Sandbag training has been around for a long time but has recently gained popularity in mainstream fitness with the rise of CrossFit and Obstacle Racing sports. Sandbags are a flexible and functional training tool for high-intensity strength and conditioning workouts that build power, strength, and especially speed. Plus, they are a durable and easily portable piece of equipment that can be used at home, at the gym, or outside.
3 Major Benefits of Sandbag Training
- Constantly Shifting Load Builds Stability
The nature of the sandbag is such that you must work hard to control the constantly shifting center of mass. Unlike stability balls or wobble boards, sandbags provide a full-body stability workout from your calves to your shoulders.
- Builds Grip Strength
Hand grip is an important component of strength in sports as it determines the success of arm functionality such as speed and precision. If you’re looking to improve performance for powerlifting, climbing, martial arts or any other physical discipline, keep this in mind: any sandbag workout is also a grip workout.
- Can Be Done Anywhere
From your garage or home gym to the park or beach, fitness sandbags are durable, easily portable, and can be used virtually anywhere.
What to Look for in a Fitness Sandbag
You are going to be putting your sandbag through the wringer, so durability is paramount. Military-grade nylon, double or triple reinforced Kevlar stitching, and heavy-duty zippers and Velcro are the hallmarks of a training sandbag built to last.
Sandbag training is not meant to be a one-trick pony so your sandbag must be versatile. A good fitness sandbag will have a large outer bag that comes with multiple filler bags. When these smaller bags are filled with sand, they can be used as stand-alone training tools or put inside the outer shell for the training exercises of your choice.
- Cost Benefit
Once you find a few different sandbags that meet the criteria listed above, then cost is the final hurdle to overcome before you make your purchase. The “you get what you pay for” mantra can be deceiving. Yes, you will pay more for a high-quality sandbag than a poorly-constructed one. However, keep in mind that sometimes you are paying upwards of $50 more for the “big name brand” on the outside of the sandbag rather than just for a high-quality product. Do your research, read reviews, and focus on getting the best product for your money.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of sandbags training and what to look for when purchasing a fitness sandbag, it’s time to get out there with your sandbag! Below is a great introduction to 23 basic and advanced sandbag exercises by Cerus Pro Rich Leeper.