The 9 Best Sandbag Strength Training Exercises



Sandbag training has been one of the most powerful methods I've implemented with training my athletes. The various sandbag workouts & exercises have developed a type of strength and mental toughness that is unique to say the least.

Using sandbags has helped with developing explosive power, brute strength, mental toughness and has even reduced injuries and weakness in odd / awkward positions that tend to happen during sports such as the round back position in wrestling, lifting opponents from the ground and moving awkward objects (such as another person!).

Sandbags have gotten our athletes stronger and more comfortable in the "ohhhhh shit" position that would normally injure or render someone else helpless. Mel Siff called this "imperfect training", where you purposely train in an awkward position to prepare the body for the "imperfect" moments that happen in sport.

Check out this video of some of my favorite Sandbag Exercises & Sandbag Workouts that I have found to be the most effective for training our athletes.

Here Is A List Of My Favorite Sandbag Exercises:

1. Sandbag Power Clean

2. Sandbag Shouldering

3. Sandbag Clean & Press

4. Sandbag Zercher Squat

5. Sandbag Zercher Lunges (reverse or walking)

6. Sandbag Back Squat / Shoulder Squat

7. Sandbag Bear Complex (Clean & Front Squat, Press Overhead & Onto Your Back, Back Squat & Press Back Over Head, Down to Floor & Repeat! OUCH!!)

8. Sandbag Zercher or Bear Hug Carry

9. Sandbag Get Up

Here is some Video footage of Undergrounders attacking various Sandbag Workouts, Sandbag Challenges & Sandbag Exercises:

You don't need to be a competitive athlete to use Sandbags in your workouts. I was using Sandbags back when I was preparing for my first ever TSC (Tactical Strength Challenge). I used the Sandbag exercises for the development of speed off the floor as well as improving my work capacity.

Give these exercises or workouts a shot and drop a comment below, let me know how you felt after testing these Sandbag Exercises & Workouts.


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9 Responses

  1. Z, ever since I got you Underground Strength Kit back around 2005 we have been using sandbags at my gym. We have them ranging from 30 lb to 160 lb and all of them get used regularly .
    Keep rockin’ ’em!

    1. Yep, they have been staples of mine for over 10 years! They ain’t pretty and they are tough, that’s why they never get the recognition!

  2. Dustin W. says:

    I have a 275# bag made of an old military gear bag. Same size of a large altas stone so I will use that when my stones are covered in snow.
    Otherwise, 100#, 50# and 200#. Depending on the sale price I will mix in small gravel instead of sand since sand tends to mold easier than gravel. A different feel.

  3. Josh Sonsiadek says:

    One kick ass combo is head locking a sandbag in conjunction with Kettlebell complexes: swing, snatch, and press. It tests the grip, and stimulates propriocetion. What an awesome combo

  4. Zach,
    What is the tactical strength challenge?

    1. Nick – google it bro!!!

      deadlift, pull up, KB snatch!

  5. Dustin Maynard says:

    Sandbags… make a man strong. I do not have much experience with sandbags for training, because I only made one. My first bag was 120lbs and that was an eye opener. I used some kind of shitty leather zipper bag, I was gonna throw the bag away then I was like “hey hey hey…..I see a strength tool.” Anyways after a couple power cleans, it ripped quick! So i mainly used it for carrying. I still remember zercher carrying the bag up 3 flights of stairs for multiple sets. Talk about a battle. I only had that bag for 3 weeks, true story. :-)It was just one of those weeks where you went balls to the wall doing something different—until the tool couldnt handle it anymore. Haha! My kegs are still going strong—no matter how many times I go to war with it. Sandbags or kegs….they’ll get the job done, that’s for sure.

  6. Brent Lee Biddle says:

    Awesome Sandbag stuff….one suggestion…work on keeping those knees back as much as possible on the squat…awful far forward….being a veteran of 9 knee surgeries….I know the pain. Maybe incorporate a box squat off a milk crate to focus on keeping the knees back and working on form… it next to a mirror from the side also so you can watch yourself….hope this helps. Enjoy your stuff and glad I subscribed.

  7. Talk about economical. You can really do some workout even using the most basic and simple as well as common object that you can easily see around you.

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