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Sandbag Workouts for Stronger Loaded Carries

sandbag training

If possibly there was NO other reason to use Ultimate Sandbag workouts, this STILL would make it worth it! That is the idea of using loaded carries in Ultimate Sandbag workouts.

If you aren’t familiar, loaded carries are exactly what they sound like. You carry a load of a certain weight for a specific distance and/or time. Why does this just sound like some bad way to have your Dad have you do manual labor?

Well, it does come from the world of manual labor! The most common form of loaded carries are called “farmer’s walks”. As with loaded carries, the name sake pretty much refers to what you are doing and where it comes from.

WHY in the world would you want to do this?! I mean, farmer’s and workers would probably prefer not to, so why would you do it voluntarily?!

Loaded carries have been shown to be a good way of building core strength and hip stability. In fact, renown spinal expert, Dr. Stuart McGill, has said…

“Exercises are tools to get specific jobs done. The way an exercise is performed depends on the rationale for choosing that exercise. First, list the objective and then decide on the best tool. Usually the best exercise is the one that creates the largest effect with the minimal risk to the joints. If the purpose is to create hip extension power, then exercises such as weighted carries and sled drags have to be considered.”

Now you might be wondering how this relates to Ultimate Sandbag workouts as you can carry a wide variety of implements. Well, Ultimate Sandbag workouts really do two things in a very unique way.

The first is that people often don’t realize that the Ultimate Sandbag is used a lot of times for feedback. How do I mean? Let’s take the example of a standard farmer’s walk.

sandbag workouts

This is where people misunderstand “intent vs. task”. They believe that the goal is to simply hold onto the weight while they walk. While that makes sense, the reality is we want to be far more deliberate with our actions.

Just casually holding a weight in a farmer’s walk can shift the weight from good postural training to loading already overly dominate muscles like upper traps and pecs. How do you fix it? Really grip the suitcase handles!!

As soon as you grip the handle tightly you will see the shoulder position change and become securely “packed”. This allows the RIGHT muscles to be loaded and stress the areas of the body we actually DO want to load!

How does using Ultimate Sandbag workouts give us feedback upon this? I mean, after all, you can use this concept for whatever weight you farmer’s walk. Due to the leverage and shape of the Ultimate Sandbag, if you don’t securely “lock in” your shoulders and grip the Ultimate Sandbag will move and sway with your movement. Most other weights will just hang on the body and you won’t get the same feedback.


Now, here is how we actually apply all this to DVRT Ultimate Sandbag workouts? Most people go too short and move too slowly. Loaded carries only really work if you build up time under tension and move at a good speed.

How can you do this?

Set 1: 60 seconds of farmer’s carry

Alternated with 5 Clean and Presses

Set 2: 50 seconds of farmer’s carry

Alternated with 5 MAX Lunges each side

Set 3: 40 seconds of farmer’s carry

Alternated with 3 Lateral Drags each side

All the research also points to the fact that you don’t want to casually walk with loaded carries, but move as quickly as you can! That doesn’t mean start jogging or running, but if you are paying attention to good foot strike, toeing off, and all the things that make for good walking technique you will notice you start moving faster and faster!

However, what happens when you need to go heavier for your Ultimate Sandbag workouts, but don’t necessarily want to change the weight of your Ultimate Sandbag (maybe you find it perfect for many DVRT drills), then you can change the load position like in the video above, yes, THAT simple!

As soon as you do this you will find these Ultimate Sandbag workouts become drastically different!

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