The Sandbag Getup

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Alright, I’ve been nice to you guys with the previous two exercises. The X-Band walk is easy, and the Quadzilla Complex, while a real leg smoker, is still highly focused on just the lower anterior chain of the body. This next exercise is for everything. Yeah, everything. You’re not going to like it, but trust me, you need to do it (kind of like flossing or paying your taxes, it’s a necessary evil.) Let me introduce you to the Sandbag Get Up.

What the hell was the monstrosity you just watched? Why, only one of the most effective all-around exercises you can do! The Sandbag Get Up works everything. Calves, Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Spinal erectors, abdominals, triceps, and the lungs. Okay, so maybe not everything, I don’t really feel much stress on my pectorals, but give me a break, that’s ALMOST everything. This baby packs a serious punch, you can get a fantastic full-body workout in just a few minutes.

Why is this such a good exercise for adventure racers? Because inevitably, we all face hike-a-bike or portage situations, where we have to hoist an awkward weight onto our body and then continue to move. So in your mind, replace the the sandbag with your 29er, pack raft, or kayak, and you’ll understand why the ability to absorb and then maneuver with an ungainly, uneven load is necessary. We utilize the movement of getting up and getting down to incorporate all parts of the body into the exercise (obviously, in real life, you wouldn’t keep the bike or packraft on you if you were standing up.) I incorporate the SBGU into my workouts in a couple different ways. You can keep the repetitions lows and rotate them in between other exercises, like part of a circuit, or you can dedicate a specific portion of your training just the SBGU. For example, at the end of my workout yesterday, I did 10 minutes of SBGUs, trying to get as many repetitions as possible. I did 10 on my right side, then switched and did 10 on my left, and kept going, try to complete as many as possible in the allotted time. In this way, I turned the exercise into a conditioning drill, elevating my heart rate and bringing myself close to my anaerobic threshold.

Don’t have a weighted sandbag? That’s okay, it’s super easy to build one. I used an old Army duffle bag, put in a garbage bag as a liner, then filled it full of sawdust and dog food. Came out to weight about 70 lbs. I’ll probably get more ambitious and build a couple more, I’d like one that’s around 100 lbs (for low repetition strength training), and a lightweight one around 40-50 lbs (for more conditioning drills).

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