There are plenty of benefits to be had from switching things up every once in a while, especially when you are at home! Kit doesn’t come much more functional than the sandbag, and this military training favourite can be easily incorporated into your full-body workouts to maximise results.

Sandbags mimic real-life situations where you have to pick up and carry awkward objects, and they are a dynamic load that constantly shifts so you’re never limited to the same movement pattern as you are in the gym.

Ready for a sandbag workout that’ll get you sweating? Here it is!

1. Hammer curl

Targets: Biceps, lower back, core.

How to:

  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  • With your arms relaxed, hold the sandbag by the handles in front of your thighs.
  • Brace your core, then hinge at the elbows to lift the bag to your shoulders.
  • Now, with control, slowly lower it back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat, keeping your feet planted, elbows tucked in and back straight throughout.

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2. Burpee into overhead press

Targets: Full body.

How to:

  • Start in a wide-legged squat, holding the handles of the sandbag – it should be resting on the floor slightly in front of your feet.
  • Keeping hold of the bag, jump your feet back into a wide plank.
  • Now, jump your feet back in and stand up, using the momentum to lift the bag off the ground and straight above your head.
  • Then lower it back down to the floor with control.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Only 11 more to go.

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3. Reverse lunge with good morning

Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, core.

How to:

  • With your feet hip-width apart, place the sandbag on your shoulders and hold the handles.
  • Take a big step back with your left foot and lower into a lunge.
  • Then return to the starting position.
  • Slightly bend your knees and slowly hinge forward 90° at the hips.
  • Then reverse until you’re upright and go again from the beginning, alternating feet on the lunge.
  • Keep your spine aligned throughout and don’t allow your chin to collapse on to your chest.

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4. Sumo squat into high pull

Targets: Glutes, quads, traps, deltoids.

How to:

  • Start with your feet wide and your toes slightly turned out.
  • Keeping your back straight, squat down to retrieve the sandbag from the floor in front of you.
  • Now, squeezing your glutes, explode upwards to bring the bag straight up in front of your chest, until your elbows are in line with your shoulders.
  • Then squat down to lower the sandbag back to the floor and repeat.

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5. Glute bridge with pull over

Targets: Posterior chain, chest, lats, core.

How to:

  • Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet planted on the floor and the sandbag across your hips.
  • Keep hold of the handles as you thrust your hips upwards until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line.
  • Then slowly lower your bum to the ground.
  • Now, lift the sandbag up until your arms are straight above your shoulders.
  • Then, in a controlled movement, keeping your lower back on the floor, lower it behind your head.
  • Don’t let the bag touch the floor.
  • Slowly reverse to bring the bag back to your hips, then repeat from the beginning.