The SandBell is soft and effective neoprene bag filled with sand that, according to the manufacturer is a versatile, safe free weight and that can be used as a more challenging substitute for dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls. It can also be safely thrown and caught or slammed which allows for new creative uses. It adds a grip strength and stabilization challenge due to the shifting fill material.
SandBells are being used in fitness facilities, strength and conditioning programs and physical education classes and are said to be safe for any floors. The manufacturer also states that they are ideal for the active aging audience due to their safety and their benefit to hand strength. They are gaining popularity for home use by consumers since they do not leak sand, are safe for any floor, and can be neatly stacked.
- Made from strong neoprene, these are circular soft weight filled with sand (refillable) and available in different weights ranging from 2 – 50 lb.
- Patent-pending fill mechanism (called a ’Ngazzle’ — pronounced nozzle) for filling / removing sand
- Option of shipped empty or filled
- Recommended - DRY WASHED play sand (Quickcrete Premium Washed Play Sand), available at most major Home Improvement Stores.
ACE Expert Review
In our review, we evaluated the 2, 6 and 20 pound sandbells. Overall, our first impression was that they appeared user-friendly, aesthetically appealing and easy to grab given both the neoprene material and soft sand resulting in a nice feel in your hand. Filling and removing sand proved to be relatively easy using the funnel provided (which is an additional purchase), though any funnel will suffice.
The key noticeable differences included the aspect of improving grip strength, which improves shoulder stability, and the ability to drop these products without fear of injury or damage to the floor. The Sandbells can be gripped through the middle of the disc or by the ends (as illustrated on their website). We utilized both grips and enjoyed the natural free motion it allowed at the wrist/distal joint, something limited when using kettlebells, dumbbells or medicine balls. Grip strength is obviously very important within several occupations and this device provided an effective way to train to strengthen one’s grip. Unlike a kettlebell with its off-center of mass (requiring both stability and mobility) that creates much discomfort to the back of the forearm, the Sandbell allows the user to maintain a neutral wrist (stability) while moving it as needed (mobility). Their shape also eliminates any concern of rolling or moving, a factor that exists with dumbbell or medicine ball.
Initially hypothesized was that rapid movements would result in shifting sands and greater needs to stabilize, but what we discovered is these movements shifted sands out from our grip, forcing us to have to grip harder which may prove to be contraindicated for individuals with higher blood pressures. Additionally, the heavier Sandbells (20 lb) proved problematic as the weight of the product shifted sand away from our grip, forcing us to have to grip harder, making it harder to use the Sandbell for all intents and purposes. While not tested, we would imagine the 50 lb product would be that much more difficult as a result.
What we liked:
- Grip strength training
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Soft feel
- Easy to control movements (especially decelerating after explosive movements)
- Versatility in training (strength and explosive movements)
- Non-roll function
- Easy fill mechanism
What we didn't like:
- Shifting sand in heavier Sandbells and execution of more rapid movements reduces volume of sand and material in hand, forcing increased grip-requirements – contraindicated in people with hypertension or gripping issues (e.g., arthritis)
November 17, 2010
Where to Buy
www.hyperwear.com www.performbetter.com www.bsnsports.com