WHAT SIZE POWERBAG SHOULD I BUY?
POWERBAG WEIGHT RECOMMENDATION
WHAT IS A POWERBAG?
A Powerbag is a functional training tool that looks like a cross between a sports bag and a punch bag used by boxers.
They have two narrow handles, two wide handles and a handle in the middle for performing carries.
Made from vinyl which is easily wiped clean, and filled with sand or gravel, they are reinforced with composite foam lining to provide comfort for the user.
They range in weight, starting at 5kg’s and increasing in 5kg increments all the way up to 50kg.
They’re great for indoor training because unlike iron weights, they can be thrown and dropped without damaging the floor or harming other gym users.
They’re also great for outdoor training as they can be easily transported, don’t require much space and are a full-body training system.
BENEFITS OF POWERBAG TRAINING
Powerbags differ from traditional strength training tools like dumbbells and barbells because they can be used to shoulder the weight unilaterally. Placing the load on one side of the body creates rotational and side bending torque on the trunk as your body is forced to counter the weight. The powerbag is perfectly suited for this type of training as the bag can easily be shouldered whilst performing many different movements. Having this load resting on the body forces the deep superficial trunk muscles to engage at a greater degree to maintain optimum postural alignment.
Unlike most other strength training systems, the powerbag is soft. This has many advantages and makes it a safer alternative when practising complex movements. Sometimes we avoid some beneficial barbell exercises because of their complexity and the amount of time it takes to coach. Powerbags are also relatively cheap to purchase, require no specialized equipment, are easy to learn and extremely safe. They can also be applied to a very large demographic without concern for safety or previous lifting experience.
Like many training tools, the powerbag can be used to substitute weight for traditional strength options like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. In addition, powerbags can be dragged, thrown and carried which is very beneficial for many sports including; wrestlers, rugby players and anyone looking for a challenging workout. They can also be easily transported for outdoor training or used at home without damaging the floors.
SPORT SPECIFIC TRAINING
Olympic lifting exercises like the clean and snatch are excellent movements for developing power required for many sports. However, unlike Olympic lifting, most sports are not linear and require the athlete to move in all three planes of motion. Therefore, athletes need to incorporate multi-planar movements to build a solid power base that is relative to their chosen sport. These lateral, rotational and diagonal movement patterns can all be targeted with the powerbag which is a key benefit over using a barbell.
The positioning of the load on barbells leads to excessive angular momentum which can be harmful to the spine. The short length and even weight distribution of the powerbag means far less angular momentum is generated when rotational movements are performed. To further reduce the risk of injury from these rotational forces the bag can released (thrown) at the end of the movement which is something that cannot be replicated with metal weights.
Powerbags are a fantastic functional training tool. Everyday tasks that require us to carry unstable objects, in various holds and on different positions on the body can be trained with a powerbag. They can also be used to train all of the functional movement patterns. Functional movements are defined primal movement patterns that are present in our everyday lives which include; lunging, squatting, pulling, pushing, rotating and throwing.
FULL BODY WORKOUTS
ANATOMY OF A POWERBAG
The powerbag is a versatile training tool and ideal for a large variety of pressing, pulling and ballistic type movements. The different handle options allow the bag to be used several ways, challenging different muscle groups, and targeting all planes of movement.
Pressing: Pressing the bag with the narrow handles will engage the triceps more whilst a wide grip will target the deltoids more. Ultimately, you should choose a grip which feels most comfortable to you.
Pulling: Rowing exercises performed with the narrow handles are excellent for developing the lats (latissimus dorsi) whist wide grip rows will target the trapezoid, rhomboid and rear deltoid muscles more. Ultimately, you should use both grips to target all of the back muscles equally.
Ballistic: Ballistic exercises such as the clean, high-pull and snatch can be performed with both the wide grip and the narrow grip handles. However, we generally recommend using the narrow grip handles as this gives the user more stability through the shoulder girdle and is easier on the wrists.
The bag can also be used in other ways, such as for carriers using the carry handle and for throwing, dragging and swinging exercises.