Itâ€™s a new month and a new fitness challenge, friends. Time to pick up a sandbag! And then put it down. And then pick it up again. Yep, keep going. Just a few more reps.
Sandbags are an ideal home workout item because, first, theyâ€™re cheap and accessible, and secondly, they arenâ€™t among the specialised equipment â€” barbells, kettlebells, and so on â€” that are constantly out of stock on manufacturersâ€™ websites and going for a fortune on Craigslist. And best of all, you can load them up as heavy as you want. If youâ€™re sick of pushups and tiny dumbbells, treat yourself to a big olâ€™ bag of sand.
How to find or make a sandbag
We have instructions here for making a sandbag from play sand (or wood fuel pellets) and any old duffel bag. The trick is to wrap the sand or pellets in multiple layers of trash bags and duct tape. Handles are nice to have, but not essential.
In fact, if youâ€™re really lazy, you can just buy a bag of play sand and wrap a few extra layers of trash bags around it, no outer bag needed. This might not be the worldâ€™s most enjoyable sandbag to use, but it will definitely do the job.
For something larger or more durable, you can buy purpose-built bags to fill with sand. Hereâ€™s one from Mountain Tactical Institute for $90, and Rogue has them up to $175 for a bag that can hold 100 kg of sand. Strength Shop has ones in a similar price range that max out at 130+ kilograms.
What to do with it
Once you have something large enough to do heavy lifts with…do some heavy lifts! Take a minute to learn how to lift a sandbag properly, and then practice picking it up and putting it down.
If your sandbag has handles, so much the better. Youâ€™re doing sandbag deadlifts now, and if you repeatedly take it from your lap to a standing position, what youâ€™re doing is essentially a sandbag front squat.
You can also pick up the bag and carry it â€” waddle along as fast as you can, or jog with it on your shoulder if itâ€™s light. Give that a try, for as many reps as you like, and come back next week when weâ€™ll talk about some more fun things we can do with our sandbag.