Can you really use a sandbag to fix an injury??

Cam Ward, DVRT Master Australia (4EVERfitness)

Can you really use a sandbag to fix an injury??

As we sink our teeth deeper into the health and fitness industry it becomes more and more noticeable that it takes a team to fix a problem.  Having an issue looked at from all angles and levels goes a long way to educating your client to a better outcome.

About two months ago I wrote a blog telling my story of how I over came major knee surgery to running a marathon (Read Here).  Well the story continues with a success story about my wife and best friend Bec.

Brining two beautiful children into our lives and setting up a functional training centre from home was the best decision we made.  Not easy but a great way to watch the kids grow up and allow them to see what it took to get mum pain free and moving.

Two years ago!!!, Yes two years, Bec is now on track to getting back to her passion of running.  Without getting to gory Bec had a dislodgment of her pubic bones and would find it hard walking or even moving around to complete her day to day activities.

Working with Bec’s Chiropractor we took to the studio and worked through the DVRT system using the Core and PowerUltimate Sandbags.  Now keep in mind kneeling or putting any asymmetric load through the pelvis was painful, which is why we started with glute bridging movements.  We wanted to fire the connection between the lats and the glutes to allow us to progress to more powerful movements later on.

Once we could achieve fluid movement through bridging patterns we advanced to cross pattern loading with one of the movements the bird dog. What we found interesting about this movement was when executing the traditional bird dog pain was experienced through the lateral hip.  However when introducing the lateral drag bird dog using the Core Ultimate Sandbag the pain disappeared.  


Huh! No pain! There must be a trick and why would this take away the pain.  Well what we did different is by dragging the Ultimate Sandbag along the ground it light up the lats and connected with the opposite glute giving us the cross pattern connection.  

BOOM follow the make and design of the body.  Like our walking or running patterns we move in cross patterns with the opposite arm and leg tracking forward as we move. Training the body as it is designed to move, not shockingly, improves strength, movement, and pain-free actions so much faster! 

This is different than how most people perform a Bird Dog. They create the same motion, but the intent is quite different. There isn’t the tension and connection to this chain that automatically “turns on” the right muscles!


Having an understanding of movement and how the body connects and communicates will go a long way to achieving your clients goals of pain free movement.  It’s a very humbling feeling when your client once struggled to stand on one leg to moving through the below patterns. 

I slept in a bean bag for 10 days

Cam Ward, Dip RM,PT

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, over time rolls the your chest muscles tighten and begin to round the shoulders and over stretches your back.  What you will then find is your back and neck begin to cause pain.  On top of the chest and shoulder issues because the body is all connected by our fascial system, we are also seeing hip, hamstring and calves issues.

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 to 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 AROUND THE WORLD'S and haven’t felt so good through my shoulders in years.

There are lots of different health practitioners out there that do lots of great things... but I think you would be hard pushed trying to find someone like Cam.  Cam has a seamless approach with specific massage that does not hurt. He then brings in the strength phase at the right pace which cements everything in place.

Often you would need to see multiple practitioners to achieve this which can become very expensive and time consuming and you can drop away before you are 100 percent.  Cam is very caring especially if you are in a lot of pain like I was and guarding the pain.  He is also extremely knowledgeable on the human body and will quickly refer you on to someone else if it is something he can’t help you with.

I was amazed on the result in just one visit You won’t find many... if any practitioners that could achieve this result in the first visit considering it has been building for 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

It took us several weeks to undo and release all the tightness and tension before we could move into our strength program.  Our biggest gains came when we combined two functional training tools together the Ultimate Sandbag and the TRX Suspension Trainer.  

Anna's success has allowed her to continue onto our Better Backs, Necks and Shoulders program starting Wednesday 13th July. 

What's behind the name?

For years I worked in both hospitality and corporate sales positions and branding had always been drummed into me. Cam it's about creating a brand an image that has purpose and meaning, it needs to be bold and have people thinking 'What's behind the name'.......

Taking the previous 12 years of my working career on board I had an opportunity to do what I enjoy most, helping people achieve results.  Results...not just six packs and big guns but getting people over fears both mental and physical.  Hearing and seeing client's at 65 years old jumping on a trampoline with their grand daughter for the 1st time and watching an 80 year old lady move freely and fill everyday with excitement and LIFE.  That's RESULTS, that's the meaning of 4EVERfitness.

The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to how I came up with the name 4EVERfitness and show you there is more to a healthy and fitness business than what the scales read.

Coming up with the name was easy but complicated at the same time.  I tossed up multiple names but what I kept coming back to was my meaning of healthy and fitness 4EVER.  Making health and fitness apart of your life is what we are trying to accomplish when working with clients.

With so many health and fitness professional now in the market, we understand how hard it can be to decide what path you will take.  Building trust, building a relationship and ultimately having someone take your investment seriously can be really hard to find.

Spending the past two years completing a Diploma in Remedial Massage, travelling to New York City in Feb 2015 for a certification in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag training and then being invited back to Arizona in October 2015 to become a Master Instructor shows how committed I am to investing in clients health and fitness.

Having said this.... why wait get in contact with us today and take the leap towards improving your health and fitness.

Yours in health and fitness

Cam Ward

Health and Fitness Director 4EVERfitness



Cam Ward, DVRT Victoria, Australia

The last year my clients have seen a lot more of this funny looking bag. We do all these very different types of movements that finally the other day I was asked the question, why I love using the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training System . Why have you travelled thousands of kilometres to America to learn how to throw sand around. 

Yes, I left beautiful Victoria to go to New York in the middle of a snow storm to learn this funny bag of sand! 

Well that is a really good question. Why do I specialize in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. Easy, because its helped and continues to help clients move more freely, it’s backed by a wealth of expert knowledge and education and more important it’s opened the doors for me to train clients with specific conditions. The people that most would give up on, I feel, no I KNOW, I can help! 

For those that haven’t used the system or picked up an Ultimate Sandbag, below is a great example of why we love the DVRT system.

IT’S NOT JUST SAND IN A BAG! A sentiment I am sure many of you really feel. I don't blame  you, there was a point I felt the same. That was until I gave the system the chance to live up to what it promised and I wasn't ever the same after! Especially when I can tell you stories like THIS....

Over the last few months we have been fortunate enough to work with a client born with a congenital condition structural scoliosis.  As described by Scoliosis Australia, scoliosis is a Greek word meaning curved or bent.  In medical terms this is described as a common type of spinal curvature. When scoliosis forms it bends the spin sideways and the ribs will follow the rotating spine posterior and upwards.

So what does that mean....?

For a long time training prior to our training, our client at 55 years of age was uncomfortable and often in pain when training. As a coach and athlete training, I know and can appreciate training through pain is NOT something we are trying to achieve. It was hard to figure out what would really work, what would change this women's whole life. Having confidence in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training, I wanted to see if the system could be a strong as I believed it could be! 


On top of yoga and pilates, our client wanted to start some strength training but was hesitant due to previous discomfort from her condition. After a short overview of how the system works our she was moving through specific movements that previously done would cause pain. In a really short time we were able to monitor not only strength gains and progression we had no pain. 

How was this possible?

First off, having a great system to work with gives us both direction and knowledge of how the body works. Whenever we have pain or changes to the body's structure, we often have certain muscles that become dominant and others that "turn off" which should be on! It was important to identify where weaknesses had come about and how we could strengthen them.

The other part is having the RIGHT tool! What we found worked was the unique design of the Ultimate Sandbag. Yea, I didn't think there was much to the Ultimate Sandbag either. In fact, because it was a challenge to get Ultimate Sandbags here in Australia at first, I actually just found a company that kinda looked like an Ultimate Sandbag. That would be one of the biggest mistakes I would make! At the time I didn't realize the thought of handle placement and many other things that would change the outcomes of our training.

The position of the handles the overall design of the Ultimate Sandbag allowed me to create movements and positions that would allow her to train without pain. Not only was she able to really strength training for the first time without the pain she knew before, but we were able to work on many of the problems she faced. The areas of the body that were impacted by her congenital issues.

The above is one of many movements we are able to achieve. The progression from a Ultimate Sandbag standard bent over row to an off-set grip row was something she had never seen or done before. A real exciting time for our client. But what was the most exciting part of our job was three words said, “I’M PAIN FREE”.

To date we continue to work together and have now progressed even further with a healthy pain free life at the age of 55.

Train smart, train with purpose

Learn more how to positively impact people's lives beyond the workout with our PERSONAL or GROUP TRAINING SESSIONS HERE


Never give up

Working in the fitness industry, as a lot of fitness professionals will know it can be a life changing experience for our clients and on the flip side and extremely rewarding position for us.  You get excited when you see your clients achieve and reach mile stones and you definitely feel for them just doesn't work out for them on the day.  

We've all heard the phrase, "you need to get back on the horse". Well when we have a set back in life sometimes it's not that easy.  We can push and push and push our clients to give it another go but at the end of the day, it takes determination to 'never give up'.

Recently posted on the Ultimate Sandbag Fitness Facebook page was the above image our photographer captured of myself and a client training in the 4EVERfitness training studio.  To the naked eye this image is of a coach and his client completing an Ultimate Sandbag front loaded squat, but here's where an image can mean so much more.

Born with a congenital orthopaedic issue where his femur or thigh bones are internally rotated or both of his knees face inwards. Specialists said to him as a little boy the option of surgery would mean breaking his hip, resetting and being wheel chair bound for 12 months with the potential of  learning to walk again.  Opting out as a young boy he played high level cricket and followed his passion basketball.  Knocking his knees together when running and riding, he was not able to perform at his best, let alone knee pain and tightness through his pelvic muscles was never ending.

As time when on he learned to deal and adapt with his issue and for years as a young adult would train himself at home on a multi function weight machine.  I approached him a little over 12 months ago and asked how his training was progressing. To my surprise he said, “Great, I have been maxing out my machine for 12 months”. “WHAT” I replied.  I was shocked to hear he had stayed at the same weight for this long.  He went on to tell me he would love to run but it caused him pain and as his weight training didn’t cause him grief he wanted to continue.  I could read in his face that he was frustrated and wanted change. He was stuck and didn’t know what to do.

So what did we do!

We set up a plan and introduced him to functional training. Being a DVRT Master instructor, I felt confident that using the DVRT system we could create some pretty amazing changes. Setting up a plan of progressions, identifying and addressing his specific issues we got to work. Did it work? Well here he is today and what a difference.

So what changed???

We started working on ..............

Wait! The real question is what HAS changed.  As you can see from the picture above this is Dan’s very first ½ marathon in 36 degree C temperatures, he’s completed a 10 day charity ride from Adelaide to Ocean Grove a little over 1000km and best thing yet is he has shot over his weight limit of 60lb in the Ultimate Sandbag Clean and Press Challenge knocking out 40 reps at 80lb in 5 minutes.

Writing this blog gives me goose bumps thinking of how far he has coming and the hurdles he has jumped to get him to where he is today.

The take home message here is have a vision, voice it and listen to your client.  We all get hooked up with the latest fads and crazes and forget to listen to number one.....the clients goal. 

What DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training has given me is a great possibility of leading my clients down a path of success. An ability to more accurately and effectively identify their needs and address them. Having great will is part of the equation, having the right know how is the other! 

Until next time train safe and with purpose.

Cam Ward

Director 4EVERfitness

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