Old School DIY Sandbags
I used to use sandbags a lot, but it was a long time ago when I was still practicing track and field. Back then, our sandbags were nothing like this store-bought, pink sandbag.
Our coach, who was not only super creative in putting together our workouts, was also great in all sorts of DIY projects. So he made our sandbags from the stuff he had in his own garage.
I only realize now how cool it was! No store-bought fancy stuff but fun, homemade equipment instead. The sandbags that we used back then were made of inner tire tubes by cutting them in half, filling them with sand and tying the tubes with a durable cord on both ends.
We used them for squatting, running, throwing and dragging. Super fun times.
A Modern Version: Ultimate Sandbag
As much as I love the idea of making cool stuff like this, I don't have useless inner tire tubes lying around (I don't even own a car). So I made my life a little easier and bought a sandbag. It's not quite as fun as the DIY version, but it does the job. And there is really no difference in how you use it.
I got myself the Ultimate Sandbag Strength version that allows me to fill the bag with up to 80 pounds of sand. Even though the bag is called a sandbag, you don't have to use sand to fill it up.
I have rice in mine.
The sandbag came with three filler bags, which lets me to adjust the weight. I can put all three rice-filled filler bags into the bag, but I can also use just one. I was little afraid that if I use only one, it will start moving around uncomfortably. But now that I've used it a couple of times, it hasn't been an issue at all.
What You Can Do With It
I like the bag because it's really versatile. You can do back and front squats, log carries, thrusters, swings, burpees… Anything you want.
Here's a little fun that I had with my sandbag couple of days ago. Before starting my workout, I also carried the sandbag all the way to the forest, which is about 10 minutes from my house. By making a little weighted walk a part of your exercise (and not throwing the bag into the trunk of your car), you make your workout even better.
So, here's what I did:
Here are the exercises:
Overhead Squat: Holding the sandbag on your straight arms above your head, do a squat. Make sure to glue your heels to the ground and push your butt back as if you were to sit on a bench that is not exactly under your butt, but a little further away. Keep your belly in and core tight as you are squatting.
By the way, an overhead squat is also an awesome core exercise. All the movements where you are holding your arms above the head, engage your core.
Front Squat: Do a squat, having the sandbag resting on your arms on the front of your body.
Lunge: Hold the sandbag as you were carrying a log on your one shoulder. Do a lunge, letting the back knee almost touch the ground. The knee of the front leg shouldn't go much over the toes.
Single Arm Overhead Lunge: Holding the sandbag on your extended arm above your head, do a lunge. After 10-12 reps switch arms.
Good Morning: Have the sandbag resting on your shoulders. Hold the handles. Keeping the back strong and straight, bend 90 degrees from your hips. Then come back up again.
Clean and Squat: Clean the sandbag from the floor by flipping it to your arms so that you will get into a front squat position. Do a squat. Bring the sandbag back into the starting position.
Lateral Burpee: Put the sandbag down by your side. Do a burpee, then jump laterally (sideways) over the sandbag. Do another burpee and jump back to the side where you started from.
Run: Hold the sand bag on your back and grab the handlesjust like in the Good Morning exercise. Run.
Have worked out with a sandbag? What do you think of it?
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