Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Creator of DVRT Restoration, DVRT Rx Shoulder, Knee, Pelvic Control, & Gait Courses)
Surprisingly, I get this ONE question asked pretty much every time I make a post to my social media…
Why the Ultimate Sandbag? Thats all you ever show!
I thought by now people would have gotten the idea after seeing the hundreds of posts where I show endless uses for the Ultimate Sandbag. The primary reason that I use it is because for what I show it gives a better training effect, pretty simple right? BTW, I don’t JUST use Ultimate Sandbags, I just think it is the tool that throws people off the most.
There is no shortage of movements and exercises when it comes to my feed but inevitably I always get asked why the Ultimate Sandbag? Why can’t I use something else? Why do you keep showing all of these exercises with the Ultimate Sandbag?! What if I don’t have an Ultimate Sandbag?
Every single post just about. So I thought I would address those questions here. I am not using the Ultimate Sandbag just because I happen to be a big part of the company, as you will see me utilize bands, cables, suspension traps, kettlebells…you name it. I use the best tool for the exercise, it’s that simple. The Ultimate Sandbag just happens to be the most versatile tool out there, in my opinion.
Just the other day Josh and I were talking about a possible kettlebell correctives course and I go to think how difficult that would be since the Ultimate Sandbag actually allows for a lot more in terms of correctives work. Not say I don’t love kettlebells, I do! I just would be doing a disservice if I showed exercises that were really not as good if you used an Ultimate Sandbag.
You see, THAT is just selling you something! If I know something is better, it will give you a faster and higher quality result, but I choose not to show it to you because I want you to just buy my program or hire me as a coach, isn’t that way more disingenuous? Yes, I do want you to get the Ultimate Sandbag because I know it works, if it didn’t I wouldn’t be telling you as such. Trust me, anyone that knows me knows I don’t do things I don’t believe in.
When people ask, “ can’t I just use something else?”, I like to make the comparison to using a hammer for situation where you need a screw driver. The results will not be the same, though you might accomplish the task, it just isn’t the same affect. Both are tools, you can try to use the hammer as a screwdriver, you might eventually complete the task. However, it will take you longer and the end result probably won’t be nearly as good. So yes, you can use something else, but the results are subpar or you might not even see any results.
I am not sure why its so hard for people to understand that. As a clinician my tools are very valuable to me, they all have something different to offer so I will alway choose the best tool for the situation. If I know I could help my patients more by using a tool, guess what, I would invest in that tool. It doesn’t mean I ONLY use that tool, but if I could achieve a lot through its use then it makes sense it would become a big part of my practice. This mindset goes with many industries, not just mine. Fitness can be different because we have been told time and time again that weight is the same (which we all know isn’t true) and a tool is a tool (my previous example I think pointed this out to all be true).
I think what tends to get lost for people is they don’t understand what is occurring when I show a movement or exercise, they don’t understand the importance a tool brings to the exercise. They look at what I am doing, automatically think what can I use instead of an Ultimate Sandbag and not realize what the USB brings to the movement and why something else might not work as well.
It’s one of the most valuable things…that is why I rarely show any exercises not using a tool such as band or other load. What it offers an exercise is so important the response it elicits is key. For me, as a therapist, I use tools for more than just weight. If that is all it was then why have any tools other than a rock right? Tools should allow me to teach concepts of movements in specific ways that enhance the results I can achieve for people in stability, mobility, strength, and more.
So what I am I talking about? The Ultimate Sandbag offers so many unique qualities that a lot of other tools don’t have. First, one of the things l like most is the ability to really create tension with the USB and that can come in many different variations such as in a front hold position, I can create the core tension that is so important for better movement. We have talked about proximal stability for distal mobility dozens of time here and this allows for that.
We can also actively grab the USB and pull it apart creating tension in the lats which is also so very impart to connecting our upper body to our lower body. I show two examples below.
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I think the hardest thing is for people to visualize this, if they have never felt the difference its hard to realize these things. But these things can make a huge impact on peoples performance and overall movement.
Coach Andrew Hodges shows the difference of having load and creating deliberate tension in the Front Load position on this athletes quality of movement and ability to move with strength!
Understanding the intent of an exercise it key and I get that people often overlook the impact and exercise can have the body, but as a physical therapist, it’s my job to choose the best exercise and the best tool for my patients. Exericse is so impactful when it comes to outcomes.
Below I go over why I would choose one tool vs another and it doesn’t always have to be an Ultimate Sandbag but you better be able to tell me why it isn’t. There are plenty of times we use other tools, but I can tell you why I am using them. Giving someone who doesn’t know how to build anything the best tools at the hardware store doesn’t improve their ability to construct anything great!
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In the end, I try and give so much explanation as to why I am doing what I am doing and why I am utilizing the Ultimate Sandbag for a lot of what I show, but really you have to feel the difference. I can only give you so many reasons why in the hopes you will understand how important any tool is and that tools are the extension of our coaching.
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