Sandbag Cleans for Height: Build Explosive Power and Strength

Develop Explosive Strength and Power with this New Exercise

Every fighter needs to develop explosive power. Whether you train in MMA, Wrestling, Muay Thai, BJJ, Kickboxing, Judo, etc, no matter if you’re just beginning or an elite professional., being more explosive WILL make you better.

Developing explosive power requires you to train your fast twitch muscle fibres in the core and posterior chain.

The Posterior chain are the group of muscle along the back of the body ranging from your calves, Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower and middle back, traps, rear deltoids and play a huge role in most athletic movements.

When you have a strong Posterior chain you will be faster, leaner and more explosive.

Sandbag Cleans For Height – Exercise for Combat Fighters by Nick Nilsson, Mad Scientist of Muscle

This exercise is great for developing explosive power in the posterior chain and core. YOU can use different size, shapes and weighted sandbags.

Simply put, you’re going to start with the sandbag on the floor then clean it up and heave it as high as you possibly can! Then you catch it, drop it on the ground and go again.

For this, obviously you’ll need a sandbag. I recommend Coach Josh Henkin’s Ultimate Sandbags.

Set the bag close by your feet and grab the handles. Squat down a bit.

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Now, with as much power as you’ve got, clean the bar up and heavy as high as you can!

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There is some technique involved and practice will help you get the biggest toss. In these, I’m just about throwing the 50 pound sandbag as high as possible.

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Catch the bag in your arms. This is actually really great training for the core – the core absorbs much of the impact of the catch.

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Drop the bag, then squat down and go again!


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End the set when your heaves start to lose height.

Once you get to that point, you won’t be delivering as much power and it won’t be as good of training – usually this about 5 to 8 reps, depending on how relatively heavy the bag is.



THE best time to use this workout that focused on improving explosive strength and power would be at the beginning of your training session when you are fresh; immediately after your warm up.

The reason being is that you need to be as fresh as possible in order to develop as much force while maintaining proper form. You also do not want to end up with less gains or potentially risk an injury.

Once you have started to improve your power and explosiveness, then you can start to incorporate these types of drills in a pre-fatigued state, especially for combat athletes that need to utilize explosive power in the late portions of competition.

But for now stick to theses type of drills at the beginning of training.

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