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7 Amazing Bulgarian Bag Workouts

Get ripped this season with these 7 calorie busting Bulgarian Bag exercises

The Bulgarian bag is a great workout tool, but you have to know what you’re doing if you want results. Check out our guide with 7 great Bulgarian bag workouts.

The Bulgarian bag is new(ish) to the fitness scene. It’s only been adopted by the fitness community within the past ten years.

Even so, trainers and fitness enthusiasts alike are raving about its effectiveness. The Bulgarian bag was invented by Ivan Ivanov, channeling scenes from his native Bulgaria. He recalled how shepherds in his homeland carried lambs strung across their shoulders and would demonstrate their physical prowess in events involving lambs and small cows.

Farmyard animals being scarce on the ground in a modern gym facility, Ivanov thought of a unique solution. Thus, the Bulgarian bag was born.

It mimics the shape of a sheep and is a versatile tool to help build muscle, joint flexibility, and speed.

If you are looking to add the Bulgarian bag to your workout, it can be confusing to get started. What are you supposed to do with this oddly-shaped bag…thing? Bulgarian bags boast a simple design, and yet their unique strap system and shape allow for lots of workout models.

Use a core technique (which we’ll describe below) or use the bag in unique movements to improve speed and muscle tone.

Keep reading, and we’ll give you seven amazing Bulgarian bag workouts to help you build muscle and agility.

A WORD ABOUT SAFETY In any workout, Bulgarian bag workouts included, it is important to consider your safety. Extra muscle mass isn’t worth much if you’re injured and can’t move. To that end, keep the following in mind:


This is a given in any workout, but don’t go into any high-intensity workout cold. Stretch and warm up your muscles before you ask them to do anything for you.

Soft Joints

Knees especially need to be kept soft, but locking up any of your joints is a recipe for disaster.


In Bulgarian bag workouts, it’s easy to get lazy and let momentum do the work. Remember to control your movements. This makes the workout more effective, but it also keeps you safe and injury free.

Start Slow

Even if you are a seasoned workout enthusiast, any time you get started with new equipment, ease in until you are sued to the moments.

Top 7 Bulgarian Bag Workouts

Before we get into the workouts, it’s important to understand the three basic movements that are done with the Bulgarian bag. These three movements are going to be incorporated into almost every workout you attempt with the Bulgarian bag.

You can do a lot with the Bulgarian bag. It’s a versatile piece of workout equipment. These three movements are going to be incorporated into almost every workout you attempt with the Bulgarian bag.

But these three movements are going to be incorporated into almost every workout you attempt with the Bulgarian bag.

The Spin

The easiest way to visualize this movement is to think of how a shepherd would put a lamb upon his shoulders.

Mimic this movement with the bag, but instead of resting it on your shoulders, allow the bag to continue over your head in a circular motion. This movement is the core of almost everything you’ll do with this piece of equipment and can be modified in tons of ways. It can also be combined with the two other core movements to create new motions that target every part of your body.

It can also be combined with the two other core movements to create new motions that target every part of your body.

The Arm Throw

The arm throw is almost a modified version of the spin. Instead of going all the way over the head, though, the bag goes over one shoulder, then swings down in front of the body and up over the other shoulder.

The Swing Snatch

This movement begins with the bag behind the head.

Lift the bag overhead, swing down between the legs, and repeat.

Almost every one of the Bulgarian bag workouts we show you here will include at least one of these movements (there are a few exceptions though, so stay with us)

Any of these movements can be done on their own as a workout and provide excellent results. That said, here are a few ways to modify these workouts for even better results.

The Swing Snatch Squat

This workout begins in the same way as the swing snatch.

However, in this variation, when the bag comes to rest on your shoulders, come into a squat position, returning to a stand as you swing the bag overhead and between the knees.

Lateral Lunge

This is one of the few Bulgarian bag workouts that doesn’t incorporate one of the three key movements.

In this workout, the bag rests squarely on your shoulders. Holding the bag on your shoulders for stability, sidestep into a lunge until you feel the stretch, then switch sides and repeat.

Sit-Up and Press-up

Ok, yes, these are both super basic workouts that you already know how to do. But adding the Bulgarian bag gives these two basic moves another level of intensity and help build explosive power.

For the Sit-up, lay on your back and grab the bag by the side handles. Press it up overhead, then engage your core muscles in raising your torso off the ground into a sit-up position.

For the press-up, position the bag around the small of your back. Think of how you might carry it across your shoulders and then transfer that same positioning down a bit.

Using the extra weight as resistance, go about your press-up routine as you would normally, allowing the extra weight to help you build muscle mass and endurance.

Hand Snatch

This workout helps build strength and speed.

Hold the bag out in front of you in one hand, gripping it by the top handle. Let go of the bag with one hand and quickly grab it with the other. Repeat this in reps of five, ten, or twenty, trying to make the switch as quickly as possible.

Bulgarian bags are a versatile piece of equipment. They’re invaluable fitness enthusiasts who want to build muscle and agility.

Using these three Bulgarian bag workouts can help you accomplish those goals while improving your joint flexibility, grip, and all-around muscle tone.

Ready to intensify your workout with a Bulgarian bag? Take a look at our selection today!

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