How to Build Your Own Home Workout Sandbag

Carrying sandbags is a great way for a good workout.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jesus Rosado carries sandbags during the Iron Legion competition. (Sgt. Ryan Hohman/U.S. Army photo)

One of the most useful pieces of equipment in my home gym is a homemade sandbag. In a few easy steps, you can make your own and use it for a variety of exercises like the ones featured in the workouts. 

Build Your Own Sandbag ‘Sand Baby’

We call them sand babies as they are a little more delicate than the rugged sandbags that you can throw and slam. These you can’t. Well, you can -- but only once.

How do you make or build your own sandbag sand baby? Here’s a few easy steps.

1. Buy a $5 bag of play sand from a hardware store -- the kind you use to make a child’s sandbox.

2. Buy a few rolls of duct tape.

3. Cut a small hole in the bag and drain about 10 pounds of sand out of the original bag.

4. Compact the sand in the bag and roll the extra bag to cover the hole.

5. Duct tape the entire bag of sand, keeping it compact.

6. When you think you are done duct-taping the bag, continue duct-taping it until you have used two rolls of tape to ensure your sand baby will be as sturdy as possible.

We use these sand babies for weight in a ruck and for log PT simulation exercises like push press, chest carry lunges, shoulder carry squats and chest carry sit-ups. We even run with them on our shoulders.

See sand baby Murph workout for more details on that log PT simulator classic (also for pictures of a sand baby).

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to

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