“I need to make a slosh pipe,” I said to my friend Dave.
“No, you don’t. I’ll make you a temporary one,” he answered.
The traditional slosh pipe, invented by Greg Henger and made popular by Dan John, is a length of PVC pipe partially filled with water then capped at each end. Filling it only partially makes waves, and as the water tumbles from end to end, you have to work like a mother to stabilize your body and stay upright — even a light weight feels like a load of lead. (Here’s a great post from Mark’s Daily Apple with some videos of slosh pipes in action and directions for how to make your own.)
As you get stronger and more stable, you graduate from simply standing still to squatting, walking, lunging, overhead squatting and so on.
A common problem, however, is that if you don’t seal your slosh pipe properly, or you thunk one of the ends down too hard, they tend to leak. Not super appealing, regardless of your location.
A second option is the Bouncy Barbell Kettlebell Kontraption (BBKK), which you create by rigging a kettlebell to each end of a barbell (very securely!) with a loop of superband.
Not sure where the BBKK originated (if you know, leave the info in the comments), but I got to mess around with it a couple months back and dug it. It’s got a similar destabilizing effect as the slosh pipe (though perhaps not quite as dramatic as when all of the water rushes to one end at once), so you get a great core workout. And on the plus side, it’s less messy.
Disclaimer: You need a lot of space for this, as it can present a danger to those anywhere in the vicinity (no one wants to see someone careening toward them with this thing in hand). Think of this exercise as something you do up and down the driveway to your garage gym rather than something you attempt inside the four walls of a health club. (Unless you have explicitly gotten the go-ahead.) OK?
Once you’re good to go, begin with light kettlebells, and hold the bar in a rack position (as you would if you were front squatting). From there, you can play around with the same sorts of exercises you would if you were using a slosh pipe. As with any lift, if it goes bad, bail.
We worked up to the overhead position.
My friend Jenn demonstrates walking with it.
And Dave was brave enough to do lunges.
If you give this a try, let me know how you like it!