When it comes to functional training, there aren’t too many fitness tools better than the Hyperwear SandBell®. The stretchy, sand-filled, neoprene bag can be used as an alternative to a kettlebell, medicine ball, or a dumbbell, and is building a reputation as being one of the best free weights available on the market.The SandBell is the ultimate tool for sandbag training.
What makes the SandBell so unique is you can target every muscle in your body when training with them. Anything a kettlebell or medicine ball can do, the SandBell can do better. The only real limitation is your imagination.
The SandBell has a number of advantages over other training tools like dumbbells and kettlebells. Not only are SandBells more affordable, they are also a lot safer to use. Dropping a SandBell on your foot, or hitting your head with one, won’t cause major pain or injury. This is a real advantage for anyone new to training, and who might be a little less confident with certain movements.
Whether you want to isolate your legs, shoulders, back, abdominals or even your neck muscles, there are a number of exercises you can do to target them.
Below is a rundown on some of the major muscle groups and exercises you can target using the SandBell. You can also watch the video below to see the exercises in action.
SandBell Core Exercises
- SandBell Weighted Sit-ups–One of the most basic and effective ways to isolate abdominal muscles. Gripping onto a SandBell, raise your body from a lying position to a sitting position while keeping your feet on the ground.
- SandBell Alternating Ab Twists–Gripping a SandBell with both hands, move your body into a ‘crunch’ position with your legs and back both hovering above the ground. From here, use your abdominal muscles to move the SandBell from your left to your right while keeping your upper body and legs from touching the ground.
SandBell Back/Lat Exercises
- SandBell Slams–Starting with your feet slightly wider than shoulder’s width apart, pick up the SandBell, raise it over your head, and then slam the SandBell into the floor with power and intensity. The movement is a full body workout, although during the ‘slam’ stage, you will be engaging many back muscles.
- SandBell Swings–Just like a kettlebell swing, but using a SandBell. The idea is to use your hips to drive/swing the SandBell from between your legs up over your head. While it is a functional movement that utilizes a number of muscles, it does isolate the posterior chain, and in particular the spinal erector and lower-back muscles.
SandBell Arm Exercise (Biceps/Forearms)
- SandBell Grip Grabs–Holding a SandBell out in front of you with one arm, release the SandBell, and then quickly try to catch it with your opposite hand. Try keeping both of your arms straight the whole time. This exercise helps increase forearm strength and endurance.
- SandBell Throws–This exercise is great for isolating your biceps and forearms. The idea is to throw the SandBell into the air and catch it with your opposite hand. *SandBell throws are not demonstrated in the video.
SandBell Leg Exercises
- Walking SandBell Lunges– Hold the SandBell in both hands with arms extended directly overhead. Lunge and walk with the SandBell. Make sure the back knee dips toward the ground, almost touching it but not making contact. Repeat for 5-10 paces, and then turn around and lunge back to the starting position.
- Standing Alternating SandBell Lunges–Hold a SandBell above your head and step forward into a deep lunge position. Your back knee should dip toward, but not touch, the ground. Then drive push off your front and lunge forward with your other leg to continue the forward movement.
- SandBell Weighted Squats–Stand with your feet shoulder apart, hold a SandBell in front of you. Squat down until your hips are level with your knees, then stand back up and repeat.
- SandBell Box Jumps–Holding onto a SandBell, jump from the ground onto an elevated surface in front of you. You can jump onto boxes, park benches or even retaining walls. This is a great exercise to improve your vertical leap, and increase leg speed and explosiveness. *SandBell box jumps are not demonstrated in the video.
SandBell Shoulder Exercises
- SandBell Push-Press—Hold onto the SandBell with both hands, dip your knees slightly, then drive your arms up overhead. The movement is similar to the ‘jerk’ phase in the clean and jerk. When you’re more confident with the move, you can throw the SandBell in the air and catch it before starting the next rep.
- SandBell Thrusters—Using either one or two SandBells, squat down holding the weight chest height. On your way up, thrust your arms over your head. This is a great exercise for working both your shoulders and legs.
- SandBell Front Raises—Gripping into the SandBell(s), keep your arms straight and raise them in front of you until your hands reach eye level. A great exercise for isolating your shoulders.
These are just some of the many exercises you can do with the SandBells to target specific muscle groups. As mentioned earlier, as long as you have a bit of imagination, there are endless exercises you can do with this great training tool.
About John Michael Bric
John is the editor and co-founder of The Rx Review. The site is a fitness website, reporting on the sport of CrossFit, health and fitness related news, and providing reviews on sports performance products. The Rx Review is one of the few websites focusing specifically on CrossFit, and the training associated with the sport. John is also a radio journalist, and freelance writer for publications such as International Kickboxer Magazine and the CrossFit Games website. He can often be heard reading the morning news on the radio or trying to convince people that chicken burgers, french fries and beer are all Paleo.