, I will admit, and I think Samantha would as well that there are some training things she would like to fix too, but what I loved the most was her open mind and excitement to the fact that this made her better.

sandbag exercises

All too many times we shoot down things that show our weaknesses, but I admire her for seeing it as an opportunity to get better. In later discussions with her it was cool to hear her want to take our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training concepts and make her training more well rounded. It wasn’t taking her away from her training, but adding a few things to make it that much better.

That is what we keep saying in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, our goal is not to make you great at Ultimate Sandbags, but great at what you love to do! Below are a few example of some of our foundational DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training frontal plane exercises that can make an immediate impact to your training!

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