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Sandbag Exercise: Shouldering Squat

Sandbag Exercise: Shouldering Squat

Written by
October 5, 2014
Updated May 17, 2016


The Sandbag Shouldering Squat is a complex, full body coordination movement that works strength and conditioning simultaneously. Take note that the Sandbag Shouldering Squat is not a Shouldering movement followed by a Squat, rather, it’s supposed to seamlessly combine the two. Ideally, this exercise variation should be more efficient than breaking down the movement into different parts.

Exercise Steps

Step 1: Set the sandbag in between your legs, parallel to your feet. Grab the sandbag by the sides (not the handles). Seek to keep a neutral spine prior to lifting the weight off the ground.

Step 2: Keeping a tight core, explosively pull the sandbag off the ground towards one shoulder. At the same time, drop your hips towards the ground in a squatting motion.

Step 3: Ideally, the sandbag should land on your shoulder at the same moment you reach the bottom of the squat. From here, you can either begin dropping the sandbag towards the ground as you raise your hips, or to make it more difficult, lock out at the top of the squat prior to dropping the sandbag toward the ground.

Tips & Safety: Be sure to keep your arms locked out as you start the explosive shouldering motion at the beginning of each rep. When you unshoulder the weight, don’t comprise back by allowing the weight to pull you down, rather, follow it down and seek to allow the sandbag to softly land on the ground (this will also increase the longevity of your 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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