How to Perform the Best Sandbag Bear Hug Squats

All squat workouts have their value. Whether it’s heavy barbell squatting, squatting with kettlebells doing goblet squats, squats with medicine balls or simply bodyweight squats. Each lifting exercise hits your muscles in different ways, and the same goes for the bear hug squat, which indirectly works your entire body.

Most people may tend to think that if it’s not using steel plates on a barbell, it’s not really a squatting exercise, but that’s a completely wrong view of things! Follow on for How to Perform the Best Sandbag Bear Hug Squats!

Sandbag Exercises

All squat workouts have their value. Whether it’s heavy barbell squatting, squatting with kettlebells doing goblet squats, squats with medicine balls or simply bodyweight squats. Each lifting exercise hits your muscles in different ways, and the same goes for the bear hug squat, which indirectly works your entire body.

Most people may tend to think that if it’s not using steel plates on a barbell, it’s not really a squatting exercise, but that’s a completely wrong view of things!

Bear Hug Squat

Sandbag exercises like bear hug squats have their own unique feel and they’re well worth adding to your exercise toolbox as another training stimulus, as well as a challenge if you want to build strength, a powerful pair of legs, and glutes, and get in shape fast! You also have great flexibility in that you can use a heavy sandbag or a light sandbag.

The bear hug squat uses many muscles of the lower body as well as upper body resulting in a highly satisfying workout.

Sandbag Training

The list of benefits of this tremendous sandbag bear hug squat exercise is long. Among them is less knee stress, and less lower back loading as two top reasons to give this exercise a try. Those with beat up joints from years of lifting weights will find it a good deal easier on their joints.

Conversely, beginners and newcomers will find it’s a good progression for learning barbell back squats. The bear hug squat will aid in improving ankle mobility, building core strength, and help you in attaining a greater, more comfortable depth in the squat.

How to Perform the Sandbag Bear Hug Squat

  • Position the sandbag or power bag so that it is standing tall
  • Set your feet shoulder to hip width apart, with toes angled out slightly
  • Squat down into a deep squat and wrap your arms around the middle of the bag, (about chest height) keeping it close to your body
  • Aim to keep the elbows close to your ribs
  • Stand and lift the sandbag by driving through your knees, and hips to the standing position
  • Push your knees slightly out as you descend into the squat
  • Push through your heels to return to the starting position (ie. standing upright)

Key Muscles Worked:

Lower Body

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip flexors
  • Glutes
  • Calves

Upper Body

  • Erector spinae (back)
  • Your upper body muscle groups will work to keep the bag in position, particularly the chest, shoulders and arms.

Performance Tips

Keep your chin straight, torso upright, and drive through the hips during each rep lift. Avoid rounding your back.

Extend the length of the isometric pause at the bottom of the squat to increase the challenge and workload on the muscles. This will help you get your mind inside of the muscle and experience a better, more satisfying sense of your body overall.

You can also do nasal breathing (sets of 12 quick breaths) throughout the exercise to help you with pacing, staging and rhythm.

Tips for Making the Exercise More Challenging

One way to increase the challenge of this exercise is by adding weight gradually over time. Start with a lighter weight and work your way up as you become more comfortable with the movement pattern. You can also slow down your reps and focus on maintaining good form throughout each repetition – this will help build strength and stability in all areas of motion.

Additionally, try incorporating other exercises into your routine such as push-ups, planks, pull-ups or even burpees for an extra challenge! Lastly, if available at your gym or fitness center use different types of sandbags – some may have handles which allow you to change grip positions while others may have heavier weights so that you can increase resistance without increasing bulkiness.

By utilizing various tools and techniques like these, you’ll be able to make sandbag bear hug squats more challenging than ever before!

Safety Considerations When Doing Sandbag Bear Hug Squats

Safety is of utmost importance when doing sandbag bear hug squats. It’s important to use the proper form and technique, as it can reduce the risk of injury and ensure that you get the most out of your exercise experience.

When performing this exercise, make sure to use a weight that is appropriate for your fitness level. Beginners should start with a lighter weight until they get comfortable with the move; more experienced lifters can gradually increase their weight over time. Additionally, don’t forget to perform a warm-up before any physical activity. This will help prepare your body for the exercise and minimize soreness (DOMS) afterwards.

It’s also important to listen to your body while doing sandbag bear hug squats. If you feel any pain or discomfort while performing this exercise, stop immediately and consult with a medical professional if needed.

Additionally, focus on maintaining good form throughout each repetition – keep your back straight, chest up, arms close to the body, and feet firmly planted on the ground. Make sure not to let the bag pull you forwards or backwards or allow your hips to drop too low during each rep. Lastly, don’t lock out your knees at the top of the movement – instead keep them slightly bent to protect yourself from injury!

FAQ’s

Q: How much weight should I use for sandbag bear hug squats?

A: Beginners should start with a lighter weight until they get comfortable with the movement pattern. More experienced lifters can gradually increase their weight over a period of 2-3 months.

Q: Is the sandbag bear hug squat suitable for beginners?

A: Yes, this exercise is suitable for beginners as long as they use proper form and technique and begin with a light weight to ‘trace the exercise in’ mentally.

Q: What form and technique should I use when doing this exercise?

A: When performing this exercise, ensure you keep your back straight, chest up, arms close to the body, and feet firmly planted on the ground while also not allowing the bag to pull you forwards or backwards or letting your hips drop too low during each squat. If you can help it, don’t lock out your knees fully at the top of the movement – instead keep them slightly bent to protect yourself from potential injury.

Q: Are there any safety considerations to keep in mind while performing the exercise?

A: Yes – it’s important to perform a warm-up before any physical activity; use weights appropriate for your fitness level; listen to your body if you feel any pain or discomfort; and maintain good form throughout each repetition.

Q: What other exercises can I incorporate into my routine to make it more challenging?

A: You can challenge yourself further by incorporating variations of the sandbag bear hug squat like side squats, reverse lunges, or jump squats. You can also use different tools such as handles that allow you to change your grip position, weighted vests for added resistance without bulkiness, and different types of bags for different weights. With these various tools and techniques, you’ll be able to make sandbag bear hug squats more challenging!

Have you trained with sandbags? What do you think are the best exercises to do using them? Let us know  in the comments below and on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

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