Best Sandbags For Training

There are different forms of training when it comes to conditioning and endurance training. This includes basic obstacle equipment for coordination and agility, to weighted objects which help with muscular endurance. The use of sandbags for training purposes has become popular recently and is a great way to assist in increasing muscular endurance and conditioning. Here are some benefits of sandbag training along with a list of good choices of brands to use. If you’re ready to learn more, let’s get started.

What is a sandbag ?

A sandbag is an object used for workouts that is great to use for exercises that want to focus on anaerobic or muscular endurance. There are many exercises that can be performed, some unique and others similar to motions used when using a barbell.

Anyone from a beginner to a high level athlete can use sandbags for training regardless of the goals. You should train with sandbags whenever you are looking for a challenge, or just want to change the workout routine. Changing your routine is good to do since the body adapts to the training. This confuses the body, forcing it to make different adaptations, increasing strength and other aspects of fitness.

Sandbags are virtually able to be used anywhere there is space available. This makes them great to take on a trip or anywhere that you’re going to be outdoors. Although sandbags can be used indoors, its not advised unless your in an actual training facility.

Sandbags vs Free Weights

Training with sandbags or free weights in some ways are similar, but sandbag training allows adaptations that using free weights doesn’t. Here are some similarities and differences in exercises and training aspects between these forms of training. These are just some of many exercises that can be done.

Exercises that can be used for both free weights and sandbag training

Bench PressWork both chest and shouldersHave to control sandbag more
Clean and jerkTotal body movementNot possible to have exact correct movement with sandbag
DeadliftWork quads and hamstringsMore difficult to lift
when using sandbag without handles
SquatRequire same movement and musclesWeight shifts more when using sandbag

Differences in training

As mentioned above, there are some differences in the exercises being performed and what is worked including the following.

Overall Strength: The amount of weight that can be moved using free weights is more than that of using sandbags. Here are some reasons why.

Balance: When training with sandbags, balance is required much more than with the use of barbells or dumbbells. While the weight on barbell or dumbbells stays in one place, the use of a sandbag requires your hands be moved as the material in the bag moves in order to maintain balance.

Stability: While using free weights in most exercises the muscles are in a stable position. Although free weights do work stabilizer muscles, the use of sandbags requires more work from these muscles.

Isolation: When using free weights and machines, a specific muscle is targeted. When you’re using only one or two muscles in isolation, you may be able to use more weight, but the motion used is not the same as it normally would be.

ExerciseTraining effectsCan it be performed with free weights ?
Bearhug CarryIncreases muscular enduranceNo
Sandbag throwIncreases arm and back strrengthNo
Over the back tossIncreases strengthNo
Front CarryIncreases muscular enduranceTo a certain point


Sandbags are a better form of functional training that can be used for movements used in everyday life. This is because of the difference in movement patterns being closer to functional movements.

This is only effective though if handles are not used. An example of this is doing a deadlift. Handles allows you to have an overhand grip similar to the use of a barbell. There aren’t many things that you would lift in real life with that grip, but it will require a unique grip depending on the object.

What Type of sandbag should you buy ?

There are two different types of sandbags on the market, those used for general fitness training, and those used for strongman training. The ones used for general training do not hold as much weight and usually come with handles. If you are looking at general health and fitness this may be the best choice. If you are training at a higher level for strength or just want to train more functionally, a sandbag made for strongman may fit you better. This is both because you’re able to use them for more practical movement patterns, and the fact that you can always start out at a lower weight. Here are some of the best sandbags on the market.

IronmindRogueForcetrainingGo ruckGopher Perforance
300 lbs300 lbs125 lbs120 lbs120 lbs
High quality tear resistant materialSpecific construction materials usedHeavy weight millitary grade textilesMade froom 1000D Cordura. Unique design for easy changing of weights
Only returns or refundsNo warrentyReplacement for any manufacturer defectLifetime GuaranteeSatisfaction Guarantee
$ 65$ 140$ 190$ 85$ 105
No handlesNo handlesHandles includedHandles indludedHandles included

Strongman Training

1. Ironmind

Fitness Training

1. Gopher Performance

Training with sandbags can be done by anyone from the beginner in fitness, to the elite level athlete in either general or strength athletics. This is much more practical to use if you are going for functional training.  If you want to get a great workout that increases both your strength levels and endurance levels, sandbag training is a great choice to make for a change in workouts.

2 Thoughts to “Best Sandbags For Training”

  1. Justin

    Very informative concerning the different types of bags. I think it’s best to use the ones without handles since that’s more functional. Any of those are of good quality though.

    1. I agree. If you’re looking at increasing functional strength, you want to go with the ones without handles. I mean, if you try to pick up a rock or any other basic object, it doesn’t have handles.

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