women

Your body is a clever thing. No matter how hard you work in the gym, it always finds a way to make life as easy as possible. So, even if you’re hitting the dumbbells, treadmill and kettle bells hard, you may not be seeing the results you want. The answer? Do something different - and that’s where this unique workout comes in.

If you think sun-drenched beaches are the only place sand belongs, think again. Training with sandbags is a great way to shock your body into revving up its fat burn, and it’ll boost the fun factor, too - especially if you’re bored of exercising with the same old kit.

Unlike a solid weight, nothing holds the sand in place in these bags. It can run freely, so the weight distribution of the sandbag is constantly changing - meaning your body has to stabilize itself throughout each move. This means you probably won’t be able to lift a sandbag that’s as heavy as your regular iron weights, but it does mean you have to work extra hard to perform the move properly - and engage your core! It’s tough, but a good kind of tough - the kind that gets you in the best shape of your life, fast.

How to do it

Perform one set of each of the sandbag exercises, then rest for around 60-90 seconds. Repeat this sequence until you have completed the required number of sets for your level. Then perform one set of each of the sand-bell exercises, resting for around 60-90 seconds when you’ve finished. Repeat this sequence until you have completed the required number of sets for your level with the sand-bell.

·         Beginner: 2x8 reps

·         Intermediate: 4 x 8 reps

·         Advanced: 4 x 12 reps

Deadlift and throw

Areas trained: bottom, thighs, back, shoulders

Deadlift and throw

Deadlift and throw

Technique

·         With the sandbag on the floor in front of you, bend at your hips and knees, pushing your bottom back to pick up the bag with one hand on either side.

·         Lift it to rest it over one shoulder, then immediately throw it down in front of you.

·         Repeat on the other shoulder.

·         Safety tip: Keep your chest forward and shoulders back throughout

Front squat

Areas trained: front thighs, bottom

Front squat

Front squat

Technique

·         Hold a sandbag by the handles across the front of your chest, with your arms around it and elbows up.

·         Bend at your hips and knees to lower yourself to the ground as far as you find comfortable, pushing your bottom back.

·         Push up through your heels to the start position and repeat.

Overhead swing

Areas trained: stomach, sides of stomach, shoulders

Overhead swing

Overhead swing

Technique

·         Hold a sandbag by the handles to one side, turning your upper body towards the bag and leaning forward.

·         In one swift movement, swing the sandbag diagonally overhead, then allow it to swing back down to the start.

·         Continue into another rep. Change sides with each set.

Good morning

Areas trained: back, bottom, rear thighs

Good morning

Technique

·         Rest the sandbag across your shoulders, holding it by the handles.

·         With your knees soft and shoulders back, hinge at your hips, pushing your bottom back until your upper body is parallel with the floor.

·         Return to the start and repeat.

Safety tip: Try to keep your spine neutral

Clean

Areas trained: thighs, bottom, upper back, shoulders, front upper arms

Clean

Clean

Technique

·         Hold the sandbag by the handles in front of your shins. Let the bag hang down and allow your knees to bend slightly. Keep your chest up.

·         Row the bag up toward your chin as you straighten up, rotating your grip to bring your body and elbows under the bag. Catch the bag at your shoulders, bending your knees as you do so.

·         Reverse the movement to lower the bag back to the start position and repeat.

Safety tip: Push through your legs to lift the bag

Lunge with wood-chop

Areas trained: Thighs, bottom, sides of stomach

Lunge with wood-chop

Lunge with wood-chop

Technique

·         Start standing with your feet together, holding the sand-bell.

·         Take a big step forward into a lunge with your right leg and rotate your body to bring the sand-bell to your right.

·         Push back to the start and repeat on the opposite leg.

Slam

Areas trained: stomach, core

Slam

Slam

Technique

·         Start standing, holding the sand-bell overhead.

·         Crunch your body to throw the sand bell to the floor, as hard as you possibly can.

·         Retrieve the sand-bell and repeat the exercise.

Safety tip: Keep your abs tight as you throw the sand-bell

Halo

Area trained: Shoulders

Halo

Halo

Technique

·         Hold a sand-bell in front of your chest with both hands.

·         Rotate the sand bell around your head in a circular motion for the allotted number of reps.

·         Change the direction of the movement with each set.

Sumo sledgehammer

Areas trained: inner thighs, bottom, shoulders, core, stomach

Sumo sledgehammer

Sumo sledgehammer

Technique

·         Start with your feet wide, toes pointing out, holding a sand-bell above your head.

·         Bend your knees to lower your bottom to the floor as you bring the sand-bell between your legs, keeping your arms straight as you do so.

·         Return to the start and repeat the exercise to complete a set.

Safety tip: keep your abs tight and don’t arch your back

Russian twist

Areas trained: core, sides of stomach

Russian twist

Russian twist

Technique

·         Sit on the floor with your upper body slightly reclined and your feet resting on the floor, holding the sand-bell in front of your chest.

·         Rotate your body to bring the sand-bell to one side, until it almost touches the floor. Repeat on the other side.

·         Repeat this sequence in a fluid motion for the required reps.

Safety tip: Keep your tummy engaged as you twist

Exercise: Body Blitz

3 Fat-burning fitness rules

Use these tips to put your fat loss in the fast lane

1.    Do compound exercises

Working your bigger muscle groups and performing exercises that target several areas of your body at once ensures a higher fat burn, as you will be recruiting more muscle mass.

2.    Focus on tempo

Don’t rush through the lowering part of an exercise. By putting your muscles under tension, rather than allowing gravity to do the work, you’re forcing them to build. Building muscle helps to speed your metabolism - and burn fat!

3.    Don’t rest for too long

Of course you need time to recover (it’s important to rest so you can make the next set count), but only take short breaks between sets to keep your heart rate up and ensure the workout hits the right intensity.

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