Cross train with sandbells

December 20, 2013

There are a variety of options when it comes to cross training. It’s important for balanced fitness and health to incorporate both cardio and strength training into your workout plan, but how do you choose?

One suggestion is to base your workouts off of your home gym equipment. For your cardio sessions, you can run on your home treadmill like a True PS800 Home Treadmill, or ride a stationary bike like a True ES900 Home Recumbant Bike. When it comes to the strength component, try something new. Free weights will be more cost-efficient when designing your home gym, and it gives you more diversity to mix up your workouts when you get bored or hit a plateau. Kettlebells and medicine balls have gained major popularity lately, but there’s a third option to consider: sandbells.

What are sandbells?
Sandbells are soft neoprene bags filled with sand that can be curled like a dumbbell, swung like a kettlebell and tossed like a medicine ball, making for an effective, distinct weight training tool.

The diversity of sandbells means there are endless possibilities when it comes to designing strength training programs. They allow you to move in all planes of motion, challenging all of your muscles and creating a true total body workout. These sandbell workouts can assist with your cardio workouts on the treadmill, bike or home elliptical machine because you’ll have better posture and a stronger core for more stabilization.

In addition to physical benefits, this equipment can offer a mental and physical bonus. As you know, exercise releases endorphins – feel-good hormones – and sandbells take it a step further. Because you can slam them, toss them and swing them, they are great for relieving stress and tension that’s built up throughout the day or week.

Sandbells come in a variety of weight sizes just like free weights, so you can start lighter and work your way up as your strength improves.

Sandbells exercises
There are sandbell exercises that target all of the major muscle groups. On your strength training days, try these exercises for a fun, effective sandbell workout.

Sandbell slam combo: Hold the sandbell at chest level in both hands, standing with your feet hip distance apart. Press the sandbell over your head, then forcibly slam it to the ground. Drop your hands to the ground and jump or step back into a plank position. You can add an extra challenge by doing a pushup. Then, walk or jump your feet up to your hands, grab the sandbell and stand up, returning to the starting position. Repeat eight to 10 times.

Sandbell swing with clean and press: Stand with feet hip-width apart while holding the sandbell in your right hand with an overhand grip. Extend your arm straight out, lower into a squat and swing the sandbell between your legs. Stand up, swing the sandbell up to shoulder level, then flip the sandbell to rest in your palm above your right shoulder. Extend your right arm and push the sandbell up above your head, then lower it back down to the initial starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the left side.

Weighted sit up: Lay on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and holding the sandbell at your chest. Begin to sit up, engaging your ab muscles until your upper body is off the floor. At the top of your sit up, press the sandbell above your head, then return it to your chest. With control, return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

Lunge with row: Hold the sandbell in your right hand at your side. Stand in a lunge position with your right foot forward and left foot behind. Lower your body and bend your knees to 90 degrees. As you stand back up, bend your elbow pull the sandbell back to your armpit. Once you’re fully standing, return the sandbell to the starting position. Repeat 10 times then repeat on the left side.