Core Training with Sandbags

Abs, six pack, ripped wash board!

Got your attention?

Most of you think I am absolutely crazy for introducing sandbags into boot camp.  I know it seems weird and its a bit hard to exercise with these odd shape objects but TRUST me I know what am doing.

   6 Benefits of Odd Object Lifting:

1. Creates an unstable environment much different than Swiss balls or sit-fits which force the body to recruit more muscles from the hips all the way up to the arms.

2. You can perform some unique unilateral loading so the body learns to resist rotation which can help prevent injuries.

3. It can help lifters who struggle with flexibility in exercises such as front squats to perform the lifts far more comfortably.

4. Allows you to gain the benefit from a classic lift such as Zercher lifts.

5. Simplifies great core lifts such as snatches for those that may not possess the equipment or coaching to perform these lifts with a bar.

6. Provides true functional training that prepares the body for every day life activities such as lifting your child, picking up heavy objects off the ground (i.e. furniture), and dealing with the real demands of life.

Sandbags are unique in the fact they are the only implement that not only has a shifting weight, but alters its form as you lift it as well. It brings all the components of odd object lifting into one implement. Sandbags have long been used by elite wrestlers and martial artists for these very reasons.

Every exercise you know becomes exponentially more challenging with sandbags so old lifts become new, and there are plenty of new ones you can create with sandbag training.  Here are a few examples of sandbags making certain exercises more challenging:

Sandbag Get-up

sandbag exerciseLie completely on your back with the bag on one shoulder. Roll to the opposite shoulder and drive the opposite arm into the ground.

Slowly drive yourself up to a lunge position aiming to keep the chest very tall. Push through the ground to get to a standing position.

Very slowly return to the original on the ground position without looking downwards.

Muscles Trained: Abdominals, Hips

Sandbag Bear Hug Squat

sandbag training - bear hugGrab the sandbag around the midpoint and clasp the arms around the sandbag.

With the chest elevated, push the knees outwards into a deep squat position.

Prevent any forward lean of the torso during any aspect of the lift.

Muscles Trained: Hips, Thighs, Abs, Arms, Upper Back

Sandbag Rotational Lunge

sandbag workouts - rotational lungeBegin standing with the sandbag in front of the body.

Lunge backwards while simultaneously twisting towards the opposite direction.

Press through the front heel to come back to the original position. Increase speed or swing of the sandbag to make the exercise more difficult.

Muscles Trained: Hips, Thighs, Obliques

Sandbag Shoulder Lunge

Begin with the bag on the outside of your legs. Squat down to grab the bag by the ends. Explosively rip the bag up above your head while transferring your weight to the opposite side. Repeat back to the original start position.

sandbag shoulder lunge - odd object lifting  midpoint - sandbag shoulder lunges  endpoint - sandbag shoulder lunge

Muscles Trained: Glutes, Obliques, Shoulders

Sandbag Bent Over Row

sandbag exercises - bent rowGrab the bag and come to a full standing position. Bend at the hips and stick the butt back with a slight bend in the knees. Keeping a strong arch to the low back and the chest sticking outwards, pull the sandbag towards the lower part of the chest.

Make sure to squeeze the shoulder blades back and drive the elbows upwards.

Muscles Trained: Low Back, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders

Thank you for giving sandbags a try. I’m certain you will see new results and spark new interest to your old exercise routine!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s