ultimate sandbags

Bouncing back!

A month or so ago I woke to the excitement of Josh posting about how Ryan Reynolds has been using the Ultimate Sandbag for his upcoming Deadpool movie.  Jessica a HUGE fan of all movies Ryan Reynolds was over the moon the Ultimate Sandbag was being used in his training.   See the full article HERE


This got me thinking as I prepare for our upcoming Certifications.  Our previous workshop at Hustle Fitness Sydney, I broke the Ice with "Introduce yourself and tell us who your favourite Super Hero is".  

I know, I know you have probably been asked this question before, however I thought it was quite appropriate as 'Avengers' was on the TV the night before the workshop. 

More to the point it was one of the responses I was given that has stuck with me.  The owner of the business said his favourite Super Hero was his Dad, which I thought was a wonderful answer and set the seen for an awesome workshop.

My wife (Bec) has watched my journey grow over the past 7 years and my passion grow stronger and stronger for the DVRT system.  Going back a little over 12 months, Bec not by choice under went major abdominal surgery.  Little did she know that everyday lifting, movement and the things she took for granted became really challenging.

Determined to get going again her first goal was in six weeks to get strong enough to get on a plane and fly for 20hr to the Arbonne International Conference in Las Vegas.  After the first couple of weeks of rest we would spend 5-10 minutes a day on the floor completing ISO pull exercises to start activating the core.  A simple movement using the Ultimate Sandbag and squeezing the floor with her feet was enough to active her tummy muscles.

Making it to Las Vegas and having an AWESOME time, the next goal was hitting the sunny sandy beaches of the Gold Coast for the Australian Conference.  This is where we started to really spend more time on movement and was able to start seeing big gain.  

Still having some challenges with movement we had to think lateral and play around with things like the Dead Bug and the Glute Bridge as raising of the legs to high still showed some weakness.  Until you get your hands on an Ultimate Sandbag you don't realise how much you can get from 'PULLING THE HANDLES APART'

Pulling the handles apart activated her lats and core, which allowed for a stable pelvis giving Bec the ability to start increasing the movement in her arms and legs.  We have a running phrase at one of our ladies sessions 'Proximal stability, gives distal mobility', meaning if we work on strengthening the core and muscles closest to our spine our arms and legs will move more efficient.  

A huge stepping stone, creating tension to allow the legs to come off the ground.

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Adding the Ultimate Sandbag into traditional movements such as the Dead bug and the Bird Dog not only brings the body together to connect as one but gets us results faster.  No we are not asking you to throw the USB's or move them really faster, in fact we are asking you to slow it down and create as much tension or friction as you can depending on the movement you are completing. 

Being able to use the core Ultimate Sandbag as a tool of feedback allowed tension to be achieved in the right places for a beautiful corrective exercise.

Having a tool or piece of equipment is one thing, but knowing what to do with it to train and move with intent is another thing.  That's why we are really excited that 12 months on Bec is now able to achieve what you see in the below video.  It actually bought a tear to my eye when we were filming this workout because I would honestly say 12 months ago we had a vision and when it all comes together it is EXCITING.

Not only can you use the Ultimate Sandbag for corrective exercises you can also put it into awesome workouts with true functional meaning.  It's now your chance to take advantage and learn how you can train at home or in the gym.  Reply to this blog and we will send you the education discount course code to apply to your next DVRT Ultimate Sandbag course.

Click the image and check out or up coming workshops and certifications.

Click the image and check out or up coming workshops and certifications.

Are your hamstrings really tight?

Cam Ward - DVRT Master Instructor, Australia

Are your hamstrings really tight?

One of the things I love about our Dynamic Variable Resistance Training (DVRT) system is applying our movements and exercises to clients and watching their reaction when they see and feel the change.  Just recently I was approached by a local football club at a competitive level to come on board and work with them over their pre season training.  A very fit bunch of young fellas finished off the 2015/2016 season just short of the grand final.  A series of injuries let them down in the back end of the season.

We approached the first training session and I was nervous.... what would they think? What would be the reaction? 

With 30 pairs of eyes staring at me, I took a deep breath and put our system into action. “SO hands up if you have tight hamstrings?”  Was my first line. 

Now if you know Australian Rules Football (AFL) one of the biggest complaints in the sport is hamstring injuries or tightness.   


Yes I agree it is the hamstring that generally goes POP, but what would you say if I could give you two exercises that would assist this problem....... I know what I would say!


After asking the question a young and powerful player’s hand flew up like a young kid busting to ask a question.  This player had a history of hamstring and low back issues.....

So in front of 30 footballers we tested his range of motion, gave him one exercises the tall kneeling around the world.  The full test can be viewed below.

BOOM!! Jaws dropped and the reaction from the improvement in the range was awesome.  I know, I know it hasn’t fixed the issue permanently.  No it hasn’t but what it has shown you is to look further than the area of pain or discomfort.

So what changed? 

The tall kneeling position gives us not only a firm base to work with but a greater chance of core activation.  The idea behind this movement is to teach the body to resist rotation or swaying from side to side whilst the USB is moving around the head.  Driving the toes into the floor lights up our glutes whilst the upper torso is controlling and resisting the action of the USB. 

So what does it give us.....well with a core system activated and a stabile pelvis we have a platform ready to turn up the heat of what the year will bring.

Now where: Work on your tall kneeling around the world, read more about the progressions here or even look to bring into your program the ultimate sandbag press out squat or resisted front loaded marching.

Give it a go and let us know how you go.

Check out our upcoming workshops where we will go into further detail of some of the most common DVRT Ultimate Sandbag exercises.

Until next time

Cam Ward
DVRT Master Australia   

Can bad shoulders be fixed?

I slept in a bean bag for 10 days until I found relief!

Seeing people in pain or discomfort is not something I like to experience because I remember when I did my knee what it felt like.

Down on the coast if you don't ride a bike, run or walk the tracks you'll probably be one of the 100s that hit the surf for hours on end most days of the week.  A gift we have to head out into the surf clear the head and set up our day.


'Unfortunately that gift, if not maintained can be taken from you even at an elite level.'

"Maintained"....... What we mean is when surfing for hours on end, just like sitting at your desk for hours over time your chest muscles tighten and begin to round your shoulders.  We begin to loose up body mobility and the muscles in your back become over stretched and pain kicks in.  

For the surfer our deep stomach muscles called our flexors become extremely tight pulling on our pelvis and changing our stance.  This can lead to balance issues and stress on other areas of the body!


Below is a story of a busy mum and former pro surfer that one morning woke up and could not move her arm or shoulder.


Hi Cam

I am 39 years old and a Mother of two boys ages 12 and 10.  I started surfing around that age and often spent hours and hours in the water at a time.  Through my teen years I went on to surf at an elite level.   After having kids and helping them learn to surf I was back surfing with them often hours on end to keep their pace …but probably not in the same body as I had in my teens!

I started to notice I was getting sore in the shoulders, I was having trouble sleeping and felt like I had no power in my arms.  I let it go for a few months as I thought it would get better! But it didn’t…it got a lot worse until one morning I woke up and could not move my arm even an inch. I was in excruciating pain I couldn’t sleep let alone drive , cook dinner etc.

'The doctor told me I had frozen shoulder.'

By chance I met someone that had fantastic results with Cam and she said go and see him even if he just helps you get some sleep.  At that stage I had been sleeping in a bean bag upright for 10 days even on pain relief.  After the first visit I was sleeping 6 hours straight lying down which I thought was very impressive.

Over the next 6 weeks we worked with his specialised massage technique that slowly let the adhesions in my shoulder break down and allow me to complete a very simple strength and stretching program that I would do at home which took about 10 minutes a day.

I could not be happier with where I am now which is full range through my shoulder and no pain at all (that all went by week 2).  I have purchased an ultimate sandbag and now complete my rehab program at home.  I love the USB Arc pressing, around the worlds and now working on my max lunge and haven’t felt so good through my shoulders in years.

If you want lasting results to see you you to the finish line go and see Cam…he has an infectious motivation that is hard not to catch

Anna Zanoni

If we go back to the where we mentioned sitting or surfing positions can lead to tight flexors and therefore putting more stress on other areas of the body........One of our go to exercises when helping Anna was the Half Kneeling Arc Press,


Well it wasn't our first exercise but what it did lead to was our go to as it was opening up her flexors, challenging the frontal plan stability required to ride a surfboard and then bang for her buck strengthening those shoulders.

It took us several weeks to undo and release all the tightness and tension before we could move into our strength program.  Anna's success has continued and now enjoys teaching and surfing with her boys.

Are you struggling with the same problems? 

Check out our upcoming DVRT Workshops where we will show the Arc press and more.

Thanks for reading 

Cam Ward - DVRT Master Instructor

Common questions about the Ultimate Sandbag

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When Josh Henkin designed the Ultimate Sandbag he did so with a very specific purpose in mind. That meant giving people a lot of options, but also caused many questions. So, let's address some of the most common questions about our Ultimate Sandbags....

Q: Where do I get sand and what type?

A: We send the Ultimate Sandbag (USB) unloaded to save on postage costs. That is because if you go to your local hardware store you can get a 20 kilogram bag of sand for around $7.00 - $10.00.  What type?  We recommend kids play sand as the most common sand available. 

Q: How heavy do I make my Ultimate Sandbag?

A: Each size of Ultimate Sandbag has a very specific use in mind, so we always recommend on error on lighter. For example...

Size of Ultimate Sandbag Beginner Intermediate Advanced

Core 4-5 kg 6-7 kg 9kg

Power 9 kg 14 kg 18 kg

Strength 18 kg 23 kg 28 kg

Burley 36 kg 45 kg 55 kg

You will see bigger jumps on bigger Ultimate Sandbags but we recommend you get our FREE e-book HERE to see how we use each size and some of our favorite exercises. 

Q: How come the USB doesn't use 5 kilo filler bags?

A: Part of the job of the filler bag (the filler inside the shell that holds the sand) is to not only hold the weight, but to also give some dimension to the USB. Five kilo weights seem great until you use them. They not only flop around in your USB, but they also feel like bricks taking away some of the best aspects of the USB. That is why we have the DVRT system so that you can learn how to make the same weight feel heavier or lighter for an exercise without changing the weight of the USB at all.

Getting started with the Ultimate Sandbag TM

·Make sure to use dry sand (all purpose or play sand is best) or other filling implements such as rice.  These can be found at most hardware stores.  Do not use abrasive materials (rocks, stones, weights, wood, etc)

The small filler bags should be filled to no more than 2/3 full, which is about 7kg or 15lb. Large filler bags should be filled to no more than ½ way, which is about 18kg or 40lb.  Do not over fill your filler bags.

After you have filled your filler bag to the desired weight, seal the first layer of Velcro then press all the air out of the bag and continue to seal and then close the filler bag.

You can use one or both filler bags. If using both, we recommend filling one slightly less than the other.

Shake the filler bag so the weight is relatively even throughout the filler bag.

Place filler bag(s) into the shell Velcro side down. If using both filler bags, place them with opposing sides stacked upon one another.

We recommend using the minimum load weights (4.5kg or 10lb small filler bags and 11kg or 25lb large filler bag) when beginning your sandbag training.

Refer to your instructional DVD and training booklet for more details on how to fill and use your Ultimate Sandbag.

 **As with all exercise programs, you should get your doctor’s approval before beginning**

Actions that will void your warranty:

Slamming of the Ultimate Sandbag

Throwing of the Ultimate Sandbag

Dragging on concrete or rough surfaces

Swinging the Ultimate Sandbag by outer handles or end flaps

Grabbing onto the end flaps versus not rolling them into the Ultimate Sandbag as intended

Exceeding 29kg or 60lb while using the suitcase handle

Excessive loading of the Ultimate Sandbag

Using abrasive materials such as gravel in the filler

Pouring sand directly into the outer shell

Maintenance of your Ultimate Sandbag TM

The Ultimate Sandbag can be wiped down with any anti-bacterial wipes either during your set or between workouts.

Depending upon level of use, once a month we recommend you clean out your Ultimate Sandbag and re-organise the fillers.

Make sure to keep the weight in your Ultimate Sandbag evenly dispersed.

There is an Ultimate Sandbag TM 365 day warranty on ALL Ultimate Sandbag products.  Please refer to our website www.ultimatesandbags.com.au for more details on our warranty and other policies.

Our Guarantee: We stand behind all our Ultimate Sandbag products and ask if you have any questions or issues to contact us on 0413 359 672. We will get back to you within 24 hours.

These are some of the most common questions, but feel free to write us at info@ultimatesandbags.com.au or please check out our website HERE.  Our website is constantly being updated so continue to check in.