Get A Rock-Solid, Bullet-Proof Six-Pack At Home

Build strong stabilizers and a tough, powerful core with this back-to-basics home gym.


Men's Health |

Most of us subscribe to the notion that if you pump iron and have faith you will build a six-pack. But there are faster, more interesting methods. One of the most cost-effective and enjoyable is as close as your nearest hardware store. “A sandbag’s shape shifts as you move it, forcing more of your muscles to work together to maintain balance,” says PT Josh Henkin, inventor of the Ultimate Sandbag Training System.

Related: 5 Full-Body Workouts You Can Do With One Piece of Equipment

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The sandbag can be used to work almost any muscle, but stabilizing yourself throughout movements means you always hit your core and hit it hard. If you want to turn this into a workout, choose 5 of the moves. Perform as many reps as you can, explosively, for 30sec; rest 30sec, then repeat for the next exercise. Perform three full circuits.

1. Side-Lunge and Snatch

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Hold the bag in front of your thighs. Lunge to the left, touching it to the floor. Explode upwards and thrust the bag overhead. Your arms should end up straight. Return to the start and repeat to your right. “Keep your weight over your heels to activate your glutes and hamstrings,” says Henkin.

Related: The Drill That Instantly Improves Your Squats and Lunges

2. Push-up With Sandbag

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Assume a push-up position with a sandbag on the floor to your right. Grab the bag with your left hand and drag it underneath your chest to your left side. Do a push-up. Now drag it back with your right hand. Do another push-up. It offers a much more powerful chest contraction than regular push-ups.

Related: You Can Build A Massive Chest With This One Tweak To Your Pushup Technique

3. Overhead Tricep Extension

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Hold one end of the bag with both hands. Flip it overhead so it rests on your back. Tense your core and extend your arms so the bag brushes up past your shoulders and overhead. When your arms lock out, pause, then slowly lower. This position hits your triceps’ fibres from multiple angles.

Related: The One Move That Will Make Your Triceps Bigger

4. Rotational Reverse-Lunge

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Hold a bag in front of your thighs. Step back with your right foot and move it to the outside of your left thigh. Stand up, raising your right knee as you flip the bag to catch it at your chest. “Make it harder by going straight into your next lunge,” says Henkin. The twist hits your core and thickens your obliques.

Related: Walking Lunge Variations That Melt Body Fat

5. Single-Leg Bag Row

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Holding a sandbag at arm’s length, raise your right leg behind you and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Pull the bag to your chest, pause for a beat, then lower. Switch legs after 15sec. “A bag is harder to hold than a dumbbell,” says Henkin, “so it’ll work your forearms.”

6. Clean And Press

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Squat behind a sandbag, then deadlift it to your hips. Now push your backside back and dip at the knees. Flip the bag onto your forearms at chest height, straighten and press it overhead. Contract your abs during the press to turn this into a full body-sculpting move.

Related: Make Your Side Abs Pop With These 3 Moves

7. Sandbag Bicep Curl

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Hold the sandbag near the ends with both hands,palms facing up. With your elbows tucked in, raise the bag to your chest, bending at the elbows as if you were curling a barbell. Return your arms to your sides. The instability from lifting the bag means this builds serious strength in your arms.

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