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6 Best Power Bag Exercises

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

A fitness trainer performing power bag exercises.

The power bag can offer a unique and dynamic dimension to your fitness sessions. Their unique design affords the trainer multiple exercise options.

For example, with a power bag you could perform conventional movements – such as squats and deadlifts – or get down and functional by integrating them into exercises like burpees and (my personal favourite) hanging snatch into over-head throw.

Power bags can be used to develop strength, functional strength, muscular endurance, core stability and, if you dare do burpees into cleans, they’ll have your heart racing like a horny rabbit’s.

In addition, they are by far one of the best exercise tools for building and developing functional strength.

Granted, you could well argue that the fitness benefits and methods of application thus far outlined can all be got and just as well satisfied by traditional iron.

However, the power bag stands out amongst the exercise crowd when we consider its application in explosive movements.

Because they’re not only shaped like a tubular cushion but are as soft as well (though much heavier of course), you can drop, hoist, toss and throw your power bag without worrying about doing a demolition job. The same cannot be said for kettlebells. (Want to learn three excellent KB exercises?)

My other half banned me from throwing kettlebells in the garden when she returned home one sunny afternoon to find the lawn looking as though a herd of wild horses had run roughshod over it. Now I’m only allowed to toss my kettlebell in the park – which, as you’re probably thinking, is just plain weird.

Related: The Xn8 Power Bag is a fan favourite

Power bags are seriously versatile

With a power bag you can perform literally hundreds of different exercises. Sharing this similarity with the kettlebell, it’s like an all-in-one gym.

Do you remember that scene from Mary Poppins where she opens her bag and proceeds to pull out half the contents of her house? (The only item I can remember Ms. Poppins fishing from her bottomless bag is a long lamp.) Well, the power bag shares similar properties only that it’s as though Mary filled it with the contents of a gym. You with me?

It is the versatility of power bags that has made them so popular. Rare that you’d find a gym that doesn’t have one kicking about the place. Also, they are becoming ever increasingly popular in the home. More and more people are recognising the multi-dimensional application that power bags possess.

A poster of 10 different power bag exercises. The power bag exercises include bag throws, power bag squats, power bag deadlifts, power bag press-ups, power bag shoulder clean, powerbag lungs.

How to use power bags in your fitness regime

How could a power bag best be incorporated into your training regime? The answer to that, of course, can really only be answered from a preferential perspective. Personally, though, I think they make an excellent addition to a circuit.

I tend to use them in a power/explosive capacity where, after performing a snatch, the power bag would be propelled overhead as high and as far as physically possible. The trainer then is rewarded with the added benefit of having to run to the power bag to perform the next repetition.

This accounts for why, in my circuits at least, the power bag station is usually feared above all others.

But what if I’m not into hurling bags about the place, how can I use them? Don’t worry, with a power bag you can perform many of the more controlled – ‘static’ – exercises that are typically done with barbells and dumbbells. And the bag doesn’t stop there. Power bags are great for floor work and core stability training.

In short: if you’ve got the space and inclination (a sadomasochistic bent also comes in handy) the sky really is the limit with what you can do with this highly functional piece of exercise equipment.


6 Power Bag Exercises

Below I you'll discover an exercise chart of power bag exercises. Each illustration comes accompanied with a short overview of the essential techniques of the exercise.

1: Bag Throws

An image of a man performing the powerbag exercise between the leg swing.

Bag swings are similar to kettlebell swings; they provide a great whole-body workout without requiring technical skill base.

How to

  • Keep the back straight

  • Knees bent throughout

  • Look forward

  • Keep the core actively engaged


2: Squats

A man performing sandbag exercises. He is performing the sand bag squat.

Squats with a power bag can be performed in numerous ways – as depicted or in the ‘front rack’ position; this exercise can be taken to another level by adding a plyometric jump.

How to

  • Back straight

  • Feet slightly over shoulder-width

  • Look forward

  • Don't lock the legs at the top position


3: Lifts

A man is demonstrating the powerbag deadlift.

The lift (aka dead lift) is a terrific foundation strength builder and it offers multiple extensions (lift into clean, clean to squat, full snatch).

How to

  • Straddle the bag

  • Back straight

  • Looking forward

  • Engage core and back BEFORE lifting

  • Fire through the quads and glutes


4: Push-up & Drag

An image demonstrating the powerbag adaptation of a press-up.

The push-up and drag demonstrate how the power bag can be used to add that extra dimension to established exercises.

How to

  • It's best to start in the press-up position with the bag central and in line with your hands

  • To initiate pull the bag to the side

  • Re-position hands and perform a press-up

  • Grasp the bag and pull it across the body


5: Shoulder Clean

A man performing the power bag exercise shoulder clean

Here you’re hopping into a lunge as you bring the power bag to the side of the body. A very functional movement.

How to

  • Start with the bag positioned on your shoulder

  • Under control drop into a lunge

  • Simultaneously bring the bag across the body and down beside the extended leg

  • To conclude the exercise retrace your steps


6: Lunges

A fitness training doing a power bag forward lunge.

And finally, plain old lunges. But of course, with a power bag, you have the option of including a pressing movement or, if you’re of that disposition, dropping into a burpee and finishing with a throw!

How to

  • Firstly, under control, hoist the bag up and over the head

  • Find a stable position prior to performing the exercise

  • Lunge forward ensuring to adopt correct training principles: back straight, looking forward


Best power bag

An image of the best power bag for the home gym to perform powerbag exercises with.

Of all the competing products listed few are as well-rated as Xn8's super-versatile powerbag. With nearly 200 customer ratings they still retain nearly five stars. This is pretty impressive considering the majority of the comparison products are rated three stars or less.

Much of the customer feedback confirms the manufacturer’s product outline: durable, long-lasting, and worth the money. You can’t really ask for more than that.

The bag weights range from 5kg to 25kg, increasing by 5kg increment. Prices range from £40 to £70 – depending on the bag weight of course.


Best power bag exercise | The last rep

The next step after reading this blog is to go and practice those power bag exercises. When you can perform them all with confidence (and safely), you're ready to start integrating them into your workouts and training sessions.

And one of the great attributes of powerbags is that there are loads of ways you can include them into your workouts. As I outline in this Powerbag Circuit, they can be incorporated into gym sessions, AMRAPs (as many reps as possible), EMOMs (every minute on the minute), and HIIT (high-intensity interval training).


Put the power bag exercises and your fitness to the test against the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits & Workouts Vol 2.

An image of the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits & Workouts Vol 2.


The power bag exercises blog conclude with an author bio which reads: In this text box it says: As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance! Blog Author: Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.


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