Ultimate Sandbag Workout You Can Do At Home

The beloved sandbag.

The scary-looking thing we see being thrown around in military-style boot camps.

The truth is, they’re not all that scary. They’re a versatile bit of kit that is an excellent addition to any home gym.

From building muscle to burning fat, the sandbag can do it all.

Let’s take a closer look. 

Ultimate Sandbag Workout You Can Do At Home 1

Benefits of Sandbag Workouts 

Sandbags provide a thing called dynamic resistance. This means their weight shifts throughout the movement.

So, our muscles have to work harder and adapt to the moving weight. This allows us to get stronger in our primary and stabilizer muscles.

If we compare sandbags to a barbell, we can understand the concept of dynamic resistance a little better. The weight in a barbell will stay in the same place throughout the movement.

The sand in the bag moves every time the weight is moved. Building stability helps strengthen our joints and thus minimize the risk of injuries. 

Sandbags are also a great travel companion. The bag doesn’t always have to be filled when moving it around. This means you can pack it into your suitcase and fill it back up at your destination. This way, you can stay fit while on the go. 

My favorite thing about sandbags is their versatility.

They can be used for pretty much anything. Strength building, fat burning, cardio enhancing, the sandbag can do it all.

Fill the weight up and perform traditional bodybuilding exercises such as the squat, row, and overhead press to build muscle.

If cardio is more your jam, simply empty some of the weight and use it in a circuit-style workout. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even take it on your runs to really test your capabilities. 

Finally, sandbag workouts are amazing for improving sports performance and everyday life.

There’s a reason why sandbags are so synonymous with military-style training. There are very few pieces of equipment that can challenge the effectiveness of a sandbag.

If you think of a sport like American football, you’ll know it requires an insane amount of power and speed. Things like sandbag sprints help build power and speed very effectively.

Additionally, sandbag training carries over well into everyday tasks. Think about when you put a bag into overhead storage. Sandbag training mimics that type of movement, so you can easily perform these sorts of tasks.

If you are looking to purchase a sandbag, check out our Best Sandbags for Home Workout Buying Guide.


Ultimate Sandbag Workout for Burning Fat & Building Strength

Sandbag Squat Thruster

3 Sets x 10 Reps / 60 seconds rest between sets

Hold the sandbag in front of your chest. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the

floor, then explode upward and press the bag over your head. Stand tall for one count, then sink back down into a squat.

Thrusters can be quite challenging if you’ve never done them before. To make them easier, perform the squat and press separately. Perform a squat, then pause at the top before completing the press. 


Sandbag Reverse Lunges 

3 Sets x 10 Reps (Each Side) / 60 seconds rest between sets

Hold the sandbag over your upper back or against your chest. Take a long step back until your back knee touches the floor. Drive through your front foot to return to standing. Pause briefly before repeating with the other leg. 

If you find you’re a bit unstable when performing reverse lunges, try forward lunges instead. Simply take a long step forward, then drop your hips to form a 90-degree angle. Push through your front foot to return to standing. 


Sandbag Rows

3 Sets x 10 Reps / 60 seconds rest between sets

Hold the sandbag in front of your hips. Slightly bend your knees, then push your bum back until your chest is near parallel to the floor. Pull the sandbag to your belly button, pause for one count, then lower the sandbag back to your hips. 

If you find this position uncomfortable, switch it out for a sandbag chest press. Lay on your back with the sandbag on your chest. Push the sandbag towards the sky for one count, then slowly lower it back to your chest. 


Sandbag Plank Pull Throughs 

3 Sets x 10 Reps (Each Side) / 60 seconds rest between sets

Begin in the plank position with the sandbag next to your hand facing outwards. Transfer the sandbag to your opposite side by pulling the sandbag under your torso. Return to the plank position between each transfer and continue alternating sides. Keep your core, abs, and buttocks tight throughout. 

If you find this too challenging, drop to your knees during the plank and perform the same movement. Moving to your knees places less stress on the shoulders, making the movement easier. 


Sandbag Clean and Press

3 Sets x 10 Reps / 60 seconds rest between sets

Hold the sandbag in front of your hips. Slightly bend your knees, then explode through your hips to pull the sandbag up to your shoulder. Pause briefly before pressing the sandbag overhead. Lower the sandbag back to your hips before performing the next rep. 

The clean is a complex movement. If you find it too difficult, perform the press. To make the press easier, use your legs to help generate momentum. With the sandbag on your shoulders, dip your knees to help drive the sandbag overhead.  


Sandbag Single Leg Glute Bridge 

3 Sets x 10 Reps (Each Side) / 60 seconds rest between sets

Lay on your back with the sandbag on your hips. Pull your feet towards your bum and place them flat on the ground. Lift one leg off the floor and extend it fully. Keeping your upper back on the floor, push your hips towards the sky for a count of one, then slowly lower. Perform 10 reps on one leg before switching to the opposite side. 

The single-leg glute bridge can be easily substituted for a regular glute bridge. Simply keep both feet on the floor and repeat the same movement. 


Sandbag High Pulls

3 Sets x 10 Reps / 60 seconds rest between sets

Hold the sandbag in front of your hips. Slightly bend your knees, then pull the sandbag up to shoulder height for one count before slowly lowering back to your hips. Think about keeping your shoulders pointed towards the sky and keeping the sandbag close to your body. 

This exercise focuses on your upper body. However, if the sandbag is too heavy, you can get your legs involved to make the movement a little easier. With each rep, extend your hips and legs to help build momentum for the pull. 


Sandbag Workout FAQ’s

sandbag workout

Are Sandbag Exercises Good for Beginners?

Absolutely.

The versatility of sandbags makes them a great tool for all abilities. Sandbags are available in a range of weights or can be filled to different weights. Therefore, no matter what your level of strength, there’ll be one for you. If you’re a complete beginner, I would recommend buying one under 15kg (33 lbs).

Beginners should also spend time practicing the fundamental movements such as the squat and press.

Once you’ve got used to training with the sandbag, build up to a heavier weight and start performing more complex movements such as the clean and press. 

How Much Weight Should I Use for Sandbag Training?

How much weight you use will depend on the aim of the workout and your current abilities.

As a general rule of thumb, strength training workouts with large amounts of rest will require heavier loads. In contrast, cardio-based workouts with very little rest will need lighter loads.

As your fitness progresses, you can increase the weight over time.

Typically lighter sandbags are <15kg (33 lbs), and heavier sandbags are >30kg (66 lbs).

The most popular weights for sandbags are around 20-25kg (44-55 lbs).

The 20-25kg range provides a good mix of strength and cardio-based exercises. If you’re a recreational athlete looking for one weight, this weight is the best value for money. 

How Often Should You Do Sandbag Workouts?

How long is a piece of string? How many sandbag workouts you perform a week will depend on a load of factors.

It’ll depend on your fitness goals, sport, capabilities, and time. The first thing we need to prioritize is our recovery. It’s essential to take enough rest between sessions to ensure sufficient recovery.

If we don’t recover properly, our progress is stunted, and we put ourselves at a greater risk of injury. Saying that too little activity won’t help us progress.

Once we’ve figured out how long we need to recover, we can determine how many times we can train. Advanced athletes will be able to recover within a day and train up to 6 days per week.

However, beginners will need longer recovery periods, starting with 2-3 days per week. 

Suppose you follow another training style or play a sport. In that case, you should also consider them when determining how many sandbag workouts you should do a week.

If sandbag workouts are your sole source of training, you can afford to do them more often. If you do other workouts outside sandbag workouts, it’s optimal to find a balance between the two. 

Key Takeaways

Sandbags are a versatile bit of kit that is an excellent addition to any home gym.

Because the sand in the bag moves every time the weight is moved, sandbags can be used for pretty much anything. Strength building, fat burning, cardio enhancing, the sandbag can do it all.

Add the sandbag exercises above to your home workouts and you definitely won’t regret it.

Leave a Reply

Home Gym Boss is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. We only recommend products we would use and all opinions expressed here are our own.