One of the great things about being able to work out at home is that I have the flexibility to work out when it fits my schedule, not having to worry about getting to a class on time or being in the weight room after work when everyone and their mother is in there. I love to be at the gym in the weight room, but that’s not always possible these days. Because of our home gym, I can squeeze a workout in during Isabelle’s nap time or later in the evening, and not have that crazy mom guilt about taking time away from her either. But while working out at home is convenient, it can be repetitive and monotonous if I let it, especially since I only have a certain amount of equipment.
That’s why I’m always so excited to add some new equipment to our home gym. I’ve had several people ask me over the years about the “must have” fitness equipment if you’re going to be working out at home. And the true answer is that it’s different for everyone. Whatever is going to get you motivated to move is what is right for you — but there are a few things that I prefer over others due to their versatility and ability to be used for full body workouts, not just one singular muscle group.
And that’s exactly what I’m posting about today! I was recently contacted by Rep Fitness, a fitness equipment company out of Colorado, who asked me if I was interested in trying out some of their equipment. I didn’t hesitate to say yes, and after looking through their available equipment I was excited to see that I could try out a sand bag, which would be a great addition to our workout arsenal. Already having (and loving) battling ropes, rings, and kettle bells, I thought this would be one more thing that I could get a little bit creative with.
I spent the last week playing around with it during my workouts, figuring out exactly what I wanted to share with you all today. And the truth is, the sand bag is so versatile that I’m giving you not one but two(!) workouts — one for beginners, and one for those at the intermediate or advanced level. The key thing to remember here is that what makes the sandbag great is not even the piece of equipment itself, but what it forces you to do. Because the weight is dynamic (the sand and bag will shift during movement), you have to pay a lot more attention to form and core stability throughout every single exercise. For those who tend to get a little lazy when working out at home and just “go through the motions”, the sandbag won’t really let you do that. It takes focus and constant adjusting due to the movement of the weight.
Are you sold yet? If you have a sandbag available to you at home or at your gym, give one of these workouts a try! New equipment can be indimidating, but with a little practice, focus, and confidence, the sand bag can become a permanent fixture in your workout routine. And if you don’t have one available to you, consider heading over to Rep Fitness to pick one out for yourself. I went with the classic black, but you could also style it up with a red or camo print bag!
What I love about this particular bag, compared to others I’ve used, is that it feels solid in my hands, even with 50 lb of sand in it. The handles are comfortable to hold, and the construction of the bag is comfortable to use — when slinging these things around any rough edges or seams can be irritating. But this bag is smooth and solid. And to top off the versatility of this piece, you can fill it anywhere between 25-75 lb. I used both sleeves and put about 25 lb of sand in both, so that I can easily take one out and have a 25 lb bag or a 50 lb bag, depending on the exercises I’m doing that day (or during that particular set).
First, the beginner workout:
For each exercise: Give a lot of focus to your core. Maintain a strong core throughout each and every exercise, paying special attention to movement of the bag. These exercises should be done with one sand sleeve in place (25 lb or less), until you master the movements and weight.
Front Loaded Get Ups: You will start in a high kneeling position. While maintaining a strong core, step forward to standing with your back leg, squeezing glutes at the top and making sure not to arch back or lean forward. Slowly return to starting position, then switch legs once in original high kneeling position.
Farmers Carry: Again maintaining a strong core, hold sand bag at your side with an extended straight arm. Be sure to keep your shoulder from creeping up on that side, and also be careful not to lean towards or away from weight. Walk steadily for 20 yards, placing bag on the ground. Turn around, picking up bag with the other hand, and return to starting point.
Dead Bugs: Begin with both legs in the air, and sandbag held straight up overhead. Slowly lower one leg to the ground, keeping a strong core and your low back pressed flush to the ground. Return leg to top, and lower opposite leg. These should be very slow and controlled.
A/B Exercises: These are supersets, to be performed with one set of each, back to back, until you’ve completed 3 sets of each.
The weight: For this workout, the goal is to use the heavier sandbag for exercises 1A, 1B, and 2, and then remove one of the sand sleeves to have a lower weight for 3-4. For me, this was 50 lb and then 25 lb.
Plank Pull Throughs: Try to keep your body in as straight of a line as possible from head to toes. Try not to shift your hips or arch your back too much, especially while manipulating the bag. My hips are a bit too high in the photo.
OHP: Overhead Press. I played around with these a little bit, because it’s tough to get a good firm hold for overhead movements with the bag. I found it best for me to use the handles that are parallel to the length of the bag, holding it so that the weight is supported on my knuckles (see picture).
Do you have access to a sandbag? Give one of these a try and let me know how it goes! Or head on over to Rep Fitness and pick one out for yourself. You won’t regret it. And don’t forget to smile!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a sandbag in compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.