A lean body and strong, sexy muscles? It’s all in the bag with this tough but worthwhile routine.
One good reason to add a sandbag to your workout: People who exercised with one had higher heart rates. Also, it is more than likely that they burned more calories than those who did the same moves with dumbbells, according to new research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the US. That’s because sand is unpredictable. It moves, so you have to work harder to stabilise the load than if you held something solid, the study authors explain.
Seizing a fat-sizzling opportunity, US-based fitness instructor Dana McCaw created a routine using Sandbells (round, sand-filled neoprene bags). It involves challenging rounds of Sandbell moves, like drags, slams and plyos. “You start with the longest, hardest eight-minute round of moves, then pare down as you go,” she explains. “When you reach the last two rounds, they will feel easy in comparison.”
1 PUSH AND PULL
Works back, chest, abs, butt, quads and hamstrings
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold Sandbell with both hands, arms down to start. Crouch, place Sandbell on floor, and hands on it. Rise onto balls of feet and push Sandbell forward [a] until you are in plank position. Place hands outside Sandbell and do one push-up, touching chest to it [b]. Put hands back on Sandbell, then pull it towards feet. Return to starting position. Repeat for one minute.
How it works Do all eight moves for one minute each. Then rest for a minute and eliminate one move. Round 2: seven moves for a minute each, and rest for another minute. Round 3: six and rest. Round 4: fi ve and rest. The fi nal round, do your four favourite moves. This whole workout should take 34 minutes in total. If you’re short on time, do two sets of all eight moves and you’ll be done in 17 minutes. Complete this routine three times a week on alternate days.
You’ll need A 3kg or 4kg Sandbell (from US$19 or S$26 at Amazon Website)
"Go as quickly as you can with good form, knowing that every round gets a little easier.”
Dana mccaw, us-based fitness instructor and creator of this sandbell workout.
2 FIGURE EIGHT
Works back, biceps, abs, obliques, butt, quads and inner thighs
Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointing outwards, and hold Sandbell with left hand, with arms at sides. Draw Sandbell up and back [a], then squat and pass it under left thigh to right hand [b]. Stand and repeat on right side. Continue alternating sides for one minute.
“Think power. Sandbell slams work body. The more vigorously you throw it, the more benefits you’ll get.”
3 FOUR SQUARE
Works shoulders, biceps, abs, butt, quads and hamstrings
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold Sandbell with both hands, arms down. Raise it overhead [a] and forcefully slam it to your left. Jump laterally to squat and pick it up [b]. Stand and slam Sandbell in front of you. Jump forward and squat to pick it up. Stand and throw it to your right. Jump laterally and squat to pick it up. Then slam it behind you. Continue in square pattern for one minute.
4 SIDE OUT TO SLIDE OUT
Works butt, quads, hamstrings, and inner as well as outer thighs
Stand behind Sandbell on floor with feet together. Squat, extend right leg out to side and reach left hand down to touch Sandbell [a]. Stay in squat as you switch sides. Continue for 30 seconds. Still squatting, with hands in prayer position, place right foot on Sandbell and drag it to right side [b]. Drag Sandbell back. Repeat for 15 seconds.
5 LOCK ‘N’ LOAD
Works shoulders, butt and quads
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold centre of Sandbell with left hand, arms at sides. Step right leg back into reverse lunge to start [a]. Slowly raise Sandbell overhead [b]. Return to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.
6 POWER PIKE
Works shoulders, chest, abs, butt, quads and hamstrings
Start in plank position with feet on top of Sandbell. Lift hips to drag it towards hands until body forms an inverted V [a]. Press Sandbell back to starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds. Then, still in plank position, hop both feet to outside of Sandbell [b], before jumping back on top of it. Repeat for 30 seconds.
7 DONKEY JACK SLAM
Works shoulders, abs and butt
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold Sandbell with both hands, arms down. Raise it overhead and slam it on floor in front of you. Crouch, place hands outside of Sandbell, and press palms into it as you kick up heels [a]. (If that’s too much, try getting feet just a couple of centimetres off floor.) Land softly, get into wide squat, with palms behind head. Still in squat position, jump feet together and then wide apart [b]. Squat to pick up Sandbell. Repeat for one minute.
8 HAPPY HOUR
Works abs, butt and inner as well as outer thighs
Stand with feet together and hold Sandbell with both hands, arms down to start. Step right leg into lunge as you bring right hand to right hip and lower Sandbell with left hand towards inside of right foot [shown]. Return to starting position, then repeat on opposite side. Continue alternating sides for one minute.
"Grab as much sand as you can with your palm rather than hold the bag by the edge. You'll boost grip strength, which recruits more muscle fibres, enhancing overall power and strength."