20 Minute SandBell Workout (Part I)

January 6th, 2015

20 Minute SandBell Workout

20-minute-sandbell-workout

Prevention Magazine-SandBell Workout

This SandBell® workout was featured in the September 2012 issue of Prevention Magazine. In video, I explain each exercise. Here is a description of each step, along with modifications (to make each move easier) and variations (to make each move harder). The only equipment that you will need is a Hyperwear™ SandBell® with weight suitable for your strength! Between 4-15 pounds will be suitable for most people! In the test studies that we performed, women of average and overweight categories both used a 10-pound SandBell®, and completed the workout three times per week for 6-weeks.

Here are the exercises!

Exercise 1: Squat jumps

Squat jumps tone the thighs and glutes.  They are quick and powerful; they’ll get the heart rate ticking sky high!

Cross your arms in front of chest, hugging the SandBell to your body.  Sink your hips down into a squat, then powerfully extend at the knees, hips, and ankles for a vertical leap.  Repeat.  During the squat, keep conscious of:

  1. Maintaining a flat back (it’s not vertical, but it’s flat); try not to hunch like an angry cat
  2. Keeping knees over the ankles (a good test is to try wiggling the toes; if you can wiggle your toes at the bottom of a squat, your knees are not going beyond your ankles)
  3. Pulling shoulders down and back
  4. Keeping head and neck in neutral- look straight ahead

MODIFICATION (to make the exercise easier): Omit the jump; simply squat then stand upright

VARIATION (to make the exercise harder):  Jump higher

Exercise 2: SandBell Slams

Slams are a fantastic exercise for full-body explosive power.  They require rapid acceleration followed by rapid deceleration.

Grab the SandBell at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock.  Reach the Bell overhead, extending the body as long as possible.  Powerfully slam it down to the ground, flexing through knees, hips, and ankles.  Pick it up and repeat.  During the Slams, keep conscious of:

  1. AVOIDING transferring the load to the lower back!
  2. Use the strength of your shoulders and core to slam the Bell down.
  3. Use your hip flexors, legs, and glutes to retrieve it from the ground.
  4. Being award of your environment.
  5. If you are in an apartment, slamming a SandBell down to the ground will sound like a cannon firing down on your downstairs neighbor.  Not a neighborly thing to do.
  6. Remove or secure loosely hung wall decor, as the vibration of the SandBell Slam may cause them to fall.

MODIFICATION:  Simply lift the SandBell overhead, then, while maintaining possession, lower it down to tap the floor.  Repeat.

VARIATION:  Attempt to create a greater “boom” sound with each Slam, which means you exerted greater power.

Exercise 3:  Squat & Toss

Squat and Toss tones the muscles of the legs, glutes, and shoulders.

Cradle the hands underneath the SandBell at shoulder height.  Squat down, using the squat form explained in Exercise 1.  Toss the SandBell high to the sky, then catch it with palms facing up.  Repeat.

MODIFICATION:  Simply squat and press overhead, maintaining possession of the SandBell, instead of tossing it.

VARIATION:  Squat deeper and lift more explosively.

Exercise 4:  Rainbow Slams

Rainbow Slams are unique SandBell exercises that effectively tone the obliques, shoulders, legs, and glutes.  They are a lot of fun, but also a pant-kicking challenge.  They work lateral movement in the frontal plane.

Spread legs wide enough that when you lunge to one side, your front knee is directly over your ankle.  Slam the SandBell down to that side, while lunging deeply.  Reach down to pick up the Bell then lift it overhead.  Pivot on the balls of the feet to face the the other side, following a “rainbow” arc, then slam it down on that side.  Repeat.  During the Rainbow Slams, keep conscious of:

  1. AVOIDING transferring the load to the lower back!
  2. Use the strength of your shoulders and core to slam the Bell down.
  3. Use your hip flexors, legs, and glutes to retrieve it from the ground.  If neglected, this will likely result in lower back discomfort.
  4. Lifting your heels as you pivot to avoid twisting an ankle.
  5. Keeping your legs spread wide enough apart that during the lunge, the knee tracks directly over the ankle.
  6. Slowing down or taking breaks if form becomes compromised.  This is a complicated and challenging exercise that may be new to you.  Learn it slowly.

MODIFICATION:  Instead of slamming all the way to the ground, only lower the Bell down to knee height as you lunge to one side.  Rainbow the Bell to the other side, as described above, but do not slam.  Stop the movement at knee height, while maintaining possession of the SandBell.

VARIATION:  Jump to switch to the other side for Rainbow Slams, instead of pivoting on the toes.

Exercise 5:  Staggered Push-Up, Side Plank, Drop

Staggered push-ups challenge the shoulders, chest, and core.  Side Plank challenges the shoulder and core- especially the obliques.

Begin in plank position.  Push toes into the floor, and lift the rest of the body whereto you form a straight line from head to heel.  Place one hand on the center of the SandBell and the other hand on the floor.  Perform one push up.  Grab the sand from the center of the SandBell and turn the hips to the side of the room as you lift into side plank- arms should be equal and opposite.  At the top, while keeping the arms equal and opposite, simply release your grip so that the SandBell drops slightly outside the hand on the floor.  Return to plank, and repeat, with placing the hand closest to the SandBell on the equipment.  During the Staggered Push-Up, Side Plank, Drop, be conscious of:

  1. Refraining from lifting or dropping your hips in push-up position
  2. Keeping your joints aligned in side plank: wrist over elbow over shoulder.  Don’t pull your top arm back to drop the SandBell; just open your hand and let it fall, keeping joints stacked.
  3. Dropping to the knees if form becomes compromised.  This series takes a considerable amount of upper body strength.

MODIFICATION:  Drop knees down to the ground for push-up, and keep the bottom knee and shin on the ground for side plank.  If you choose to modify, place a towel, mat, or SandBell under your knees to protect them from the hard floor.

VARIATION:  For the push-up component, instead of one, perform two push-ups with an upper body plyo in-between, clapping your hands together during the “airbound” phase.  For the side plank component, lift your top leg so that your body looks like a 5-point star facing the side wall.

Exercise 6:  Tucks

Tucks are excellent exercises for strengthening the shoulders, abdominals, and quadriceps, and hip flexors.  Tucks with a SandBell are much more challenging than tucks performed with light, flimsy equipment, because they require far more muscle recruitment from the quadriceps muscles to push the weight of the Bell away from the body to transition from tuck back to plank.  To feel the difference try this with a SandBell, then try with a disc or paper plate.  SandBells Tucks are wildly challenging and effective for chiseling those gams!

Begin in plank position.  Dig your toes into the sand in the center of the SandBell.  Glide the Bell towards the body, taking the knees towards the forehead.  After tucking in as tightly as you can, push the legs back out, away from the body, returning to plank.  Repeat.  During Tucks, be conscious of:

  1. Performing these exercises on a slick surface.  The SandBell needs to be able to glide, so carpeted flooring does not work.
  2. Returning to plank where shoulders are over hips which are over the heels.
  3. Keeping the knees lifted up, reaching towards your forehead during the tuck.

MODIFICATION:  Hold hands onto a set of dumbbells to neutralize wrists if you have weak wrists or carpel tunnel syndrome.

VARIATION:  Instead of tucking knees in, keep legs straight, and pike hips towards the sky whereto the body forms an inverted “V”

Exercise 7:  SandBell Burpees

SandBell Burpees are a blend of SandBell Slams (Exercise 2) with a traditional Burpee.  This multi-joint movement is for full-body muscular endurance.  This series will tone and tighten through the entire body.

Begin by performing a SandBell Slam, as explained in Exercise 2.  Once the Bell has been slammed down, crouch down and place your hands in push-up position with the SandBell positioned directly under the center of the chest.  Jump or step the legs back to push-up position.  Drop the chest down to touch the SandBell one time, completing one push-up.  Jump or step the legs back in.  With bent knees and hips, pick up the SandBell.  Raise it overhead and repeat!  During SandBell Burpees, be conscious of:

  1. AVOIDING transferring the load to the lower back!
  2. Use the strength of your shoulders and core to slam the Bell down.
  3. Use your hip flexors, legs, and glutes to retrieve it from the ground.
  4. Being award of your environment.
  5. If you are in an apartment, slamming a SandBell down to the ground will sound like a cannon firing.  Your downstairs neighbor may just show up at your door with a real cannon.
  6. Remove or secure loosely hung wall decor, as the vibration of the SandBell Slam may cause them to fall.
  7. Refraining from lifting or dropping your hips in push-up position
  8. Placing hands out the width of your humerous (upper bone in your arm) at about the height of your nipples for proper push-up hand placement.

MODIFICATION:  Step, instead of jump, for your transitions in and out of push-up position.  Omit the push-up.

VARIATION:  Add a jump on the reach before the slam.  Increase the speed at which you transition in and out of push-up position.  Attempt to create a greater “boom” sound with each Slam, which means you exerted greater power.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brook Benten is President of Cardiopump™ Fitness, LLC. She possesses a Master of Education in Physical Education with emphasis in Sport and Fitness Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science. Her certifications include ACSM Health and Fitness Specialist, ACE personal trainer, and StrongFirst Girya II kettlebell instructor. She was a 2012 finalist for Personal Fitness Professional’s “Personal Trainer of the Year.”

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