Working out with sand: What is all the hype about SandBells?

Physical exercise

By pH health care professionals

SandBells were first introduced in 2008, but are now changing the way personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts design their exercise programs. These spongy, sand-filled bags are constructed with a heavy-duty neoprene outside and leak-resistant stitching. This technology allows the user to drop, lift, swing, throw, toss, slam, glide with and even stomp on the SandBells without damaging them, yourself or other equipment.

As the person moves, the sand (and weight) of the bag constantly shifts, keeping the core engaged and improving balance. Because there is no easy-grab handle, the SandBells help increase grip strength, giving forearms and hands a great workout, which is beneficial for completing everyday activities (did someone say functional training?)

SandBells are a great tool to create fun, challenging and engaging workout programs for individuals of all fitness levels.

Here’s what we like about them:

  • Variety: With SandBells, the person can achieve unlimited variations of movements, similar to those that can be created with dumbbells; however, there are many more options for holding and gripping. This allows for multiple changes in force application through the fascial lines in the upper body and arms. It’s like doing double the workout.
  • Safety and comfort: The comfort provided by the multiple grip options and the safety of a sand-filled implement (it will not smash a person’s foot like a steel weight) can enhance adherence to exercise in clients who could feel intimidated by traditional free weights.
  • Efficiency:  Other training tools have limited options for how to hold them in your hands (medicine balls are round; dumbbells have one primary position for the hand to grip the weight). The hands, like all other body parts, are connected directly to the brain via the nervous system. This specific body part provides a tremendous amount of proprioceptive information about where we are in time and space. When the hands need to move through multiple planes of motion, with many different directions and grip techniques, the brain has to engage to develop new neural pathways for efficient movement. Proprioception, concentration and thought process can all be  improved while you are working out!
  • Versatility:  As the sand shifts, it stimulates the muscles and connective tissues in different ways. Humans are hard-wired for movement variability and need constant changes in how the muscle tissue is used. Exercising using different weight loads with a variety of different speeds, moving in a number of different directions, helps to create resilient tissues that can better withstand the demands of life and the biological aging process. In other words, you will be more efficient in your everyday life movements as well as better conditioned as you age.
  • Fun: Working out with SandBells adds a big element of fun into the equation as SandBells can be used in many different ways. The versatile use of the SandBells allows for workouts that look more like “play” or games. One person can toss it, the other can catch it; one person can slam it while the other one jumps on it. There is a resurgence in functional training involving primal movements, because they are challenging (both physically and mentally), fun, playful and effective.

SandBells can be used for strengthening the core, improving balance and enhancing cardio and strength training activities. As proven by the number of personal training clients with improvements in their physical conditioning while utilizing this fun and creative tool, the SandBell is a must-have in any physical training program.

At pH Total Body Fitness, we integrate a wide array of training tools to satisfy and meet the needs and preferences of our clientele. We incorporate the use of SandBells in our training programs as we have noticed that our clients enjoy moving their bodies in a challenging way that engages more muscles, provides a better balance and increases grip strength. Better results = happy clients!

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

Comments (1)


I couldn't agree more.