This Full-Body Sandbag Workout Builds Strength, Endurance And Stability

Sandbags of various weights in a gym
(Image credit: Leandro Roldan / Getty Images)

One of the best ways to keep your strength training fresh is to vary the equipment you use to provide resistance. Sandbags are less commonly used than most weights, but they will help you build strength and muscle like any weight, and sandbags also have some benefits you don’t get from fixed weights.

“Sandbags provide an unstable and dynamic load, forcing your muscles to work harder to stabilize the weight,” says Natasha Ram, trainer at F45 Mill Hill.

We asked Ram for a full-body sandbag workout, which you’ll find below, so you can get to grips with these weights.

“Start with a sandbag weight that challenges you but still allows you to maintain proper form,” says Ram. “Gradually increase the weight as you become stronger and more comfortable with the movements.”

Full-Body Sandbag Workout

1 Sandbag squat

Man demonstrates a sandbag squat

(Image credit: Extreme Photographer / Getty Images)

Sets 3 Reps 10-12

“Place the sandbag on your shoulders behind your neck,” says Ram. “Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat, keeping your back straight and chest up, until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.”

2 Sandbag clean and press

Sets 3 Reps 10-12

“Start with the sandbag on the ground between your feet,” says Ram. “Squat, grasp the sandbag by the sides, and lift it explosively to your chest, using your legs and hips. Then press the sandbag overhead, fully extending your arms. Lower it back to your chest and then to the ground.”

3 Sandbag lunge

Woman performs a sandbag lunge

(Image credit: dusanpetkovic / Getty Images)

Sets 3 Reps 10-12 each side

“Hold the sandbag on your shoulders behind your neck,” says Ram. “Step forward with your right leg, bending both knees to a 90° angle. Push through your right heel to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg.”

4 Sandbag bent-over row

Woman demonstrating bent-over row with sandbag

(Image credit: Vladimir Sukhachev / Getty Images)

Sets 3 Reps 10-12

“Hold the sandbag with an overhand grip [palms facing down], with your knees slightly bent,” says Ram. “Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat, and let the sandbag hang in front of you. Pull the sandbag up towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower it back down with control.”

5 Sandbag press-up

Sets 3 Reps 10-12

“Place the sandbag on the ground and assume a press-up position with your hands on the sandbag,” says Ram. “Perform press-ups, keeping your core engaged and maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels. If regular press-ups are too challenging, you can modify them by doing them from your knees.”

6 Sandbag Russian twist

Sets 3 Reps 10-12 each side

“Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet lifted off the floor,” says Ram. “Hold the sandbag with both hands in front of your chest. Twist your torso to the right, bringing the sandbag alongside your right hip. Return to the center and then twist to the left, bringing it alongside your left hip.”

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.