Twoguns Top Three Training Tools

Posted: October 26, 2012 by dannytwoguns in Articles

Twoguns Top Three Training Tools

People often ask “what our (two, three, four) favorite training tools are,” or “if you only had X pieces of equipment what would they be?” and other variations of those questions. The answer is often a little challenging because it usually has to start with “it depends on the client…” or “it depends on the situation/logistics” etc.

It’s always going to end up being relevant to each specific and different situation but there seemed to be a theme when I gave the answers, with certain exercises or training tools being in each one more than others.

Before I give our top three training tools, I want to preface with saying that bodyweight mastery is always going to be the foundation and the key to a solid fitness program. Everything starts with bodyweight and its progressions before moving onto anything else. A lot of time we get carried away with the “new thing” and progress before we probably should. Training tools are just a different path to the goal. A hip dominant lower body exercise in the end is a hip dominant lower body exercise whether it’s with a band, barbell, dumbbell, sandbag, valslide, TRX suspension trainer, rip trainer etc. Everything is a tool in the toolbox, not the be all end all, all you need product some people will have you think.

What you’ll notice is that barbells are not on the list even when I am a big fan on them. I think lifting heavy and lifting hard should be in the foundation of one’s fitness program. But, not everyone can do them intensely and safely. While they have been in gyms the longest, they gained popularity through longevity rather than effectiveness. That’s not to say we don’t use them or discourage them in any way, it’s just that the average client doesn’t start with them because there are more effective and safer options a lot of the time.

Somewhere along the way, it was assumed that everyone could do every exercise with a barbell. It may have stemmed from the fact that we haven’t always had access to a variety of training modalities but either way, when the average gym-goer and client thinks of lifting heavy, they think of the barbell and that it’s right for them.

One of my favorite exercises is the barbell deadlift, but in the deadlift progressions we use at Twoguns Training Systems, it is one of the last ones and a lot of the time for clients, the last one. Starting with a bodyweight hinge, or a sandbag/dumbbell hinge or a KB deadlift is usually where people need to be and definitely start with.

With all that said, let’s get into the Twoguns Training Systems Top Three Training Tools…

Battle Ropes : So far in my experience, I haven’t found a better way to get a huge training/metabolic effect that literally all clients can do. Knee pain? Back pain? Hip pain? There are variations on the battle ropes that you can do safely and effectively while really hitting the exercise hard and getting a killer workout in.

It is actually fairly challenging to do them wrong as well. A simple cue of “chest up, shoulders back” gives the client a neutral spine and the ability to hit it hard with an extremely low risk of injury.

Sandbags : When they initially came out, I was of the same thinking of the average person that well, it’s a bag of sand, what is that really going to do for me? Well, once you try it you realize real quick.

What the sandbag does that most other tools do not, is it gives you constant instability which makes you and your “core” (which isn’t just your rectus abdominus or “six pack” muscles) do the stabilizing because the weight in the bag is constantly shifting. As you move the sandbag, the sand inside shifts to whichever direction you’re going and it’s up to you and your muscles to prevent that which puts an interesting addition to a lot of exercises.

One of my favorite exercises is the Sandbag Rotation Lunge, which is about as total body as it gets as it fries your lower body as well as your “rotary core” which is often neglected as you resist the rotation for the sandbag to keep pulling you to the side. It’s hard to find more bang for your buck exercises than with the sandbag.

And lastly…

Kettlebells (KB) : I’m not one of those kettlebell guys that think you only need to use a kettlebell and if you don’t have a kettlebell then you can’t do any of the traditional exercises it’s known for like the Turkish get up, goblet squat, clean, snatch etc.

What I have found though, is that its most prominent exercise, the KB swing (which is another favorite at Twoguns), cannot be replicated to any kind of similar level, with anything but the kettlebell. One of the most metabolic and physically taxing exercises is the KB swing. Not everyone can start there because it’s a rather technical move but we work on regressions to get everyone able to do a form of swing and eventually the KB swing.

Swing aside, the versatility of the kettlebell is amazing as well. The Turkish get up is one of the best total body exercises covering strength, stability and mobility all in one move. The one arm KB overhead press or one arm KB squat and overhead press gives a lot of bang for your buck as well.

Those are our Twoguns Training Systems Top Three Training Tools. The TRX suspension trainer as well as resistance bands would round out the top five but there are things battle ropes, sandbags and kettlebells bring to the fitness world that haven’t been replicated as of yet. Check them out and if you have any questions you can email us at twogunstrainingsystems[@] (minus the []).

  1. Ginny says:

    Love me some get-ups!!

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