Friday, November 22, 2013

Step Away From the Bar...Try a Sandbag

Conventional gyms are fully stocked with machines from wall-to-wall, racks of dumbbells and bars with an array of plates to load them. What many globo gyms lack, however, are the more non-traditional items. Toys like tires, sleds, and sandbags provide a whole new stimulus for your brain and your muscles alike.

Let's take a sandbag and a barbell of equal weights, for example. A barbell is a solid, stable object; a sandbag, on the other hand, is much more unstable. Sand may move around within the bag, forcing you to constantly move with it. Try doing a front squat with a barbell and then a front squat with a sandbag.
Image courtesy of Men's Health
You will immediately notice a huge difference.

Sandbags, chains, ropes, kegs, pipes or balls filled with water, stones, sledgehammers, tires, and a partner (willing, of course) are all great tools to add to your training bag. These objects will really take your training to the next level, because they require significantly more core stabilization than fixed objects.

These tools allow you to challenge yourself in a new way, and they're all very cheap (or free) to use! You can be resourceful and throw some objects together that you would have otherwise allowed to collect dust in your basement.

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