If you’re interested in building strength, muscle, and raw power fast, but aren’t prepared to fork over tons of dough for a gym membership or expensive Olympic weights for a home gym, consider the sandbag workout. Sandbags – those things construction companies use to support fences and coastal cities use to prevent flooding during hurricane season – can be had on the cheap, and the awkwardness of handling them makes them perfect for tough workouts that engage your core and build muscle fast. Nowadays, too many people go for the easy way out. They’d rather do bicep curls with twelve pound weights rather than really work their bodies. The sandbag workout works your body by engaging muscles you never even knew you had, leading you to gain functional strength fast, as well as being a great weight loss workout.
The best part about sandbags as a workout tool are their low cost. You can get empty sandbags from your local hardware store for less than a dollar apiece, and then it’s just a matter of finding sand or gravel or buying cement to fill your sandbag. Once you’ve filled your bag, close the top with a zipper clasp (usually found next to the sandbags at the hardware store). Sandbags are malleable and shapeless, so they’ll fit pretty much anywhere in your house. If you plan on storing them inside, you might want to double bag your sandbag to prevent leakage. For a permanent sandbag, you could always fill a duffel bag, or even use a specialty sandbag designed specifically for working out (although these will be considerably more expensive). Whichever you choose, you’ll have high quality homemade exercise equipment on the cheap.
Two great primal strength building sandbag workouts that will tax your system and build strength and muscle fast can be performed in the privacy of your home. The first is the sandbag thruster. Hold the sandbag chest high with two hands, one on either side, using your chest to push and support the bag. Perform a squat, and as you return to the starting position, press the sandbag overhead. Bring it back to the starting position and squat again. Repeat. Now, because the sandbag will weigh about sixty pounds maximum, you should go for high repetitions and high intensity. Doing so will work your shoulders, your core, your lower body, and your chest, all while working up a sweat and increasing your muscle endurance. For an extra kick, throw the sandbag overhead instead of just pressing it.
Next is the sandbag burpee. First, get in the pushup position, with the sandbag directing under your head. Perform a pushup and then spring up into a squat position. Grab the sandbag and then go into a sandbag thruster, pushing up with your legs and pressing the sandbag overhead (or, again, even tossing it in the air). Come back down and get back in the pushup position. Repeat, as quickly as you can, and you’ll build endurance and build muscle fast in no time at all. For a visual example, check out this sandbag burpee video … but be warned, it’s quite intense!
So, if you can commit to spending a few bucks and taking fifteen minutes or so out of your busy day, you can have an intense, primal workout that builds power and muscle quickly.