Are Sandbags the Key to Strength and Endurance? (2024)

Ever considered a sandbag as essential gym equipment? If you’ve been looking to amp up your training, incorporating sandbags into your fitness routine is key to developing overall strength. Referred to asastrongman sandbag, it has quite a reputation.

Sandbags have been around for centuries and have been used for many years for military training exercises, as well asstrongman competitions. However, they’ve evolved since those days into a variety of uses and exercises.

Sandbags have become a dynamic piece of equipment for athletes and disciplines worldwide.

Can you build muscle with sandbags? Absolutely. A sandbag targets the muscles differently than traditional training equipment like dumbbells or barbells. That’s due to the dynamic resistance that sandbags offer.

Sandbags are unlike most equipment because they aren’t predictable in the way they hold their weight during a workout, therefore requiring more control (more on this in the benefits section).

If you're thinking of adding sandbags to your strength training, you’ll find a full overview on sandbags, including who can use sandbags, sandbag benefits, recommended sandbag workouts, and choosing the right sandbag material.

Are Sandbags the Key to Strength and Endurance? (1)

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Who Can Perform Sandbag Exercises?

Let’s set the record by saying that there are many different types of weighted bags and different uses for them. In this post, we’re talking aboutstrongmansandbags used for training, not for home improvement or flood protection.

Now you mightbe asking "who can usestrongman sandbags?". The answer is: anyone who’s looking to build strength and power.

No matter if you’re an avid Strongman competitor, a CrossFit athlete, weightlifter, or a fitness enthusiast, sandbags are great challenge for all training types. You can use sandbags to simulate stone lifts, carries, presses, and
perform cleans.

Sandbags are a great piece of 'equipment' because they're versatile and can be put to use no matter your fitness goal. For example, if you’re looking to build strength, use them for squats and deadlifts.

If you’re more into conditioning, you can use a sandbag as an alternative tokettlebells or barbells to burn calories and lose fat.

The Benefits of UsingStrongman Sandbags

A big reason why people love using sandbags is because of their ability to be used for almost any type of exercise. As we mentioned, they can be an alternative to standard equipment such as dumbbells or other free weights.

That’s especially important if you’re limited on your resources or if you’re doing your workout at home.Check outsome of the top benefits of using sandbags for fitness training.

1) Sandbags Improve Stability

As we mentioned earlier, sandbags are somewhat unpredictable, but that’s a good thing. The sand within the sandbag tends to shift as you move through your workout, therefore forcing you to focus on weight stabilization of the sandbag.

As you progress with your use of sandbags, they help develop strength and power, similar to using a stability ball.

2) Performing Sandbag Training Anywhere

What’s really cool about using sandbags is that they’re portable and fit into almost any compact space. If you’re working out from home or a garage gym, sandbags are great to have around. You can also takesandbags on the road with you. Simply dump out the sand and replace it upon arrival at the new destination.

3) Sandbags Training Improves Performance

An obvious, yet underrated fact about sandbag training is that it’s hard! But if you’re looking for a great way to increase strength and conditioning, then using a fitness sandbag is key.

If you’re someone who’s pretty active and want to improve yourperformance with unique drills like load carries, sprints, drags and throws, then sandbag training is definitely worth it.

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The Best Sandbag Workouts

Alright, now it’s time to get to business and actually start using heavy duty sandbags. But where do you start? What are the best sandbag workouts? As we mentioned before, sandbags are versatile and can be used for almost any workout. Whether it’s squats, deadlifts, or press-ups, the options are endless.

Here are some of our top sandbag workouts that build muscle and burn fat using lower and upper body muscles:

1) Sandbag Squat Thrust

  • Start by picking up the sandbag and holding it in front of your chest
  • Squat down as if you’re about to sit, holding the sandbag in front
  • After a brief pause, stand upright and press the bag over your head
  • Finally, stay standing and pause, then sink back down into a squat

2) Sandbag Shoulder Throw

  • Grab the sandbag off the floor and into your arms (like a hug)
  • Next, get into a squat position with a firm grip on the sandbag
  • Make sure to keep your back neutral and core tight
  • Lift the bag up with you as you stand up and throw it over one shoulder
  • Repeat this throwing process with the bag over the other shoulder

3) Sandbag Press-Out Lunge

  • Grab the sandbag off the floor and hold it across your chest (like a hug)
  • While standing, step out to your right side with your right leg
  • Keep good form by maintaining 90 degrees on your left knee/leg
  • Pause and press the bag out and in front of you and back to your chest
  • Push up through your heels to stand up to repeat the process with the other leg

4) Sandbag Russian Twist

  • Note: be sure to test out the weight of the sandbag before starting
  • Start in the same position you’d be in as if performing a sit-up
  • Grab the sandbag off the floor and hold it across your abdomen
  • Make sure to keep your feet off the floor and your core tight
  • Next, with the sandbag in hand twist from one side to the other

Choosing Sandbag Weight and Material

Sandbags come in a variety of styles and options. Some fitness sandbags come with handles, while others are designed without a handle (strongman) to give you a bigger challenge. You’ll want tochoose a sandbag that fits your fitness goals and training objectives.

What kind of sandbag is best? Some of the things to look for in any sandbag is based on quality. The best fitness sandbag has a tight seal to avoid sand leaks or dust particles.

Also, a strong zipper (that’s covered and won’t get in the way) and material like nylon are essential for longevity and durability of any fitness sandbag. It's also important to choose a sandbag based on your training goals. Pick a weight that will challenge you.

How much weight should you start out with? It’s a great question and is one of the most frequently asked specifications from people that have never used a training sandbag. That also depends on your fitness level, so pick a sandbag that can grow with you.

For example, investing in a sandbag capable of holding 100 pounds can be optimal because you can limit the amount of sand (up to 100 pounds) as you develop strength.

Are Sandbags the Key to Strength and Endurance? (3)

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Experiencing the Difference

We’ve covered a lot of information that is useful to anyone looking to implement sandbag training. In this article, you’ve discovered a full overview of sandbags, including who can use sandbags, some of the sandbag benefits, recommended sandbag workouts, and how to choose the right sandbag material.

If you’re looking for a heavy duty sandbag to help you reach your fitness goals, mix up your routine, or simply a new challenge, Gymreapers offerspremiumstrongman sandbagsthat are ideal for the gym, beach, boxes, garage gyms, and any functional training location. Shop sizes and options today.

Are Sandbags the Key to Strength and Endurance? (2024)


Are Sandbags the Key to Strength and Endurance? ›

Sandbag training is a form of functional training that uses a weighted bag filled with sand as a resistance tool. It can help you improve your strength, endurance, balance, and stability, as well as challenge your core and coordination.

Do sandbags make you stronger? ›

Some athletes like sandbag training for the benefits it provides. For example, sandbag exercise has been linked to increases in muscle strength and grip strength in particular. It has also been connected with greater levels of stability and improved sports performance.

Are sandbags effective for exercise? ›

Sandbags build dynamic resistance as your body works hard to stay stable against the weight of an asymmetrical load. It also works your entire body as a unit every time you lift, regardless of what exercise you do. There's no such thing as isolation work or accessory movements with a sandbag!

Can you build muscle with sandbags? ›

Try 5 kilograms for dynamic strength exercises, and 10 kilograms for static exercises. Incorporating a sandbag into your routine will help you gain strength, hypertrophy (depending on the weight used and routine planned), a stronger core, and functional fitness.

Why sandbags are better than barbells? ›

You'll work harder and faster with the sandbag than you ever have with a barbell, and you'll elevate your heart rate and improve conditioning with every rep.

Why do soldiers use sandbags? ›

Fortification. The military uses sandbags for field fortifications and as a temporary measure to protect civilian structures. Because burlap and sand are inexpensive, large protective barriers can be erected cheaply.

How effective is sandbag? ›

Sandbags are basically for low-flow protection (up to two feet). Protection from high flow requires a permanent type of structure. Sandbags are not always an effective measure in the event of flooding because water will eventually seep through the bags and finer materials like clay may leak out through the seams.

Are sandbags better than kettlebells? ›

Sandbag training may be more beneficial for those seeking functional strength and stability, while kettlebell training may be more suitable for full-body conditioning and improving flexibility and mobility.

Do sandbags really help? ›

The use of sandbags is a simple, but effective way to prevent or reduce flood water damage. Properly filled and placed sandbags can act as a barrier to divert moving water around, instead of through, buildings. Sandbag construction does not guarantee a water-tight seal, but is satisfactory for use in most situations.

Is sandbag training enough? ›

IS SANDBAG TRAINING SUFFICIENT? In a nutshell, the answer to that is yes. A workout sandbag is an excellent tool for anybody wishing to improve their strength and endurance.

Are sandbags good for squats? ›

The Sandbag is pretty much the best tool to perform Zercher Squats because of it being far more ergonomic than say a bar bell to hold it in that position. This exercise builds muscle endurance and strength of the lower body while also building tremendous core strength.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sandbags? ›

They are cheap and easy to obtain. However, sandbags are relatively ineffective when compared to purpose-designed flood protection products. Some of the pitfalls are: It takes two people to fill them (unless you have a sandbag filling machine).

Are sandbags good for strength? ›

Every tool has its place, but sandbags are a good substitute for weights. Sandbags are less expensive than a gym membership or garage gym, can travel with you, and can be used to work the same muscles. Go heavy for strength or lighten the load for endurance. Carry your sandbag, toss it, press it, pull it.

What works better than sandbags? ›

Alternatives to Sandbags for Flooding
  • Flexible Flood Barriers and Cofferdams. Like flood protection sandbags, flexible flood barriers and cofferdams divert the flow of water away from certain areas. ...
  • Inflatable or Water-Filled Dams. ...
  • Inflatable, Gel or Water-Filled Sandbags. ...
  • Floodproofing. ...
  • Levees and Floodwalls.

What are the pros and cons of sandbag exercise? ›

Pros of fitness sandbags with handles and filler bags is it is easy to adjust the weight quickly, they have many handles so you can do all kinds of exercises, they are better for beginners, and they are cleaner. Cons of fitness sandbags is they are limited in how heavy they can be (not an issue for beginners).

What muscles do sandbag load work? ›

“People can tend to get really fussy about what muscles they're activating,” he says, "but the simple reality is that if you've got a decently heavy sandbag you're carrying and you're still able to move, then all of your muscles—from quads to glutes to abs—are doing exactly what they're designed to do in a responsive ...

Do sandbags actually stop bullets? ›

Sandbags have historically proven to be very effective objects at stopping bullets in their tracks. Used for this purpose since at least around the late-18th century at the Siege of Ninety-Six, they are still widely used today for the very same purpose.

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