Sandbag Strength Training: Your Secret Weapon for Home Workouts

Posted by Sean Nunan on



Has your gym hiatus left you a little heartbroken? Missing the squat rack like a long lost lover? Craving that coarse yet comforting feel of the barbell against your skin?


Sure, breakups are always hard, but if lifters can’t adapt quickly and get creative, you’ll risk emerging from isolation looking more Thor Endgame than Ragnarok.


Dumbbells and barbells are now a precious commodity along with toilet paper and pasta sauce, and unless you’re one of the blessed few with a home gym (what’s your address and can we come over?) you’re probably wondering how you can continue to crush heavy lifts without 500 pounds of iron. 

Well, it turns out the sandbag could be your secret weapon for strength training at home.

Usually left to gather dust between the exercise bands and slam balls, the sandbag is actually perfect for pandemic-proof strength training. There’s a reason why you see half-man half-Norse gods like The Mountain using sandbags in their training: They’re a heavy-ass weight, super versatile and ultra-functional thanks to their unconventional shape and size. 

You can replicate nearly all of the big barbell lifts like cleans, snatches, deadlifts and squats using a sandbag, and can be used for all kinds of training goals, whether it’s strength, conditioning, explosiveness or hypertrophy. While you might be able to deadlift two plates with ease, a 100KG sandbag deadlift is a different beast!

For bodybuilders on a budget, it’s also super easy to make your own!

How to make a DIY Sandbag

As the galaxy's most-angsty teen jedi said, sand is coarse, rough, irritating and it gets everywhere, so if you want to make your own sandbag for some brutal home training, make sure it’s super compact and durable to avoid a DIY disaster.

Here’s what you’ll need to make an indestructible, 50KG sandbag. If you want to go heavier, simply scale up the measurements!

-1 x heavy-duty military duffle bag or laundry bag
You can find plenty of inexpensive options for these online, make sure you pick a bag with a good carrying capacity. Bonus points for handles.
-50KG of sand
-Duct Tape
-30 x Zip Ties
-5 x Tire Inner Tubes
-Scissors 
-Scale
-Small Bucket


1. You can start assembling your DIY sandbag by measuring out 10KG of sand into a bucket
2. Cut a small section from one of the inner tubes, where the pneumatic valve is. Roll one end into a pointed-shape, then secure with 2-3 zip ties. 
3. Fill the other end of the inner tube with 10KG of sand. Shake to ensure the sand is distributed evenly. Roll up this end as well, and secure with 2-3 zip ties. 
4. Duct tape over zipes ties either end. This should now resemble something like a Bulgarian Bag.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you have enough smaller ‘weight bags’ to fill your larger canvas bag until compact and secure. The measurements will alter depending on both the size of your duffle bag 
6. Lift Big

An alternative is to line your larger bag with a sandbag liner and pour the sand straight in, however this makes it harder to adjust the weight if you want to go lighter or heavier depending on your training ambitions. 

Sandbag Strength Workout

So you’ve got your DIY sandbag and you’re ready to lift big in your backyard. Here’s a sample full body workout that focuses on major movement patterns like the press, squat, hinge and pull. 

1A Explosiveness: Sandbag Toss & Chase 3 x 4
2A Explosiveness: Sandbag Clean & Press 3 x 5
3A Strength: Sandbag Clean & Squat 6 x 8
3B Strength: Sandbag Rows 4 x 10
4A Hypertrophy: Sandbag Single Leg Deadlift 4 x 12
5A Core: Sandbag Get Ups 3 x 1:00

Heavy-duty home sweat sessions like these, demand clothing created to last. You want a street-inspired outfit as indestructible as your sandbag, right? No loose threads or fading fabric after just a week of working out. The Ryderwear Duty collection is perfect for those functional home workouts, delivering a sweat wicking, durable fabric and urban, distressed style. For the ladies, the RW x NEM range is perfected for relentless, gritty home training for girls who adapt and train no matter what!


Take your home workouts to the next level with Ryderwear!

Tags: Training