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SANDBAG TRAINING Is it Worth it or Not?

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“Sandbags can be used for both linear and rotational core work for dynamic strength and muscular endurance,” says Rulk. That means you can utilize sandbags to hit every inch of your core, from abs to obliques, in multiple planes of motion. Rulk spends a lot of time working with first responders, including firefighters and police officers. The Warmup: Using a 60-pound sandbag and focusing on form, complete three rounds of 4 sandbag back squats, 8 pushups, 8 situps, and an instep.

There are many benefits to incorporating sandbag training into your workout routine, here are a few: 1) Unstable Load Training = Good Functional Strength Training with unstable loads simply means that the weight you are 2) Great For Conditioning Sandbag training can be. Fill one sandbag with another sandbag. 2. Fill said sandbag with sand. 3. Clasp tops.

4. Go crazy! Pretty much the same as the quick and dirty sandbag, the advantage of the longer-lasting sandbag is that you can use a lot more sand. More sand means more weight, and more weight means a tougher workout.

Training with sandbags develops mental conditioning as well as physical strength. There are few tools that can break an athlete as quickly as a sandbag. In fact, just getting the sandbag into position or transitioning between exercises is a challenge in itself. This builds serious mental toughness.

5. Trains all 3 Planes of Motion. 10 Reasons Sandbag Training Is Awesome: 5. It Really Does Compliment Other Training Methods. As opposed to a lot of health and fitness ‘experts’ promoting their systems, I’ll just say that sandbag training could be a great addition to your program rather than saying you should drop all that other stuff and do this instead (“no credit card required!”). The bags are easy to grip, so even a novice can work with a sandbag. Green homebuilders may put sandbags in new homes as part of their construction.

In the movie industry, sandbags weigh down heavy equipment, such as cameras and lighting. Yeah, the free stuff that comes out of your tap.* (*Disclaimer: You have to buy another bag.) Wait, I thought sandbags were meant to stop water, not hold it. Here are some survival water bags that hold a little bit over 2 lb of water each. At $5.75 for a pack of 3 bags, this sounds economical at just under $1 per pound. It doesn’t have the instability associated with standard sandbags which gives you complete control over your movements.

The weight inside the bag doesn’t shift with your movements like it does when working out with a sandbag. This means exercises are precise and highly controlled by your strength and abilities. The lightest, cheapest options might cost you only $20. Up the weight or quality of sandbag, and you may shell out close to $200 for your sandbag.

Choose a sandbag that fits both your fitness goals and budget. Top Workout Sandbags Reviewed. Here are some wise words about the top sandbags on the market to help you make an informed choice.

List of related literature:

Sandbags, or sand-filled discs such as Sandbells, deliver a challenging workout by requiring you to stabilize the weight as the sand shifts.

“Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple” by Pete McCall
from Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple
by Pete McCall
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2018

» Sandbags: Sandbags may not seem important — after all, they just lie there like a lump of sand and don’t look very impressive.

“Filmmaking For Dummies” by Bryan Michael Stoller
from Filmmaking For Dummies
by Bryan Michael Stoller
Wiley, 2019

Sandbags should be laid in horizontal layers (see figure 6.12) like bricks overlapping each other which greatly improves the strength of the wall.

“Handbook of Humanitarian Health Care Logistics: Designing the Supply Network and Managing the Flows of Information and Health Care Goods in Humanitarian Assistance during Complex Political Emergencies in low-resource settings” by George Mc Guire
from Handbook of Humanitarian Health Care Logistics: Designing the Supply Network and Managing the Flows of Information and Health Care Goods in Humanitarian Assistance during Complex Political Emergencies in low-resource settings
by George Mc Guire
George Mc Guire, 2015

You could also use two sandbags.

“The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama” by Richard Rosen, Rodney Yee
from The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama
by Richard Rosen, Rodney Yee
Shambhala, 2002

11) and avoid high-force exercises that involve deep knee flexion angles (i.e., deep squatting, kneeling past 50°, and extensive stair climbing).

“Return to Sport after ACL Reconstruction and Other Knee Operations: Limiting the Risk of Reinjury and Maximizing Athletic Performance” by Frank R. Noyes, Sue Barber-Westin
from Return to Sport after ACL Reconstruction and Other Knee Operations: Limiting the Risk of Reinjury and Maximizing Athletic Performance
by Frank R. Noyes, Sue Barber-Westin
Springer International Publishing, 2019

Use sandbags in place of or in addition to trochanter rolls.

“Potter and Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing: Second South Asia Edition E-Book” by Sharma Suresh
from Potter and Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing: Second South Asia Edition E-Book
by Sharma Suresh
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2017

It is useful to give examples of lifting activities to be avoided (i.e., wet laundry, shoveling snow, lifting the garage door, carrying groceries).

“Principles and Practice of Surgery for the Colon, Rectum, and Anus” by Philip H. Gordon, Santhat Nivatvongs
from Principles and Practice of Surgery for the Colon, Rectum, and Anus
by Philip H. Gordon, Santhat Nivatvongs
CRC Press, 2007

The Woodward facility had top-of-the-line equipment with foam pits for vaulting and floor exercise, which was key to sparing my body from the heavy pounding and overuse that is exacerbated with older equipment.

“Off Balance: A Memoir” by Dominique Moceanu, Teri Williams, Paul Williams
from Off Balance: A Memoir
by Dominique Moceanu, Teri Williams, Paul Williams
Touchstone, 2012

Sandbags can be used in place of or in addition to trochanter rolls.

“Potter & Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing Australian Version E-Book” by Jackie Crisp, Catherine Taylor
from Potter & Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing Australian Version E-Book
by Jackie Crisp, Catherine Taylor
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

Application of sandbags to the chest

“Foundations of Education: An EMS Approach” by National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE)
from Foundations of Education: An EMS Approach
by National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE)
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Im not looking to do strongman and go over 200 pounds but would like to get stronger. Would this be good on the back? I don’t want to injure myself if I’m not even competing.

  • “…a bag of dog food or dead body. All of those great moments in life you’re not expecting.” I’m a mortician AND a dog owner. These will be great for me!

  • Are the sand bags noisy when you drop them. I have noise problems in my gym so have to be careful. Any feedback would be great. thanks

  • Great video. I’m using BruteForce bags and they have variable weights. I’m using mine for conditioning and getting back in shape so I’m glad I’m NOT using a 220 lb bag. I beat the piss out myself this week with 125lbs. As I get better, I’ll up the weight

  • I bought two dutch army bags put one inside the other, filled the inner one with sand plus weight plates and managed to shoulder 352lbs after training on the sandbag for a year.
    The bags last a long time, just don’t get them wet

  • Brian you are awesome. I will say having just sewn my own copy of a rogue (or any of their similar knockoffs) sand bag. They are not over priced. The amount of time it would take the average person to sew one especially without a good torquing walking foot Machine the “money saving” is negligent. Awesome learning experience, big time consumer.

  • what up QUADZILLA!
    I’m a runner trying to integrate some sandbags into my training for a little strength. Appreciate the help man!

  • ” you’re back will be rounded but if you have a good amount of air and you’re braced, your back is not I that much trouble…” FALSE!
    You are compromising your spinal facet joints and your discs. Don’t be surprised when (not if) they fail when you bend over the sink to brush your teeth some day. You set yourself up for it!

  • Sandbags are supposed support our bodyweight???? Shit! I weigh 180 and can’t military press 40 pound dumbbells. Guess, I’ll get a sandbag in a year or two.

  • thanks dude, this really helped. I’m looking for more strength training in the form of strongman, I think a sandbag and a tractor tire would be two good choices for a beginner, right??

  • This is little weird I have not done any sandbag training in a very long time I just kinda walk by my 150 Rouge bag and look at it lol! Today I started back and couldn’t believe how heavy it feels even though I have been lifting it’s not like a have taken time off? And then this video comes up lol!!!

  • Thanks brother! Really helpful stuff here. I got my first sandbag rigged up this week and tying it off really does change everything it’s like the difference between lifting a dead weight and lifting a weight that’s actively fighting you.

  • i dont see much of a difference between sandbags and kettlebells… look likes basic kettlebell snatches, a lateral variation of a clean, a clean and front squat,bent over rows, lunges, and high pulls etc. Just done with a slight variation for a different implement.. i use a sandbag kettlebell sometimes.
    |

  • Your wife is a monster and way stronger than I am! Now I have no excuse not to pick up 200lbs. Also check out Dingo universal sandbags, fully adjustable up to 200lbs for $80 on Amazon.

  • hey funk you doin so much great stuff…ROLEMODEL!!! so i just want to let you know, if you need some brandnew, fresh, bangin, ass kicking, MOTIVATING and blazing tabata or hiit tracks for your workout, just check out WHYTUNEZ. keep on pushin mayne.
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  • You can get sea bags that sailors use and pack it full of bags of play sand or water softener salt from Lowe’s. The sand is 50lb bags and salt is 40. A bag is 30$ and bags of sand or salt are 3$. These guys are hikers or soldiers in Afghanistan typically. If you squat heavy, and hike a lot your legs get cock strong. I like carries, rucking or strength circuits at the house with my stereo and hiking with sons/wife on the weekends.

  • Great review. Could you also test and post about the Rogue and Brute Force sandbags? I personally have a Rogue, and it works and looks great.

  • Some of these are pretty advanced movements with the bags, just so newer people know. If you try these use appropriate weight if you’re new. Your back will thank you

  • So what bag do you recommend for best in regards to weight? You recommend the opposite of a lot of others. So what do you think of Brute force sand bags?

  • What type of sand have you found to be best for all round bag training? Have read a few guys talking about different types, and having some pack a bit more solid, or mixing different types. Thanks for all you do big man!

  • I use old tractor inner tubes. They’ll give them to you at the tire shop. Cut a section out, twist one end and wrap it with tape, then I put a hose clamp around it for bonus points. Then fill it up with sand and do the same with the other end. Works real good, cause when you drop it, it’ll expand instead of busting. You could even drop that into a duffle so you don’t smell like rubber afterwards.

  • Brian thank you for all your awesome content. Because of some things you have provided programing and finisher stuff I finally broke the 405 deadlift..
    And I feel on top of the world today

  • I switch over to sandbags and kettlebells for summer obstacle course racing and rock climbing. Great for conditioning and functional strength. Plus it gives my joints a break from lifting for 3 or 4 months. Looking forward to bigger gains when the next lifting season starts up.

  • I love my sandbag! I bought mine to use as a “log carry” and has straps I can wear on my back. I plan on getting heavier ones for the reasons you just mentioned. I planned on using my 50″ duffle bag and loading it up with smaller bags to modify weight. But I may just pick up a 19″ and 24″. Both can be bought new for under $20.

  • I want to see a heavier sandbag workout. I’ve got kettlbells which I’ve been using to workout at home, but I just got a sandag to supplement heavier training since I don’t have barbell. Mainly plan to do bear hug squats and sandbag to shoulder in a 3-8 rep range. If I keep going heavy enough is this enough to replace a barbell?

  • Just tried this with a 50 lb bag. Smoked. Just went for 10 reps each. Took light breaks in between exercises. Going to do 1 more full set and call it a day. Goal is to get to 3. I’m fat so dont go by my routine

  • I train exclusively with sandbags and built a big muscular body off of nothing but sandbag ovh strict presses, sandbag power cleans and sandbag squats.
    3 sessions per week, all 3 exercises done in a single session, 2 work sets per exercise, first one is power clean, second one is zercher squat, last one is SANDBAG ovh strict press with perfect form and ROM.
    I start out with 5rm, do 2 work sets per exercise, all sets till failure with perfect form. Resting 3 minutes between sets. As my 5rm weight becomes my 10rm weight overtime, I go to my new 5rm weight(by loading the bag up with more sand) and again make it my 10rm and repeat.
    Built 32lbs of lbm in last 4 years. I can squat,dead and bench a LOT.

  • Can’t wait to sandbag tomorrow. Also, building my 2nd sandbag for conditioning: speaking of which this seems like a good conditioning workout for the jits, you still rollin’?

  • Any suggestions for a guy that might not be able to do 100lbs or 150lbs yet? Should I even bother with a sandbag? Or just work on other lifts? I really like the many exercises you can do with one tool

  • What kind of sandbag is that? Very much want to get one & then use the GI duffel I have for the stuff with the super-high weight.

  • I like how these were pretty sandbag specific exercises, I’ve seen a ton of videos on sandbag exercises that were full of things like “sandbag row” or “sandbag curl” or my personal favorite “sandbag deadlift”

  • I have the opposite problem Brian. My gym only has one sandbag and it’s 200lbs. I can’t really break it off the ground right now so would it be worth it to get a lighter one to work up with in the meantime? I’m a middle weight woman, btw

  • Sandbag training is the best thing that ever happened to me lol.

    I am 270lbs 6ft7

    I can strict press 300lbs duffel sandbag for one perfect rep, neutral grip. This is after 2+ years of sandbag training, 6 days a week, full Bulgarian, and I got 21 inch arms and huge pecs and huge delts. 2 years of 10 sets of max singles every day.

    Never did barbell press in my life, the first time I did it, it was 325lbs for 2 reps. Imagine that…

    Ignore the profile pic it’s from my calisthenics days when I just did push ups and pull ups…

    I can’t recommend sandbag training enough, out loads of 5 kilo plastic sand pouches (make them by filling up dustbin polythin trash bags with 5 or 10 kilo of sand. Each duffel bag should hold 300kilo. Great way to do rows, presses, pistol squats. Etc.

  • Oh man! That’s probably some of the worst sandbag instruction and technique I’ve seen on YouTube. You’re going to get yourself or worse somebody else hurt. if you guys want to really learn sandbags go to ultimatesandbagtraining.com amd learn from someone who knows. The DVRTsystem is thorough and well designed.

  • I think 2 objects weighing the same yet one being heavier than the other has to do with density. My go-to example of this that a 100 pound dumbbell is a lot harder to lift than 100 pound child.

  • Thanks I have added this routine to my Sunday Sandbag workout. Working on doing 73 push-up in one minute for my 73rd B-day, this routine will help

  • Git rid of the handles and walla you are picking water melons all day long like I use to do growing up in Indiana. I look at this and think why dont you just go get a manual labor job? You can pick heavy things up all day long and get paid for it.

  • Man I thought u will do some with those strongman sandbags. Pillow case or punching bags whatever it is. These sandbags with handles feels so modernized

  • Great stuff. I’ve just purchased a sandbag, so definitely going to be following this! Also man, you look a bit like Vasyl Lomachenko.:)

  • Everyone asking about the brand of sandbag. It’s made custom by Mountain Tactical Institute (formerly mountain/military athlete). Google them. I believe they are $50. Usually, these sandbags hold 60lb worth of wood pellets, but can hold up to 80lb if desired.

  • This was a great review. I have 2 Brute Force sandbags now but was thinking of adding an Ultimate sandbag. (You did allay my concerns about the plastic material vs the usual canvas.) The one thing I still feel somewhat uneasy about is those strange handles on the ends, which aren’t loops like the other handles but just look like flaps sticking out that you can grab in a sort of makeshift way. Do you think those flaps were a good manufacturing choice, or would regular handles on the ends have been better?

    Update: Looking at the Ultimate Sandbag website, the photo seems to clearly show that the end handles are now regular ones, not flaps. I feel a lot better about that arrangement.

  • I just got two sandbags after watching you’re strongman starter kit video so this is exactly what I needed to watch. I also was able to get a keg from your other video. Thanks for your very helpful detailed videos!!!

  • Great video and very helpful in me deciding which to buy. Glad to see ultimate sandbags on your review. I was looking at brute force. Have you used their sandbags before?

  • I filled my bags with steroid needles. Every time I pick up a 300 lb bag, I become strong enough to pick up another bag. Now I carry around 10 bags.

  • I’m trying out sandbag workouts for the first time. How many sets/reps should a beginner do (or is it based on history, build, etc.)?

  • This video is almost 3 years old, so it’s not a criticism, but outfits like ‘Brute Force’ has ‘bags-within-bags’ to mitigate the leaking sand mess. And the inside bags aren’t quite filled all the way, so you still have some ‘shifting’ inside…..with the sand shifting AND the inside bags shifting a little. Those are great basic movements you showed. Kudos.

  • Sandbag Exercises

    1. Sandbag Snatches – explosive power, posterior strength, core
    0:08
    2. Sandbag Shovel – rotational movement, lower body, mobility
    0:41
    3. Sandbag Clean and Squat – full body, lower body, power
    1:20
    4. Sandbag Bent Over Rows – back and core
    2:18
    5. Sandbag Reverse Lunge and Twist – lower body, rotational core, mobility
    2:41
    6. Sandbag Plank Build Pull Thrus core, shoulder, upper body
    3:20
    7. Sand Bag Bear Jump Squats – cardio, explosive power, lower body, core
    3:43
    8. Sandbag Rotational High Pulls – upper body, rotational core, explosive power
    4:01
    9. Sandbag Burpee Cleans – cardio, full body
    4:36
    10. Sand Bag Russian Twists – abs, core, rotational movement
    5:22

  • What if I’m 175 ish pounds and use one that’s adjustable from 50 to 125 pounds? I’m not training for strongman or anything. Just using it to keep my gains during this coronavirus epidemic.

  • When you go over shoulder you seems to roll it over. I have a adjustable bag and full capacity (twice as high as it is wide so collumn like) at 100kg and I’m having a hard time shouldering it. Is the roll integral to the movement?

  • How much does it cost to filled these bags with sand or pepples or whatever how much money does it cost to filled these bags of sand?

  • I think I t s very good workout.
    but it lasts only 5 minutes. is it right? or do I have to do first circuit=reps&sets. 3 times each set? or is this enough?because it makes me breathe hard:) thanks

  • The point of sandbag workouts is to have sand that shifts to make the exercise more effective then traditional workouts. Those bags are just a soft version of traditional weights and don’t give you the benefits of true sandbags.

  • am I the only one who looks for new routines and expects the demonstrators to use “sandbags”? Not “foam-filled-bags” when going through the routines?

  • I did this with real sandbags that are 70 lbs for blocking water/traction in the back of a truck and ripped sand all over my basement. Thanks

  • Where are you finding those duffle/tote bags to carry the sand bags with those handles on it?…. do they have a special/specific name please?

  • Do you suggest a sandbag over the wreck bag? If you were to suggest a particular sandbag brand what would you suggest? What’s a good weight to have for these types of workouts?

  • Great work out, question where did you get your sandbag? That bag you have looks a lot better than mine. Second my inserts only come in 20 pounds fo you know where to buy lighter inserts for the bag?

  • I did these at the gym. Someone thought I was crazy. I only had fifteen minutes between clients. Then someone tried them and was dying. I saw this when I was working with a client.

  • I’m a stay at home dad, so threw out the day I walk around with a 60 lb weight vest plus 26lb kid I’m not in the greatest shape but i like a challenge. What is the best starter weight for a sandbag?

  • What weight is that handle sandbag dude? I’ve got a heavy rogue style one for heavy carries and to mimick atlas stone-esc loads but trying to figure out what weight percentage would be best for these types of workouts.

  • It’s awesome to listen to ur voice getting better from video to video. Hope ur feeling better from video to video as well. Great video yet again man. Thanks Brian

  • If you want to lug a sandbag around go join the Army or Marines Infantry Unit. They lug all kinds of heavy things around they also dig lots of fox holes and hump a heavy ruck for miles. I spent 4 years in the infantry and find this as some of the most dumbass shit I have ever seen. If you want to build your body up just go to the gym and lift weights and due cardio.

  • Been getting into sandbag workouts at home with the shutdown, your videos are awesome and easy to follow. Would love to know more about building a full workout-like what kind of warmups or exercises you recommend before/after tackling one of these routines. Thanks for all the help!

  • How am I supposed to breathe and brace during the sandbag carry? I can barely hold my breath for a couple of steps, so I just end up breathing heavily throughout the entire round

  • hey brian why when i squat with a belt i can easily add 30 kg from 190 kg to 220 kg in my 80% rpe of 5 reps and if i go to add more weight while i’m wearing the belt even if i’m in a peek cycle. i get crashed hard if i want to go to 85% ++ so yeah. do i keep squatting without a belt or do i use a belt more for my trainning?

  • Great video, I just started working out with a sandbag. I’m older and have a few injuries. This is the first sandbag workout I’ve seen that doesn’t include something high-impact.

  • Good review. Unless I miss you mention, you should check out WRECK “sandbags”. I put that in quotations because they use a rubber material and aren’t refillable but they’re great.