Sandbag Training: Lunges

Are lunges part of your lower body training? Well if they aren’t, it’s about time they were! This compound exercise is a favourite lower body exercise for many athletes and gym-goers. 

It’s not difficult to learn which makes it suitable for people from all types of training backgrounds, and it has a bucket load of variations to keep it interesting. So, let’s get into Sandbag Training: Lunges!

Let’s Look at Some of the Benefits of the Lunge

Bodybuilders and physique athletes often rank it as one of the best exercises for glute building. Similarly, it’s an awesome exercise for packing muscle onto your quads and hamstrings

For those who participate in sports, the lunge helps to improve balance, coordination and proprioception. And if you’re not a fan of squats, lunges are a fine replacement for your lower body conditioning and hypertrophy training. 

Using a sandbag for lunge variations will freshen up your lower body workout routines and may kickstart some new gains. Typical gym equipment like dumbbells and barbells are good, but using a sandbag opens up a few more options. 

For instance, lunges can be performed with the sandbag in the bear hug position, something which can’t be done with barbells or dumbbells. 

Here’s a Short List of Lunge Variations to Try, all of Which Can Be Performed with a Sandbag

  • Forward lunge
  • Reverse lunge
  • Side lunge
  • Rotational lunge

Remember, try holding the bag in different positions in lunge variations to find out what works best for you. Placed on one shoulder and the Zercher position are definitely two worth exploring. Using the forward lunge as an example, have a look below to see how to perform it. 

How to Perform

  • Set the sandbag into the position of your choice
  • Assume a shoulder-width stance
  • Step forward with one leg keeping a slight forward lean on the torso
  • Bend at the knee and hips until your thigh is approximately parallel to the floor
  • The rear knee can gently touch the floor, or hover one to two inches above it
  • Push through the heel of the front foot to return to the starting position

Main Muscles Worked

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Adductors
  • Glutes
  • Hip flexors
  • Spinal erectors

Depending on the position in which you hold the bag, multiple upper body muscles will also be used.


  • Try varying your stride. Shorter strides hit the quads, a longer stride hits the glutes and hamstrings more 
  • Avoid using the back leg to get you back into the standing position
  • The reverse lunge is safer and less stressful on the knee joints

Is this the most effective sandbag exercise? Which is your preferred sandbag workout? Let us know in the comments below, and on Facebook, and Twitter

Alan Riseborough

Alan is a strength and physique enthusiast and has 28 years' of training experience behind him. He has competed in powerlifting, arm wrestling, bodybuilding and grip strength competitions. He also includes rigorous bodyweight, sprinting and kettlebell training regularly in his routines. He believes in the transformative power of the squat which is (believe it or not) his favourite exercise!

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