After tripping over this exercise tool and watching some videos of how it is used, I thought it was a pretty nice way of getting a challenging workout… but the ‘real’ ones that Ivan Ivanov created are a bit pricey to test drive.
But, thanks to youtube, I found some DIY tutorials to cut the price from $211 – $155 (Leather costs more than canvas) down to about $30.00.
It is ugly, but like my camera equipment, its a tool for getting ‘pretty’ results not to look pretty.
Cut the inner tube, fill with sand, roll the ends toward the inside of the arc (better handles), and zip tie them closed. Then duct tape the ends tight for grips. I added the flat rope loops for some of the spinning exercises and to vary the hand positions for triceps/bicep exercises. Mine came out to be around 39 pounds at first, but was too heavy to start with so I reduced the heft to about 30 pounds (between the 26 pound “medium” and the 37 pound “large” bags Mr. Ivanov sells) which is probably still a touch heavy, but my pride won’t let me go any lighter.
The variations on bulgarian bag exercises are endless, but this is a series of simple (but definitely not easy) exercises that I started with:
5 Rounds of:
10 “open spins” (full circle rotations to the left for 10, then right for 10)
10 push ups (which I varied with ‘frog’ push ups and ‘climber’ push ups)
5 Rounds of:
“Snatch Jumps” (execute a classic ‘snatch/clean’ motion’ with the bag landing – GENTLY – on your shoulders then jump/throw it back to the start position)
10 Repetitions of the TacArnis Concept Footwork patterns.
I shot the video on on my deck for better light and more room (because my wife likes nice things in her house to stay nice) – please don’t think I’m all hardcore/Rocky IV about this stuff. It was 30 degrees and the deck was a little slick. I have enough room for this routine in my basement and the floor is much safer there.
There is a learning curve to using the Bulgarian Bag, but I know that applying the “Form, Power, Focus, Speed” training concept from the Kenpo/FMA blend that is the foundation of TacArnis, this will be a fun/challenging addition to my fitness program but also develop kinesthetic awareness that translates to TacArnis training as well as overall health/fitness.
I strongly suggest ensuring you have enough room and a safe space to exercise in with something like Bulgarian bags or any exercise routine for that matter.