Bulgarian Bag Workouts

Published by Jason Narog on

Bulgarian Bags

I’m going to list two of my favorite Bulgarian Bag workouts I’ve used with my new to Bulgarian Bag clients, but if you want more and have Instagram go follow – bridgette_hosick (who was my Bulgarian Bag Suples Lvl 1 instructor in 2020), hollyanne.suples, and suples.training.systems.

Bulgarian Bag Workout #1 – general strength conditioning

For this routine you’ll want 1 bag to use the whole time. I liked this one because I could do it with a small group and it can be done in a fairly short amount of time so we could move on to the cardio Muay Thai portion of our program. Here goes –

Bulgarian Bag Definitions

  • Main handle Suples Spin x 10 in each direction
  • Main handle bent over rows x 10
  • Side handle shoulder raise x 10
  • Side handle shoulder press x 10 (can be turned into a squat and press if desired)
  • Strap handle behind the back shoulder press
  • Swing squats x 10
  • Swing the bag up onto your back and put your hands through strap handles
    • Squat x 10
    • Lunge or reverse lunge each side x 10
    • Calf raise x 10
  • Lamb swing each direction x 10
  • Main handle hammer curls
  • Strap handle hammer curls
  • Strap handle tricep extensions
  • Main handle tricep extensions

WTF is a lamb swing? Check this video…

Adjustments and variations

You can add things in like push ups on the bag, or push ups with the bag on your back, or pull ups with the bag on your back / between your legs, etc, etc… But this was the general-ish workout I’d have people do once a week. You’d go through the routine once, rest, then do it again, rest, then do it again (so 3x total) before we’d move over to the heavy bag or Bob or me holding pads for the cardio Muay thai program.

I really like the program above as its easy to adjust or modify and its good for testing general strength and general conditioning at the same time. You get some big body movements in there, you get some explosive stuff in there, and then you have some isolation as well, especially in the arms with the bicep /  tricep portion.

I usually toss some grip training in there as well, where I have my clients play catch with the side handles, letting go of the bag and moving from 1 handle to the next in an effort to work the fingers.

I’ve previously mentioned a variation of this routine on the blog before, which you can read about – 30, 30, 30 in 30 Heavy Bag Bulgarian Bag Workout

Workout #2 – Variation of the 1,000 Rep Routine

When I was certified, I was handed a packet with routines I could use on myself or with clients. The 1,000 rep routine as I remember it involved doing 10 different movements 10 times each a total of 10 times. Remember, Bulgarian Bags were designed by an Olympic wrestler so his needs for training fall into the combat athlete / MMA world. I was certified in a BJJ academy where they’re bigger into Bulgarian Bags than they are into kettlebells (kettlebells are the other biggy in the BJJ circles…)

With the 1,000 rep routine if you have enough bags (most of us don’t) you can ladder up or down the routine where you start light (or heavy) and swap out bags each of the 10 rounds. If you’ve got 5 different weighted bags you could swap them out every 2 rounds.

I personally was swapping out a dynamic movement and more of a static movement so it would look something along the lines of –

  1. Spin
  2. Shoulder Press
  3. Swing Squat
  4. Shoulder Raise
  5. Power Snatch
  6. Lunge
  7. Lamb Swing
  8. Lunge other leg
  9. Frog Jumps
  10. Standing Trunk Twists

As a measuring stick, you’d start with like 400 reps total, with longer rest periods inbetween each cycle then decrease rest periods and increase volume as you go until you hit 1,000. Or you can start incorporating in different weighted bags as your finances allow it, without increasing the rep total. It’s entirely up to you based on your individual goals.

Want another workout? Check out the Crossfit Inspired Bulgarian Bag Workout

What are your favorite Bulgarian Bag workouts? Sound off in the comments below!

Categories: Routines

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