I’ve recently gotten into training with sandbags, and there’s definitely a learning curve involved in terms of manipulating unstable loads.
This was my workout today:
- Sandbag Deadlifts
- Sandbag Cleans
- Sandbag Thrusters
- OH Sandbag sit-ups
I finally figured out how to do the thrusters unbroken as well as the overhead sandbag sit-ups, but it took me about a dozen reps each.
Benefits of Unstable Load Training
- Real world application. You don’t lift evenly distributed weights in real life, such as your coach. Unstable load training forces you to use many different muscles to accomplish this real-world task.
- Increases grip strength. In the traditional gym, very little grip strength is trained to lift weights. To pick up a sandbag, you build hand and forearm strength naturally.
- Training different muscle groups. You stand differently, hold the weight differently, shift differently, and have to stabilize when using a sandbag. You can’t help but use more muscles than normal.
- Builds stability. You have to control the weight in order to move the weight. This gives you practice in balance as well.
- Challenging and fun. Sandbag training to me is pure joy. Manipulating an uncooperative weight is challenging and fun because of the challenge. You’ll beat yourself up and who doesn’t enjoy that?
- Builds all around strength. From strong shoulders, legs and backs, sandbags will build your strength like few other things.
- Cheap and portable. Sand, due to its abundance found around the world, is cheap — especially when compared to a barbell set. It’s also portable, which comes in handy when traveling.
You should try sandbag training if you haven’t. You’ll be surprised at how hard it is and how fun!