Every year, new pieces of exercise equipment flood the marketplace. Each claims to offer unrivaled benefits. But did you ever wonder what men, and women, did hundreds of years ago that enabled them to power through physically demanding days? Quite simply, they worked! Hard! Maybe they knew something that many have since forgotten.
Sandbags Build Functional Strength
The best of the new machines are designed with functional strength in mind, the sort of toughness our ancestors possessed. But what is functional strength?
- Strength in multiple planes of motion
- Strength that replicates life’s physical tasks, which is built using full-body explosive movements
- Working against resistance that is constantly shifting, requiring continuous adaptation from the neuromuscular system
Even if your job does not require you to bale hay, swing an ax, or stack bags of grain, you can now have the same rugged physique. Enter the sandbag — the old-fashioned remedy for our digital age.
Getting started requires attention to detail
First and foremost, you will need to learn how to grip the sandbag; this is a little different with each bag and exercise. Suppose you want to learn sandbag cleans. If your bag has handles, grasp them and face your palms inward; if not, then grab the ends of the bag, palms inward (a neutral grip). Now, pull explosively, snap your hips forward, and forcefully drive your heels into the floor. Next, rotate your forearms and pull the sandbag into your chest. Finally, reverse these steps to return to the start position with the bag once more at your feet. That’s one rep. Repeat. Every exercise has its nuances, and will require practice. While you’re learning, you will also be getting very powerful.
How does a sandbag workout look?
Well, it would have a variety of sandbag exercises, perhaps arranged as a complex. For example, you could try this:
- Bear hug squats
- Rotating clean with lunge press
- Bear hug farmer’s walk
- Staggered stance bent-over row
- Burpee squat press
Like any other complex, you never pause or release the sandbag, smoothly transitioning from one movement to the next after, say, 10 reps. If you do this three times and add in 250 heavy kettlebell swings, you will want no more.
Why sandbags are awesome:
I’m not going to mince words. The workout I have detailed is brutal. You may not make it through at first. Persist! You will adapt, and you will get much stronger. Your stamina will be through the roof.
Sandbags are amazing because even changing your stance makes the exercise quite different. If you don’t believe me, try bent-over rows with a parallel stance instead of the staggered one in our complex.
Increasing the weight obviously makes the workout harder. Even if you keep the grip, weight, and stance the same, the sand will shift differently on each rep. You will need to concentrate fiercely and power through relentlessly. Over weeks, months, and years the lowly sandbag will transform you, making you strong, persistent, and resilient. And when the floodwaters rise, you’ll be ready.
CATEGORIES: Workout, Fitness, Exercise, Strength, Muscle, Weight, Sandbag, Training