Get Yourself a Training Sandbag

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Sand: it’s not just for litterboxes!

When you’re looking for a good piece of weighted training equipment, your first assumption is probably to get some metal weights, right? It makes sense; metal is sturdy and heavy, if perhaps somewhat expensive depending on the brand. But if weight’s all you want, you don’t need to spring for an expensive weight set, you just need a little nature: sand! It’s everywhere! Get used to it.

Sand is actually fantastic for strength and resistance training. You can load up a sandbag with a bunch of sand from your local home improvement store for like fifty bucks, and you better believe it’ll be just as heavy, if not heavier, than a regular weight. The constant shifting of the sand in a sandbag while you’re lifting it may seem like a downside, but it actually works to your advantage; because sand is constantly changing shape, it’s also changing its center of mass, which requires you to shift your engaged muscles to keep up with it. In this way, you can work all sorts of muscles that may otherwise go by the wayside while you’re lifting a sandbag.

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If you’re worried about a sandbag slipping out of your hands while you work out with it, don’t be; exercise-spec sandbags are built with lots of safety features like sturdy grips and nonslip surfaces. Some even have shoulder straps so you can haul it around on your back, Luke and Yoda-style. Speaking of adaptation, sandbags aren’t just for lifting like dumbbells; they can also add some extra dimension to your squats, lunges, and other full-body exercises. And if you’ve got some aggression to work out, just tie it to a sturdy ceiling hook, and you’ve got a punching bag!

So say yes to sand, nature’s own dead weight!