While dumbbells and other free weights are great for isolating specific muscles, nothing quite matches the unstable, irregular shape of a weighted bag (also known in the fitness world as a sand bag, functional bag or power bag). Utilising your body’s underused stabilising muscles to keep the bag steady, these functional fitness tools help to develop definition and all-over strength.

The Benefits of Weighted Bags

Why pick up a weighted bag over other free weights?

- Weighted bags can be easier to pick up and use than other free weights

- Weighted bags are more comfortable than other free weights

- Weighted bags are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes

- Weighted bags are more unsteady than other weights, and so work your body’s stabilising muscles too

Single Leg Deadlifts

By choosing a weight that challenges you, this deadlift variation forces your core to work more to avoid rotation, and will boost your balance in addition to strength.

Hold the weighted bag in both hands. Hinge forwards at the hips, bringing one leg out behind you as lower the bag towards the ground. Be sure not to bend the standing leg (otherwise it turns the move into more of a squat), and keep your back nice and flat. Push through the heel of your standing leg to stand back up tall and complete the rep.

Front Squats

By bringing the weight to the front of the body, the squatting movement focuses more on the core.

Lift the weighted bag up to chest-level, with your arms wrapped underneath. Keeping the bag to your chest, squat down as low as possible (try not to sacrifice good form by going past your range of motion). Push through your heels to drive back up to a standing position to complete the rep.

Bent-Over Rows

Work both your back and your core with a weighted bag bent-over row.

Holding the weighted bag in both hands, bend your knees slightly and hinge at the hips, ensuring your back remains flat. Then, row the bag up to your chest and, keeping the tension in your back, lower it back to the starting position to complete the rep.

Plank Pulls

Great for strengthening your lats, core and glutes this plank variation is perfect for intermediate to advanced workouts.

Lay the bag on the ground, then get yourself into a plank position to one side of it – the closer together your feet are in this position, the harder the move will be. Reach your opposite hand underneath your body to grab the bag. Without rotating, pull the bag through to the other side. Then, reach through with the other hand to pull it back.


A more advanced version of the kettlebell halo.

Grab the weighted bag from both ends, with your feet shoulder width apart. Circle the bag around your head, alternating direction with each repetition. Try to keep your head as still as possible during each circle!

Unsure if weighted bags, functional bags or sand bags are for you? Head to your nearest store to try them out for yourself! Or, take a look at our website and browse through hundreds of functional training tools from top brands.