Maybe you have seen the news item about Nevada Senator Harry Reid's exercise accident on New Year's Day.  If not, he was exercising at home with a rubber stretch band.  It broke and hit him in the face and broke bones around his right eye.  The resulting bruise and blood in his eye has him without eyesight in that eye.  Doctors do not know if he will regain his sight in his right eye.  I hope you join me in wishing him a successful recovery.

I had a similar accident with a rubber stretch exercise band.  Except I was using it as a leash extension for walking my dog, Jenni.  I doubled the band up and ran it through the eye of the end of the leash that was attached to her.  I used the same band for about 3 years.  During those 3 years we took her on vacation.  Sometimes I used the stretch band to both extend her radius and allow her to run around in circles.  Jenni is a husky and must be kept on a leash.  Huskies love to run so much they will just run away, and into danger.  But they must run to get their exercise.  One day at the park near my home the band broke while she was stretching it.  It hit her in the thigh muscles and made her cry.  This of course upset me, since I love my dog as much as you love yours.

Jenni did not suffer any injury from this accident, like Senator Reid.  But here is the point:  Stretch bands are dangerous.

Workout sandbags, on the other hand, are safe.  That is the point of this article.  But there is more to the story.  Sandbags can be used entirely in place of barbells and dumbbells.  Let's examine the danger of barbells.  Every year hundreds of mostly young men are strangled to death by trying to bench press too much weight.  Every time I see a bench, I cringe at its danger.  It seems to me that it is made to be a trap.  The bench should be made the other way around.  The lifter should lay on a gym mat on the floor.  Either the bar or the plates on either side of the lifter should sit upon a bench or some sort of support that makes it impossible to crush or strangle the lifter.  It is that simple. 

Dumbbells are not as dangerous as barbells, but there is still some danger in them.  They can be dropped on your feet.  And it would hurt.

Exercise sandbags, on the other hand, would not hurt you if you dropped them on your foot.  And you can certainly do bench presses with them.  You can do what I call chest presses with both hands or with one hand at a time.  What I consider to be a better exercise is doing pushups with a small sandbag on your back.  There are so many more exercises you can do with a sandbag.  And, you can do all of the barbell exercises also with a sandbag.

To see some of the sandbag exercises and workouts, visit our sandbag workouts page.