Make the Press Throw a Regular Item in Your Weight-Training Arsenal

The “press throw” is a little known move that can really ramp up the intensity of your weight training sessions, and as a result make you stronger and more capable.  And what’s even better is that you don’t need to use an expensive piece of equipment to be able to reap the benefits that the press throw offers; to get the benefits from this fitness tip all you need is a sand bag.

The press throw is a move that will build strength and power and that can be performed in a variety of ways.  Just make sure that you’re either outside or in a really big room with high ceilings and a lot of empty space, or else an otherwise inexpensive fitness tip could prove to be quite costly.

Here’s how to perform the basic press throw.  For the starting position stand upright and hold the sand bag with 2 hands right under the chin, across the top of the chest, point both thumbs towards the body and keep the elbows against the body.  From the starting position, slightly bend the knees and then rapidly straighten the knees and at the same time press the sand bag straight up into the air overhead.   At the very top of the press, release the bag so that it continues upward and make sure the arms follow through towards the sky.  The most important thing to remember is that once the bag is in the air, take two quick steps forward and get out of the way of the descending sand bag.


Because if you don’t move the bag will hit you in the head…right? Due to the explosive, high-intensity nature of this movement perform no more than 5 repetitions and no more than 4 total sets of the press throw.  And because of the demands this high-intensity move places on your body, rest periods between sets should be no less than 2 minutes.

Once the basic press throw has been mastered, there are a couple of alternative movements that can be performed to provide variety and that increase the intensity of the basic press throw.  In any workout, you can perform any or all of these press throws. The first variant is to slightly change the angle of the press so that the sand bag travels forward from the starting position.  So rather than try to press the bag as high as possible, see how far the bag can be pressed from the starting position.  If you have some cones or any other item that can mark a spot, place one cone at the starting point and another at the point at which the bag lands. From this second spot, try to press the sand bag beyond the cone that marks the starting point, and so on.  This will provide you with visual landmarks that will help you to work with 100% effort.

Another variation is called the “squat-press throw,” where you incorporate a full squat into the movement before the press throw, resulting in a more demanding, total body explosive movement.  From the press throw starting position, go into a full squat, fire up and jump forward – at about a 45-degree angle to the ground – and press the sand bag as you reach full extension.  Make sure that both arms press at evenly and that both feet leave the ground at the same time.  Avoid “cheating” by using the stronger arm to throw, or stronger leg to push off the ground.

The squat-press and throw is an extremely high-intensity move and every muscle in the body works – and works together – to improve coordination, balance and stability.  Follow the same repetition and set scheme outlined above. There are two, under-hand variations to the press throw that emphasize different muscle groups, and as a result are not really presses, but actually flat out throws.  For the rest of this discussion these moves will be referred to as “swing throws.”

For the starting position for the swing throw grab the sand bag so that the knuckles are facing the ground and thumbs facing away from the body.  The arms hang straight down and the backs of the wrists/forearms should be resting against the insides of the knees or lower thighs. The knees should be slightly bent and the back should be held straight, with good, shoulders-back posture while leaning slightly forward.


From this starting position begin the movement by swinging the bag up slightly to waist level and bend the knees as the bag comes back down to the hang position.  From this bottom part of the position, keep the abdominal muscles tight, fire up and with straight arms throw the sand bag forward as far as you can.  With full effort, rising up on the toes – even leave the ground – and let ‘er rip. For a variation of this throw do the exact same throw, but rather than trying to throw the sand bag forward, throw the bag over your head to a position behind your starting point. The press throw and all its variation will add a level of intensity to your workouts that you cannot get from traditional training equipment and methods, and will benefit all who add this move to his or her routine.

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