Core Bag Exercise
This video, provided my Escape Fitness LTD., demonstrates one of many exercises you can include in your total body workout plan. This video is narrated as the trainer (Sandra) performs four different exercises using the Core Bag manufactured by Escape Fitness. The Clean, Back Squat, Lateral Bound with Reach, and the Fireman’s Pick-Up with Alternating press are examples of functional training exercises used by personal trainers and group training instructors to help people understand the connected nature of musculature, bone and structural integrity, fluidity, and movement efficiency during exercise. Each of the four exercises requires concentration as they are all compound movements, meaning that you will utilize your entire body (multi-joint) to leverage your limbs and core to accomplish each exercise. We will describe, in detail, the clean and back squat exercises below.
How to Perform the Clean
The Clean is traditionally thought of like an Olympic lift because it is traditionally accomplished using a barbell and plate free weight. However, the Clean can be modified in many ways using a variety of tools and modified pieces of equipment. The clean is a complex exercise. It is best to think of each exercise based on it’s the most effective and efficient technique. The clean involves the setup, explosive execution, and controlled return to the floor (finish), regardless of the type of equipment used to perform the clean (dumbbells, kettlebells, a barbell with free weight plates, sandbags, etc., or as demonstrated in this video — the Core Bag).
The set up or prepare for the clean requires that you stand with feet in contact with the floor, shoulder’s width apart (or slightly wider if more comfortable), extend the chest creating thoracic extension with a neutral neck, lower the hips down and back, take possession of the provided handles with arms in a straight position. The controlled and explosive execution of the exercise is accomplished by tightening the gluteal muscles and engaging the muscles of the entire core, then creating or generating force driven by the gluteal muscles, legs, core, and hips that drives the pull transferring force generated as described to the shoulders forcing the lower body to work with the upper body to pull the load from the floor. At this point the force generated beginning with the lower body and core will transfer to the shoulders and arms allowing you to shrug the bar all the way up top the shoulder level, flexing the elbows, pulling the bar close up near the body allowing you to position your body under the load, repositioning the load to the arms and shoulders while in a squat position, then exploding from the controlled squat position to a standing position. This is the top of the clean. The load should be security supported by your entire body, hips slightly forward, with the load balanced. To finish the exercise, you simply reverse the movements described above and demonstrated in the video to return the load (resistance, in this case, the Core Bag) to the hips, then squatting to lower the load, extending the elbow, to release the load back to the floor.
How to Perform the Back Squat
The set up for the back squat is similar to most standing compound movements or exercises. Your feet should be placed at a distance comfortable to you that will allow you to squat or sit down at the fullest range of motion with any limitations you might have. Your core will be tight, the hips will be slightly flexed, the spine will maintain a neutral position (including the neck), the load will be placed upon the back below the vertebrae of the neck supported by your upper back muscles called the trapezius muscles. These muscles will be tight, along with the rest of your body.
You will stand with the load on your back, slowly flex the hips back and down while flexing the knees as if you would normally sit into a chair. Take a deep inhaled breath. The biggest difference between sitting in a chair and squatting is that there is nothing below you you to stop you from crashing to the floor! This is why the hips, gluteal muscles, hamstrings, adductors, entire posterior chain, and core must work together to stabilize the load during the movement of the back squat exercise. Your hips will lower to a depth that is comfortable to you, preferably the knees will be flexed under 90 degrees with a neutral spine and controlled flexion at the hip. When you reach a safe depth, maintain your spine and neck stability and neutral position, drive upward using your glutes, quadriceps, inner thighs, hamstrings, and drive your hips slightly forward as you reach the standing position. In the standing position, your entire body will be tight and your gluteal muscles will be contracted. Your core will be tight and your breathing will be labored. It is vital to breathe regularly as you pass from the bottom of the back squat to the standing position allowing forceful exhalation at the standing position. There are advanced breathing techniques utilized by powerlifters, bodybuilders, and strength athletes, but you should try to maintain control of your inhaled and exhaled air in time with the lowering and explosive phases of the back squat.
The safest position to take when considering the back squat as an exercise is to have a professional assess any level of dysfunction that may be present that could make a back squat a less effective or efficient exercise for you. An exercise professional can assess whether structural integrity at any of your joints or spine may compromise your ability to successfully utilize a back squat with a load. Practice squatting by simply sitting into a chair, sit, stand, repeat. If you are unable to maintain your balance or find that you fall into the chair, you feel uncomfortable maintaining a neutral spine position, or that your knees seem to press toward each other, it’s a great idea to seek out a qualified exercise professional to assess your body and possible muscular dysfunctions or challenges.
That said, the squat or many versions of the squat are performed daily by most people who sit and stand. The back squat can be one of the most beneficial exercises in your exercise plan provided you are physically and mentally prepared to practice this exercise.
Core Bag Exercises
- Core Bag Clean
- Core Bag Back Squat
- Core Bag Lateral Bound with Reach
- Core Bag Fireman’s Pickup with Alternating Press
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