Chances are you’ve passed over the sandbags at your gym and I totally get it. If you haven’t used sandbags before, it can be difficult to understand how best you can incorporate them into your workout routine. I am here to change that! Sandbags are an awesome choice for improving both strength and coordination. Read on for all the info you need about how to use sandbags and why you should add them into your gym routine.
When I think about what equipment I want to use with my clients I ask myself:
- Is this an effective tool for developing strength and movement?
- Does it meet my demands for functional training—meaning: does it improve the body’s ability to function efficiently on all planes and can I increase levels on complexity of time to stress the kinetic chain?
- Do I have an understanding of how to use it and—more importantly—how to coach someone using it?
Sandbags are a great tool that hit on all my requirements. The sandbag, if used correctly, can increase inter-muscular coordination and encourages your body to reproduce correct movement patterns and form. Sandbags are particularly great for working on your holding position, body position, and planes of motion.
Holds, Body Positioning, Planes of Motion and How They Work
Holding position refers to how we progressively change how we hold the sandbag in efforts to change the stress applied to the body. A barbell, for example, has four or five different positions while a sandbag has more than ten. When we change how we hold the sandbag, you exert more energy—making sandbags a fantastically efficient strength training tool.
Body positionrefers to how we stand when we lift the sandbag. Making slight changes to our body position can completely change how an exercise feels. Performing a clean in a staggered stance, for example, completely changes the exercise and how your body responds to it.
Planes of motion are the dimensions in which our bodies move. There are three planes of motion: transverse, frontal and sagittal. Because we don’t move in a single dimension (it would be impossible!), we shouldn’t train that way. Introducing different ways to utilize your planes of motion works best by first resisting them with movements like shoulder squats, rotational lunges, and lateral drags like in DVRT Training.
Try fitting a few of these into your workouts:
Have you used the sandbags before? Are you willing to give them a shot after learning a bit more about them? Tell us in the comments!