The right way to use a ViPR

Your body needs real-world strength and this is the tool that delivers it.

Sandbags used to be the go-to option for performing total-body movements with a load. But trainers now swear by the ViPR, a hollow rubber cylinder that’s easy to hold, carry, and toss. New York City-based certified trainers Maria Callanta and Dennis Codrington, also a PTA Global- and ViPR-certified trainer, make this tool a staple of their workout regimen.

The ViPR can be used as a warm-up to correct dysfunctional movement patterns as well as strengthen and tone the body in the full spectrum of motion, meaning the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes,” says Codrington. “It challenges our bodies to find stability and mobility in positions not commonly trained in the gym atmosphere but seen countless times in sport and the real world.” And because the ViPR recruits multiple muscle groups to work together, it trains your body in balance so you can perform better everywhere. Add this tool to your workout arsenal by following the below guidelines.

1. Choose your weight.The ViPR comes in several different options, ranging from 2 kg to 26 kg. Don’t be afraid to go heavy: the design makes it easier to heft a bigger load.

2. Get a grip.You can hold the ViPR with your hands in any of the cutouts or at either end of tube; or, around the diameter. The best place to grip varies by the move.

3. Start with the basics.“I advise that you really own your movement first, working on lifting, slamming and shifting,” says Callanta. For example, try holding the ViPR during an overhead squat, or perform ice-skaters while shifting the tube from side to side.

4. Go with the flow. Codrington and Callanta have spent hours working with the ViPR, piecing movements together in what could pass for an athletic ballet. The duo have paired an entire sequence of exercises together in our ViPR video.