What Is Sandbag Training?

By Lillian Chiu , last updated March 6, 2012

If you're looking for an affordable way to get a full body workout, then sandbag training might be right for you. Sandbag training incorporates the use of heavy sandbags to burn fat and increase strength and endurance. The ever-changing shape of the sandbag is what makes this form of training so effective and challenging. Since there's no designated place to hold onto, the sandbag forces you to constantly change your grip to maintain the bag's weight. This is especially useful for those who wish to work on grip training. Sandbag training is also great for those who enjoy training outdoors.

A DIY Project

You can purchase a sandbag at a local home improvement store, or you can make one yourself. When going with the do-it-yourself approach, you'll need a few heavy duty trash bags or contractor clean-up bags (which are much stronger), duct tape, a sturdy duffel bag that can withstand a lot of throwing and dropping, and of course, sand. You can buy sand in 50 pound tubes at most hardware stores. Fill a trash bag with the sand and secure the top tightly with duct tape. Make sure there is no excess air in the bag when you seal it, and make sure to leave adequate space to allow the sand to move around freely. Wrap it twice more with trash bags to make sure that it's fully sealed, and place it inside your duffel bag. Now get ready to work out!

Sandbag Training: Squats

Squats are a simple, yet effective, way to build your strength. Start by standing up and holding the sandbag in a bear hug. Then, lower into the squat position by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. When in the full squat position, your thighs should be parallel to the floor before returning to the starting position. If you're looking to push yourself further, hold the squat for about 2-3 seconds before pushing back up.

Sandbag Training: Shouldering the Sandbag

This exercise works out the core muscles, legs, and upper body, while simultaneously testing your balance and coordination. Start with the bag directly in front of your feet and lower yourself by bending at the hips and knees until the bag is within grabbing distance. Make sure to maintain the posture in your lower back to avoid injury. The next step should take place in one synchronized, powerful motion; pick the bag up by its sides and heave it over your shoulder as you stand up. If you're looking to intensify the workout, do a squat after you get the bag onto your shoulder.

Sandbag Training: Grip Training

This exercise takes full advantage of the sandbag's amorphous properties. Begin by holding the bag at its sides while standing. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward until your body is nearly aligned with the floor, while maintaining the posture in your lower back. Have your arms straight out in front of you so that the bag hangs directly under the shoulders. Then, lift the bag up to your abdomen while keeping the rest of your body stationary. Hold this position a few seconds before lowering the bag. The crushing and pinching motions of this exercise will strengthen the muscles in your hands and forearms.

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