The Best Sandbag Exercises to Boost Your Strength
Have you ever heard of sandbag exercises to boost your strength? Whether you’re a man or a woman, fitness is probably very important in your life. You can get fit, of course, by going to the gym, walking every day, and even doing yoga. However, these activities don’t really help you build your strength and many of them can be quite expensive over time. That’s why many men and women have turned to sandbag training as a way to boost their strength and get the cut body they have always wanted.
Not only are there many reasons to do sandbag exercises, but there are also many benefits to be had from these exercises as well. In this blog, we will go into a few of those reasons and benefits, as well as a list of those exercises to get you started down the right path to boosting your strength.
Reasons and Benefits of Sandbag Training Revealed
Sandbag training works whether you’re a man or a woman, and there are many different reasons and benefits to recommend it. We will go into a few of those reasons and benefits below.
If you have been spending a ton of money on gym memberships or the latest fitness equipment, then you already know how expensive it can be. You can build your own sandbag out of nothing more than a plastic contractor’s bag of builder’s sand and some duct tape to keep it closed. Is it the perfect sandbag? No, it isn’t, but it works until you can build or purchase better. The point is that it’s affordable and you don’t have to do without exercising just because you can’t afford the gym or other expensive fitness equipment at the moment.
You Can Do it Anywhere at Anytime
One of the biggest benefits of sandbag training is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, and you certainly don’t need any special equipment to get the job done. Well, anytime, as long as you aren’t bothering other people in your household by hefting sandbags in the middle of the night. The great thing is, you don’t have to go to the gym or anywhere for that matter but your own home.
Another great benefit is that sandbags are completely portable, so they go where you go.
It Works Great with Other Training Methods
Don’t think that if you are doing sandbag exercises to build your strength that’s all you can do. That’s not true. This type of training works well with other training methods also. Below we will list some of the accessory work sandbags can help with also.
- Body weight
- Hill Sprints
- And pretty much any other form of training you can think of
They Are Actually Fun to Train With
Have you ever dreaded going to the gym or heading to your home gym to work out because it’s the same old, same old every day? I think we all have. Well, training with sandbags is actually fun. Because training with sandbags is so different, it’s often like a breath of fresh air when you first start your training with them. Even the most common exercises that you have been doing for years can seem different and fun when you’re using sandbags to do them.
These are only a few of the many reasons and benefits of training with sandbags to recommend it. Below we will list a few more.
- Helps you unlock a whole new range of exercises
- The exercises are unforgiving
- It can make you better at other stuff
- It’s simple, not stupid
- It increases your strength
- It develops your muscles
- Helps you to develop a bone-crushing grip
- Improves your balance
Now, that we know the benefits of and reasons that you might want to start sandbag training, there are a few questions that you might want to have answered.
DIY or Professional Sandbags?
As we stated at the beginning of our blog, DIY, do it yourself bags can be used as long as they are top-quality. However, many people feel that professional sandbags work a whole lot better than something you toss together yourself. In reality, the choice of which sandbag to use is up to you and the budget you’re going into this with. If you do decide to go with a purchased sandbag, then look for the qualities below so you are spending your money well.
Key Factors to Look for in a Purchased Sandbag for Training
A good, well-designed workout bag should last you for years, even though it will be lifted, dropped, carried, and pressed a zillion times in those years. Looking out for a few of the key factors below will ensure your bag isn’t cheaply made and will last you for as long as it can.
The biggest thing to look out for in a sandbag is how durable it is. A reliable bags biggest job is keeping the sand inside of the bag when you’re working out, and able to provide the right amount of support for the weight it’s carrying. If a bag breaks during your workout and spills sand everywhere, then it’s pretty much useless, wouldn’t you think?
Easy to Grip/Easy to Use
Don’t get us wrong. A sandbag is not meant to be easy to use and it is supposed to be a challenge. However, that challenge comes from the bag moving around while you grab it. It is not supposed to be from the surface of the bag being too hard to grip. A good sandbag is going to be easy for you to grip, not impossible to get ahold of.
The Size and Weight
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to sandbags for strength training. You need to find a bag that meets not only your current strength but the bulk and size overall, you’re looking to move as well. The best way to determine the size and weight you need is to go by your sex, strength, and size. That’s the only way you’ll find the right size bag for your weight and strength.
Obviously, just like everything else in the world today, the price of the sandbag is going to be a factor in the style you get. While you certainly want the best one at the most inexpensive price, try to remember that you get what you pay for. Do your research well. What you want is the best quality sandbag at the best possible price. However, you don’t want to sacrifice that quality at a cheaper price. In the end, you’ll end up with a faulty sandbag and no way to train, if you do.
Note, before you read this section that it takes quite a bit to improve on something as simple as a sandbag. You just need to look for simple, well-integrated features and you’ll be fine. No bells and whistles needed with this form of exercise equipment.
What Weight Should You Start With?
Most sandbags weigh anywhere from 50 to 200+ pounds. You should start with the lightest one you can find for your sex, strength, and size as previously mentioned. Start light and as you grow stronger add weight on. You don’t want to do too much at one time or try to lift too much, as you could end up hurting yourself and not being able to work out at all for months, with or without sandbags.
The Differences Between Homemade and Fitness Specific Sandbags
Although fitness specific sandbags have become much more affordable over the last several years, the debate still wages over which is better, homemade or fitness specific. As we said before, the choice of which you choose is up to you. However, we will go into a little about each below to help you with that decision.
Homemade Sandbags: Pros and Cons
- As cheap as a $3 bag of sand from the local Home Depot
- Easy to make, just find a gym bag, some duct tape, and your sand
- Can find how to make a homemade sandbag for weight training easily online
- Not nearly as durable
- Movement limitations
- Doesn’t last as long
- Handles on backpacks and duffle bags break super easy when they are being hauled around and dropped constantly
Fitness-Specific Sandbags: Pros and Cons
- Now come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and even colors
- Not as expensive as they once were
- Well made so they don’t leak sand or dust
- You still need to do your research and find one that fits your strengths
- They can be expensive still, according to how high of a quality bag and brand you purchase
These are the pros and cons of fitness-specific sandbags versus homemade ones. Do your research, weigh the pros and cons carefully, then make an informed decision on which type of sandbag you choose based on what you find.
Now, that we know about everything we need to know about sandbag training, the rest is easily researchable online, it’s time to move into a list of the exercises that you can do with your sandbags to help increase your strength and allow you to have a little fun at the same time.
The Best Sandbag Exercises to Boost Your Strength Revealed
There is an infinite list of sandbag exercises that you can do to help build your strength. So many in fact that we can’t go into them all here. Instead, we will put a few of the top favorites below so you can do your research to determine which ones are the best exercises for you.
- Sandbag clean and press
- Sandbag power clean
- Sandbag shouldering
- Sandbag back squat
- Sandbag shoulder squat
- Sandbag Zurcher squat
- Sandbag Zurcher lunges
- Sandbag bear hug carry
- Sandbag bear complex
- Sandbag get up
While the names of these exercises might sound strange, we have it on good authority that they work. Not only is the general population doing sandbag exercise training, but many star and major athletes are also as well. Check out these exercises and see which ones work for you.
As with any other form of exercise, it’s best to contact your primary health care provider before you start sandbag training just to be sure it’s the right choice for you and your training and fitness needs.
Mistakes to Avoid when Sandbag Training
There are also a few common mistakes that you need to avoid when participating in sandbag training as well. We will talk about a few of those in this next section of our blog.
Thinking Sandbag Training is the Same as Barbell Training
One of the biggest mistakes made by people new to sandbag training is thinking that it’s the same thing as barbell training. The reason for this is that it isn’t a barbell. That’s not being smart, it’s just the truth. Knowing the right pulling technique for your sandbag training is important so that you won’t get hurt by straining your back. Just remember sandbags and barbells are totally different, and you’ll be fine.
Sandbags Can Be Dangerous Too
Remember, that just like barbells and other free weights, sandbags can be dangerous too. You need to watch how you lift and carry them and you for sure don’t want a 200+ pound sandbag falling on your chest if you fall backward by not paying attention. Treat sandbags with the same respect you do 200+ pound weights and you’ll be safe and cut before you know it.
This concludes our blog on the best sandbag exercises to boost your strength and everything else you need to know about the training. Until next time, happy lifting everyone and lift safely as well!
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