Training your core goes way beyond a solid six-pack. A well-functioning midsection stabilizes your body, allowing mobility in all directions and preventing injury. Activities we perform regularly call on your core – and not just in sport and fitness. Everything from shopping to sex is improved when you tone up those middle muscles. And sandbag exercises are your ticket to core-heaven.
What is a sandbag?
A staple fitness tool for the military, the humble sandbag is a training gem when it comes to improving your strength and definition. Dumbbells are often used for isolation exercises, but it’s the irregular shape and unstable weight of sandbags (thanks to the constantly shifting sand in them) that will make your muscles work harder. They’ll even bring muscles you never use into play. They’re durable, portable and (with the right routine) will give you a full-body real-world workout.
5 sandbag exercises to sculpt your core
Bringing sandbags into your routine will stave off the boredom that comes with the same workouts repeated week after week. Don’t plateau – crack up your core power with these 5 sandbag exercises.
1. Sandbag drag plank
- Position yourself as if you are going to perform a push-up. Hands should be shoulder-width apart, with your core engaged and back flat so that your body is in one straight line.
- Place a sandbag underneath your chest, slightly to the left.
- Grab the sandbag with your right hand and drag it over to the right side of the body, maintaining your plank.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Keep dragging the sandbag for around 45 seconds.
2. Lunge with rotation
- Grab the handles of your sandbag, one in each hand, with your palms facing towards each other. Stand tall with your feet together and bag hanging in front of your legs.
- Step back with your right foot, keeping your right leg straight.
- Bend your left knee to sink into a lunge. Hinge at the hip and push your buttocks back.
- Lean forward slightly and rotate the sandbag down outside of the left knee.
- Return to standing, bringing the right foot forward and the sandbag back in front of you.
- Repeat on the other side.
3. Shoulder swings
- Place a sandbag between your feet and grab the middle of it with both hands.
- Get into a deadlift position, with your buttocks lowered and body hinged forward.
- Activating your glutes, lift up the bag as you stand up and swing it over your left shoulder.
- Lower the bag back to the floor and repeat on the other side, swinging it over your right shoulder.
4. Front-loaded walks
- Lift the sandbag clean off the floor and carry it in a front-loaded position against your chest.
- Walk for 15 minutes (or longer depending on your fitness level), holding the weight against your core. Keep your elbows close to your ribs and your lower back straight.
5. Clean and press
- With the sandbag against your shins, grab both handles of the sandbag, one in each hand, palms facing each other. Your arms shouldn’t be touching your legs.
- Hinge your buttocks back, then immediately lift the bag up and catch it on your fists, in line with your shoulders.
- With your legs locked, push through your feet, activate your core and drive the bag up over your head.
- Bring the bag back down in front of your chest and then back down to your the floor against your shins (starting position) before repeating the movement.