At Wellintra we encourage unconventional and frugal fitness training programs that do not require expensive equipment such as Yoga, Kickboxing and Functional Training. For the frugal fitness enthusiast, fitness is available anytime and every time and at little to no cost. Functional Fitness training can also provide more intensity than the most elaborate and expensive training devices. If you associate fitness with tons and tons of expensive equipment you are not alone. It is natural for most people to associate product cost with product value. It is what marketers and advertising men thrive upon. You see an expensive product and you automatically assume that – If it costs so much then it must be really effective. The sad truth is that most fitness products and programs do not meet their expectations and do not offer much value for money. In this post we will show you how an inexpensive sandbag can be converted into an intense strength and conditioning tool.
Why Sandbag Training
A sandbag is an unpredictable beast. The benefits of sandbag training are different from traditional weight lifting. The sand within a sandbag will move back and forth as one struggles to lift, carry, drag or throw the bag. It is this unpredictable nature of the bag that makes it a really useful training device.
Sandbag Training Vs. Dumbells or Kettlebells
A dumbbell, barbell or kettle bell is constructed using precise symmetric measurements and the weight is evenly distributed and carefully balanced to allow for easy and smooth lifting. It is true that many athletes and individuals have developed great power and strength through the use of these conventional tools. But the strength that you gain from conventional methods of lifting is not useful to real life combat. What we are suggesting here is – not to stop your weight training regimen altogether but to add a functional training routine such as Sandbag training or Sledgehammer Training to your weight training regimen.
It is a fact that Real life is unpredictable. Take the example of an athlete or a person who is engaged in wrestling with a powerful person. He may be pinned to the ground and struggling to free himself from his opponent. The pinned person requires strength, stamina and skill to wrestle himself free of his opponent and regain control. The brute strength that is required for this situation is best developed by lifting awkard and unpredictable objects such as sandbags. Have you ever observed a fighter stop in the middle of action and ask his opponent how much weight he can bench press?! For combating Real life situations you need to undergo real life functional training.
How Sandbag Training Works
Sandbag training develops the brute strength required for the unpredictable movements of combat. When you attempt to lift the sandbag is actually fighting with you. The sand will be swaying back and forth forcing your stabilizer muscles to work overtime and helping you retain your balance. The stabilizers do the work of keeping your bones and joints secure while the prime movers extend and flex. In a traditional weight training you are only targeting the prime mover muscles with little or no attention paid to the stabilizer muscles.
The Problem with Isolation Exercises
Traditional weight training exercises target one muscle group at a time. So when you bench press from a flat bench you are isolating the chest muscles through a controlled range of motion. Most bodybuilders and gym goers focus on isolation exercises rather than training with full-body movements. But in the world of high performance sport, an athlete will never isolate a single muscle group when he / she is training for competition. Competition requires the use of full-body movements and champion athletes are unconcerned with specific weight lifting numbers. They do not train in order to impress the world with bench press records. Instead, these athletes train in order to maximise their strength and power in order to increase their efficiency in their chosen sport. A serious athlete will have zero use for exercise machines that restricts and controls movement. Weight training machines are one-dimensional and isolate specific muscles.
What is Functional Training
A lot of gym trainers or trainers you will encounter will speak of functional training but very few really understand the concept. Functional exercises are basically multi-plane and multi-joint movements and athletic movements occur throughout several planes of motion. You run, jump, duck, pivot and attack from different positions. Competition is random, multi-directional and highly unpredictable.
Sandbag Training is a Wonderful Functional Exercise
Sandbag training closely mimics the spontaneity of an actual opponent. The bag is uncooperative. The sand will shift back and forth as you lift, throw and drop the bag. The unpredictable nature of the bag is similar to the random and multi directional nature of athletic sports. Sandbag training forces your body to work as an integrated and functional unit. During the training sessions, you will be forced to maintain balance and stabilization while you are lifting and moving an uncooperative sandbag. Sandbag training will improve strength, flexibility, core stability, coordination and muscular endurance.
Who Can Do Functional Training
Sandbag Training is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Let us see the kind of individuals who my not be up for sandbag training.
The Hardcore Bodybuilder
People who are more into cosmetic appearances and someone who is more concerned about numbers of sets and reps, size of your arms or pecs and is more interested in bragging about his numbers will not be easily persuaded to try out sandbag training.
The Pretty Types
If you are more concerned about keeping your hands and fingernails clean and pretty then sandbag training is not right for you. You will either have to keep your nails short or the sandbag will do it for you.
The Aerobics and Yoga Junkies
Those who are looking for an easy 10 minute workout may not be up for a Sandbag training routine. Sandbag training is an intense activity. Athletes who excel at the national level can crumble under the weight of a sandbag.
Few Last Words
Get Ready To Feel The Pain!
Sandbag training is not for people who want to make excuses and want to choose the easy way out. You simply cannot fake your way out of a sandbag routine. And after a few months of sandbag training, when you see someone working out on a fancy resistance machine, walk over to him and drop a 150-pound sandbag into his lap! And challenge him to a few basic sandbag exercises which we will show you in future articles. Stay tuned!
At Wellintra we have excellent functional fitness instructors who can help you achieve your fitness goals right in the comfort of your home or backyard! Give us a call on 9820607875 asap.