Working out with sandbags can offer a whole new set of exercises that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do with dumbbells and barbells. They’re also a great piece of equipment to add to your home gym as they’re relatively inexpensive (compared to other weight implements), are easily stored, and have multiple uses.
So what is the best workout sandbag with handles? I recommend the original medium-sized Rogue Sandbags with 3 filler bags (click for today’s price on Rogue Fitness). Despite being on the pricier end of sandbags, they are extremely rugged and durable bags that will stand the test of time and you won’t need to replace them. It’s very common for people to skimp on high-quality sandbags, which break within a year.
If you want to know more about workout sandbags, why they might be everything you need to add to your training regimen, as well as a science-backed sample workout plan, keep on reading! Don’t skip the part about where I talk about how to fill your sandbags.
Top 7 Workout Sandbags with Handles Available on the Market
Since workout sandbags are highly versatile, you can find them in a variety of styles, materials, and shapes.
To help you with the search process I’ve included a review list of the absolute best options for various types of users, so you can pick the one that will work best for you!
The top 7 workout sandbags with handles are:
• ROGUE Original Sandbag – Best Overall Sandbag With Handles
• ROGUE Feed Sack – Best Sandbag With Handles For Running
• Meister Elite Fitness Sandbag – Most Versatile Sandbag With Handles
• Rubberbanditz Workout Sandbag – Most Affordable Sandbag With Handles
• SKLZ Super Sandbag Weight Bag – Best Beginner-Friendly Sandbag With Handles
• Garage Fit Workout Sandbag – Best Outdoor (Waterproof) Sandbag With Handles
• Bulgarian Bag Original Model – Best Sandbag With Handles For Wrestlers & Fighters
The first item on the list and the best overall sandbag with handles that you can find out there is Rogue’s sandbag!
The reason why it’s one of the best is that it’s remarkably durable and sturdy. The bag is made of 1000 denier nylon, which is one of the toughest fabrics on the planet!
The bag is available in multiple sizes, ranging from small to x-large, which are available at the sizing chart of the bags.
However, just because you can load it to a certain max weight, doesn’t mean you’ll always have to. For that reason, I think that, even if you’re a beginner, you should opt for either the medium or large sizes.
This way, you can load them pretty light without having to buy a new bag whenever you’re ready to carry more weight.
The bag is available with two forms of filler bags, which are funnel and traditional filler bag form. I recommend that you go for the classic one, as it’s more convenient in both loading and unloading. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need 2 to 3 bags depending on your lifting weight limit.
- Super durable and sturdy construction with multiple handles
- Available in various sizes
- Features a 3-year warranty
- A bit pricey
If you’re loving Rogue’s quality and durability but need a bag that’s specifically designed for running, you may set for Rogue’s Feed Sack!
It comes with a similar 1000 denier nylon, which ensures the same level of sturdiness and longevity of the original bag.
It’s also available in two size options, allowing it to carry up to 50 lbs and 100 lbs of dry play sand.
The bag features two looped nylon handles that are soft but highly durable, thanks to the triple stitching, nylon webbing, and polyurethane backing.
The only downside about this sack is that it’s offered in a funnel filler opening only. However, since it’s used one for running, this should be a problem here.
- An excellent choice for resistance running
- Super durable construction and comfortable handles
- Easily filled with a funnel filler opening
- Not ideal for lifting
If you’re looking for a highly versatile bag that you can use in just about anything, consider the Meister Elite Sandbag.
This bag is made of PVC, which isn’t as durable as nylon, but still rugged enough to handle its maximum weight limit.
The bag comes with 3 insert bags, which are more than enough to get you going and reach up to 50 lbs.
Additionally, it has 8 different handles to optimize various exercises. The entire body of the bag is lined with foam that gives both rigidity and cushioning.
What makes it special is that you can easily employ the bag as a running sandbag or use the handles for tons of exercises.
- Ideal for running, exercising, and more
- Comes with 3 different insert bags for weight variation
- The foam lining cushions and supports the bag
- Has some minor threading issues, but still very solid
If you’re on a budget and looking for an affordable bag that gives you value without costing you a hefty some, consider Rubberbanditz sandbag.
This one is made of PVC and solid metal handles to withstand drops and intense use like a champ.
The construction also makes it waterproof, which is good for those who use sand as a filler. The bag is a good mix between flexible and rugged with 7 different handles.
Adding to its huge value, the sandbag also comes with multiple filler bags and a lifetime warranty, which makes it a great bang for your buck!
- Ideal for buyers on a budget
- Features a waterproof and durable ripstop technology
- Offers a generous lifetime warranty
- Can leak upon closing on the 50 lbs mark
This bag from SKLZ is a great option for beginners and women, as it’s an inexpensive option that will give you what you need.
The compact bag has a maximum weight limit of about 10 to 40 lbs, which are great enough for a lot of beginners and you might not need to go for a bigger bag.
Another user-friendly aspect of the best is that it comes with 4 filler bags. This gives you the perk of dividing the weight into small increments, which is great for first-timers.
Despite being compact, the bag has 6 different handles, which makes it easier for beginners to hold it in the most comfortable way.
- Durable and stylish construction
- Compact and easy to use
- Features multiple handles
- You’ll need to replace it with a larger one upon advancing in workouts
If you’re planning to take the sandbag outdoors and train on the beach where there’s plenty of sand, you’re going to love this bag.
Unlike other bags, which retain rigidity even when it’s empty, the nylon construction of the bag makes it super compact. This means that it won’t take a lot of space or weigh you down before you fill it up at the beach.
Since you’re mostly filling it with sand, the waterproof features of the bag is a very valuable feature here, so you don’t wet the sand and make a huge mess inside the bag.
The bag is available in multiple aesthetically pleasing designs, for you to choose from. Additionally, it comes with 8 gripping handles, which enables you to perform various workouts.
- Highly portable when empty
- Easily loaded and unloaded for convenience
- Ultra-waterproof design to keep the sand dry
- Comes with only two filler bags
Last but not least, if you’re a wrestler or fighter, you’ll need a specifically designed bag to suit your training techniques. In that case, a suples bag with handles should be the best option to go for.
Unlike other models on the list, the Bulgarian Bag original model comes prefilled for the proper use and to prevent shifting weights, which is essential for wrestlers as they train.
In addition to being a great sandbag with handles for fighters and wrestlers, it also improves your grip and boosts up the back muscle activation for excellent gains.
The bag even comes from an instructional video for the inverter of the curved bag. Moreover, the Bulgarian Bag is backed with a 2-year warranty to add a layer of security to the purchase.
- Ideal for improving back muscles and grip
- Comes pre-filled sand for ideal weight distribution
- Handmade for optimum level of attention to details
- Can’t be adjusted with filler bags like other models
How Do You Fill The Bags With Sand?
A lot of people leave their sandbags to collect dust because they’re surprised that some of them arrive empty and that they have to fill them up themselves.
However, this is one of the things that makes the sandbag extremely versatile. You’re not bound by specific items or materials to fill your bag with.
People have been using anything from regular sand, play sand, rice, and more to get the job done.
However, with constant usage, you’ll notice that some items work better as fillers than others. In this section, I’ll provide you with a step by step guide to fill your bags the best way.
Step 1: Get Your Filler Bags
After getting all excited about your new workout tool, the first thing you need to look for is the filler bags. These filler bags are the actual bags that are filled in with sand or other materials to add weight.
Step 2: Choose the Filling Material
As the name suggests, sand is the most commonly used filler materials for sandbags. However, due to the dustiness of the sand, the bag might start to look dusty or old as you throw it around.
Also, the bag might be too wobbly if you only use a small amount of sand for your weight. On the flipside, filling the bag with too much sand to make it less wobbly might make it too heavy for some workouts.
For that reason, the best thing to do is to use pea gravel as the main filler material. Pea gravel is inexpensive and behaves similar to sand without being too dusty.
You can pick up 40lbs of pea gravel at Home Depot for about $20. You can also check the price of pea gravel on Amazon (click for today’s pricing).
If you find pea gravel wet, just spread it in the sun for some time and it’ll be dry and ready for use.
You should also buy a bag of rubber mulch or similar materials. Rubber mulch is much lighter than pea gravel but has a similar volume, so it works very well as a filler material that adds to the texture without adding to the weight.
I’ve shopped around and the rubber mulch is definitely the most affordable on Amazon. Check today’s price for rubber mulch.
You’ll learn how you combine the pea gravel and rubber mulch in a second.
Step 3: Choose the Weight to Add
Of course, the weight used in the sandbag depends mainly on the weight and athletic status of the user. However, there are some standard averages that most people can start at:
- For beginner males, you should go for a total weight of 40 to 50 lbs (20 to 25 kg)
- For athletic males with lifting experience, you can make it around 50 to 60 lbs (25 to 30 kg)
- For beginner females, 20 to 30 lbs (10 to 15 kgs) should do as a start
- For athletic females, you can start with 30 to 40 lbs (15 to 20 kg)
Step 4: Fill in the Bag
After figuring out how much weight to put in your bag, it’s time to fill the inserts up with pea gravel and rubber mulch.
Ideally, you need to make this weight composed of ⅓ rubber mulch and ⅔ pea gravel, for the perfect consistency.
Hold and open the insert bag in a vertical direction to properly fill the bag up. While filling, you might notice that the insert bags have a marked line at about two-thirds of the bag.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t fill up the bag above that line, so that the filler material sits in well and doesn’t break the insert seal. After filling the insert, put it inside the bag, zip the bag, and give it a test run.
In some cases, especially if you fill the bag up too light, there might be too much space in the bag. This makes it too saggy and uncomfortable to hold. In that case, you might add some pool noodles inside to give it a flexible stretch.
What Are The Benefits of Sandbag Training?
One thing you should know about sandbag training is not a new idea that’s entering the field of power training recently.
In fact, this kind of resistance training has been utilized by various individuals from the powerlifting, wrestling, and strongman communities for years.
Not only that but using forms of sandbags for training can be traced back to some of the earliest civilizations!
However, due to the vast amount of studies that were conducted on the efficacy of sandbag training, its popularity has skyrocketed over the past decade.
Since then, workout sandbags became a significant part of CrossFit training as well as military exercises too.
Let’s have a brief look over the various benefits that you’ll get from incorporating sandbag training into your workout.
Dynamic Stability & Body Conditioning
Among the most popular terms that are usually linked to sandbag training are “dynamic stability” and “body conditioning”.
However, these two terms usually come together to give the same meaning, which is the ability of your body to stay balanced while moving or performing a certain activity.
The dynamic stability of your body is controlled by the body’s ability to condition itself and distribute its weight and power to keep your center of gravity contained within a balanced level.
As you know, the sand inside these training bags will keep shifting in weight constantly as you move your body.
This makes the bag unstable and puts your body in countless situations where the body needs to adjust and condition the load to stay steady while lifting.
To overcome the wobbliness of a sandbag, your body will have to spend extra power and proprioception to stay balanced while in training, which leads to extra muscle activation during training.
These findings are also backed by scientific evidence in a recent study in 2015 to assess the reliability and effect of sandbag training on wrestlers.
According to the study, working out with an oddly shaped structure with dynamic implants, such as sand, will push the body into more input from various muscle groups, and therefore, better muscle activation.
Break the Monotony of Regular Workouts
Of course, working out and lifting will give you power and strength. However, the monotony of weightlifting training might have a bad impact on people who want real strength to handle various situations.
Have you ever asked yourself why farmers, labor workers, and those in the military have surprising power despite not being always jacked?
It’s because unlike those who reach plateau while lifting in the gym, those people spend a huge part of their effort to build this natural dynamic stability that I was talking about, which helps their bodies handle the awkward situations.
Sandbags, unlike other weightlifting items, have the versatility needed to break the monotony of regular exercising and give you a sense of purpose that motivates you as you workout.
This is known as “functional fitness”, in which the body is able to handle any shape or form of lifting and not just dumbbells and barbells.
A lot of gym hitters focus on lifting weights and building muscles without giving much thought to the ability to make their strength functional.
In other words, their bodies get used to the motion of lifting weights of a certain shape and specific motion, but won’t be as efficient to lift the same weight if the shape of the weight changes.
They also make you burn more calories and boost your overall strength and gains from a workout,
Inexpensive and Portable Way to exercise
As I previously mentioned, sandbag training has been around for ages, and it might be one of the earliest forms of training.
This is due to how easy it is to adjust the weights inside them to suit your own strength level while costing you almost nothing.
Moreover, sandbags are easy to make from canvas military duffle bags and canvas sports bags. One of the earliest forms of sandbags were made of potato bags as well.
However, commercial sandbags are quite affordable and specifically designed for that purpose. They also have rugged handles that make sandbag training safer and more convenient.
The entire sandbag system can save you a lot of space for storage when you don’t need the bag too!
As for portability, you can even take the empty bag with you to workout outdoors and fill it with sand as you reach your destination. This makes it super handy for workouts on beaches for a change of air.
Fewer Chances for Injuries
Sandbags will minimize the chances of injuries in a variety of ways. First of all, a sandbag will activate your muscle groups as a whole due to its functional training nature.
This enables you to physically workout with less weight than when you’re training separate muscles on isolation moves with barbells.
With less weight to carry, injuries might not be as severe, as you’re not putting all the load on certain muscles while leaving other muscles weak and prone to injuries.
Not only that, but you should also remember that a sandbag has the weight distributed across a larger surface area.
So, if a fall accident happens, you won’t have all the mass centered in a small spot as is the case with dumbbells.
Also, if the bag is torn for any reason, sand will start to pour out gradually, eliminating any chance for injury.
Improving the Metabolic Performance
Strength and adaptability aren’t the only things that sandbags training adds to the table. You can also enjoy a huge versatility perk because you can use these bags as an alternative to weightlifting and also a method for boosting your cardio.
In 2018, the Department of Health and Exercise Science released a study of the effects of sandbag resistance exercise in comparison with treadmill running.
It was found that using sandbags as a method of High-Intensity Interval Workout (HIIT) provided a “higher metabolic stimulus” than using treadmills.
Couple that with the fact that sandbags training won’t cause as much load on your joints as running on a treadmill, and you’ll have yourself a truly superior form of exercising.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Workout Sandbag With Handles
Before landing on a final choice, there are some aspects that you need to consider regarding your sandbag with handles. Let’s have a quick look at those points.
The durability of the bag depends mainly on the materials used in construction as well as stitching.
No matter how light or heavy your bag is, you’ll need to toss it around and carry them in multiple positions.
The best materials to consider for a sandbag are nylon, military-grade canvas, leather, and premium PVC.
There are various shapes for sandbags. However, the most common one is cylindrical bags and curved style ones.
These bags offer the highest functionality and weight distribution to give you efficient training without being too saggy or difficult to hold.
Depending on your fitness level, you’ll need the bag to have a specific weight limit. Ideally, bags with higher weight limits will cost you more.
So, unless you’re a professional lifter who’s lifting tons of weight, a bag with 50 lbs weight limit might be good enough for you.
Top Features: Sandbag With Handles
In addition to the main consideration points, there are some features that you’ll need to keep in mind while picking a sandbag. Here’s a brief overview of the most important ones.
Extra Filler Bags for Weight Adjustments
Filler bags or inserts are super durable and rugged, which keeps the interiors of the back cleaner for a long time. They also make changing the weight level easier for various exercises.
For example, you can set each bag to a specific number of kilos, so you know how much weight you add by throwing in an extra filler bag.
Multiple Handles Positions
Different sandbag exercises require different forms of handling the bag. Having multiple handles that are positioned based on these workouts makes holding and using these sandbags a lot easier, especially if you have small hands or a weaker grip.
Since these bags are designed with outdoor exercising in mind, some of them are designed to be waterproof.
This prevents moisture from reaching into the sand or filler you’re using, which can make a lot of mess while cleaning it out.
Sample Sandbag Workout (Science-Backed)
Now that you know everything about sandbag training, you might be excited but not knowing where to start.
Luckily, there’s a science-backed sample sandbag workout that spans over a 4-week period that you can try.
The workout plan includes exercising 3 days a week for 4 weeks. It incorporates dumbbells and barbells as well as sandbags. However, you can modify the exercises to make them all sandbag exercises.
The rest period between those exercises varies depending on the training status, your overall goals of the training, as well as other factors.
For example, for endurance and muscle building, the rest period should last between 40 to 60 seconds.
On the other hand, if you want to burn more calories and incorporate cardio into your training, you should tone the resting period down to 20 to 30 seconds. Here’s a brief table that includes all the exercises during this 4-week plan!
Using workout sandbags will add nice change into your training, allow you to train outdoors, and vastly improve your metabolic rate and dynamic stability.
If you’re looking for the best workout sandbag with handles, I recommend you go for Rogue’s Workout Sandbag, as it’s the best sandbag with handles that you can find out there.
The bag is astonishingly durable, which qualifies it to last for years without deteriorating no matter how much you use it. Moreover, it comes with a 3-year warranty for a worry-free purchase!
However, if you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, you might consider going for Rubberbanditz Workout Sandbag.
In addition to being reasonably priced and remarkably rugged, it comes with a lifetime warranty and multiple filler bags for ease of use!