Our Guide to the Best Fitness Sandbags

Picture of the Best Fitness Sandbags

Weightlifting is great for building muscle, burning fat and becoming stronger. But sometimes it is not helpful in real life situations. If you have ever struggled with a lopsided piece of furniture or an overloaded suitcase, then you know that dumbbells and barbells might not have prepared you for real life. This is where functional strength training can come in handy. When you work out with unruly objects, you are better prepared to handle whatever life throws at you. One of the best ways to improve your functional strength is to use fitness sandbags.

What are Fitness Sandbags?

Fitness sandbags are what they sound like – sandbags you work out with. Before you run out and grab the closest bag of sand, there are a few key differences between fitness sandbags and those used for flooding and landscaping.

Sandbags for fitness usually look like duffel bags, though you can make your own using laundry bags. They often have handles so you can grip them easier during certain exercises. Fitness sandbags are not always made of sand, either. They can have wood chips, rubber pellets or pea gravel in them. The point is for the weight to be able to shift throughout the move so that you are constantly having to work when you lift the sandbag.

How to Use Fitness Sandbags

Like weighted clothing, fitness sandbags can be used for just about any exercise that you would normally use a dumbbell or barbell for. The shifting weight in the sandbag makes each exercise more difficult. Your body has probably gotten used to the movements of your normal lifting routine. With sandbags, your body must constantly adjust to accommodate the unruly weight. This forces you to work on balance and makes your stabilizing muscles work much harder.

You can adjust the weight of sandbags for each lift. If you purchase a sandbag, then you can unzip the bag and remove or add smaller bags of material as needed. If you make your own, be prepared to open and close the bag as needed. You may need to get creative with how you seal your bag.

The 9 Best Fitness Sandbags On The Market

#9: The Ultimate Body Press Fitness Sandbag

Picture of the Ultimate Body Press Fitness Sandbag

The Ultimate Body Press is our #9 best fitness sandbag. It can be used for strength, training, and agility exercises, and has seven handles which make ite xtremely versatile. The Ultimate Body Press includes filler bags with your choice of a 40 pound or a 100 pound capacity. The sand filler bags are upgradable to workout, which can enhance workouts, and simplify setup. This unit has a strong interlocked closure and the straps offer a comfortable grip.

#8: The Iron Core Fitness Sandbag

Picture of the Iron Core Fitness Sandbag, number 8 on our reviews guide list

At #8, a versatile, on-the-go workout tool – the Iron Core Fitness features solid shells and well-placed handles that make for a dependable routine wherever you happen to be,It comes with a large and medium shell, and the option to use as a combo pack with various fillers. It offers a quick weight-changing process, and fillers made of strong vinyl. However, it is difficult to fill the tube inserts.

#7: The IHeartSynergee Pro Sandbag for Fitness

Picture of the iHeartSynergee Pro Sandbag For Fitness

Designed with resilient waterproof fabric, the outer shell of the IHeartSynergee Pro is secured with double reinforced nylon stitching, which allows the sandbag to withstand vigorous tossing and slamming during intense workouts.

It comes with an exercise manual, and a money-back guarantee, but it’s tough to fill to capacity.

#6: The Sklz Heavy Duty Sandbag for Fitness

Picture of the Sklz Super Fitness Sandbag

At #6, the Sklz Heavy Duty is built to feel natural with easy-to-grip handles in strategic locations that help facilitate explosive movements. When you’re setting up, just be careful not to overfill the bags, as the Velcro may pop open. It comes with fast and professional delivery. And it’s compact for easy storage, but sand leakage may occur.

#5: The Meister Elite Fitness Sandbag

Picture of the Meister Elite Fitness Sandbag

Moving up our list to #5. With eight separate handles across the bag, including somewhat deliberate angles – the Meister Elite stands out from the pack. The placement makes a great range of exercises possible, from hurls and presses to fast-paced circuit training. The handles are rubber, for comfort. And the set includes three portable kettlebells. It doesn’t come with sand.

#4: The Ultimate Sandbag for Working Out

Picture of the Ultimate Sandbag for Fitness

At #4, with one filler bag loadable from 5 to 20 pounds – the Ultimate Sandbag is smaller than most models, making it a new starter kit for new users and home trainers.

A handy instruction booklet and a wall chart poster are included in the package. It also comes with a free training DVD, and is available in seven colors, with a durable outer shell.

#3: The Garage Fit Workout Sandbag

Picture of the Blue Garage Fit Fitness Sandbags

Nearing the top of our list at #3.

The location of the handles combined with the unpredictable distribution of filler weight allow the Garage Fit Workout to activate muscles you’ve rarely, if ever, activated in a typical weight training session.

A special buckle and strap are engineered to ensure stability.

Three size options are available. And it’s made with a sweat-resistant fabric, and double-sealed inner liners.

#2: Rep Fitness Training Sandbag For Fitness

Picture of the Rep Fitness Sandbag for Working Out

At #2, the Rep Fitness Training takes durability to a new level, making sure that each bag is triple-stitched and cross-stitched with heavy-duty nylon.

The weight in the filler bags can be adjusted to anything between 25 and 75 pounds.

There are six versions to choose from. And it comes in an attractive design that won’t fade. It includes a special flap to cover the zipper.

#1: Brute Force Fitness Sandbag

Picture of the Brute Force Fitness Sandbag, the #1 Sandbag for Fitness on our List

And coming in at #1 on our list – the weight within the Brute Force Fitness is purposely easy to adjust, and constantly shifting so that your muscles get confused, thereby ensuring a more effective workout.

The eight handles are flexible and soft to keep you from blistering. It’s available in a wide variety of color options. And the fillers come with a no-leak guarantee. The bag is machine-washable, too.

Five Great Exercises Using Sandbags For Fitness

  1. Squat – A fitness sandbag can take a normal squat and turn it into a fight for balance. You can either hold the bag over your head while squatting or do a bear hug squat, where you hold the bag tightly to your core. You can also test your balance by holding the sandbag in the crook of your arms, in the zercher position. These squats will work your arms and core, as well increase your leg strength. For a more intense workout, do the squats on your vibration machine!
  2. Bent Over Row – This will build your back and bicep strength while also forcing your forearms and grip to become stronger. Slightly bend your knees and bend forward at the waist. Pull the sandbag towards your chest and then extend your arms back out. Make sure you keep your back straight and do not strain your neck.
    Picture of Man Using Fitness Sandbag Shouldering Technique

    This is a great example of the shouldering technique.

  3. Shouldering – If you are looking for a full body exercise, then sandbag shouldering is it. Place the sandbag on the ground. Bend with your knees to pick up the bag and grasp it to your chest. As you stand, lift the bag onto your right shoulder. Drop the bag to the ground. Repeat the move and bring the bag onto your left shoulder for one rep. Make sure you are using your hips and glutes to lift the bag and are not straining your back or arms.
  4. Lunges – There are two options for lunging with a sandbag. First, simply place the sandbag on one shoulder and step forward with the opposite leg. Make sure you switch sides when you work your other leg. You can also use the sandbag to twist as you lunge. Hold the sandbag with both hands and twist with the bag towards the side you are lunging with.
  5. Pushup Drag – Place the sandbag on the floor just above your hands. After your first push up, grab the bag with your right hand and drag it across the floor so that it is now on the outside of your left hand. Do another push up and then grab the bag with your left hand, dragging it across the floor, past your right hand. If this is too intense, you can also place your hands on the sandbag while doing push ups.

Picture of Woman Using Sandbags for Fitness

Benefits and Limitations of Sandbags

If you are considering making or buying a sandbag, here are some pros and cons to using them during your workouts.

Pros

  • Easy to make – If you do not want to drop the cash on an expensive sandbag, you can easily make your own with items found at a hardware store.
  • Fun to use – Sandbags might not seem fun while you are using them, but they are a great way to add variety to your workout and make an otherwise usual lift into something more interesting.
  • Increases functional strength – If you want to be able to do more in your job or hobbies, then increasing functional strength is essential. You will be better prepared to help others, get up from a fall and lift unwieldy objects.

Cons

  • Leaks – Those tiny little pieces of sand are hard to contain. And they can get everywhere. If you do not want your workout area to look like the beach, pay close attention to any holes or leaks you may find in your bag.
  • Increased risk of injury – It can be easy to think you can lift the same amount of weight in a sandbag that you can with a barbell. Watch out for the shifting weight. If you are not prepared, you can easily fall, stumble or strain a muscle compensating for the sand.
  • Limited use – There are only so many lifts you can do with a sandbag, especially if it does not have handles.

Conclusion

Sandbags for fitness are a great way to increase your functional strength while also adding some variety to your exercise routine. Your body adjusts to any movement you do repeatedly, so using the shifting weight of the sandbag is an excellent way to keep it guessing. This will strengthen stabilizing muscles and improve your balance. Both of these are easy to neglect in a traditional weight lifting routine. Sandbags can come in a variety of bags, weights, and materials. You also have the option of making your own. Just make sure that you are not lifting an overly heavy bag. Make adjustments as needed as the weight shifts. It will take some adjustment but incorporating sandbags to your lifting routine will improve your overall strength and better prepare you for life.

 

Additional Resources

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/sandbag-workout/

https://www.onnit.com/academy/how-to-buy-a-sandbag-read-before-you-start-sandbag-training/

https://www.builtlean.com/2015/12/30/sandbag-workout-routine/

https://greatist.com/fitness/compound-exercises-sandbag-moves-for-strength

https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/monday-morning-workout-full-body-sandbag-circuit/

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/build-serious-strength-with-sandbag-training.html

http://www.stack.com/a/sandbag-exercises

 

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