I love a good sandbag. These have a place in every gym, studio, PT’s car boot, physio’s room and even in your home living room.
You can achieve every movement pattern with a sandbag. You can Squat, Lift, Press, Pull, Twist, Carry, Throw and even Punch.
You can achieve every plane of motion with a sandbag, You can lift a sandbag in the Sagittal, Frontal and Transverse Plane. You can Squat with a SandBag in all 3 planes and so on and so forth for the other movement patterns too.
They’re perfect for an introduction to the uninitiated in the world of resistance training and a re-introduction to resistance based movement for rehabilitation patients. Also, the flip side to that, pre-habilitation or assisting in injury prevention. (I had to deliver a seminar to a group of physiotherapists in the RAF on just this topic)
When we look at all of the variations out there, it’s a bit overwhelming. If you’ve followed me before or I’ve been lucky enough to teach you something then you’ll know I’ve written courses and promoted various types of sandbags over the years from PowerBag to PowerWave, from Flexi-Bag to Sand Bag Pro and evening the Alpha Strong brand. Mainly because I was paid too but…. They all have their merits, their pros and also, their cons.
A sandbag is a sandbag right?!
Now, let’s not be coy here. Is there a superior sandbag? I started off using a PowerBag around 12 years ago as a way to improve functionality of Ground Work in MMA and a way to develop kicking power in Kickboxing.
For me, the Powerbag is still my firm favourite.
Functional Training Tool?
Function meaning purpose…. What do I need it for?…. Should I choose a PowerBag, a Bulgarian Bag, a PowerWave, a SandBag Pro, an AlphaStrong bag, a Flexi bag, A CoreBag? Aaaarrghhhhh.
The answer always should be, It depends. It depends on Budget (for 1) and on function for 2. What the purpose?!
Do I need to slam it to the floor?
Then you’ll need a PowerBag Armour, an Alpha Strong or Jordan Fitness’ SandBag Extreme
Do I need to Perform Striking onto it (punching etc)?
Original PowerBag (look, this will serve a purpose for a fight pattern in a fitness based workout, NOT for a Fighter Fighter)
Do I need to perform modified Olympic type moves (Clean, Snatch etc)?
This is the reason the Power Bag was designed back in the 90s. Therefore, PowerBag works best. They’ll argue that you can glean a Bulgarian Bag or PowerWave but the mechanics just aren’t the same.
Do I need to improve Deceleration in and Acceleration out of a move?
A PowerBag or a Flexi-Bag (by Jordan Fitness) are my favourite for this. The Flexi bag is great to throw about in 3 planes and can assist in the stretch reflex for deceleration if you know what you’re doing.
or, Do I need an all purpose bag to have a challenging workout with?
To be honest, they’ll all challenge your body if used with decent work protocols. The Powerbag comes out out on top for all movement patterns.
PowerWave have a great app with a host of home workouts to do and their main Wave20 is a simple 50:10 HIIT protocol for the top 5 movement patterns. Again, if you’re a fit pro who is used to structuring group exercise, this should be a standard protocol you use and not for beginners.
Summarising. If we look at the movement patterns here and the ability to adapt across three planes of motion, then for me, the Powerbag comes out best. You can apply any method of HIIT protocols or correct tempo for hypertrophy to any one of these bags for a good workout so again, it depends on what YOU want to determine the bag for YOU. You’ll see from the rough comparison below, there’s little in it.
2016 – Functions In Action; Bologna, Italy. SANDBAGS YO!!
Having played with all of these and launched them about for, well, some time now, some of them split, leaking sand everywhere and some of them don’t. The Alpha Bags that I have, they’ve been to many military bases and slammed to the deck countless times and never leaked once! Just make sure of the warranty and terms of sale before you buy from a supplier.
This is a little overiew of sandbags. I’ll throw an article together another time about the powerbag and it’s cool story, it’s history, created by a doctor, used by the military, copied and done poorly time and again.
PowerBag Raze Strength razestrength.com
SandBag Pro Jordan Fitness Jordanfitness.com
PowerWave Jordan Fitness Jordanfitness.com
Flexi Bag Jordan Fitness Jordanfitness.com
Alpha Strong Alpha Strong bealphastrong.com
Bulgarian Bag Wolverson Fitness wolverson-fitness.co.uk