If we can agree to this then we have to understand how Ultimate Sandbag Training amplifies this concept. Now, I’ve never taken the time, or not really sure how to distinguish how much weight is in the ball versus handle percentage wise.
That means the mass is all away from where you are gripping and depending on the size of the Ultimate Sandbag the distance grows. For example, the center of mass ends up being further away on a Burly Ultimate Sandbag than a Power because of the dimension.
Due to the above point, a lot of kettle bell drills have a part that requires huge amount of effort of grip, and the handles tend to have some size to them, kettle bells do a great job working grip. Grip legends (yes, this is a thing) like, John Brookfield, will tell you there is far more different types of strength.
Both tools are amazing for driving up your “cardio” because they are so dynamic and involve so many muscles groups at once. Brutal for sure, yet, most people could NEVER imagine of doing the same in the world of Dirt Ultimate Sandbag Training.
Performing the Clean and Press standard for anything over five minutes might be outlawed in most countries. An Ultimate Sandbag makes each repetition different enough where while you can get better for sure, you never really “groove” the lift.
What I love most about these tools is they can develop incredible strength and power in ways that are just hard with a lot of other implements. The ability to use kettle bells one handed, the instability and 3-D nature of Ultimate Sandbags allow you to hit ranges of motion, angles, and positions that are just impossible otherwise.
Ladies, you can’t be beat on double 35 founders and a 60 pound Ultimate Sandbag. In fact, Dirt Master, Troy Anderson, did the calculations and found that using these two tools takes up a third less space than that even the traditional barbell.
The cost of having these tools makes it a no-brainer for anyone wanting to get real results either in a gym setting or at home. You can literally make a thousand dollar piece of equipment useless when you optimize these tools.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, even with all the really cool information of how Ultimate Sandbag workouts can give you so much more than running even at high intensities, I was bummed there wasn’t a direct comparison to another form of resistance training. Hopefully with all the research out there and what we showed yesterday, we can agree higher intensity work can do more for you (yea, that is the science way of saying it;).
As researchers said, “Other studies have examined Tabatha intervals during RE primarily using KB swings (11, 44) and other KB exercises (44) and reported lower blood lactate concentrations (11) than the present study.” What I find also completely fascinating is that load was seen as a VERY valuable role in Ultimate Sandbag workouts and getting such a positive response.
In fact, the researchers found the average VO2 of the kettle bell workouts were higher. What this DOES mean though be that kettle bells and Ultimate Sandbag workouts are NOT the same, even though many of the exercises may seem similar.
If you understand how you can put purpose behind meaningful combinations you will be shocked at the synergy of these tools. Research tells us the majority of people given an MRI will show disc bulges or protrusions.
This actually increases the perceived stress on the body and at lighter loads can activate the same amount of muscles that heavier loads on the back can achieve, except without the higher levels of spinal compression. One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to replicate both front and, unfortunately, back squats with these implements.
With either a kettle bell or sandbag, the arms must extend overhead, taking away any opportunity to create such a shelf. This leads to either the shoulders and/or neck bearing the load or the lifter increasing forward lean and adding to the stress on the lumbar spine.
Using kettle bells and sandbags, we have many more ways to stress the body in the squatting pattern. Instead of focusing purely on load, we can challenge the squatting pattern by the position of the weight and how it tries to pull the body out of alignment.
As we become more unbalanced with the holding position of the kettle bell or sandbag, the harder our body must work not to just perform a squat, but maintain integrity of the movement. Since small changes in placement in load can create profound effects, don’t overlook the simple.
Now kettle bells and sandbags offer different ways of stressing what really is an overhead plank. Being able to train multiple planes of the body at once gives these implements a big boost in the effectiveness department.
After cleaning a sandbag, the weight may not be evenly dispersed upon the hands, making the body work harder to coordinate the movement. In order to show you how simply and powerfully they can be integrated into some workouts I have provided some examples below.
Functional athletic training with little or no equipment has been making serious leaps in popularity recently. They let you train healthy movement patterns across multiple planes for a functional stability and strength that will see you through your favorite athletic pursuits.
Hopefully you won’t lose control of your kettle bell, but it happens…so avoid injury and risk by training in a safe, forgiving space. You should also pay extra attention to picking up your bell or bag with good form.
Avoid rounding your back and focus on bending your knees to pick up from a low position. You’ll want to continue this action of lifting low and engaging your core throughout your workout.
Kettle bell and sandbag training sessions challenge your stability from your ankles up by taking you through a large range of motion with a shifting load. Avoid highly cushioned shoes or those with elevated heels, which will add instability to your form and reduce the power of your actions.
A minimalist shoe designed for weightlifting or cross-training is a better bet and will let you use your feet to power through the movement. Putting most of the load into your shoulders and upper back is a common mistake made by newcomers.
In addition to kettle bells, sandbags are another versatile, low equipment option for strength training. A good bag should come with several, well secured handles, allowing you to work even more movement patterns than is convenient with a kettle bell.
Both kettle bells and sandbags can be combined with body weight exercises and your favorite Vision Home Fitness equipment to add a bigger challenge to your movement patterns and increase your strength training load, preparing you for nearly anything. If you have an army surplus store around, you can get a big duffle bag for 15-20 bucks.
Then you need to get some thick contractor type trash bags. They are both good tools, but different enough that it would be cool to have one of each.
Personally I would just buy an adjustable kettle bell handle. I definitely like KB's, but they are so expensive for what I consider a novelty item (sorry KB aficionados).
Maybe I will just try to pick up some standard size plates off of Craigslist and make the T-Bar handle similar to the one shown on Dave Draper's site. I definitely like KB's, but they are so expensive for what I consider a novelty item (sorry KB aficionados).
Sandbags are very versatile and if you get one that is easy to load variably, they are good for a lot of stuff. You can do a lot of stuff with kettle bells, and they are very good for certain specific things, but sandbags are far more versatile if you have to choose.
Lots of very strong powerlifters swear by kettle bells. One of my very favorite movements is the windmill which builds shoulder stability while keeping you limber in the hips.
But for me, a single heavy kettle bell is a great tool to keep at home to address those little in-between things (conditioning, hip mobility, etc) without needing to load up a barbell. Again, you may find the cost-to-benefit not suitable for you, but for many of us the kettle bell remains a useful tool to have in the box.
An adjustable load barbell is the most essential thing to have, of course, but the kettle bell has its place. It'd seem a lot less gimmicky if it weren't so damned expensive.
But can't these things be bought in stores now for about the same price per pound as a common weight plate? If you have an army surplus store around, you can get a big duffle bag for 15-20 bucks.