Sandbag workouts are as old as the sand. Some of these exercises are new to sandbag training, and some are as old as the sand. In your sandbag workouts remember to mix it up! Some of the below exercises are illustrated. All photos and drawings on this page and this website are our property and protected under copyright law. Please feel free to link to this page or share on social media. You can find sandbags for your training on this page. Ours are made of stronger ballistic nylon and feature a better design with built-in handles which allow a better grip and feel of the shifting sand. Be sure to read our original functional fitness strategy below the sandbag exercises and workouts. It is important to know that with sandbag training the goal is not how much weight you can lift, but how difficult you can make that weight to lift. The difficulty comes from the shifting instability of the sand load, not the weight. So keep the bags loose and shifty!
SANDBAG TRAINING EXERCISES
Here is a video of some of the exercises you can do with our workout sandbags. Also, below is a description of them with drawings of our favorites.
SMALL SANDBAG EXERCISES
X-LIFT Using a small to medium sandbag, grab the ends on the floor beside one foot and lift it across your body and raise it above the opposite shoulder and extend it as far as your arms will stretch. Return and repeat. Can be done a few at a time on either side, or alternating. A great sandbag training exercise.
TURKISH GETUP Put a small sandbag on one shoulder while standing.Then kneel down, and lay down with the sandbag still on the shoulder. Use one hand to hold the sandbag on the shoulder, and the other to help you get down and up. Do a few times one side then the other side. Repeat. One of my favorite sandbag training exercises.
PUSHUP Kneel and lift a small sandbag over your head, and place it lengthwise along your spine, with its top end between your shoulder blades. Now do a pushup. If you can, put each hand on a basketball. And if you can, put each foot on a small stool. If you have trouble balancing the sandbag on your back, put it into a small backpack (book or day pack) and put the pack on, and do the pushups. One of my most-used sandbag workout exercises.
SUPER SITUP Using an AbMat or pillow under the lumbar region of your back, on a pad, hold a small sandbag on your chest and do situps.
SWINGS With your feet wide apart, squatted down, grab a small sandbag on the floor between your feet directly beneath you. Grab it by the sides instead of the ends. Swing it outward with your arms fully extended while squatting up. Continue the swing until it is directly overhead and you are standing straight up. Then return to starting position and repeat. Is often done with a kettlebell, but a great sandbag exercise.
WAIST ROLL Put a small sandbag on your shoulders behind your neck and hold it with both hands while standing. While holding it, bend and roll your upper body around in a circle. Do half the reps in one direction, then the other.
MEDIUM SANDBAG EXERCISES
SMACKDOWN Grab a small or medium sandbag by the sides beside you and lift it up and over your head, and smack it down (but not too hard) on the other side. Repeat, going the other way.
BACK ROW Standing bent over while holding a small or medium sandbag, pull the sandbag up under your chin then straighten your back up. Bend back over and lower the sandbag until the arms are fully extended, with the bag in front of your knees. Repeat.
LATERAL THROW Grab a medium sandbag by either its ends or its side straps and throw it a few feet in the direction your feet are facing, lateral to your stance. Go get it and throw it from the other side.
CHEST PRESS Lying on either a mat or swiss ball, press a medium sandbag up from your chest to full extension of the arms. Can be done with a small sandbag with one arm at a time.
LARGE SANDBAG TRAINING EXERCISES
CLEAN AND JERK Lift the bag from the floor by its ends, pull it up under your chin, and pause. Then explode, and jerk it up above your head.
TWISTING DEADLIFT Pick up a large sandbag by bending your knees and take it from one side of your feet and put it down on the other side of your feet. Repeat from one side to the other.
Functional Fitness strategy
The goal of any fitness plan is health. Regular exercise and recovery and proper nutrition are as important now as ever. For our purposes, we define fitness as the ability to perform acts of strength, power, speed, endurance, and coordination. Exercise should be fun, and resemble play and sports. The human body is the ultimate exercise machine, and needs little external devices to exercise. Exercise movements, not specific muscles in isolation. Doing so not only builds muscle and endurance, but it also builds ability. This is done by exercising muscles, joints, and nerves together.
Exercise in a random, never routine, fashion every other day. There is no such thing as the perfect workout! Nor is there any such thing as the one perfect exercise! Rather, it is the constantly varying performance of different exercises done in different combinations, amounts, strengths, and durations that is the magic to fitness success! The body and its neuromuscular system responds best when it is “surprised” by constantly changing workouts.
Work out for up to half an hour every other day. Never do the same workout 2 times in a row. However, repeat workouts every month or two to compare your performance. Workouts should be short and intense. Sometimes they should blur the line between “cardio” and “strength” workouts. If you are in your 20′s, you can work out for 3 days on and 1 day off. In your late 30′s you might want to work out 2 days on and 1 day off. If doing this schedule, alternate between “light” and “heavy” workouts. But if you are younger than 20 or older than your late 30′s, every other day is right to provide the proper amount of recovery.
Sandbag training is only part of our strategy. We use sandbags for training, but also do bodyweight, running, and other forms of exercise.
Recent evidence indicates that it is counterproductive to always exercise at a medium level of difficulty or duration. Either go hard or light. Recovery is as important as exercise, if not more important. That is when your muscles grow and adapt to the stress put upon them. I suggest that on recovery (off) days you walk. Actually, I suggest you walk yourself and/or your dog every day.
Never try to “jump-start” your fitness level with an extreme out-of-the-blue workout. Don’t overdo it so much you can’t do the next workout. But remember this: something is better than nothing! Think of your workouts as links in a chain, not the whole chain.
Once or twice a year, take a vacation for a week or two and hike, swim, surf, ski, climb mountains, play ball, play and relax. Don’t work out. This will allow you to resume your workout schedule with better focus.
The nerves, muscles, bones, and joints of the human body are meant to work together. Therefore, do exercises that work multiple muscle groups and joints together. Again, the muscles of the human body work together as a team. So exercise them as a team!
This is not a 90 day/12 week/ crash course. This is a plan to stay fit and healthy for the rest of your life. You don’t climb a mountain in one step. And, you do not get and stay fit in one workout.
What to eat? In two words, often and plenty. Never go into meals starving. Eat healthy snacks between breakfast and lunch and mid-afternoon. I suggest a breakfast of oatmeal with nuts and cottage cheese on workout days, and eggs about twice a week.
Before workouts, i suggest a small amount of skim milk with some whey protein. After workout I suggest about 8 ounces of skim milk with a tablespoon of molasses stirred into it. This gives the 3:1 ratio of carbs:protein needed for muscle recovery. You can also have a couple of 60% cacao chocolate chips after workout. Or, you can just drink 8 ounces of 1%^ fat chocolate milk.
A good midafternoon snack is natural crunchy peanut butter on bread with raisins and nuts. If you drink, do so less. Try to limit yourself to one or two beers or red wine on Friday and Saturday night. You will be amazed at how much better you enjoy less of it!
Stay away from fried foods, sugar, trans fats, white bread/rice/potatos/pasta. Instead eat whole grain breads and pasta, sweet and red potatos, olive oil, fat free cottage cheese, lowfat ricotta cheese, and fruit for dessert. Once a week, such as Sunday, you can cheat with a pizza and/or ice cream.
We are hostages of our heredity. Do not expect exercise to change you into a muscular monster. Exercise to keep yourself fit to perform. Don’t take dangerous steroids. Don’t use so-called “energy drinks”. Drink lots of water. Do not drink soda pop. Go easy on alcohol. Focus on performance, not mirror muscles. Be healthy for a lifetime!
DGKFIT LLC and its owners and contractors take no responsibility for any illness or injury occuring after the use of their products. The exercise advice given in this website is not meant to be a substitute for the medical advice of a doctor. Before starting and during any exercise program, get the advice of a medical professional. The purchase and use of our products constitutes a release of DGKFIT LLC and its owners from any liability arising after the use of their products. Be careful. Use at your own risk.