Sandbag Training: Marines get back to basics at their state-of-the-art facility

October 11, 2012


The Wounded Warrior Center at Camp Pendleton is utilizing old-fashioned sandbag training to assist service members going through rehabilitation.   A vital component of the Center is the Battalion’s Warrior Athletic Reconditioning – Program (WAR-P), where a state of the art physical training facility and staff of sports specialists and coaches dedicate day-in and day-out to provide the best care available.  

One of the most recent additions to this critical process of rehabilitation is the Portable Kettle Bell (PKB) sandbag, a strength and conditioning tool designed to be used as a kettle bell or bar bell but without the danger of dropping a heavy steel weight on your toes. 

“Not only is sand way more readily available and less expensive – often free – than steel, it’s safer too,” says John Rarity, founder of

“There is also the added benefit of training the stabilizer muscles."  The shifting of weight that occurs as you lift a bag of sand further stimulates and develops multiple muscle groups in ways that a solid weight cannot.  Some refer to this as real-world or ecologically valid conditioning, where the distribution of weight of an object is not uniform or evenly distributed, e.g. a heavy bag of equipment, a crate of supplies, the human body, etc.

There are dozens of exercises where the PKB sandbag can be used to obtain a full-body workout without the need for multiple weights or concern for dropping an iron weight.   Some of the most popular are:

  • Kettle bell swing
  • Goblet squats
  • Thrusters
  • High-pull variations
  • Clean and Jerk
  • Shoulder press
  • Windmill
  • Sit-ups and multiple variations


For more information on Wounded Warrior Center at Camp Pendleton, visit 

Leave a comment