training sandbags thrownSandbag workouts are as old as the sand.  Some of these exercises are new to sandbag training, and some are as old as the sand.  In your sandbag workouts remember to mix it up! Some of the below exercises are illustrated.  All photos and drawings on this page and this website are our property and protected under copyright law. Please feel free to link to this page or share on social media. You can find sandbags for your training on this page. Ours are made of stronger ballistic nylon and feature a better design with built-in handles which allow a better grip and feel of the shifting sand.

Be sure to read our original functional fitness strategy below the sandbag exercises and workouts.

It is important to know that with sandbag training the goal is not how much weight you can lift, but how difficult you can make that weight to lift.   The difficulty comes from the shifting instability of the sand load, not the weight.  So keep the bags loose and shifty!


Here is a video of some of the exercises you can do with our workout sandbags.  Also, below is a description of them with drawings of our favorites.



x-lift sandbag workouts


Using a small to medium sandbag, grab the ends on the floor beside one foot and lift it across your body and raise it above the opposite shoulder and extend it as far as your arms will stretch. Return and repeat. Can be done a few at a time on either side, or alternating. A great sandbag training exercise.



sandbag exercises turkish getup

Put a small sandbag on one shoulder while standing.Then kneel down, and lay down with the sandbag still on the shoulder.  Use one hand to hold the sandbag on the shoulder, and the other to help you get down and up.  Do a few times one side then the other side. Repeat. One of my favorite sandbag training exercises.



sandbag fitness with pushups
Kneel and lift a small sandbag over your head, and place it lengthwise along your spine, with its top end between your shoulder blades. Now do a pushup. If you can, put each hand on a basketball. And if you can, put each foot on a small stool. If you have trouble balancing the sandbag on your back, put it into a small backpack (book or day pack) and put the pack on, and do the pushups. One of my most-used sandbag workout exercises.
Put a small sandbag between your legs either above your ankles or above your knees.  Both options are pictured above.  You can also "wear" the sandbag in a small backpack.  This could be done with pushups also.


situp with sandbag exercises




Using an AbMat or pillow under the lumbar region of your back, on a pad, hold a small sandbag on your chest and do situps.



Holding a small sandbag at your feet, pull it up and over your head and around the back of your neck, and down the other side to your feet. Repeat going the other way.


swings with sandbags instead of kettlebells

With your feet wide apart, squatted down, grab a small sandbag on the floor between your feet directly beneath you. Grab it by the sides instead of the ends. Swing it outward with your arms fully extended while squatting up. Continue the swing until it is directly overhead and you are standing straight up. Then return to starting position and repeat. Is often done with a kettlebell, but a great sandbag exercise.


sandbag exercises with ab rolls
Put a small sandbag on your shoulders behind your neck and hold it with both hands while standing. While holding it, bend and roll your upper body around in a circle. Do half the reps in one direction, then the other.
Like a thruster, but at the top of the thrust, throw the bag straight up, to try to just touch the ceiling. Catch the bag on the way down, squat down, and repeat. This needs a ceiling that is taller than 8′. Use a small sandbag.


with sandbag on one shoulder, do a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Repeat. Change shoulders and repeat. Another great sandbag exercise..

Holding a small sandbag while standing, press it straight out in front of you and back. Try to keep your arms as parallel to the floor as possible.
Pick the sandbag up from the floor and place it on one shoulder. Return it to the floor and repeat with other side.
Grab a small sandbag by its ends, start by squatted down, and stand up while drawing a circle overhead and around and back down to the starting position. Keep going and do half your reps one way and half going the other way.
From a standing position with a small sandbag at your feet, drop down, do a pushup, touching your chest to the sandbag, pull your legs up under you, stand up while grabbing the sandbag, and stand up and lift it over your head. Put the bag back down, and repeat.
Put a small sandbag on your shoulder, and go for a walk. If you have a hill, so much the better. If you don’t have a hill, use steps or stools. Then change shoulders.


Using a small or medium sandbag, do a deadlift standing on only one leg. Amazingly difficult and effective. Then do with the other leg. Alternate.
Stand over a small or medium sandbag with your legs wider apart than your shoulders. Stand the sandbag on its end. Grab it by its sides and deadlift it between your wide legs, squat up, and pull it up under your chin. Return it to the floor and repeat.
Using a small or medium sandbag, press the sandbag overhead, and squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep the sandbag overhead with arms fully extended.
Holding the sandbag in front of your waist while standing, rotate the sandbag all the way to one side then the other.
Holding the sandbag in front of your chest with your arms under it, squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Holding the sandbag in front of your chest with your arms under it, take a long step out with one leg, then almost touch the other knee to the ground. Alternate legs, and see how far you can go.
Holding the sandbag on one shoulder, do walking lunges as above. Then change shoulders.
With the sandbag on the floor, squat down and grab it by the sides. Lift it above your head and squat down with it overhead in one motion. Then stand up, keeping it overhead. Return it to the floor and repeat.
Starting from a squat, holding sandbag by the ends under your chin, stand up straight and push the sandbag overhead in the same motion. Squat back down and repeat. Your sandbag training should include this exercise often.
Holding the sandbag by its sides with arms straight down while standing, lift the bag under your chin while squatting down. Then squat up, and return the bag to down position, and repeat.


With a medium sandbag on the floor beside you, squat down, deadlift the bag to waist-high level, and lift it over to the other side, setting it down on the floor. Then take it back to the other side.

sandbag training with smackdowns



Grab a small or medium sandbag by the sides beside you and lift it up and over your head, and smack it down (but not too hard) on the other side. Repeat, going the other way.


training sandbags used for exercise
Standing bent over while holding a small or medium sandbag, pull the sandbag up under your chin then straighten your back up. Bend back over and lower the sandbag until the arms are fully extended, with the bag in front of your knees. Repeat.





Shoulder a small or medium sandbag. Squat down, come back up, and press the sandbag overhead, and transfer it to the other shoulder. Repeat, transferring the bag to the original shoulder. Alternate shoulders after each squat.


Holding either a small or medium (good luck) sandbag under your chin with your arms cradling under it, lean forward on one leg, and swing the other behind you. Do some one leg, then the other.

sandbag workouts with lat throw
Grab a medium sandbag by either its ends or its side straps and throw it a few feet in the direction your feet are facing, lateral to your stance. Go get it and throw it from the other side.




Holding a medium sandbag with your arms under it, cradled up to your chest, bend at the waist and straighten up.


chest press with fitness sandbags
Lying on either a mat or swiss ball, press a medium sandbag up from your chest to full extension of the arms. Can be done with a small sandbag with one arm at a time.
sandbag training with clean & jerk
Lift the bag from the floor by its ends, pull it up under your chin, and pause. Then explode, and jerk it up above your head.




Pick up a medium or large sandbag as in a deadlift, and walk with it while holding it in front of your waist.


Using a large sandbag, lift it off the floor by bending your legs, and stop when it is hanging with your arms extended, facing down. Return it to the floor and repeat. Keep your back straight.

twisting deadlift sandbag workouts




Pick up a large sandbag by bending your knees and take it from one side of your feet and put it down on the other side of your feet. Repeat from one side to the other.

Small sandbag = 40-50#, medium sandbag = 80-100#, large sandbag = 120-150# 

Here’s to your sandbag training success!

I cannot overemphasize the importance and effectiveness of sandbag training. In my opinion, it is superior to any iron training. The physics of lifting a shifty, unstable bag of sand puts greater stress on both your superficial and your stabilizer muscles to produce a superior workout. The same weight feels twice as heavy in a training sandbag as in iron. So, expect to lift half the weight with twice the benefits with sand ! Workout sandbags are a compact, portable, and extremely effective way of strength training.Sandbag training takes some imagination to think up new ways to exercise.  If you have a new sandbag training exercise, contact us with it so we can share it. Keep it fun!
workout sandbsgs in road

Pictured above are our ballistic nylon Workout Sandbags.  They come in two styles.  They are used by many well-known clients. You can see them here.


Sandbag Workouts

Here below are some of my favorite workouts using the above sandbag exercises.

You can substitute training sandbags for almost any barbell exercise and almost any workout using barbells. And, the  training sandbags lend themselves to some variations that are very effective exercises and workouts. These workouts go well with sandbag training.
1   10 X 10 Pick 10 sandbag exercises with training sandbags, and do each one ten times with the largest sandbag you can complete all 10 reps with, and go thru the ten exercises for time. This can yield many variations by using different exercises.
2   5 X 20 Same as above, but pick 5 sandbag exercises with the help of training sandbags  and do 20 reps each for time.
3    LADDER Pick one exercise, and the heaviest training sandbag you can use for it, and see how many times you can lift it, starting with one rep, resting a minute, then 2 reps, and so on on up to 5, 7, or 10. Good exercises for ladder workouts are deadlifts, thrusters, clean & jerk, snatch, weighted pullups (hold small sandbag between knees)……..
4    DOUBLE LADDER Same as above, but with two exercises.
5    TRIPLE LADDER Same as above, but with three exercises.
6    300 This workout takes an entire 3-day cycle. Each day, do 10 reps in 10 rounds, the first 3-5 reps of each set with a sandbag, then the rest without. A good example of this triple workout is pullups day one, thrusters day two, and pushups day three. For the thrusters workout, do the first 3-5 reps with a medium sandbag and the rest with a small bag. See Exercises post for instructions on how to use the sandbags to weight down the exercises.
7    THE BIG ONE Take one exercise, such as shoulder walk, and make a workout of it. Either see how many laps you can do in 10 or 20 minutes or see how long it takes you to do a given number of laps or reps.
8    THE BIG THREE Take 3 exercises, and see how many rounds you can do in 20 minutes of 5, 10, and 15 reps each, or whatever number of reps per exercise per round you like.
9     RUN AND PUMP Run 1-3 laps around the yard, (100-400m) then do one of the sandbag exercises for 10 reps. Do 3-5 rounds for time.
10    RUN AND PUMP 2 Run the laps as above, but perform 2 sandbag (or 1 sandbag and 1 bodyweight) exercises between laps. Do 3-5 rounds for time.
11    COUNTDOWN Take one or two sandbag exercises, and one bodyweight exercise and perform the two or three in 10 rounds, from 10 reps/round, then 9 the next round, down to 1, for time. If doing it with 2 sandbag exercises, put the bodyweight exercise between them.
12     21,15,9 Choose one sandbag exercise and one bodyweight exercise and do three rounds for time, with reps/round of 21, 15, 9

Below is a listing of some sample sandbag workouts.

____  rounds in 20 minutes:  punch heavy bag 1-10x / 20 situps
___  rounds in 20 minutes:  ( all w/ 40# weighted vest )  2 pullups / 4 dips / 6 giant stepovers / 8 knees to elbows.
5 rounds for time:  5 clean & jerks ( xl sandbag, 120# ) / 10 pullups
3 rounds for time:  run up and down hill 3x / 10 pushups w/ small sandbag
___ rounds in 20 minutes:  5 pullups / 10 pushups / 15 squats / 20 situps
5 rounds for time:  5 front step climbs (w/ medium sandbag ) / 1 rope climb / 8 situps (w/ s sanbag)
____ rounds in 15 minutes:  ( all w/ 40# weighted vest) :  2 pullups / 4 walking lunges / 6 dips
7  rounds for time:   8 trips down & up 5-step front porch /  1 rope climb
3 rounds, for time:  run down & up hilly driveway  3x / 10 smackdowns w/ medium sandbag
3 rounds for time:   (all w/ small sandbag)  shoulder carry walk hilly driveway / 10 pushups / 10 waist rolls
___ rounds in 20 minutes:   10x each:  burpees / pullups    (also do with 40# weightvest, 5x each)


Whether you do sandbag training or not, get moving!

Functional Fitness strategy

The goal of any fitness plan is health.  Regular exercise and recovery and proper nutrition are as important now as ever.  For our purposes, we define fitness as the ability to perform acts of strength, power, speed, endurance, and coordination.  Exercise should be fun, and resemble play and sports.  The human body is the ultimate exercise machine, and needs little external devices to exercise.  Exercise movements, not specific muscles in isolation. Doing so not only builds muscle and endurance, but it also builds ability. This is done by exercising muscles, joints, and nerves together.

Exercise in a random, never routine, fashion every other day.  There is no such thing as the perfect workout!  Nor is there any such thing as the one perfect exercise! Rather, it is the constantly varying performance of different exercises done in different combinations, amounts, strengths, and durations that is the magic to fitness success!  The body and its neuromuscular system responds best when it is “surprised” by constantly changing workouts.

Work out for up to half an hour every other day.  Never do the same workout 2 times in a row.  However, repeat workouts every month or two to compare your performance.  Workouts should be short and intense.  Sometimes they should blur the line between “cardio” and “strength” workouts. If you are in your 20′s, you can work out  for 3 days on and 1 day off.  In your late 30′s you might want to work out 2 days on and 1 day off.  If doing this schedule, alternate between “light” and “heavy” workouts. But if you are younger than 20 or older than your late 30′s, every other day is right to provide the proper amount of recovery.

Sandbag training is only part of our strategy.  We use sandbags for training, but also do bodyweight, running, and other forms of exercise.

Recent evidence indicates that it is counterproductive to always exercise at a medium level of difficulty or duration.  Either go hard or light. Recovery is as important as exercise, if not more important.  That is when your muscles grow and adapt to the stress put upon them.  I suggest that on recovery (off) days you walk.    Actually,  I suggest you walk yourself and/or your dog every day.

Never try to “jump-start” your fitness level with an extreme out-of-the-blue workout.  Don’t overdo it so much you can’t do the next workout.   But remember this:   something is better than nothing!   Think of your workouts as links in a chain, not the whole chain.

Once or twice a year, take a vacation for a week or two and hike, swim, surf, ski, climb mountains, play ball, play and relax.  Don’t work out.   This will allow you to resume your workout schedule with better focus.

The nerves, muscles, bones, and joints of the human body are meant to work together.  Therefore, do exercises that work multiple muscle groups and joints together.  Again, the muscles of the human body work together as a team.  So exercise them as a team!

This is not a 90 day/12 week/ crash course.  This is  a plan to stay fit and healthy for the rest of your life.  You don’t climb a mountain in one step.  And, you do not get and stay fit in one workout.

What to eat?  In two words, often and plenty.  Never go into meals starving.  Eat healthy snacks between breakfast and lunch and mid-afternoon. I suggest a breakfast of oatmeal with nuts and cottage cheese on workout days, and eggs about twice a week.

Before workouts, i suggest a small amount of skim milk with some whey protein.   After workout I suggest about 8 ounces of skim milk with a tablespoon of molasses stirred into it.  This gives the 3:1 ratio of carbs:protein needed for muscle recovery.  You can also have a couple of 60% cacao chocolate chips after workout. Or, you can just drink 8 ounces of 1%^ fat chocolate milk.

A good midafternoon snack is natural crunchy peanut butter on bread with raisins and nuts.  If you drink, do so less.   Try to limit yourself to one or two beers or red wine on Friday and Saturday night.  You will be amazed at how much better you enjoy less of it!

Stay away from fried foods, sugar, trans fats, white bread/rice/potatos/pasta.  Instead eat whole grain breads and pasta, sweet and red potatos, olive oil, fat free cottage cheese, lowfat ricotta cheese, and fruit for dessert.  Once a week, such as Sunday, you can cheat with a pizza and/or ice cream.

We are hostages of our heredity. Do not expect exercise to change you into a muscular monster. Exercise to keep yourself fit to perform.  Don’t take dangerous steroids. Don’t use so-called “energy drinks”. Drink lots of water.  Do not drink soda pop.  Go easy on alcohol.  Focus on performance, not mirror muscles.  Be healthy for a lifetime!



DGKFIT LLC and its owners and contractors take no responsibility for any illness or injury occuring after the use of their products.  The exercise advice given in this website is not meant to be a substitute for the medical advice of a doctor.   Before starting and during any exercise program, get the advice of a medical professional.  The purchase and use of our products constitutes a release of DGKFIT LLC and its owners from any liability arising after the use of their products. Be careful.  Use at your own risk.