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As I’ve stated many times here on this blog, I’m a huge fan of functional training. A few weeks ago, I made my own “sandbag” by duct taping a bag of play sand from Home Depot. Did it work? Sure. But it was heavy, awkward, and I was somewhat limited in what I could do with the sandbag other than use it as one big heavy weight.
Enter: the Ultimate Sandbag.
The Ultimate Sandbag workouts were designed to:
- Build Core Strength In Less Time While Getting a Full Body Workout
- Burn More Calories & Fat with Unstable Shifting Material
- Improve Flexibility and Retrain Muscles – Forgotten in Standard Routines – Simultaneously
- Reduce Pain By Balancing Muscles Movements to Take Stress Off the Body
- More Variety of Challenging and Fun Workouts
Check out this workout (obviously an advanced workout) to get an idea of how this thing works:
What is it? : The Ultimate Sandbag is quite literally a super heavy duty duffel bag (the shell) covered in various handles that comes with filler bags. It is the most durable sandbag available on the market (30% stronger than any other available materials on the market), made of proprietary military grade materials. It is waterproof, will not tear, stretch, crack, rot, or mildew. And further, the material is non-abrasive to the skin. Depending on how full the filler bags are, as well as how many filler bags you put in the shell, will vary the load in the sandbag. The ultimate sandbag comes in three sizes: The Power (smallest, most compact size, great for beginning women and young athletes), The Strength (recommended for beginner men, great blend of strength and conditioning) and The Burly (largest and heaviest, made to replicate Strongman type lifts or heavy barbell lifts)
I reviewed the (pink!) Power shell:
|Don’t worry guys, it comes in black as well 😉|
In addition to the shell and filler bags, the Ultimate Sandbag comes with a DVD clearly demonstrating the various possible exercises, a full size poster with visuals of the exercises, and a program guide.
The Review: The bag was relatively easy to fill. Each filler bag is double Velcro sealed. It is somewhat tedious to open and seal the filler bags and shell, however, this seems to ensure that the sand will stay in place and not make a mess.
My very handsome/crazy training partner in crime/boyfriend (surprise!) and I took the sandbag down to a local ball field to quite literally throw it around and give it a test drive. I wouldn’t say I was skeptical at first, as I knew the benefits of this type of training. I was, however, totally surprised at how much harder simple exercises became using the bag. If you are used to swinging dumbbells around, than the variability and constant shifting of weight of the sandbag is certainly something that takes you by surprise. What I liked the most about the ultimate sandbag is that it can be used as a traditional weight, doing things such as clean and press or bicep curl, or can be used as a load on your body as you perform more dynamic exercises, such as lunges, squats, or my favorite for Spartan Beast training….running/hiking up and down massive hills:
Little things that would normally not even make me bat an eye, such as 10 squats or lunges, were a whole different challenge using the sandbag. Not only because of the obvious: the added weight, but because the instability of the bag forced me to use my core and other stabilizing muscles to stay in proper form. As you can see in the video below, someone who is very experienced in a typical clean & press with barbells becomes slightly unstable with much less weight using the sandbag.
Now, for a couple of fitness professionals, we had a field day messing around with the Ultimate Sandbag trying different exercises. We tried partner ab work, and even burpees (yay burpees!) with the bag. The possibilities of ways to integrate this piece of equipment into your workout routine are endless. However, if you are not comfortable with making up your own routine, Josh has put together ultimate sandbag workouts galore. Each move is fully demonstrated in the DVD and program guide, as well as in over 300 free videos available on their youtube channel.
The Power Ultimate Sandbag package starts at $105 including everything you need but the sand. Sure it seems a little pricey at first, but you do not need to buy separate weights (think of the cost of a 20 lb kettlebell, a 30 lb kettlebell, a 40 lb kettlbell, etc). All you need is a $2 bag of sand and you can instantly vary your resistances. I would absolutely recommend the sandbag for anyone, but specifically those who a) need to workout from home and b) do not want or have room for multiple and/or large pieces of workout equipment. You can quite literally work your ENTIRE body as well as get in a great cardiovascular workout with this single piece of equipment.
This absolutely will become an integral part of my Spartan Beast training. Stay tuned for more pictures and videos as I continue to put it through the ringer 🙂
|Sandbag hugs! Love this thing!|
*The Ultimate Sandbag was provided to me free of charge. However, all opinions expressed in this review are that of my own.