KBs, USBS, TGUs, & You!

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Cory M. Cripe, DVRT Master Instructor (Creator of DVRT Movement Strength Program)

Anybody who knows me knows that when it comes to the garage, I am NOT a tool man! Sure, I’ve grown up and been around plenty of people who have these lavish garages with what appears to be an endless amount of tools, specific tools for specific jobs. Just never been my cup of tea, but I will hang out with them and listen to them and nod when they talk about the need to put a washer here for the rotary thingy there.

Here is what I LOVE to fix, however: movement. I enjoy the opportunities I have to help people get better and improve the way they move not with an elaborate garage full of shiny, specific tools but with a simple gym with a few, universal tools.

Even though it may appear a lot of fitness tools can be interchanged for various movement drills (dumbbells instead of barbell bench pressing), more often than not some tools are better than others for certain jobs PERIOD. Think about a favorite kettlebell exercise, the Turkish Get-Up (TGU). Some people will use a dumbbell, barbell, or even (believe it or not) other people to perform the TGU – but I believe we can all agree the kettlebell is the BEST tool for this movement.

But … what if someone doesn’t have the core strength & stability to perform the TGU? What if someone has a problem with their shoulder and holding the kettlebell does not work for them? What if you wanted to create an opportunity for someone to get more in touch with their core and get some serious feedback, as well? Then the tool changes because the job has changed.

Here is where changing the kettlebell out for the Ultimate Sandbag is going to have great ROI. I am in the camp that the most important move in the TGU is the first move: transitioning from lying on the ground to getting on your elbow. When you can make that happen seamlessly and fluid – the rest should follow suit. BUT I see so many people that must think they’re at a sporting event and create a “wave” with the up arm to gain inefficient momentum to rise on the elbow.

When we place the Ultimate Sandbag on our shoulder now we can enjoy the true essence of the initial movement: translating force produced from the ground by the lower body to the upper body via the core! The Ultimate Sandbag is an unforgiving tool in this movement because it won’t allow you any unnecessary momentum – you have to create it yourself to make it look effortless. And that, ladies and gentlemen happens fruitfully through your midsection.

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