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Sandbag Exercise: Alternating Shouldering

Sandbag Exercise: Alternating Swing Shouldering

September 9, 2014
Updated May 16, 2016


The Sandbag Swing Shouldering is a ballistic hinging exercise that hits the entire body at once. It involves an explosive movement that drives a sandbag from between your legs up to each shoulder. The flopping, unstable nature of the sandbag makes the movement more challenging, as well as the grip strength requirements of holding the sandbag by the sides without handles.

Exercise Steps

Step 1: Standing with your feet greater than shoulder width apart, grab the sandbag by the sides (not the handles). Hinge at the hips and drive the sandbag behind you keeping a neutral spine and knees slightly bent.

Step 2: Using an explosive hip drive and locked out arms, swing the sandbag from behind your hips forward. Once the sandbag is in front of your hips, pull the sandbag up towards either shoulder.

Step 3: Catch the sandbag on your shoulder, seeking to prevent hard “flopping” by gripping the sandbag tightly in your hands. Immediately throw the sandbag off your shoulder towards your centerline, hinge at the hips, and perform another rep to the opposite shoulder.

Tips & Safety: Wearing a t-shirt during this exercise will prevent your skin from getting scratched by the sandbag.

Onnit Academy is the most comprehensive database of information related to Unconventional Training, a unique new form of fitness methodology that focuses on functional strength, conditioning, and agility using the most efficient means and tools possible. The online database includes articles, videos, tutorials, and workouts featuring alternative implements like kettlebells, sandbags, steel maces, steel clubs, battle ropes, and more.
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