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August 5, 2014, 12:00AM PT in Fitnovatives Blog  |  0 Comments

30-minute Ultimate Sandbag Workout

Do your clients struggle to find time to train? When life gets busy, the first thing many people drop is their workout. “I don’t have time. I’m too busy.” Many people believe that unless they have an hour to work out they might as well just skip their workout and wait until they have time. The irony.

Long-time fitness pro and educator Elizabeth Andrews blows this argument out of the water with a full-body workout using a 25-40 pound Ultimate Sandbag Power Bag that takes less than 30 minutes. Using Ultimate Sandbags (USB) not only humbles you, they also challenge your strength, stability, balance and mobility, while stressing the neuromuscular system and working the muscles in all planes of motion. In other words, you get a lot of bang for your buck! And you know what that means: Efficiency, with a high metabolic demand. A win-win!

Lateral Lunge to Overhead Press With Single Leg Balance (10/8/6/4 ladder concept)

Lateral Lunge to Overhead Press With Single Leg Balance

Grab the outside handles and deadlift the USB to the tall position. With both feet facing forward, step to one side and assume a lunge position, keeping the spine tall, shoulders packed and squared (pulling shoulder blades are pulled down and back, using the lats to help stabilize), and the lower tail bone down toward ground. Press off the floor to return to the starting position, cleaning the bag as you move through the pattern. From the starting position, press the bag overhead to extension, bringing one leg up at the same time; hold and balance for one beat. With complete control, lower the bag and leg at the same time. Repeat the pattern on the opposite side. In this sequence, the ladder concept of 10/8/6/4 will be applied. In this case, you’ll start with 10 on the right side, then 10 on the left side. You’ll then completely 8 on each side, then 6 on each side and so on until the ladder is complete.

High Pull (30 seconds)

High pull

Grab the neutral handles and begin in a deadlift position, hips hinging back behind the heels and the core braced. Explode from the hips, trying to “jump” the USB to chest height, with elbows pointing to the sky. Keep the chest lifted and the core braced, being careful not to flex the back. The bag should stay close to the body throughout entire movement.

Rotational Lunge With Hold at Bottom (8-10 reps on each side)

Rotational Lunge With Hold at Bottom

Grab the neutral handles and stand with the shoulders packed and arms hang­ing freely. Look straight ahead as you step back in a direct line of hip, pressing the ball of the foot into the ground. At the same time, rotate the USB over the front side of the lead leg. Keep the arms hanging—don’t pull on the USB. Slowly lower the back leg and hover the knee right above the ground. Keep the core braced and hold for 15 seconds. Keep the spine tall, the shoul­ders packed and eyes forward. Prevent yourself from leaning forward at the hips by engaging the glutes on the rear leg, which will help increase your stability. Push off the rear leg and bring the USB back to center, maintaining control throughout the full movement. Do eight to 10 repetitions on one leg and then repeat on the opposite leg.

High Pull (30 seconds)

High pull

Repeat the movement described above.

Up/Downs Shouldering the Bag With Alternating Legs (6/4/2 ladder concept)

Up/Downs Shouldering the Bag With Alternating Legs

Up/Downs Shouldering the Bag With Alternating Legs

Clean the bag to the right shoulder. Step back with the same leg and drop the knee to the floor. Step back with the left leg, tucking the toes under, to a tall kneeling  position. Step up from the floor with the right leg and complete the pattern with the left leg. Repeat the pattern on the opposite side. Use the ladder concept of 6/4/2 …six on one side, six on the other side then move to four on one side, four on the other and so on until the ladder is complete.

Rotational High Pull (30 seconds)

Rotational High Pull

Grab the neutral handles and begin in the deadlift position, hips hinging back behind the heels and the core braced. Rotate the right foot internally and lower the bag to about knee height. Next, explode through the left hip, finishing through the middle as you extend, and then to the other side and back. Keep the back tall, loading the hip through the movement as you maintain a braced core.

By Elizabeth Andrews


Elizabeth Andrews graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Public Health Education specializing in Health Promotion and Wellness and is certified through ACSM, ACE, AFAA. She has over 25 years of experience in the industry and has held a variety of positions: Fitness Director, Club Educator, Spinning Coordinator, Group Exercise Coordinator, Sales, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Instructor, Fitness Modeling, Educator for Southern College and Bellevue Community College, Regional Aerobic Presenter, Fitness Consultant for TBS Superstation, NBC, CBS affiliates in both Atlanta, GA. and Chattanooga, TN. She was also chosen as "One of Atlanta's Top Spin Instructors" by Ultimate Health and Fitness Guide in Atlanta. Elizabeth currently lives in Seattle and has a business and training class called PUSH. She also teaches for TRX, is a Master Trainer for the DVRT-Ultimate Sandbag System, and is an Elite Master Trainer with Stroops.