The Stable Benefits of Unstable Sandbags
Tired of your boring old workouts? Here’s why you should start adding sandbags to your normal routine.
Many people who are active in fitness stick to the typical tools such as dumbbells, barbells, and machines. While these tools all have a place and a purpose sometimes it is good to change it up, challenge our bodies and minds, and try something new.
Changing up your regular training program for something a little different can benefit your whole workout plan. Sandbags are a functional training tool and can make a traditional workout more challenging, making them a great addition to anyone’s workout.
A Different Type of Weight Distribution
A sandbag’s weight distribution is constantly changing. It shifts and moves causing us to adapt and re-stabilize ourselves. This can easily translate to typical tasks, like loading luggage into our car, picking up bags of mulch, playing with our kids or balancing ourselves when we use unstable objects.
Sandbag training can help us become stronger and more coordinated with these simple, daily movements.
Activate Different Muscles
Due to the irregular load, sandbags help activate different stabilization muscles that do not typically get used when our joints are in a fixed position, like with a barbell or on a machine.
Take for example a power clean. It is a full body exercise that activates many muscles. When using a barbell, the weight is distributed evenly and is very predictable. When we use a sandbag, however, the allocation of weight varies as we pull the bag up and catch it.
With each rep the distribution of weight changes, meaning that each rep will be different. This means our muscles and stabilizers must work harder to steady the weight.
Increase Overall Strength
Sandbag training increases overall strength, including grip strength, while the strain on joints decrease. While sandbags make the exercise more difficult, we do not have to lift as much weight to get the desired result.
When performing a clean and jerk with a barbell, we might lift 80lbs. When working with a sandbag, we should decrease the load and build up. As our bodies and minds become stronger and more aware, we can increase the weight of the sandbag.
When we accomplish an 80lb clean and jerk using a sandbag, we will have grown in strength allowing us to surpass 80lbs when we go back to the “stable” tool of a barbell.
Sandbags are a very simple, inexpensive tool with an abundance of benefits. They transport easily and can be utilized to target multiple muscles.
Using a sandbag also allows us to incorporate multiplanar, compound exercises leading us to become more kinesthetically aware. This makes us a more efficient and mindful lifter.
Becoming proficient at using a sandbag is something everyone should strive for. As an athlete, it is important to be strong and stable in awkward positions and exercises. Change up your workouts, take on a challenge and incorporate this tool to become a more experienced lifter.
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