This Odd-Object Workout Builds Mental Strength, Supreme Fitness and Functional Muscle

David Morton

From Men's Health

With social distancing starting to drag, keeping your body and mind sharp is more important than ever. This workout is your whetstone. Find something heavy - a sandbag is the ideal, but a loaded duffle bag or bag of compost will serve just as well. If you want to make your own, here's how.

Sandbag secured, it's now settle yourself for 40 minutes of tough grind. This is an alternating EMOM, so you work on the minute, every minute, taking on a movement and then resting for the rest of that minute. At the start of the next minute, you do the next move before resting. There are four exercises, so keep trucking for the whole 40 minute and you'll do 10 complete rounds. It will get tough: tough on your grip, tough on your core, tough on your legs and glutes. That is the exact point of the workout. Gritting through it will build your reserves of mental strength.

"I do this sort of 'head' workout once a week," says Scott Britton, founder of the functional fitness charity movement Battle Cancer. "Aim for 6-10 reps of each move but make sure you get some rest before the next minute starts. Let me know how you do, try and push mentally for that 40 minutes and hold on!"


1) Sandbag Lunge 6-10 reps

Clean the bag to your shoulder of grip it to your body, arms wrapped tightly around. (A). Lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your torso high. When your back knee taps the floor (B), drive up. If you have a step or low box, step up onto it. If not, just lunge. Either way, repeat with the other side.

2) Sandbag Ground-to-Over-Shoulder 6-10 reps

With the bag between your feet, hinge at your hips and grip it with both hands, maintaining a straight back (A). Hug the bag, lift it to your chest and rest it on your thighs. Contract your glutes to explode up and thrust the bag up and over a shoulder (B). Repeat on the other side.

3) Sandbag Squat 6-10 reps

With the bag on the floor, squat and wrap your arms around it. Hug it as tightly as possible before standing up (A). Squat down until the crease of your hip passes your knees (B), then stand again. Keep an upright posture throughout and hold that bag nice and high.

4) Sandbag Ground-to-Chest 6-10 reps

Again, start with the bag on the floor and squat to wrap your arms around it, as with the squat. Hug it as tightly as possible before standing up straight (A). Keep your core and glutes tight for a beat, then drop the bag. Repeat.

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