Sandbag Clean - How To Do Them Properly To Avoid Injury And Maximise Gains

The sandbag clean is one of the best ways to build strength, build muscle and give your heart a good workout too. 

It’s a fantastic example of what is referred to as compound lifts - lifts or movements that involve multiple joints and muscles which give you more benefits than more isolated lifts.

The other important thing to note is that the clean is the best and safest way to get your sandbag from the floor, to your chest, and further overhead.

Let's take a closer look…

Key Points

  • Benefits of sandbag cleans
  • How to do them properly
  • How to do them for
  • Cardio
  • Hypertrophy 
  • Strength
  • Clean variations and add ons

Benefits Of Sandbag Cleans

An important point I like to drill in, is that sandbag cleans are probably more beneficial than barbell cleans because the sandbag is much more unstable with the shifting sand. This requires a higher level of focus, skill and balance, which, if you’re looking to be the best you can be, this matters.

Which Muscles Do Sandbag Cleans Work?

One of the best things about a sandbag clean, and for most complex movements for that matter, is that they tend to involve many, if not all of the major muscles and joints.

That means you get to work almost your entire body when you practice them.

The SB clean will fire up your feet, calves, quads, hammies, glutes, lower back, arms, chest and upper back!

What more could you ask for?

How To Do Sandbag Cleans Properly

The clean is a hip hinge movement, which drives from the hips, not the knees or lower back.

  1. Place the feet roughly hip width apart, just underneath the bag
  2. Bend at the hips, not the knees or lower back
  3. Grab the neutral handles (palms face each other)
  4. Engaged the feet to the ground and activate the lats and shoulders
  5. Keep the arms straight as you begin to stand up, by straightening the hips, then the knees. 
  6. Keep the bag close to the body throughout, drag it up the shins
  7. When the bag reaches the hips, high pull the bag by shrugging the shoulders and bringing the elbow towards the ears.
  8. Flip the bag into the front rack position or catch it on the fists.
  9. Lower it down in the same way.   
Remember - This is a hip hinge based movement, at no point should you lift or lower the bag by rounding your back!

The sandbag clean is part of the FREE guide The Top 8 Moves Every Man Needs To Know To Build Effective Strength With Sandbags At Home

Sandbag Cleans For Cardio

You can use sandbag cleans in a variety of ways for different goals.

For cardio/ HIIT benefits use a lighter weight that will allow you to get to higher reps and a reasonably fast pace. 

Try 10 rounds of 20 - 40 reps for a serious sweat.

For Hypertrophy

If your goal is to get a bit more swole, go for a weight which allows 10 - 15 good reps, but 18 reps or more would mean failure.

Try 3 rounds of 10 - 15 reps.

To Build Strength

Building strength requires low reps with very heavy weights.

5 reps should be your max where the 7th rep is almost impossible to do.

Try the proven scheme of 5 sets of 5 heavy reps.

Sandbag Clean Variations And Add Ons

As mentioned at the start of the blog, the clean is a gateway to getting the bag off the ground, to the chest and further afield.

Some other clean based moves you might like to try include the power clean, clean and press, hang clean and the thruster.

All of which will be covered in other blogs.

Get a SPECIAL OFFER on your first sandbag when you download this free guide >>  The Top 8 Moves Every Man Needs To Know To Build Effective Strength With Sandbags At Home


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