Bulgarian Bags are becoming popular for dynamic strength conditioning. Features like multi-directional movement and accelerating and decelerating motions make it ideal for training in MMA, CrossFit, and other sports where functional strength is very important.
The original Bulgarian Bag was the brainchild of Ivan Ivanov, a former Bulgarian Olympic athlete and a Wrestling Coach. Ivanov was looking for a tool that would allow his wrestlers to improve dynamic movement and explosive actions involved in pushing, swinging, twisting, pulling, rotating, bending, lunging, squatting and throwing. Ivanov was inspired by the Bulgarian tradition of shepherds carrying sheep and goats to display their strength on street fairs.
The Bulgarian Bag was first designed for Olympic wrestlers but with time came to be adopted by professional athletes and fitness trainers because of its versatility in functional training. The present-day Bulgarian bags are made out of canvas or leather and filled with sand or wool to exact weight requirements. Multiple handles and grips have been added so a wider range of exercises is possible. The Bulgarian Bag is becoming popular because exercising with it imitates natural movement and you can do a variety of exercises with a single load.
Exercising with a Bulgarian bag will strengthen and improve muscular endurance of the rotational muscles, shoulders, arms, wrists, back, grip and legs. Building core musculature, coordination, and joint mobility are also encouraged. A Bulgarian bag is an effective tool in developing quickness and agility in ways that are not possible with free weights.
Free weights limit movement to a singular plane and offer static resistance. The Bulgarian Bag can be swung and spun in several directions as opposed to single plane movement and also provide dynamic resistance by incorporating accelerating and decelerating motions. It is also more demanding than traditional cardiovascular workout because exercising with the Bulgarian Bag involves both weight training and quick dynamic movement.
The grip is extensively challenged because of the positioning of the main handles. Even the kettle bar is not at par with the Bulgarian bag because of the dynamic multidirectional movements possible with the bag. The bag’s design allows for dynamic functional conditioning with a focus on power-endurance conditioning and strength conditioning. The body can be prepared for sports which require a huge amount of strength and power for prolonged periods like martial arts.
Best Bulgarian Bags for BJJ/MMA
Suples is the company that first started producing Bulgarian Bags. The company was started by Ivan Ivanov. They create the best quality Bulgarian Bags in the market today.
Suples have fine-tuned and updated their Bulgarian Bag over the years by taking customers’ needs into account. The Fitness Bulgarian Bag is a result of that. The bag is aimed to appeal to fitness enthusiasts who want to have something fresh in their workout arsenal. The bags are now available in vivid colours and the grips have been made more convenient. The Fitness model is different from the original model which will be discussed below. The main difference is in the Fitness Bag’s handle design, which has been changed to make movement exercises a lot easier than in the original one.
The synthetic leather coating of the bag makes it easy to wipe and clean. The bag is available in 17 pounds and 26 pounds variants. The only downside is that the bag is very expensive.
The original Bulgarian Bag is hand made with real leather and is used in MMA, CrossFit and many other sports where functional training is required. The Bulgarian bag can be used to train both your upper and lower body and its shape is ideal for grip training. Three different types of handles are available so you can choose the one according to your type of training. The Bulgarian Bag has been around for many years but is only gaining popularity in recent times.
The bag comes in many weight varieties starting from 6 pounds all the way up to 84 pounds. You will also get a free DVD included in your purchase which shows all the different exercises that you can do with this bag. Suples provides a 2-year limited warranty for the bag. You can also visit their Facebook or Instagram or their Youtube channel for training videos. The only downside is that at the moment this bag is too expensive for the average fitness enthusiast. If you do not mind shelling out more than $200, you can go for it. Depending on your type of training, it may be the only fitness equipment you ever need.
The CoreX Matador Training bag is an imitation of the original Bulgarian Bag. The neckline of the bag is intended for comfortable squat and shoulder based exercises. The joining seam is located at the rear end of the bag so it will not irritate the skin on your neck when doing shoulder rested exercises. The weight distribution over the shoulder blades is near perfect so you have a more balanced lifting position.
The bag comes with several handles and grabbing options. At the top of the bag is a spin handle ideal for curl based exercises. Four grab handles are placed on the side with which you can do multiple gripping exercises. Strap handles are placed near the end of each side which can be used for lifting exercises. You also get two additional loop handles which can be looped over the strap handles. These are used for swinging exercises.
The training bag is filled with rubber pellets and cotton batting provides cushioning. The rubber pellets help to absorb force and maintain the shape and weight distribution of the bag, unlike sand-filled bags. The outer shell is made of soft yet durable synthetic leather. The bag is available in 5 weight variants starting from 15 pounds up to 48 pounds. You can choose between blue and black colours.
4. Wreck Bag
The Wreck Bag is filled with clean rubber so you do not have to deal with the mess and hassle of sand. The weight of this bag is more evenly distributed unlike sandbags so you can focus on your workout rather than constantly adjusting the bag. You can slam, curl, squat or press it without worry because it has a shock-absorbing inner lining.
The Wreck Bag can be used to perform over a hundred exercises to tone all muscles groups in your body. Be it a total body workout, heavy workout or some fun workout with family, this bag is good enough for the job. The bag can be a perfect addition to your outdoor workouts during summer.
Mud Run Guide has voted this bag the “Best Overall Training Product”. It is also the official bag of CompTrain founded by Ben Bergeron. The bag is water, mildew, and mold resistant so it can be used with no problem either indoors or outdoors. The outer shell is tough enough to withstand harsh weather conditions. This bag is made in the USA and is available in six different sizes- 20, 25, 35, 40, 50 and 60 pounds.
The “Strong” Bulgarian Bag is thicker, heavier and more curved than the original and basic model. It is perfect for combining strength training and lung-busting conditioning.
This bag is more challenging because the handles on the top curve are thicker. The two handles on both ends are thicker as well. The region between the main body and the grips at the ends has an additional gripping surface allowing for a variety of additional exercises. You can also attach handles in this region so you have more control over the bag. The small curve has a zipper. You can use it to add or remove individually packed sandbags so you have complete control over how much weight you will be working with. The bag is made of 100% leather and you also get an instructional DVD along with it. Three weight versions are available for this bag-11-17 pounds, 17-26 pounds, and 26-37 pounds.
Suples offers a 2-year warranty for this bag as well. This bag is perfect for BJJ grappling.
This is the latest model from Suples. It is available in black colour with different strap colours. The shape is a little different as compared to the previous models. It is somewhat of a hybrid between the basic model and the strong model.
The bag is available in 14 different weight options starting from 11 pounds up to 84 pounds. The design is simple, highly versatile and is the ideal bag for a complete grappling workout. The instructional DVD is included with this bag as well. The material used for this bag is high-quality vinyl. You get the best of both the basic and the strong version with the innovative design. A hook is added to the inside curve so you can hang it on the wall after your workout.
The ARD-CHAMPS Bulgarian Bag is made using heavy-duty durable canvas material. It does not come pre-filled so you have to fill it with sand or cotton with iron powder. The bag is ideal for those who are training in mixed martial arts.
The bag is available in 10 different sizes- 5,8,10,12,15,18,20,22,25,28 kg. The company ARD CHAMPS is an American company specializing in weight lifting, MMA, UFC, Sports and fitness accessories. The ARD Champs bag comes at a significantly cheaper price as compared to the ones from Suples. Even though you have to take the trouble of filling it with sand, it is a good entry-level pick especially if you are not sure whether you will be using it long term.
The Rep Fitness Sandbag comes with everything you need to improve your metabolic conditioning and improve your muscle tone. All you have to do is add sand to the bag and you are ready to go. Your purchase will include one sandbag outer shell and one filler bag.
The shell and filler bags are made using 1000D Cordura fabric reinforced with triple-stitched and cross-stitched heavy duty nylon thread. The bag uses heavy-duty YKK zippers which are kept out of the way with a hideaway flap. This is to make sure that the zippers will not rub against your skin and cause skin irritation. The presence of heavy-duty zippers means there will be no leakage of sand so you do not have to worry about making a mess. You get several grip options with 6 soft handles without any uncomfortable contact points.
Whether you are a beginner or you have been training with sandbags for a long time, you will appreciate the sheer variety of exercises that are possible with this bag. You can do deadlifts, squats, presses, carries, lunges and even throws with this bag. Adjustable weight capacity allows you to challenge yourself at whatever level you are at. The bag comes with a one year warranty and is available in 3 different sizes and 6 different colours.
The SPRI Weighted Fitbag is available in 5 color code banded resistance levels. You will need to fill it with sand. The bag is made using tough nylon and double-reinforced thick-thread stitching. Stable hand placement and secure hand positioning are ensured because of the elastic handles and tapered ends.
You should not be deceived by the simple design of the bag. Bulgarian style bags get the most beating because of the way can be swung, tossed, thrown and slammed around. SPRI selects only the best quality materials starting from the protective coverings to welds, stitching, grips, handles, and end caps. This will ensure that the bag will be able to better resist cracking, chipping, denting, deforming or tearing during use while still maintaining optimal form, feel and responsiveness.
Last update on 2019-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API