Cross-Combat-Training | Sandbag Training for Combatives (Part 2)

SC Int'l - Cross-Combat-Training - Sandbag Training für Combatives

There are different designs of sandbags, but at the end of the day, sandbags for training are manufactured durable bags full of sand that can be used to perform various exercises.


The sandbag is one of many pieces of training equipment, but offers a very good cost-benefit ratio when it comes to purchase.


A professional sandbag costs somewhere between 50.00 euros and 200.00 euros.


However, a homemade sandbag can also be had for less than 30.00 euros.


There are a variety of sandbags available from different suppliers, in different sizes, shapes and handle configurations. Apart from special sandbags, such as the Throw-Bags / Kettle-Bags or the Bulgarian Bags, sandbags can be divided into two overarching categories for the sake of simplicity:


  • Sandbags with handles
  • Sandbags without handles
SC Int''l - Street Combatives - Cross-Combat-Training - Sandbag Training for Combatives
Sandbags with handles (so-called duffle-bags)

The duffle-bag style sandbag looks exactly as it sounds, like a travel or sports bag filled with sand.


This is probably what most people think of when they think of sandbag training, and it's the type you're most likely to find in well-equipped gyms too.


The duffle-bags great and an absolute universal talent!


The placement of the various handles makes the sandbag far less difficult to handle than other types and is certainly more accessible to newcomers and easier to integrate into a general training programme, as many familiar exercises from dumbbell training can be adapted.


Many grip configurations make it easy to find a good grip and so you are less likely to slip or tear your hands.

Logically, the duffle-bags can also be used without the handles and thus nothing stands in the way of unlimited training possibilities.


Here you can definitely train true to our swinger club principle - everything can, nothing must!


SC Int''l - Street Combatives - Cross-Combat-Training - Sandbag Training for Combatives
Sandbag opened, with various fillers

The shape, size and weight of these bags, combined with the many possible grip combinations, allow for hundreds of different exercise combinations.


Most sandbag-specific exercises are best performed with this type of sandbag. The handles allow for a variety of exercises that are simply too challenging to begin with without them.


A small disadvantage of this type of sandbag is the limited weight, as most heavy duffle-bags can be loaded with a weight of up to 50 or 60 kg.


When buying a sandbag, it is important to buy one that can be individually loaded with different filler bags.


This not only allows different people to train with one sandbag, but also a greater variation of exercises.


The sandbags are also more unstable and therefore more challenging to train with. Especially if you want to use the sandbag for our martial arts or self-protection needs as described in part 1.


However, if you seriously want to use heavy sandbag training for brute strength, you will probably not be happy with a duffle bag in the long run.


SC Int''l - Street Combatives - Cross-Combat-Training - Sandbag Training for Combatives
Round sandbag without handles - 50kg (the medicine ball is for size comparison)

This is where sandbags without handles come into play. These come in a round shape (similar to an Atlas stone), an elongated shape, with Velcro, for tying or knotting. 


Whatever the shape, sandbags without handles force you to grip the bag in an awkward and unsafe way.


These large, round bags are typically the heaviest variety of sandbag you can find, and rightly so, as their purpose is to provide a more forgiving training experience than their namesake, the "atlas stone".


If you've ever watched a strongman competition before, you've probably seen athletes lift, carry and throw heavy stones, barrels or other oddly shaped paraphernalia. All these things can also be done with a sandbag in the shape mentioned above, but with much less risk of injury and also without any additional effort in training rooms, as the floor is not as stressed when a sandbag is thrown.


The shape of these bags allows a considerable amount of sand to be packed into a relatively small package, so the weight range is at the heavier end of the spectrum. The round sandbag in the picture above already weighs 50 kg with a size comparable to a medicine ball. Lifting a 50kg sandbag that is unstable in itself and pressing it overhead cannot be compared to doing the same exercise with a barbell.


In addition to classic exercises, for example, heavy carries, shoulder tosses, lifting onto a platform with a heavy sandbag make for an insane and challenging workout. 


You have a wide range of products to choose from, but sandbags with handles and sandbags without handles pretty much sum up the selection. Sandbags with handles are great because of their versatility and accessibility, while the handleless sandbags can get very heavy and offer an insane challenge.

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