September 29, 2021 8 min read
We all know the importance of heavy lifting for getting jacked. There are many ways to lift heavy, whether you are in a professional or home gym. While many people opt for barbell or other traditional training tools, we are here to talk about something a little less conventional but just as intense: Sandbag training.
Sandbag workouts can seem intimidating if you have never done them before. When you get down to it, sandbag exercises are easy to learn, fun to complete, and accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels. Let's talk about what sandbags are and how to use them.
Sandbags are precisely what they sound like – bags filled with sand. They are great tools for weightlifting when bodyweight workouts just won't cut it.
Sandbag workouts will typically replace your heavy lifting for the day. They come in all different weight ranges for you to use during your training. You can use sandbags for nearly any exercise that you would typically use other weights, such as squats or deadlifts.
We recommend that you start your first sandbag workout with a weight that you consider a middle range for weightlifting at your fitness level. After you try out a few moves, you can decide if you prefer to increase or decrease the weight for optimal results.
You can purchase sandbags for your home workout from most places that sell weights or other pieces of equipment. There are a few benefits to buying pre-made sandbags. For starters, you can be precise about the amount of weight in each sandbag, making it easier to plan and complete a targeted workout routine. Premade sandbags also come with various handles for you to grab and easily hold the sandbag for different exercises.
If you don't want to buy your sandbags, that's cool too. You can easily make your own at home to save some money. We recommend using an old but sturdy duffel bag lined with trash bags. All you need to do is fill it with sand, which you can purchase at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Once you finish making it, treat yourself to abrand-new duffel bag to replace the one you just turned into a sandbag.
Another benefit of making your sandbags is deciding how much sand you want to use and how full you want your sandbag to be. Making your own can help ensure you have an appropriate weight limit for your fitness level and allow you to decide how much the weight within your sandbag will shift. The more room in the bag, the more shifting the weight will do.
Building muscle is not just for the bodybuilders in the gym, strength training is a great tool to stay healthy and agile. Studies show that strength training improves performance in other fitness endeavors, such as running and cycling, making them ideal for CrossFit enthusiasts and other athletes.
Sandbag training is heavy duty and hard work. There is no room for slacking off or cutting corners here, making sandbags an excellent choice for those of us that might struggle to stay focused during strength training. The versatile nature of sandbags also makes them ideal for many different types of strength workouts.
Sandbags score high on the functional strength scale. Their often lopsided and non-conforming shape can make them difficult to hold, and therefore more like the types of items you will be lifting in your everyday life. Their weight will also shift as they move, unlike traditional weights.
Consider other training tools, such as dumbbells. While you can get a great workout in with a set of dumbbells, how often will you be lifting something of that shape and size outside of the gym? A somewhat awkward shaped sandbag, on the other hand – Now, there is something more akin to the inconveniently shaped furniture you need to move into your apartment or bags of items that you need to transport.
Sandbags also require you to keep good form while you use them. Unlike other options, such as dumbbells or a kettlebell, you will struggle to lift a sandbag without proper form. We love this from a functional training perspective and an injury-prevention standpoint.
Sandbags are a training tool that can target a variety of muscle groups during your workout. Their versatile nature makes them an excellent choice for any athlete and an easy fit in any workout routine. You can use them for simple movements, such as lunges or squats, or for compound exercises to hit multiple muscles at once.
If you are looking for a workout plan to help you bulk up, you should know that isolation and bodyweight exercises are just not going to cut it. Instead, reach for a sandbag to lift heavy and get bigger, faster.
In addition to providing the opportunity to target many different muscle groups, sandbags also force you to use stabilizer muscles that you might otherwise overlook. Sandbags are heavy and often shaped awkwardly, meaning that you need every bit of stability and strength to work with them. Once you do so, you will target several smaller, stabilizing muscles that many people miss during more traditional workouts.
Sandbags are a heavy-duty workout that will burn fat and get your heart rate up, making them great for HIIT workouts. Utilize fast-paced sandbag exercises to complete your HIIT training, ideal for a home workout because they don't require multiple pieces of equipment.
A full-body sandbag workout can help you burn fat and build muscle while keeping your heart rate up as you lift that sandbag weight in different moves and positions. You can also supplement your sandbag moves with light cardio for an even more intense workout.
Check out this article aboutdifferent types of cardio and what will help you get the results you want.
Sandbags might seem like another version of free weights, but there are significant differences between the two. We suggest that you use sandbags for some of your heavy-duty weightlifting, but ultimately supplement your free weight training with sandbag exercises instead of replacing either one.
Sandbags, especially those that are homemade, can allow for weight shifting during your exercises. The sand inside will move as the sandbag does, making it challenging to hold onto and lift it. This shifting weight forces your stabilizer muscles to work and keeps you working to improve your functional fitness.
Sandbags also tend to be on the heavier side, which is what we want for strength building.
A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that heavy lifting was most beneficial for strength building in athletes. So, if you want to get stronger, lift heavier (and lift sandbags).
While we love sandbag training, we wouldn't recommend forgoing your other weight training in favor of exclusive sandbag workouts. Sandbag training is a significant part of your workout routine, but we suggest using it to supplement your barbell and dumbbell workouts.
One reason for this suggestion is that it is just more convenient to use iron instead of sand for much higher weight limits, simply because of the sheer volume of sand, it can take to equal the same amount of weight. Think about it: a 140-pound barbell will be very different to work with than a 140-pound sandbag.
Okay, so now that you have the info, let's discuss how to break it all down and create a workout routine that will have you lean and fit in no time.
Completedynamic stretches to activate your muscles before getting into your sandbag exercises. A good warm-up leads to a good workout, with less risk of injury.
If this is a little tough for you, complete the same exercise with your feet on the ground. You can also take out the toss, replacing it with a shoulder press or skipping it altogether.
Now that you finished your sandbag workout, it's time to stretch out those muscles and rehydrate. Drink plenty of water and grab a post-workout drink to get your body ready for your next workout.
Sandbag training can help you get stronger by lifting heavy. Whether you are looking to bulk up or slim down, there is a place for sandbags in your workout plan. They will also help you achieve your functional strength-building goals. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your sandbags and let's hit the gym!