If you’re just about to take an interest in heavy bag workouts, you have probably been inspired by watching boxers throw punches at the bag, and it seemed fun. It may look easy, but heavy bag workouts take a lot of effort to achieve your fitness goals.
Benefits of Doing Heavy Bag Workouts
Improves Overall Fitness
Working out with a heavy bag improves your fighting skills and helps maintain a healthy body. Punching bag workouts effectively burn calories and weight loss and improve cardiovascular endurance.
Throwing punches at a punching bag also have a nice effect on your mental health. Performing a punching bag workout can help you reduce agitation and stress.
Enhances Boxing Technique
The use of heavy bags and punching bags are prominent when you are training for a combat sport. The heavy bag is perfect for simultaneously training your punches and footwork. On the other hand, a free-standing punching bag is better for practicing kicks.
The traditional heavy bag hanging is dynamic enough to practice defense, combos, and footwork. As a result, it develops your agility, core stability, increased muscular power, and improved balance and coordination.
Equipment You Need
In a combat sport, it is inevitable to get hurt or injured. But during the training session, it is important to avoid acquiring injuries. Getting the right equipment will help you in protecting yourself from harm. Here are the things you need during a heavy bag workout.
Heavy Bag/Punching Bag
A heavy bag is just one of the punching bags you can use for training sessions or workout routines. There are different kinds of punching bags made for different drills in the market. A heavy bag is better for workouts with footwork drills.
It’s not excessive to invest in boxing shoes even when you are not going to fight inside the ring. Boxing training with the right shoes will boost your efficiency during punching bag workouts.
Wearing boxing shoes provide support for your ankle excellently. It also provides the comfort of movement, which other shoes can’t provide for the type of training.
A heavy bag workout is not easy on the hands. Wearing boxing gloves will protect your hands from potential injuries while doing your punching bag workouts. But that doesn’t mean you’re totally injury-free. You still have to learn the basics to ensure the safety of your hands when performing punching bag workouts.
These are the advantages of wearing boxing gloves during your punching bag workout:
Provide Wrist Support
The impact of hitting hard surfaces can result in potential damage to your wrist. It will take a lot of time before it heals when that happens. Wearing gloves cushions the impact between your hands and the punching bag.
Prevents Displacement of the Finger Joints
When making a fist, your finger joints are the most at risk for injuries when making hard punches. The gloves you wear protect your knuckles from the shock of hitting the heavy bag. Less shock means less vulnerability to injuries.
It is not recommended to wear gloves without wearing hand wraps underneath. There are two kinds of hand wraps.
Wraps for the Training Session
Training wraps are more stretchy. As a result, it fits well in the shape and form of your hands.
Professional boxers use slightly thicker material than training wraps. This type is not as tight as the training wraps.
Importance of Using Hand Wraps
Wrapping your hands is not as effective for cushioning the impact on your hands. But, it still offers protective benefits when you’re doing a punching bag workout.
- It keeps your wrist inline
- Additional cushion to your hands
- Keeping the knuckles in the right place
- Minimizing the sudden movements of your thumb
How to Properly Wrap Your Hands
There is a proper technique to wrap your hands. It ensures that it serves its purpose of protecting your hands.
- Use your dominant hand to wrap the other hand.
- Place the other hand that you will wrap on a palm face down position. Keep your arms extended to keep your hand away from you.
- Spread your fingers apart. Place your thumb first on the wrap, then loop the wrapping material around it to secure the wrap in place.
- Wrap your wrist next. Ensure it is tight enough to stay in place but still allows blood circulation.
- Return wrapping your thumb three more times until you feel that the wrap is secured on your thumb and wrist.
- Start wrapping your hand across your palm from right to left. Keep your fingers spread as you wrap the knuckles.
- Loop the wrap back to your wrist.
- Next, place the wrap between your ring finger and middle finger and wrap it across the palm before bringing it over the thumb.
- Loop the wrap around the knuckle down to your wrist to finish it with the final loop.
- Secure the wrap by fastening it.
Boxing Workouts to Do
Doing punching bag workouts doesn’t focus solely on punching techniques. You’ll find that there is more to a heavy bag than punching it.
It is essential to prepare your whole body and muscles for the training proper in any training or workout routine. Aside from the usual warm-up like jogging, and jumping jacks, you can also perform shadowboxing.
Punching bag workouts help build your stamina and endurance.
Here are some drills to perform to improve your endurance.
Perform these warm-up exercises in order:
- Jumping rope for two minutes
- High knees for one minute
- Jumping rope again for two minutes
First Round (2-minute cycle)
- Perform ten jab-cross with your dominant hand
- Next, ten jab-cross with your other hand
Second Round (2-minute cycle)
Perform the following drills with your dominant side:
- Perform a lunge
- Jab then kick
- Jab, jab, followed by a power punches
Third Round (2-minute cycle)
Perform the following drills with your non-dominant side:
- Perform a lunge
- Jab then kick
- Jab, jab, followed by a power punch
Fourth Round (2-minute cycle)
- Perform ten burpees
- Use your right arm and do an uppercut followed by two jabs, hook jab, and cross.
- Bob and weave
- With your left arm, do an uppercut followed by jab, jab, hook, then cross
Fifth Round (2 minutes)
- With your right leg, perform ten reps of side-kicks
- Ten straight punches
- With your left leg, perform ten reps of side-kicks
- Finish this round with 30 straight punches
Final Round (2 minutes)
- With everything you have, perform alternating hands power punches
This endurance punching bag workout has a 30-minute duration. After the workout, always perform cooldown stretching.
A High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a workout done intensely in a short period of time and then allows your body to recover before moving on to the next drill. HIIT is known for its effectiveness in burning calories.
These drills should be performed for 30 seconds each with 10 seconds of rest before proceeding to the next one. Start again with a warm-up and finish the workout with a cool down.
Perform 2 minutes of jumping rope.
Do powerful straight punches with a combo of right-left-left-right.
Perform as many burpees as you can for 30 seconds.
Perform a repetitive combo of right foot kick, left foot kick, three right kicks, and three left kicks until the 30 seconds is over.
High knees sprints
Perform the following exercises in a cycle until the time is up:
- Jab cross
- Jab cross
- Right Hook
- Left Hook
Go to a pushup position, and perform the exercise while tapping your shoulder alternately.
Footwork is also an integral part of the boxing technique. These drills help the fighter to move strategically for offense and defense. If you’re not training to be a boxer, learning footwork drills can also be beneficial for your overall fitness.
Move the Bag Footwork Drill
In this drill, finding the perfect weight of the heavy bag is essential. The bag should be light enough to swing yet heavy enough to provide resistance from your punch.
- Normally punch the bag and move with it.
- As the bag swings, circle around it and try dodging its movement
- Keep a safe distance
Angled Escape Drill
This drill teaches the trainee to dodge angularly. This teaches a habit of dodging on your back left or back right instead of backing up in a straight line.
- Perform a combo, then back away from the bag in your back, right
- Do another combo, then this time back away in your back left
What Heavy Bag is Right for Me
To help you choose the right one; here are some characteristics you should be looking out for:
The Type of Punching Bag
Choosing the right punching bag for you can be a game-changer. As mentioned earlier, a traditional punching bag (a heavy bag) is advantageous for enhancing your boxing technique and footwork.
Weight and Size
The punching bag comes in various weights and sizes. Choose a punching bag that can offer the resistance you require when hitting it with maximum power. At a bare minimum, a good punching bag should not sway dramatically even with your hardest power punching.
Durability and Make
If you’re looking for a punching bag that can be of service for years, choosing a punching bag with a durable material such as leather is the tough one to beat. However, it’s pricey compared to the vinyl one.
The punching bag usually comes with fillings. The punching bag can be filled with water, cloth, air, or sand if it’s not pre-filled when purchased.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Heavy Bag Workout
A punching bag workout is only a small part of combat sports training, yet it is effective. Here are some additional tips when you are training with a heavy bag.
Boxing basics include gearing up properly, even for training. Investing in a decent pair of gloves will go a long way. Bag drills may seem fun, but it is still hard on the hands when not properly protected.
Heavy bags don’t move as dynamically as a real opponent, yet you should keep your focus when performing your drills. Staying alert also trains your reaction time to dodge strikes.
Always keep your eyes on the target to build a habit of looking at your opponent. Avoid staring where you’re planning to strike your punches, as you wouldn’t want your opponent to read your moves when planning on body shots or headshots.
Whether you’re doing light punches, jab cross, or your most powerful punches, avoid staying static when performing a punching bag workout. The bag doesn’t throw punches but keeping yourself on the move builds habits that can be useful in actual combat. Always move your feet after each combo.
Maintain Your Balance
Having a balance provides you with effective punching power. As mentioned earlier, you have to keep your feet moving, but make sure you have balance and control of your movement. Remember, ground your feet when punching and take little steps when moving around.
Boxing training is a vigorous workout. Breathing helps you endure more than five rounds of intense training. Proper breathing helps you relax, which reduces the chances of tiring out.
Don’t Neglect Warm-up and Cool Down
Warm-up and cool-down are essential to be done for the sake of your muscles. Ignoring these steps may cause injuries or soreness during and after training.
Keep Proper Form
Boxing or not, keeping a proper form during workouts also reduces the risk of injuries. It also helps you maintain the balance that allows you to punch harder and move better.