I don’t know who came up with the idea to workout with sandbags, but I’d be willing to bet they had ties to the military. Sandbag workouts are big, especially with combat arms like infantry, artillery, and mechanized units. When deployed these guys don’t always have access to any workout equipment, so they make it. Sandbags are always present and it doesn’t take long to see the benefits. Homemade sandbags often suck, so the fitness industry responded with something a little more efficient.
Sandbag training has really taken off in the last few years. It’s moved on from soldiers and Marines to elite athletes, high profile trainers, and to quite a few home gyms. There is a few reasons why sandbag training has taken off, and here’s the Top reasons why you should be using a sandbag.
1. It’s Adaptable
What are you looking to work? Your arms? Legs? Back? Chest? You can do all these with a sandbag. From simple overhead presses to those power building compound exercises like squats, power cleans, and deadlifts. It can offer you a wide range of strength building exercises with nothing more than a sandbag. You can mix and match weights and add or subtract sand to really get it going.
Outside of strength and muscle building you can use a sandbag to improve HIIT workouts, do lung killing sprints, and even training for self-defense scenarios. The simple addition of a sandbag to any home gym is going to completely change the dynamics of your workout.
2. (In) Stability
Instability and weight lifting generally aren’t that safe right? Well, yes, but instability can be beneficial to the body when applied in a safe way. The shifting weight and uneven nature of sandbags is a strength, not a weakness. When doing normal weight lifting movements with a sandbag you aren’t just training a focused muscle group, but you’re also training stabilizing muscles.
You are going to working muscles you didn’t even know were there. Doing strength conditioning with sandbags is going to hit the core hard, especially when you start doing overhead liftings. This kind of strength building is better for real world performance, and gives you a high level of functional strength.
3. Space is No Issue
If you are looking to build a home gym a sandbag is an excellent piece of gear to have. For one, it’s small, you can store it basically anywhere. You don’t need a dedicated home gym to store a sandbag. Most of the moves you can do with a sandbag don’t require a whole lot of room, even less than a barbell.
It’s the perfect size for intense fitness classes, and allows you to easily work even in a crowded location. You need nothing more than a living room, a sandbag, and a plan and you can get a helluva good workout.
4. It’s Safe
Proper form is always important, but with a sandbag there is a bit more leeway. A barbell is literally just heavy, unforgiving metal. It’s self explanatory what a sandbag is, and it’s a lot safer. Imagine doing a clean and press and letting the barbell slip… Pretty painful, even a heavy sandbag is only going to give you a kiss compared to a barbell.
The softer nature makes it less likely to injure yourself should your form slip a bit. You can also go a lot faster with a sandbag than a barbell without worrying about injury and keep your heart pumping.
5. It Will Break You (In good and new ways.)
Oh man, if you want to get your butt kicked go hard and fast with a sandbag. You can go hard, and you go fast but you won’t go long. The first thing you learn is you are going to significantly cut your weight capabilities with a sandbag. Take the weight you lift on a barbell and cut in half to start with. Regardless of the workout you are going to feel it in the forearms and in your core. Trust me, its going to suck, but its gonna suck in the best way possible.
One of our favorite companies for Sandbag gear is Brute Force. They have the most reliable and toughest bags available on the market.