The Best Beginners Guide To Bulgarian Bag Training
Bulgarian bag training may seem like a more advanced training method to those who haven’t used Bulgarian bags before. But it is one of the most functional ways to train, and you don’t always have to lift heavy and complex to reap the benefits of Bulgarian bags.
Bulgarian bags work multiple planes of motion, and multiple movements, in single exercises. Or you can break these complex movements down and create various different combinations as you advance. This makes Bulgarian bag training incredibly time efficient and effective. Below I have listed a couple of my favourite exercises and breakdowns of which exercises you can start with to put them together into effective and functional exercise combinations.
Step Back Lunge with Cross Body Rotation = Weighted Step Back Lunge + low to high Cross Body Swings
For the Weighted Step Back Lunge, place the bag over your shoulders and grip the handles, stepping back into a lunge. Power up then switch sides and repeat. For the low to high Cross Body Swing, Grab the bag in both hands and place one arm across your body and hold the bag at your waist (if left arm across the body, you’ll be on the right side and vice versa). Hinge the hips and slightly bend the knees. Swing the bag from your hips up over head across your body and power up as if exiting a squat. Lower on the same side and then repeat crossing the body to the other side. Step Back Lunge with Cross Body Rotation is the combination of these moves but I would start practicing your weighted stability by only rotating across the hips on each side to start with and build from there. You can also make the Lunge a Jumping Lunge to add complexity.
Bag Swing to Power Clean to Squat = Weighted Squats + Power Clean + Bag Swing
For the Weighted Squat, Place the bag over both shoulders and perform Back Squats. Work on getting your base stable and your range of motion to it’s maximum. For the Power Clean start with a hand on each side of the bag with a supinated grip in a low squat. Then power up and roll your wrists over and bring your arms underneath the bag, so that the bag is resting on top of your biceps. Roll back down and repeat. A Bag Swing is a Kettlebell Swing but with a Bulgarian Bag instead. Grip the bag at each end and pull the ends in as close as you can. Hinge at the hip and almost throw the bag behind you. Power your hips forward from the glutes and stand tall letting the momentum of the bag carry so that you end up with straight arms at shoulder height and repeat.
Bulgarian Bag Burpee= Weighted Press Up/ Press Up + Power Clean + Overhead Press
For the Weighted Press Up, place the bag behind your shoulders, resting against your neck, and get into a tall plank and perform reps of Press Ups. For the Overhead Press, start from a Shoulder Press position holding the bag in front of you (either in the middle or from the ends), close to the body and just below the chin. Engage the shoulders and press through and lower with control and repeat. Then you can start to combine the Power Clean with the Overhead Press, before you string together the three exercises.
Not only are Bulgarian Bags great for functional strength training but also for mobility training.
Bag Shoulder Swingsare fantastic to work on your shoulder mobility. This exercise allows full range of motion through the shoulder joint. Start with the bag down by your shins with straight arms. Then swing round either clockwise, or anti clockwise, so the bag circles around behind your head and repeat and then change direction.
Just remember, form is key. The internet is an incredible resource so if you’re more of a visual person, find a video or follow along session online and track it through. Always start slow and light so you can focus on your form and correct muscle engagement.
There are plenty of other exercises out there to make the most of your Bulgarian Bag training, and for your fitness goals as well. If you have already trained in anything to do with Calisthenics or Weight and Resistance Training exercises transferring those skills to the Bulgarian Bag should come naturally. But the Bulgarian Bag allows us to string these things together whilst building endurance. So it’s a win win…win!
Tag us @gravity.fitness on Instagram, so we can see what skills and drills you come up with!
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