It’s safe to say that I have a new love for Sandbag Shouldering…

For this week’s Thursday Throwdown I decided to combine some heavy sandbag work in with some bodyweight work.

Both of the movements I selected are very challenging movements.

The first movement I went with is a great progression to help build up some serious shoulder strength as well as core strength.  I like to use this movement with my younger athletes and clients to help build up strength and stability for handstand push ups.

The first movement I did in this week’s Thursday Throwdown was front and back wall walking.

This movement will bust you up for sure if you’ve never done them!  With the way I perform wall walks, you’ll get in some good work on your chest, shoulders, core and even your legs.  It’s a great all around bodyweight movement and all you need is a wall.

The second movement I used was more of a strongman type movement with some heavy sandbag shouldering.

brute force sandbagsThis isn’t  just some random sandbag either!  I finally got to get some footage of the new prototype sandbag Brute Force Sandbags sent me in the mail!

I give this baby a A+ as it’s one of the best sandbags I’ve used!  In fact, I would have to go as far as saying that up to this point, it’s my most favorite bag out of all my sandbags!

Right now, I got this baby filled up with 171 lbs of sand.  You’ll notice in the video I said, “150lbs”…  I thought it was 150 until I weighted it…

Well, I was wrong!  There’s a few more pounds in there as when I weighed it, I found out the truth…

brute force sandbags

Now, before I get into the actual Throwdown, I want to go over how to properly do a sandbag shouldering because it can get a bit technical and if you do it wrong, you’re going to jack your back up for sure!

Sandbag shouldering with a bag this heavy is great for building up some good strength and power.  Plus, when you throw it into the mix with some challenging bodyweight work, you can make for a some good conditioning as well.

If you don’t have strongman stones laying around, a heavy sandbag like this will do just the trick.  Heavy sandbag shouldering is basically just like a stone shouldering but with a sandbag.  I know most people out there reading this will have better access to a heavy sandbag then a strongman stone

Step #1 for heavy Sandbag Shouldering – Get In a GOOD position. 

sandbag shouldering

  • Drop your hips down low, and get your back as tight and flat as possible. 
  • You’ll dig your arms underneath the bag but will want to have them extended straight down from your body.

Step #2 – Pull the bag up onto your lap

sandbag shouldering

  • Use your hamstrings, glutes, and low back for this movement, not just your arms.
  • As you lift the bag from the ground, you’ll start to pull with your arms
  • The key here is to KEEP YOUR BACK TIGHT!
  • Once you got the bag on your lap, bear hug the bag as best you can and get ready to explode with your hips

Step #3 – Explosively Use Hip Drive to launch the bag up onto your shoulder

sandbag shouldering

  • Stay tight with your back throughout this whole movement!
  • Explosively extend your hips and pull with your arms at the same time
  • Keep a nice tight bear hug on the bag until it gets set up onto your shoulders.
  • Stand up nice and tall to finish the lift

sandbag shouldering

So, there you have it!  The proper way to shoulder a heavy sandbag!

Now the next step is to combine this movement with some wall walking and you’ve got a wicked combination…


Here’s a link to this week’s video >>>>  Sandbag Shouldering

As you may had seen in the video, for this week’s Throwdown there are two parts…

For the first part, you will be doing a 10 min AMRAP of 2 Wall Walks + 4 Heavy Sandbag Shoulderings.  You’ll get 2 shoulderings on the right side and two on the left.

After you finish your 10 min round of wall waling and shouldering, you will then get 90 secs rest.  After 90 secs rest, you’ll hit a MAX set of pull up x 1 round.

There is NO kipping allowed and you must get your chin above the bar.

For scoreing, you’ll take the amount of COMPLETED rounds for the wall walks and sandbag shouldering then add on the total amount of reps you get in with the pull ups.

My score ended up being 8 rounds completed with 23 pull ups for a total of 31.

This is with using a bag at 171 lbs at a bodyweight of 179 lbs.  Not bad but it can always get better!


Live Aggressive and Get Strong!

PS – I recommend if you’re looking for a solid sandbag that that can withstand the abuse of some hardcore training and still give you everything you need, go check out Brute Force Sandbags!

PPS – For those of you that don’t have a sandbag, here’s a FREE guide on how to make your own >>>>>  The DIY Sandbag Manual