Yoga, non-strenuous exercises such as walking and traditional workouts use sand weights to strengthen muscles and add resistance to a normal routine. A University of Wisconsin study found that people who use sand weights for lunges, squats and dead lifts have a higher heart rate than those who use dumb bells, suggesting that more muscles flex during strength exercises when sand weights are involved.
Gyms use sand bags for the CrossFit training program and for the sandbag or builders’ workout. During CrossFit routines, unconventional exercises with sand bags reach smaller groups of muscles, as the shifting weight of a 40-pound ball produces twisting and bending movements whenever participants carry and heave it. The sandbag workout combines the hefty, compound, multi-joint movements of carrying sand weights with pushing wheelbarrows to stimulate muscle groups not typically used in traditional endurance exercises.
Yoga sand weights normally weigh 10 pounds and help to open the posture, stretch the body, stabilize and root poses, and sooth breathing during sessions.
Traditional lightweight ankle sand weights add resistance when walking and tone leg muscles. When doing upper-body exercises such as pull-ups, ankle weights add small increments of challenge to the workout. When swimming, ankle weights add resistance to the legs and increase performance.