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The Right Tool for the Job

You may think you have to do weird, hard-to-learn movements to get any value out of, say, kettlebells or sandbags. The opposite is usually true! The movements I use with each tool often center around the basic exercises like squats, presses, pulls, and carries. Each object gives a different feel and a slightly different effect than the others.

sandbag

Sandbags: These are a personal favorite of mine. If you’re looking for something to “fill the gaps” in your gym work, a sandbag could be enough. Squatting with a sandbag requires you to power clean the bag and rip it off the floor at the start of every set.

The awkward weight puts your body off balance and forces you to wrestle the weight into position, developing crucial coordination as well as mental toughness in the process. But once you have it in position, sandbag squats—like kettlebell goblet squats—also teach proper squat position, so I often teach these variations before a back squat.

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