Josh Henkin, C.S.C.S., is the creator of the Ultimate Sandbag Program, a dynamic resistance training protocol designed to increase athletic performance and build functional strength. Henkin provided us with his best sandbag workout to get in shape for summer.
Directions: Perform exercises 1A and 1B as a superset, without rest in between. Do 2A, 2B, and 2C as a superset, without rest between exercises. Do 3A, 3B, and 3C as a superset, without rest between exercises. Rest 30 seconds between supersets.
The strength-boosting sandbag workout
1A. Clean and push press 3-4x8-10
Bring the bag from the ground to your chest by explosively driving through your hips. Once the bag reaches your chest, squeeze glutes, brace torso, and press weight up and over your head. Reverse the motion slowly to your chest first, then quickly reverse the bag to the ground by driving your hips back in the “ready” position.
1B. Rotational lunge 3-4x10-12
Stand tall while holding the sandbag in front of you, horizontally, with your arms at your sides. Slowly lunge back as you rotate the weight just outside the knee of your lead leg. Drive through the heel of your front leg, then drive your body and the weight back up to standing. Switch sides for each repetition.
2A. Overhand rows 3-4x8-10
While standing with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, grab the handles with a supinated grip and hold the weight off the ground with arms extended. Row weight toward torso while squeezing shoulder blades together as much as possible. Return weight to starting position. That’s one rep.
2B. Shoulder staggered split squat 3-4x5-8 per side
While standing with your feet hip-width apart, shoulder the weight by driving it explosively to one shoulder. Come into a split-squat stance so your back foot's toes are in line with your front foot's heel. Bring your back foot onto something elevated, like a bench, so the top of your foot is resting on the surface. Squat, pushing your weight into the heel of your front leg and the ball of your elevated rear foot.
3A. Lateral drag to leveraged pushup 2-3x6-8 per side
Begin at the top of a pushup position with the sandbag placed horizontally under you, off to one side. Using the hand that's farthest from the bag, grab the handle and slowly drag the weight across the floor, under your body. Try not to elevate or rotate your hips. When the weight begins to reach the other side, slowly begin to descend into a pushup with your "working" hand on top of the bag. Push back up and repeat.
3B. Sand bag twists 2-3x10-12 per side
Deadlift the weight, then stand tall with the bag held horizontally and your arms at your sides. Pivot your left foot in and rotate your hips to bring the sandbag just outside of that knee. Drive through the heel of right foot, quickly transitioning the weight to the other side, pivoting quickly to absorb the weight. Do not over-rotate. Simply aim to move from one side to the other.
3C. Biceps Curl 2-3x8-10
Grab the snatch grip handles with palms facing upwards. Holding your shoulders back, bracing your torso, slowly curl the weight up. Don't roll your shoulders or crunch your torso at any point.