Rarely in every day life do we lift things that are evenly weighted and fit perfectly within our grip.
Often we are lifting and moving awkward objects where the weight shifts as we move.
That is why Sandbag Training is an essential piece of our program.
While barbells and dumbbells are great, sandbags are awkward weights that force us to move and lift in a functional way that not only makes us stronger, but makes us stronger for every day life.
The awkward weight makes our core work even harder while helping us develop full-body strength and stability.
Often to work on stability we balance on one foot or hand. Or we train on unstable surfaces. But another great way to work on stability is to use an awkward weight.
However, because the weight is awkward, beginners will need to master bodyweight and beginner variations before progressing to harder moves. Adding weight too quickly can lead to injury.
As exercisers advanced, the sandbags can be made heavier to make the moves more challenging.
Below are just three of our favorite Sandbag Exercises. All three of these moves are full body exercises and core intensive.
Sandbag Get Up:
- Start by lying on your back on the ground with your legs out straight.
- Place the sandbag over your right shoulder and hold it in place.
- Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the ground. Straighten your left arm out to the side (not straight out at shoulder height, but not right by your body).
- Then roll up on to your left forearm. Prop yourself up nice and tall on your left forearm. Press through your right foot on the ground. Do not let your right knee cave in and keep your left leg out straight on the ground.
- Once up on your forearm, press up onto your left hand with your left arm going straight. Sit up nice and tall. Do not shrug your shoulders or round forward.
- Then from the seated position you are going to bridge up, lifting your hips up as high as you can. You will press down through your left hand as well as your left heel and right foot. Keep your right foot flat on the ground and your left leg out straight. Do not let your right heel come up.
- From the bridge position, slide your left leg back and under you so that you are in a kneeling position with your hand on the ground. Make sure you swing your leg back enough so that you are in a strong supported kneeling position that will allow you to lift your left hand off the ground.
- Staying nice and tall, lift your left hand and come to a kneeling position. Do not lean forward of slouch forward as you lift your hand up off the ground.
- Then stomp your right foot into the ground and come up to standing, bringing your left foot forward to be even with your right foot.
- Once standing, you will reverse the steps until you are again lying on your back. You will first go back to kneeling, stepping your left foot back. You will then place your left hand down on the ground out to the side and just a little back from your left knee. You will then bridge up and swing your left leg through so it is out straight in front of you. As you bridge, keep your right heel firmly planted on the ground. From there, you will return to a seated position supported by your left hand. Then you will relax down to your forearm and finally roll on to your back.
- Do not slouch as you move back down. Keep a nice tall posture throughout the entire move. Repeat 3-5 reps on this right side before switching. Beginners may just want to start by balancing something on their knuckles.
Lunge With Rotation:
- Grab the sandbag by two handles so that your palms are facing each other. Standing nice and tall, you are going to step back with one foot.
- As you step back, bend the front knee to sink into the lunge. Do not worry about bending the back knee. Rotate the sandbag outside the front knee, hinging forward just slightly. Do not round forward.
- Then bring the back leg in and stand up nice and tall, stomping the back foot into the ground as you stand up. As you stand up, also swing the sandbag back to the front.
- Then quickly lunge back on the other leg, letting the sandbag swing outside the front knee.
- Advanced exercisers will want to use the momentum of their lunge to propel the sandbag from side to side quickly. They will want to swing it and rotate with it as they lunge.
- Beginners will want to “place” the sandbag outside the leg instead of using the momentum and swinging the bag to the outside. By placing the bag instead of swinging, they will have better balance and more control.
Plank With Pull Through:
- Place the sandbag on the ground and to one side of your body. Set up in the high plank position from your hands and toes or your hands and knees. Your hands should be under your shoulders and if on your toes, place your feet wider to make it easier to balance. The closer together your feet, the harder the move will be.
- Reach one hand under and through to grab the sandbag.
- Without rotating your hips, pull the sandbag through and across to the other side of your body.
- Again without letting your hips rotate or your butt go up in the air, reach through and pull back to the starting position. Do not let your hips sag either. Keep your glutes squeezed and your belly button pulled in toward your spine.
- The goal is to fight all rotation and keep your core completely still as you pull.
Love these moves? Then join us for a training session and learn even more!