Benefits of Incorporating Sandbags into Your Gym Equipment

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Low-Tech Is Where It’s At

If those of you who regularly read the fitness articles here on TSB hadn’t already guessed it, I’m a big fan of using odd or unorthodox pieces of equipment in my training. In the past we’ve talked about using sledgehammers and kegs as affordable and effective ways to get fit and now we’re going to take a look at another one of my personal favorites – the sandbag.

Like keg and sledgehammer training, sandbag training is super affordable. In fact you can put together an easily adjustable sandbag that will satisfy just about all of your workout needs for about twenty five bucks. You’ll need a decent duffle bag or heavy duty canvas laundry bag, a box of sandwich bags (to portion the sand out for adjusting the weight of your bag), some duct tape (to keep your sandwich bags from busting open during use) and a couple bags of play or all purpose sand from your local home improvement center.

Unorthodox but effective

Construction of your new, super versatile training tool couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is fill your sandwich bags with sand, tape them closed and fill your duffle or laundry bag to the desired weight. Put together your sandbag by a scale so your can record the weight of each filled sandwich bag. This will let you know exactly how much weight you’re moving during each exercise and allow you to make accurate adjustments to the overall weight of your sandbag.

Why It Helps

A sandbag lets you perform just about any exercise that you could with a barbell, plus quite a few exercises that wouldn’t be possible with more traditional equipment. You can do squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, curls, cleans and more with a sandbag and because there really isn’t any handle to speak of each and every exercise that you perform with your sandbag will improve your grip strength as well.

Don’t want to perform a workout that is built around traditional lifts? If you’re using a sandbag you don’t have to, there’s pretty much no limit to the variety of movements that you can perform with this training tool. You can build explosive power and balance with a wide variety swings and throws; develop a rock solid core and improve total body strength with sandbag get-ups or you can dramatically improve your conditioning by simply picking up your sandbag in a bear hug and taking it for a walk.

In addition to being highly versatile and super affordable, sandbags are also really easy to store which makes them ideal for guys who live in a dorm or a small apartment.  A full sized weight bench, an Olympic weight set and the vast majority of fitness machines will take up a huge portion of your living space if you’re in a small apartment, but a sandbag can literally be stored in any corner or at the bottom of any closet without getting in the way.  With a sandbag you’ll have instant access to an implement that can provide you with a wickedly intense full body workout, but that only takes up about as much space as your backpack.

Despite what the multitude of internet fitness gurus will tell you, it’s difficult to say that any one piece of training equipment is superior to all of the others.  There are some tools though that have a ton of undeniable benefits.  If you are looking for a super cheap training tool that is incredibly versatile and that will provide you with a full body strength and conditioning workout, a sandbag is certainly a tool that is worth considering.


About Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.

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