Sandbag Trainers are one of my favorite pieces of equipment in my garage gym. They can be used with filler bags or filled directly with sand, mulch, or whatever you have lying around. I personally like to fill my sandbags directly with a mixture of sand and mulch. I do that because I fill mine up to 80lbs and there is still some floppiness when I use it.

Here are a few of my favorite sandbag trainer exercises. You can do all of these together or incorporate or sub out these movements for in your own workouts.

1.) Cleans: Depending on the handle locations of your sandbag and your preference, (a) start with the sandbag on the floor then (b) bend down, keeping your back straight, bringing the sandbag to hip-level (at the hang). You will (c) clean it up bringing it to your chest - the sandbag will be resting on top your arms then (d) drop the sandbag to the floor and do it all over again. You can do 10 reps. This movement will target your upper body, primarily your shoulders and back.

2.) Weight Squats: This movement will start with you cleaning the sandbag to your chest. Next press the sandbag over your head to move it behind your head to have it resting on your neck and shoulders (see below). With the sandbag resting on your shoulders, squat down and up. You will need to work on keeping your chest up more than you would a regular weighted squat because you will have the weight of the sandbag pushing you forward. You can do 10 reps. This movement will target your lower body, primarily your thighs, hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

3.) Alternating Lunges: With the sandbag still resting on your shoulders, do alternating leg lunges. You can do 5 reps for each leg (10 reps total).This movement will target your core/lower body, primarily your thighs, hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Your abs and back muscles will be engaged, acting as stabilizers.

4.) Standing Overhead Press: You'll want to reset your sandbag position. You will (a) start at hip-level as you did before and when you (b) clean the sandbag to your chest keep it resting on top of your forearms. This will be the starting position for the overhead press. You will then press the sandbag over your head and then bring back to your chest. You can do 10 reps. This movement will target your upper body, primarily your shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

5.) Burden Run: With the sandbag resting on your neck/shoulders run for 400m. This exercise will target your core and get your heart pumping.

6.) Reverse Bear Crawl: Give yourself some space for this one. You will start in a bear crawl position with the sandbag in front of you on the floor. You will then pull the sandbag towards you with one arm, crawling backwards with it until you reach the end of your gym or yard. You can head back where you started using the other arm. You can do 20m each arm. This movement will target your upper body, primarily your shoulders, chest, and triceps.

7.) Sandbag Get Up: This is my favorite movement. You'll want to reset your sandbag position.Have the sandbag hang over one of your shoulders - half on your chest and half on your back. You will then lie down on the floor and get up. I like to do either 100 reps for time or a 10 minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible), but you can do 5 reps on each side (10 reps total) for this workout. This movement will target your total body.

Have your own sandbag exercises you'd like to share? Comment below, we'd love to see'em and do'em!


Peter Keller
Peter Keller

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