TRX and Sandbags

TRX and Sandbags

Reading TRX and Sandbags 3 minutes

Who doesn’t want more power? (We’re talking physically here; we can't help you get ahead in your career.) Our recent post on TRX for Power (with kettlebells) was a hit with the TRX Community, proving you’re a power-hungry bunch looking for new and innovative ways to build strength on the TRX. Well, there’s another tool out there to help you achieve that goal, and that tool is a sandbag.

Sandbag lifting shares a lot in common with kettlebells with regard to their ability to challenge not only strength but endurance as well. A good bag will force the lifter to maneuver and adjust to the awkward weight. This definitely causes the body to use more muscles and expend greater energy as it is hard to get into one consistent groove.

Increasing grip strength is another great reason to use sandbags. There is no piece of equipment that frustrates people as much as sandbags. Why? When using sandbags, there is no convenient place to grab. You have to constantly search for an open spot and then use a crush grip, which is nice for those of you who are into grip strength.

Well, what happens when you combine a weighted sandbag with the TRX Suspension Trainer? Fraser Quelch showed us once, in this post from last year. More recently, Dan McDonogh had a go with combining these two training modalities when he joined forces with Josh Henkin from Ultimate Sandbag Training in the TRX booth at IDEA World 2010. What followed was an awesome jam session of “you go, I go” as the two educators took turns exploring and creating incredible multi-planar exercises using a sandbag and the TRX, taking some great TRX movements such as the TRX Diagonal Reach, TRX Golf Rotation, TRX Lunge and TRX Pike to the next level. Check out the video above to see how a simple sandbag and the TRX could redefine your training.

According to Henkin, the benefits of using sandbags with the TRX are threefold:
  1. Using the TRX with the sandbag increases the lever arm, creating a perception of more weight without actually increasing the weight of the implement. Really hits stability with this!
  2. This is a great way to teach rotational training as the TRX/sandbag combo acts not only as load, but as a feedback system.
  3. Adding load is only one way to increase exercise intensity. Using this combo in this manner also focuses on exercise complexity and leverage, two commonly overlooked ways to increase intensity.