I’m going to start with very a bold statement. Sandbags are one of, if not THE most versatile training tool on the planet.
Back in the day sandbag training began with simply just a sack of sand which was utilized for a huge array of exercises. This was often the go to training modality for our national diggers (Defense Force), both past and present. Nowadays with handles attached in strategic places, the modern sandbag allows for a whole new bunch of exercises.
In a brief comparison between the sandbag and the barbell for example, a sandbag can mimic pretty much all lifts that are done with the barbell, the one exercise that stood out which does not seem achievable with a sandbag is the torsinator. However with the sandbag, due to its softness and dimensions, enables more holding positions and drills that make a barbell look way too cumbersome and impractical. Bear hug hold, zercher hold, shoulder hold, throws and drags are examples of this.
I’m certainly not saying that sandbags are the best and only piece of training equipment for your need. Absolutely not. As a presenter for the Australian Institute of Kettlebells I am an advocate for all things functional training and this includes kettlebells, battling ropes, bar bells to name a few. Variety is the spice of life right? I absolutely love kettlebells, they also are incredibly versatile and loads of fun.
For home users, a sandbag’s versatility is the perfect solution for a variety of fitness needs. A comprehensive and versatile tool which takes up very little space, then add a good training plan and you will be guaranteed awesome results. From a personal training perspective, I find that using one piece of equipment keeps the session simple and flowing, and the same goes when running group sessions.
Below I have put together a workout which showcases some of the sandbag exercises that just don’t and won’t work if trying out with a barbell. So, I’ve named it the “Sandbags Only Workout.”
Sandbags Only Workout
3 Circuits plus finisher: Using your Dingo Sandbag, perform each circuit for two to four rounds each. Try to get through all rounds of each circuit with minimal or no rest in between exercises. Once you have completed Circuit A, have a three to four minutes rest and then move on to Circuit B, and so on.
A1: Bear hug squat x 20
A2: Sandbag half Turkish get up x 10 each side
A3: Shoulder to shoulder press x 20
B1: Sandbag sprawl to deadlift x 20
B2: Side to side deadlift x 20
B3: Shouldering x 20
C1: Reverse Rotational Lunge x 20
C2: Plank side drags x 20
C3: Around the world x 10
Finisher: Sandbag explosive high pull and drop x 1minute; rest x 1 minute, then repeat x 2-4 times
Women: 5 to 10kgs
Men: 10 to 15kgs
Warriors: 20 to 25kgs