The Sandbag is one of the most misunderstood training tools. People often ask us why they shouldn’t just use a regular sand bag or even a rock instead of using a sandbag. And if you are not familiar with what exactly it is, then read on!
What Is A Sand Bag?
A sandbag is basically a large piece of wood covered with some kind of material such as rubber or plastic. You might think that it would be easy to make a sandbag, but unfortunately it isn’t. There are many different types of materials used in making sandbags, so finding the right one can take time and research.
Sandbags have been around since ancient times, however their popularity increased after World War II when they were made popular by the U.S.
Army during its occupation of Japan during WWII (1941 – 1945). During these years, sandbags became very popular among soldiers because they could be easily transported and stored. They were also useful for building shelters in case of an emergency.
Today, sandbagging is still common amongst survivalists and other outdoor enthusiasts due to their durability and portability. However, there are several disadvantages to using a sandbag over a traditional shelter such as weight, size and cost.
For example, a large military-style sandbag can weigh up to 40 pounds and the cost of these can be up to $1 a piece.
Proper Care And Storage Of A Sand Bag
While sandbags are very durable and last for years, they do require some upkeep and proper storage. For example, if you use a sandbag for an extended period of time you will have to replace the sand at some point.
This is because over time the sand will become compacted and lose its cushion-like effect. Replacing the sand is easy and you can easily just find some free sand at a nearby river or beach.
If you are using your sandbag for an extended period of time, then you may also want to apply a water-resistant coating such as linseed oil on the bag. This can help extend the life of your sandbag and prevent moisture from seeping through the bag.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never fold or sit on a sandbag. This can cause the bottom of the bag to tear along with the possibility of the sand leaking out.
Most people think a sandbag only has one purpose and that is for building strength and endurance. However, they can also be used as a weapon in self-defense situations.
For example, you can swing it at an attacker’s head with tremendous force and potentially knock them unconscious.
The Different Types Of Sandbags
Not all sandbags are the same. In fact, some companies have made their own unique design to meet the needs of their customers.
While most bags are similar in nature such as the military-grade bag, there are a few that use a different design. Some of these include:
Plastic Sandbag – Made with tough and durable plastic, these sandbags have flexible and foldable edges. They are very easy to carry and store and come in a variety of colors including black, green and red.
Gym Sandbag – As the name suggests, these are perfect for going to the gym. They feature double-stitched seams and reinforced stress points.
These sandbags are also made with a durable vinyl material that is easy to clean.
Military-Grade Sandbag – These are very similar to the sandbags that soldiers use during boot camp. They feature double and triple stitching along with metal components for added strength.
You can get these in a variety of colors such as black, green and desert tan.
Sandbag Training Tips
As with any type of training, safety is always the number one priority. Make sure to read and understand the safety recommendations before starting your fitness program.
Also, you may want to speak with your doctor before getting started.
Included here are some tips and guidelines to follow when working with your sandbag:
Wear proper fitness gear – when performing exercises that involve a lot of movement such as jerks or overhead presses, it’s best to wear shoes, athletic pants and a shirt that can absorb the impact of the sand.
Rest the bag – never underestimate the rest and recovery of your bag. If you are training for a powerlifting competition, try using smaller sandbags or even weights.
Make sure to keep yourself well-rested and nourished.
Warm up and cool down – it’s very important to warm up your body before doing any kind of rigorous physical activity. A good warm-up increases your body temperature, heart rate, mobility and prepares your muscles for activity.
As for cooling down, this is very important as well. This keeps your muscles from stiffening and helps reduce any swelling that may have occurred.
Add variety to your routine – be sure to switch up your training routine every once in awhile. If you always train with a sandbag, try switching it up with dumbbells, resistance bands or even kettlebells.
This keeps your muscles guessing and doesn’t allow them to adapt which can lead to increased strength and muscle gains.
Train hard but train safe.
Sandbag Training Exercises
Below are some of the most common exercises you can do with a sandbag. For each exercise, we’ve listed the equipment needed, muscles worked and a step-by-step instructional video.
Choose any exercise you like and start getting fit today.
Sandbag Training Videos
Benefits of Sandbag Training
Sandbags have become very popular among fitness enthusiasts for a few different reasons. First, they are super cheap and can be found just about anywhere.
Second, they are very easy to modify for differing ability levels and needs. For example, you can add more or less sand to make the bag heavier or find a smaller or larger bag to accommodate your strength and size.
Finally, sandbags are great for functional strength, agility and overall muscular development. Here are just a few benefits of using a sandbag:
Cardiovascular benefits – depending on which exercises you choose to do and the intensity with which you do them, sandbag training can be great for improving your cardiovascular health.
Strength training – working out with a sandbag is a lot of fun and can be great for building overall body strength.
Agility training – many of the exercises and drills that can be performed using a sandbag are fantastic for improving your hand-eye coordination and agility.
Cost – there is no need to go out and buy expensive equipment to get in great shape. All you really need is a sandbag and somewhere to do your exercising!
Flexibility – many of the exercises that can be performed with a sandbag require you to bend and twist your body in various ways. This increased flexibility helps prevent injury and allows you to have better posture.
What is the best type of bag to use?
There really isn’t any best type of bag, but some people do prefer to use actual workout sandbags. These are the bags that you often find at gymnasia or outdoor fitness areas. They are more expensive, but they also are very sturdy and built to last.
If you don’t want to spend the extra money, you have a few other options. You can always go to a local hardware store and buy play sand in 50 lb bags.
This sand is exactly the same as the workout sand found at most gyms and it’s less than half the price!
You can also try going to a local school or daycare. Most schools and daycares use small seed beads as a distraction for children.
You can often times find bags full of these little beads at thrift stores or even garage sales. Just wash out the Beads and fill up your bag.
What if I don’t have a sandbag but want to start exercising?
If you don’t have a sandbag but still want to get in shape, you have a few options. The first option is to buy one of the many exercise sandbags that are now for sale on the market. These bags are often smaller than a normal bag and can cost anywhere from $20 to $80+.
Your other option is to go down to your local hardware store and buy play sand in 50 lb bags.
Sources & references used in this article:
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The Upright Go Posture Device-SttB Articles by SA Bird – photo.scottandrewbird.com
Bryan Mann Talks Velocity Based Training by B Mann – elitefts.com
The Fat and the Furious: A Complete Guide to the Most Misunderstood Macronutrient by J Mike – elitefts.com
Economic Value Added as a management tool by E Makelainen – Disponíble em, 1998 – evanomics.com
The Rey Dot Counting Test as a Tool for Detecting Suboptimal Performance in Athlete Baseline Testing by A DaCosta, F Webbe, A LoGalbo – Archives of Clinical …, 2020 – academic.oup.com
New functional training for sports by M Boyle – 2016 – books.google.com
Kettlebells Are Not Really That Effective, Are They? by SRKCJ Henkin – dragondoor.com