Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

A sandbag or weighted bag may appear as a simple piece of fitness tool in terms of structure and material but when you start training using this equipment, you and your whole body will be engaged in a challenge like no other. There are several exercises that you can effectively do using sandbags. It has to do with the constant shift of mass during workouts. For this reason, professional athletes, military personnel, and martial artists choose this equipment for some of their exercise routines not only to strengthen their muscles but to also develop endurance.

Sandbag workouts target multiple muscle groups both on the lower and upper body. Some of the routines may have the same movement and reps as you would do with the conventional gym weights, but it makes a huge difference when it comes to result. No matter what level you are in, you have an assurance of getting your expected outcome using sandbags.

Sandbag Workout for Beginners

Because sandbag training is tricky, beginners should start and master the basic movements first to avoid injuries. Here are some of the workout routines you can get yourself started if you’re just beginning to engage yourself in a challenging training.

 

Learning The Clean

The clean is a movement wherein you pick the sandbag from the ground to your upper chest. This is a basic position but also an important one because this position is where most sandbag exercises start safely. To do this, place the sandbag at your feet as starting position – make sure that you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, hold the sandbag handles with your hands, one on each side while your hips are slightly hinged and bend at the knees. Just make sure that you’re keeping your back straight as you grab the sandbag. As you pull the sandbags upward, rise on your toes. When the sandbag reaches the body’s midpoint, pull your elbows and throw the sandbag underneath the crooks of your elbows while the forearms are wrapped around the bag and your upper arms parallel to the ground. Reverse the movement of your arms to drop the sandbag to count as one rep.

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Sandbag Front Squats

To start, clean the sandbag at an upper chest height. Make sure that you are keeping your chest up and your back straight then squat until your hip joint is at least past parallel to your knee joint. Return to the top position to complete 1 rep.

  • 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets

 

Sandbag Lunges

Grab the sandbag in a clean position. Use your foot to take a normal forward step and lower your body for a lunge until your forwarded leg reaches a 90-degree angle bend. Push yourself back up to the starting position through the front leg to drive your body up.

  • 3 sets of 10 reps per foot
  • 1-minute rest between sets

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Sandbag Shoulder Press

For this exercise, the clean is not the same as the previous ones. Instead of catching the sandbag on the crooks of your elbows, it should be caught on the top of your fists. Press it upward with your arms fully extended overhead. As you lift the bag be careful not to hit your head as you do the movement and make sure that your core is engaged to avoid overextending your lower back.

  • 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets

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Sandbag Rows

Bend your knees and hinge your hips while keeping your back straight. Hold the sandbag just below your knees the pull with your elbows and row it towards your abdomen. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning the sandbag to the floor.

  • 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
  • 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets

 

Push-ups with Sandbag Lateral

Place the sandbag horizontally on the floor. Get into a push-up form and orient the bag on your left side. Lower your chest for a push-up. As you raise your body, use your right hand to grip the sandbag and drag it on the right side. Repeat the exercise using the opposite hand.

  • 3 sets of 10 reps
  • 1-minute rest between sets

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Advanced Sandbag Workouts

If you’re looking for functional workouts that can build your muscles, lose fat, strengthen and condition your full body in a short period of time, doing compound full body sandbag exercises reduces the workout time you have to do while getting the best outcome.

Before doing these exercises you have to be sure that the sandbag weight is perfect for your capacity to lift allowing you to maintain a good form. You can modify your own workout based on these exercises just be sure to target your upper body, lower body, and core. Perform 15 to 25 reps for each move and rest for 1 minute between exercises and accomplish 3 to 4 sets with 90 seconds of rest between.

 

Curtsy Lunge with Hammer Curl

Hold the sandbag at the side handles with a narrow grip while standing with feet hip-width apart. With your right foot, step back diagonally behind your left foot, lower your knee into a curtsy lunge to engage your inner and outer thighs. Lift the sandbag to your chest as you return to the starting position. Complete the reps on the first side then switch.

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Side Lunge with Front Raise

Put your feet together as you grab the sandbag with your arms down. Step your left foot and send your hips lower for a side lunge. As you return to the center, use the momentum to lift your arms and roll over the bag to your fists as it reaches above your head. Reverse the flip and return to your original position.

 

Burpee with Snatch

Stand with your feet apart while holding the sandbag by the handles. Hinge at your hips to let the bag touch the floor and bend your knees into a high plank position. Maintain a straight line from head to toes by engaging your core then use your feet to jump back and rise up. As you stand, lift the sandbag by using the momentum in one fast motion. Flip the bag and press it up overhead then reverse it as you lower your bag back to the starting position.

 

Plié Squat with High Pull

Stand with your feet apart, a bit wider than your hip width with the toes turned out. Grab the sandbags on the top handles on both sides with your palms facing the body. Bend your knees to squat while keeping your torso upright. As you stand, lift the sandbag by pulling your elbows high into an upright row that will place your sandbag leveled to your upper chest area. Lower the sandbag without landing it on the floor to return to your first position.

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Glute Bridge with Pullover

Lie on the floor with your face up and your knees bent. Position the sandbag across the top of your head, arms stretched to hold the sandbags on the handles. Pull the sandbag over your chest while maintaining your arms stretched. Use your heels to engage glutes and raise your hips in an upward direction. As you slowly set your hips back down, return the sandbag to the starting point then repeat.

Conclusion

Strength, conditioning, and endurance can be improved by a full-body sandbag workout. There are different routines for different levels but are all effective. You can start with simple exercises with the weighted bag and as you progress with your capability and strength, you can engage yourself in more challenging workouts and training with the sandbag.

 

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