5 Bulgarian Bag Exercises to Build Full-Body Strength

Bulgarian Bags are perfect for strength, conditioning and power workouts. Here are 5 simple but effective exercises using a Bulgarian Bag.

Another new piece of equipment which my Personal Trainer Emma has introduced to our sessions is a Bulgarian Bag. These horseshoe-shaped bags are filled with sand and feature a range of flexible handles and grips. They were originally developed in Bulgaria (as the name suggests) as a training tool for wrestlers to improve explosive actions and dynamic movements.

The handles on Bulgarian Bags make them perfect for swinging and flipping movements, which couldn’t be performed as safely with other weighted equipment like barbells and dumbells. They are also great for improving grip and forearm strength. I’ve been using a 10kg weighted power bag from Mira Fit to supplement my PT sessions.

Here’s a quick but effective workout using a Bulgarian Bag to build full-body strength:

Flip Squat

  • Start in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Hold the bag by the handles in front of you.
  • Lift and flip the bag over so that it lands on your forearms.
  • Lower your body into a deep squat position. Ensure that your body weight is in your heels and your back is straight at the bottom of the squat.
  • Stand back up pushing through your heels, whilst flipping and lowering the bag back to the starting position.

Side Lunges

  • Place the bag on your shoulders holding the handles. Take a big step to the side, keeping your torso as upright as possible.
  • Bend your right knee and lower down, keeping the soles of the feet on the ground and toes pointed straight forward. Left leg remains straight.
  • Repeat on the left leg.


  • Stand upright, with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the bag by the two outer grips.
  • Let go of the bag and catch it with both hands of the centre grip.
  • Repeat, alternating where you catch the bag.


  • Start in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Hold the bag by the handles and swing it backwards and forwards, going between your legs.
  • Keep your core engaged and knees slightly bent.


  • Lay on your back while holding the bag above your chest with straight arms.
  • Sit up and press the bag up so it is directly overhead.
  • Lower yourself back down to the starting position with full control and repeat.

For all exercises, repeat for either:
3 sets of 12 reps or
3 sets of 30 seconds work with 10 seconds rest

Weighted Power Bag was gifted by Mirafit, but all opinions my own.

Have you ever used a Bulgarian Bag in a workout?

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