Winning Sandbag Exercises for Spring

Sandbag workout | Sandbag Exercise

Sandbag exercises are hot! This Spring is the perfect time to get your hottest workouts on. From garage gym training to celebrity fitness plans, experts agree that the hottest workout this Spring, is the sandbag WOD.

The nature of sand itself is unstable and therefore unpredictable. This natural shift is harnessed in a sandbag to give you a unique workout that will not only test but IMPROVE your strength, stability, and patience.

Sandbag exercises might feel awkward at first but give yourself time to fine tune your skills in the balancing act of unstable load training. The flexibility of sandbag exercises will help you build a stronger body, in a well- rounded, functional way.

Here are a few we like to keep in heavy rotation for use with our classic workout sandbag.

Sandbag Overhead Press

This movement predominantly builds your upper body strength but the muscles in your entire body will work in sync to stabilize your legs and core too.


  1. From a chest holding position with feet squarely underneath, utilize your center and activate your core, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
  2. Press your Brute Force sandbag directly up, over the top of your head, into a locked position.
  3. Pull the sandbag back into the chest holding position to complete the movement.

Sandbag Exercises - Sit Ups

Sit ups will help build your shoulder strength and the awkward shifts build your core muscles strength and target your abdominal muscles. Sit ups can also help because they improve upper body posture control.


  1. Laying down on the floor on your back, bend your knees. (If you can, place your feet under something to prevent them from moving.
  2. Hold your sandbag with both hands directly above your chest
  3. Tighten your core as you lift your torso off the ground, keeping the sandbag raised above you. Have your upper body form a V shape with your thighs.
  4. Control your core as you lower yourself back down into the starting position.

Sandbag Bear Hug Carry

A sandbag bear hug carry is a great cardiovascular exercise that is exactly what it sounds like. It primarily targets your quads, along with your calves, forearms, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, back, and of course, the shoulder muscles.


  1. Carry your bag like you're hugging a teddy bear.  Using your desired sandbag weight, run or walk with it for about 400-500 feet.
  2. Repeat as desired, adding or dropping the weight and distance as you complete multiple reps.

Sandbag Bear Hug Front and Back Squat

A Sandbag Bear Hug Squat is a variation on a front and back squat. It’s a perfect workout for working on your core and upper body strength. It’s great for athletes involved in contact sports, as well as anyone wishing to build full body strength.

Steps for Front Squat:

  1. Standing with your feet just wider than your shoulders, with your core engaged, have a neutral, supported spine.
  2. Take a firm bear hug grip around your sandbag.
  3. Sit back into a traditional squat. *Be careful not to have knees passing over the top of your toes. Keep knees pointing out towards toes.
  4. Stand up again to complete the squat.

Steps for Back Squat:

Sandbag Workout | Sandbag Squat
  1. Standing with your feet just wider than your shoulders, with your core
    engaged, have a neutral, supported spine.
  2. Hold your sandbag firmly across your shoulders, on your upper back.  Avoid supporting the bag with your neck.
  3. Sit back into a traditional squat. *Be careful not to have knees passing over the top of your toes. Keep knees pointing out towards toes.
  4. Stand up again to complete the squat.

Sandbag Drag

The sandbag drag is a simple yet effective sandbag exercise. When performed correctly, it targets, well, most of your lower body and legs!

  1. Place your Brute Force sandbag on the ground in front of you.
  2. Get a tight grip on the end handle of your sandbag.
  3. Keeping your back strong with soft knees, slowly walk backwards while pulling your sandbag with you.

Sandbag Deadlift

This exercise will help to develop your back and leg strength. Adjust your sandbag weight as needed.


  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold your sandbag down low in front of you.
  2. Engage your core.
  3. Keep your back straight, neck neutral and your shoulders back.  Hinge at the hips.
  4. Pull the bag towards your hip line as you straighten up.
  5. Lower your bag down towards the floor as you bend over to complete the movement.

Sandbag Burpee

The sandbag burpee is the perfect exercise for building up your stamina. It provides the perfect full-body workout.


  1. Stand upright and hold your sandbag right in front of your hips with your hands.
  2. Lean your hips backwards and place the sandbag on the floor, while gripping the handles with your hands.
  3. Jump your feet back to get in a plank position.
  4. Keeping a tight core, do a push-up on the sandbag.
  5. Hop your feet back towards the sandbag so that you are hinged with your hands on the bag, never letting go of the handles.
  6. Stand up and press the sandbag straight over your head to complete the burpee.

Sandbag Clean and Press

The sandbag clean and press is another terrific way to work your shoulders, arms, abs and legs.


  1. With your feet shoulder width apart, stand hinged at the hips, holding your Brute Force sandbag at shin height.
  2. In one swift move, use your shoulders and the momentum from standing up quickly, to lift your sandbag to shoulder height.
  3. Keeping a straight back, press the sandbag above your head.  Engage your core to support your trunk and avoid overbalancing.
  4. Lower the sandbag to your shoulders and lower your bag back to the starting position

Sandbag Thrusters

Thrusters are great for improving your coordination and strength, along with building muscle endurance in both your upper and lower body.


  1. Hold your Brute Force sandbag at shoulder height and squat down.
  2. As you stand back up, press the sandbag straight above your head.
  3. Bring your bag back to your shoulders as you squat down again, ready for the next rep.

Sandbag Row

A sandbag bent over row is a simple exercise for your shoulders, back, and arms.


  1. While hinged at the hips, you hold your Brute Force sandbag handles at knee height and with slightly bent knees. 
  2. You can row the sandbag up to your chest so that you keep your core engaged, and your back straight.  (Lean back slightly on your feet to keep the bulk of the tension off your lower back.)
  3. Lower your sandbag back down to complete the rep.

Sandbag Over Shoulder Toss

The sandbag over the shoulder toss is a deceptively simple sandbag exercise involving the lifting your sandbag and tossing it over your shoulder. Focus on your movement to build strength and conditioning.  Keep your core constantly engaged.

  1. Place your Brute Force sandbag on the ground between your feet.
  2. Squat down and get a grip on your sandbag.
  3. Use your leg muscles to help lift your sandbag and then throw it backwards over your shoulder.

These are just a few of the HUNDREDS more exercises out there for you to enjoy with a sandbag

Put a few of your favorites together and, voila! You have, what we at Brute Force call, a SandWOD! 

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