Deadlift the sandbag (keep your butt up in the air and your arms straight), and then lap it. This is internal torque.
As you lap it, clasp one had around the other wrist. Bear hug the sandbag. This will activate your pecs.
Use your internal torque chain (glutei max, external obliques, pecs), to stand up. If you feel it in your low back, this is feedback you are compensating with your external torque chain. Focus on tucking your tailbone under you as you stand up.
Now it’s time to start squatting. The key is to get into a nice cyclical rhythm. Breathing is paramount. Inhale through your nose as you descend into the squat (ET, eccentric) and exhale through pursed lips as you stand back up (IT, concentric). It’s cyclical, so don’t lock out at the top, but rather, initiate the the next squat right away. As soon as you stall or can’t maintain this breathing pattern, you are done. The key to pumping out as many reps as possible is to focus on your breathing.
You can use code SS10 for 10% off StrongFit sandbags here.
If you want to learn more about StrongFit principles and training from me, be sure to check out my online Strength Academy.
Why use sandbags instead of barbells?
- Most lifting in real life is done with objects between your hands (e.g. picking up your baby, your cat, or a sandbag). This makes sandbags more functional than barbells. You are more likely going to pick up an odd object in real life than a barbell.
- Barbells do not promote natural movement patterns because the shape of the barbell distributes weight on the outside of the body. Sandbags, however, promote more natural movement patterns since the weight is distributed between your hands.
- Barbell movements require more skill to learn (i.e. learning how to master a barbell clean and jerk can take years). Sandbag movements are easier to learn because less skill is required. I learned how to master a sandbag clean and jerk in just a few minutes. This makes sandbags very user-friendly for beginners.
- Asymmetrical/unpredictable loading of a sandbag makes for better core training.
- Sandbags can be used for loads, holds, and carries.
- Barbells train movement in the sagittal plane, but sandbags also train movement in the frontal plane. Sandbag training will fill voids in your training, which can help minimize injury and improve athletic performance (because you are training all planes of movement).