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Abdominal Exercises
Double Cable Rotations For Superior Abs
Prone Swiss Ball Rolls For Developing Strong Core Muscles
5 Sandbag Exercises For Rock Hard Abs
Trunk Twists With A Twist - Tighten Your Love Handles Now!
Bench Press Leg Raise Crunches For Lower Abs
Crunch Pulldowns For a Great Six-Pack
Two Exercises With a Twist For Rock-Hard Obliques and Explosive Core Power
Seated Les Raises - A New Approach To An Old Favorite
2 Dumbbell Swings For a "Steel Corset" Core
The Best Ab Exercise You Never Heard Of

Ab & Core Workouts
The New Method For Six Pack Abs
Build 3-Dimensional Abs In 2010
The Effectiveness Of Sand Bag Training For Abdominals
How To Get 6 Pack Abs & Lose Stomach Fat
Workout Complexes For Hardness & Conditioning
Old School Workouts To Develop Granite Hard Abdominals
The 3 Best Abdominal Exercises that Are Not Abdominal Exercises!
2 Challenging Exercises For Powerful Rock Hard Abs
How To Get Six Pack Abs Using Neglected Cable Exercises
Attack Your Abs With These Underground Power Moves
Killer Abs At Home In 12 Minutes

Recent Ab Training Articles
3 Unique Abdominal Exercises That Work Like Magic
Lose Ab Fat With 3 Non-Traditional Ab Exercises
The Top 55 Foods For Rock Hard Six Pack Abs
The Rise of SandBag Training
Develop Your Abs Through Heavy Strength Training
Cover Model Abs In One Workout Per Week
The Ultimate Secrets to a Flat Stomach and Six Pack Abs
Can You Really Lose More By Exercising Less?
Three Unusual Secrets For Awesome Abs
Super Sexy Swimsuit Six-Pack In 12 Weeks
The Best Exercises For Your Lower Abs Revealed
Bulletproof Your Abs And Injury Proof Your Back
The Truth And Secrets Of Getting Ripped Abs
Abdominal Fat Dangers
Abs Without Effort
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Sports Training &
Punch Proof Abdominals: How To Get Abs Like A Pro Boxer
The 7 Sins Of Baseball Specific Core Training
The 2 Major Keys To Golf Conditioning Success
Core Training For Martial Arts: Abs Like Bruce Lee!

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Turbulence Training Interview
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Healthy Recipes
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Easy Tuna Recipes For Bodybuilders & Dieters

Ask the Ab Guru
Prone Swiss Ball Rolls For Developing Strong Core Muscles
Expansion Sit-Backs For Amazing Abs
Powerful Exercises For A Strong Core
Should You Train Abs To Failure?
The Core In Four Abdominal Workout
Correcting Bad Posture With Ab Training
The Truth About Ab Machines
Core Training: Legit or Just The Latest Fad?

Ask the Fat Loss Guru
Concurrent Muscle Gain & Fat Loss: Is It Possible?
The Amazing Abdominals Mistake
Foods That Burn Body Fat
How to lose loose skin after weight loss
Does eating at night make you fat?


Effective Sandbag Training
By Josh Henkin

To be able to train in today’s times is such a great advantage. Not only do we have the ability to get information instantaneously, but we also have a greater variety of training equipment available than ever before. Sure, some equipment is more beneficial than other, but our choices seem limitless. By having so many different options, it encourages the fun factor in training that many people tend to forget about.

Often we spend a lot of time arguing over the perfect rep and set scheme, or should we use a slightly pronated or semi-supinated grip to optimize effectiveness.

While some of these factors definitely prove to be necessary, one cannot discount the benefit of enjoying what training can do for performance.

Training will make someone work harder, be more consistent, and as long as the program has rhyme and reason, it will lead to some outstanding gains.

One type of training that sometimes gets forgotten is sandbag training. Sandbags are easy to learn, challenge the whole body, and have more versatility than almost any other form of equipment.

Why Use Sandbags?

The most obvious seems to be the simplicity of their use. One does not need to invest hundreds of dollars into coaching (although I am available for those who are interested) or have to read any complicated books. Grasp, rip, and lift. You definitely want to pay attention to your lifting posture, but outside of that most of the fun is trying to figure out how to lift the bag.

Sandbag lifting shares a lot in common with kettlebells with regard to their ability to challenge not only strength, but endurance as well. A good bag will force the lifter to maneuver and adjust to the awkward weight. This definitely causes the body to use more muscles and expend greater energy as it is hard to get into one consistent groove.

Josh Henkin performing SandBag PushUps:

Increasing grip strength is another great reason to use sandbags. There is no piece of equipment that frustrates people as much as sandbags. Why? When using sandbags there is no convenient place to grab. You have to constantly search for an open spot and then crush grip. However, unlike most pieces of equipment, I find that not only is your crushing grip challenged, but your pinching grip is as well. For those who are into grip training, you will appreciate the distinct difference between the two.

  Versatility is important when choosing any form of equipment. With common concerns about money and time it is often silly to invest a great amount of money into something that has limited use.

Not only are sandbags cheap, but they can be used for any movement that you can think of from common gym exercises like squats, clean & jerks, to jogging, climbing, dragging, and throwing.

With such variety it is hard to get bored. Along with the various exercises come the many holding positions one can use with sandbags. If squatting is getting too easy with the bag on both shoulders go to one shoulder, hold it overhead, hold it in your arms like a Zercher, bear hug, etc. You are really only limited by your imagination.

Sandbags easily lend themselves to team or group training. Because of their cost and transportability, they are easy to set up for small or large groups. This is great for those who wish to combine strength and field work and are concerned about time issues. Coaches can concentrate on full-body lifts and challenge various motor qualities such as maximal strength, endurance, and power development.

Finally, the immense amount of trunk training that occurs with sandbag training alone is almost a good enough reason to use them. Try to squat, run, lunge, jump, or any other movement while holding the sandbag/s in various positions. Doing so challenges all of the trunk muscles. Many of my clients will comment how sore they are deep in their rib area after initially using sandbags. Don’t believe me? Try a few sets of sandbag Turkish get-ups and then e-mail me how you are feeling!

How to Implement Sandbags

As with any other form of training, sandbags training really comes down to one’s goals. If maximal strength, endurance, or speed are your specific goals, then the program has to be designed according to good training principles. However, one can try to improve several components if the program is designed appropriately.

Sandbag Presses:

Circuits: Since fatigue can be somewhat specific, creating a program that emphasizes strength on a lift such as a squat can be followed with relatively short rest by an exercise like an overhead press, and so on.

Density Training: Several great coaches like Ethan Reeve and Charles Staley have written extensively about the benefits of density work. There are several variants such as Charles Staley’s EDT program. Using Coach Staley’s program, we can set up a sandbag routine using a squat with the bag over both shoulders and power clean and jerk. Use a weight you can hit ten repetitions with, but you are only going to be performing sets of five. Set a time frame, approximately fifteen minutes, and alternate between these two exercises using only as much rest as needed.

You don’t have to use only sandbags. In fact, I highly encourage that you use a variety of implements in your training hopefully including sandbags. A tool such as a sandbag can be used instead of a standard barbell or dumbbell lift such as squats, deadlifts, clean & jerks, presses, rows, etc. By changing the implement some new neural stimulus can often lead to new gains when you go back to the standard lift.

“By changing the implement some new neural stimulus can often lead to new gains when you go back to the standard lift,” says Josh Henkin.

Another option is to use sandbags as a form of active recovery. You can easily change the load to enhance a motor skill and keep mobility without excessively taxing the body. Using a lighter load for your squat will allow you to enhance the groove of the lift and maintaining flexibility without draining the body from the core routines. Odd lifts such as squatting with the bag on one shoulder can increase core strength that may compliment your squatting routine.

Some lifts are just a great overall new challenge such as the Turkish get-up bear hugging a bag. While as sick as this may sound, it can definitely stimulate the fun factor that may help training once again.

With so many options sandbags are a simple and easy method and tool to implement. It isn’t a miracle technique but will challenge you in new ways and again don’t underestimate the fact fun while training can bring a world of new progress!

Click here now to learn more about sandbags and how to supply your own home gym with one!

About Coach Josh Henkin
Josh Henkin is owner of Innovative Fitness Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona. For the past ten years he has created effective training programs for a wide array of clients. Josh is a graduate of Arizona State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Physical Education. At Arizona State, he was also a member of the Men’s Basketball Team.

Coach Josh Henkin

Josh is an NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist, certified club coach with USA weightlifting, and certified Russian kettlebell instructor and a certified corrective high performance exercise kinesiologist. Coach Henkin is well known nationally as an expert in fitness and sports performance training and has been invited to appear at national conferences and write for numerous fitness magazines.

Coach Henkin has dedicated himself to providing cutting-edge, easy to apply training information to the masses. He has created the Ultimate Sandbag for those that wish to get the immense benefits of odd object lifting at home or at their gym, along with the very popular High Octane Sandbag Training DVD. He has also recently released SMASH: Total Conditioning with Sledgehammers. These programs have become so popular because they are effective and they are fun! Check out coach Henkin’s site at:

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