Strength and conditioning is an essential training area for athletes as well as people who like to generally keep themselves fit. Sandbags have become a very popular method of training for lots of folks, be it MMA fighters or other martial artists, or just people who want to build a strong and functional body.
Homemade sandbag training is one incredibly cheap way to get all the benefits of training with sandbags, but without having to fork out $100 + to buy a ready made bag. It is true that the manufactured bags like the ones from Ultimate Sandbags and Brute Force Sandbags are excellent, well made, multiple hand holds for a variety of grips etc, but you CAN get by very nicely indeed with a homemade sandbag for training. You can make your own homemade sandbag for 30 bucks or less, and if you already have a duffel bag or a holdall, it will be even cheaper.
Homemade Sandbag Training – How To Build A Sandbag
Firstly though, check out this quick video of Matt Wichlinski constructing a Homemade Bulgarian Training Bag. Read on and see the next video on standard sandbag construction.
Here is another video on constructing a standard style sandbag using a military style holdall. Simple, effective, and can be produced in minutes.
Benefits Of Homemade Sandbag Training
Resistance training is an excellent way to maintain, and increase lean muscle mass, important to everyone, but particularly as we age, when muscle atrophy can become a real problem. You will get many of the same benefits as you would from training with barbell and dumbells, kettlebells or resistance bands, but sandbags offer something special, and a lot more fun than working out in the gym.
Advantages of training with sandbags include:
- Serious improvements to grip strength, you won’t need to concentrate on working your grip with sandbags, it comes with the territory
- The awkward shape of a sandbag, as well as the malleability and ever altering shape, make it a far more challenging thing to pick up and move around than some of the more traditional resistance training tools
- The sandbag moulds nicely to the body, making it far more useful for simulating carrying, and moving around certain loads. Train for everything, and nothing will surprise you. I like to use sandbags, but also move rocks and logs around for an all round approach
With a very small investment of time and money, you can get started in home made sandbag training really quickly. A duffel bag or holdall, or a military kit bag can be filled with bags of builder’s sand and you are good to go. 20 or 25 kg bags of sand are the norm, but you can always split these down, tape em up with some gaffer take, and have a more variable weight in your bag. If you want to invest in a custom made product in time, then great, but it is not essential.
Sandbag training is one of the most affordable and productive forms of resistance training you can take part in, this alone makes it for more accessible for the masses, and that can only be a good thing.
Once you have constructed your homemade sandbag, there are a stack of fun things you can do with it. Integrating sandbags into your existing training regime would certainly be a worthwhile thing, but you can use them as you only training system, just as some people do with bodyweight exercises or kettlebells, it just needs you to consider what is needed tyo build an all-over body conditioning program. Pushes, pulls, leg work and core conditioning cover all the bases. The cool thing is that your core will be trained with everything you do, something you won’t find on the fixed machines at the local leisure center. Here is an example workout routing for sandbag training at home.
- PRESS – Military Press Or a Floor Press
- SQUATS – Bear Hug or sandbag across the shoulders. The Bear Hug squat with also require gripping and squeezing strength, which the shouldered bag will not
- PULLS – High Pulls or a Bent Over Row, each requiring a lot of grip strength
- CORE – Oblique Twists, Situps, Sandbag Drags – Take your pick and adapt as required
For legs, replace squats with lunges, Bulgarian Half Squats, Side Lunges with bear hug etc etc. Almost any barbell or kettlebell exercise can be adapted to use in homemade sandbag training. Bodyweight exercises can be progressed in the same way. The world most definitely is your oyster when you have a sandbag.
Here is a good video on what sort of workout you could construct with a sandbag. Visit our Sandbag Category page for more sandbag training tips and product reviews.
Thanks for visiting Pure Functional Fitness. We are here to help you get the most out of your training and are sure that this article will encourage you to consider homemade sandbag training as part of your programme.