Using a sandbag for strength training is an excellent and inexpensive way to build strength at home. The concept is simple: sand is a heavy and unstable substance that constantly shifts around. This shifting movement requires your body to make constant micro-adjustments to manage the weight.
Since sandbag fitness has gained popularity recently, you can purchase a pre-made sandbag trainer for $60 or more, or you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. We made one in less than 15 minutes with products we already had on hand, costing us nothing up front. While this method may not be as pretty as what you find in the store, it does the trick and saves you cash.
- Medium-sized duffle bag (I got this one for free at an event, but it would probably cost about $10)
- 60-lb bag of sand (Usually about $4-$5, but I had this one on hand)
- 5 to 12 1-gallon freezer bags (I only had 5 on hand, but it’s a good idea to have double the number you plan to use so you can double bag them)
- Duct tape
Step 1: Scoop sand into bags and weigh
Using a scoop (I used a Pyrex cup measure), fill up 5 or 6 of the gallon bags with sand, using the scale to measure each bag. Aim to put 10-pounds of sand into each one. You’ll end up with 50 to 60 pounds of bagged sand.
Step 2: Double-bag and seal
If you have extra freezer bags, double bag your sand bags, zipping each bag tight. Then, seal the zippered ends with duct tape to prevent leakage.
Step 3: Transfer bags into the duffle
Place all of your sand bags into the duffle bag. Use the bag that the sand came in to cover the freezer bags. The original sand bag was built to prevent the sand from leaking out, so it will add protection to your duffle in case one of the freezer bags breaks.
Step 4: Zip up and use
Once all your freezer bags are packed inside, your homemade sandbag is ready for use! Simply zip it up and get to work. The nice thing about this system is that you know each of the freezer bags weighs 10 pounds, so you can remove or add bags as needed for each exercise you perform.
Note: I also used duct tape to tape up the handles in a way that was more user friendly for performing exercises.