Ever since my son Rocky was born I have been really strapped for time, so I decided to start doing some sandbag conditoning movements at home. So I went down t the local hardware store, grabbed some sand and a bag and made my own sandbag.
Then I started doing some of my own sandbag workouts at home, and boy o boy they are tough. Since then I have lost about 5-6kgs and gotten a heck of a lot fitter, my core strength has improved and so has my grappling.
So here are 5 reasons why Grapplers should do Sandbag conditioning.
Reason #1: Improved forearm and grip strength
We have all grappled that guy at training who has an insane amount of finger and forearm strength. These guys are such a hassle to fight. As soon as they get a hold of your gi, you feel the strength in their arms, and if you can’t break their grip then you are going to have a hard time. Forearm strength helps you hold gi chokes for longer, be able to grip fight for longer and be able to break other peoples grips with ease. Sandbag training will help you develop your finger and forearm strength so you will be that guy on the mat with the iron clad grip who can hold a gi chokes for days on end.
Reason #2: Full body workout
Most sandbag movements and exercises are full-body movements, or close to it. Whether you are performing a lunge, upright row or clean and press, you will always be using more than one muscle group meaning you will strengthen your entire body so you can perform better on the mat. This is also super important for us grapplers because we are always using our entire body to move around the mat. So full body movements are great.
Reason #3: Functional Strength
Barbells and dumbbells are a stable weight, meaning they don’t move around much. It is a lot easier to carry a 20kg dumbbell then it is to carry a 20kg sandbag. This is because the sandbag is constantly shifting and moving its weight around – just like our training partners. When we are trying to escape side control or when we are lifting our opponents in the air with a double leg, our opponents aren’t dead weight. Instead they are shifting and moving, trying to escape and squirm out of our control, just like the sandbag. These workouts will help you become familiar with a shifting, moving weight which will help you deal with a shifting, moving opponent during training.
Reason #4: Your fitness will sky rocket
When you do sandbags slams, overhead press or clock lunges for a minute or so, I guarantee that your heart rate will go through the roof. The higher you can get your heart rate (and keep it there) the fitter you will become! When you are fit you can not only fight better for longer, but you also make better decisions when you are under pressure, because you can think more clearly.
Reason #5: Sandbags increase core strength
Most people strengthen their core by doing boring abdominal movements such as sit-ups, crunches or the dreaded plank. Although these exercises do strengthen your abdominals somewhat, it is vital that as a fighter, you pay particular attention to your core muscles. When you are throwing a punch, or tossing your opponent with a hip throw you are rotating your torso, therefore it is crucial that you include core strengthening movements in your strength program. Exercises such as sandbag rotations or lunges and the overhead press are one of the best ways to improve your core strength.
What sort of movements can you do?
With a sandbag you can do a ton of movements including slams, shoulder presses, squats, lunges, deadlifts, bent over rows, bench presses, leg raises, swings (like kettlebell swings), clean and presses, snatches, split jerks, push presses, sandbag hops and more.
If you couple sandbag movements with other body weight movements like pushups, burpees, sprawls etc then you can really develop a tough sandbag workout.
Sandbag Workout #1
|Pickup slams (left and right)||1 minute|
|Upright row||1 minute|
|Sandbag rotations||1 minute|
Sandbag Workout #2
|Upright rows||1 minute|
|Floor presses||1 minute|
|Leg raises||1 minute|
|Pickup slams||1 minute|