Cory Cripe, DVRT Master (Creator of DVRT Dynamic Strength and Movement Encyclopedia …Cory is generous enough to give 50% off his workouts programs with code “cory50” HERE for a limited time!)
I was hoping to celebrate a little more of my ability to finally weight bear after 8 weeks post surgery, but this COVID-19 is really helping to keep my 2020 in check so far! However, I refuse to let this get the best of me. And I am very thankful for my wife and kids to continue motivating me and helping me stay focused at a time where I could really go stir crazy!
I really thought this accident that caused me to break my ankle was going to be the worst part of 2020! How wrong I was!!!
And I am so thankful for the knowledge that DVRT provides about generating better solutions for fitness problems. Because like most of you I don’t have as much equipment at home as I do at my gym, Fitness Lying Down – and that can be seen as a problem. So I have to be creative with my limited equipment – better solutions.
I could only imagine back in the day when it was necessary for me to have a complete squat rack, barbell, plates, dumbbells, and some type of bench in order to get an effective workout in. What would I have been able to do when ol’ Corona came in and leveled the playing field and me, left without my essential gym equipment?
Now we should be careful not to get too creative and cute with our home workouts. There are plenty of well meaning people out there attempting to make the most of the situation and turn ordinary house objects into fitness tools. I highly advise against this because of our number one goal in the fitness industry: safety. There is a reason fitness equipment is exactly that – fitness equipment – it has been created for a specific purpose. I wouldn’t dare dream of using a lever bell as a means to sweep my floor as in the same way I wouldn’t think of using a broom to hold weight when I go to press overhead.
Renown strength coach, Mike Boyle, helps us remember why homemade equipment has a down side too!
Okay, okay – I’m done ranting … just remember … SAFETY! If you have no equipment and want to know better ways to use your body, check out my latest Kettlebells & Coffee video! I’m done this time, seriously!
Moving on. Now, unless you’re FLD client Kathy who has a gazillion Ultimate Sandbags at her house with kettlebells and suspension trainers, you might be wondering how to progress and challenge yourself with only one, or two, USBs.
Even in Australia people have been pretty awesome sharing their DVRT home gyms!
Herein lies the beauty of the DVRT system. When it comes to progressive overload (ways to make exercises more challenging) the most popular answer is to increase the weight – well many of us don’t have that luxury anymore. So what next? You can alway add more volume to an exercise – but at some point when does that actually become counterproductive to your fitness goals and purposes? Tempo is always fun to play with. Adding pulses and pauses to increase the time under tension can really make the ordinary exercise feel extraordinary!
We have a lot more options available than many think!
But we in the DVRT universe acknowledge holding position and body position as an extremely effective way to crank up the intensity in any exercise!
I show that we can intensify our movements just by changing where we place the load and don’t underestimate drills like Up Downs to make your lunges that much better and smarter!
What I want to visit today are lunges. Let’s first address body position. When you step back to lunge this is less intense than stepping forward. When stepping back you keep the center of mass over the front leg allowing for more stability. As soon as you step forward the center of mass moves and this becomes very challenging for people to stay stable as a result of all the forces that have to be resisted.
Why we begin a lot of our lunges in DVRT with stepping back especially in challenging drills like our MAX lunges!
So, boom! All ready an option for increasing intensity and we didn’t even mention lateral lunges or crossover lunges. More options and more opportunities for you without talking load!
DVRT Master and University Strength Coach, Joel Gunterman shows how simple we can advance a movement like a MAX lunge by changing direction!
Now the holding position. This is where science meets art and we can have an exquisite time creating an effective training experience with minimal equipment! When lunging, the most optimal position to hold the USB is in the front load position – this EVEN before bodyweight! I’ve seen so many people gain success in lunges with the Ultimate Sandbag in the front load position because of the additional tension they create by pulling the USB across their body firing up an overlooked core muscle – the lats!
Our clients at Fitness Lying Down have such success in typically problematic exercises like lunges because of these DVRT principles! This is a fist loaded up down which allows us to use lighter weight but load the core and lats through some compression.
When you have mastered the lunge in the front load position, you can simply move the bag from the crooks of your elbows to the top of your fists. It seems insignificant, but this change in holding position is comparable to changing your hands in a plank position. What happens to your plank as you walk your hands out farther from your body – puts more strain on the middle right? Well, you will notice that and more when you place an Ultimate Sandbag on your fists – make it a water bag and watch out!
These lunges don’t look like much but combining the front load position (which I recommend you start with by itself) and create tension with the lateral band pulling to the side makes a light weight feel VERY challenging!
One more way you can kick up your lunge experience is by taking the Ultimate Sandbag into your hands and performing the MAX (multi-axial) lunge. Unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of people try to use different fitness tools to make this work, but really only the USB is the right tool for the MAX lunge – what else would you use to perform a kettlebell swing?
You see with this system we can have some more advanced clients doing front loaded MAX lunges and others practice their lunges with front load position. Simple and powerful is how I like to describe it!
Biggest mistake I see people do is lose their grip. Why is that important you might be asking? Keeping a sincere, meaningful grip will engage those lats and will make your lunge that much stronger and better. Think about all the people doing lunges that shrug their shoulders on the way up and flail their arms all about – no grip, no lats! Other common mistake is allowing the USB to trace a horseshoe shape and not a U shape. Too often the bag gets away from people (especially as they try to increase the tempo) and the USB swings behind them causing for unnecessary twisting of the spine.
We help our clients own those foundations so they can work up to lunges that keep delivering on all around fitness. You can’t do these though until you really get those foundations! Teaching real people to do awesome training is my biggest thrill!
Done right the MAX lunge is not only safe for your spine, but will also build resiliency by being able to resist unwanted motion – which seems to be a daily occurrence in any life activity! Lunges can play such a BIG role in building strength, stability, conditioning, and mobility, don’t overlook them as a powerhouse for your workouts whether at home or at the gym.
Amazing how minimal equipment can make a maximum difference when it comes to training at home while we practice our physical distancing! I have a special coach help me break down how to get the MOST out of your MAX lunges that will have such great carryover to your training!
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