Let’s Work With Sandbags

To be honest, I don’t do basic exercises. No crunch, no planks; I’m sure my abs can handle them, but my brain just doesn’t care. (And, as you know, I firmly believe that I don’t do any exercise that you really hate .) But something that makes your core work hard while you do something else? When I do this, I feel cool.

So today, with our sandbags, it’s a sandbag. Your entire body works when you are carrying something heavy. Depending on how you hold it, you engage your abs and back, as well as all those vague other “core” muscles along the sides of your torso and inside your chest that we are told supposedly exist. Your shoulders and hips may ache oddly after wearing it for a long time. They suck, but in a good way.

So let’s do it. I have chosen four different ways to carry my 50 lb sandbag and you can see how I do them in this video:

Transfers to:

  • Carrying shoulder (do on both sides)
  • Zercher carries, with a bag pinned to his elbows, in front of you.
  • Overhead that I can only say good luck

For shoulder and zercher carry, you need to place the sandbag in your lap and then stand in the desired position, as we discussed in the first week of the test. The overhead is trickier. You get it around shoulder height, but then you have to get it on the upper arm somehow. I found it worked by placing the bag on my chest and gently placing my hands under it, then slowly pushing it over my head. Every time I tried to go too fast, I gave up everything.

Overhead is best of all if you can make it work. You work your shoulders and whole body and constantly monitor your balance.

Another option, not shown, is to grab the sandbag in one hand (by the handles if your bag has handles) and carry it like a suitcase. You will feel very lopsided, and that’s the point. Just make sure the distance is the same on both sides.


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