A heavy bag workout is very exhausting, but it can also be very rewarding if you do it right. For a cheap and simple piece of equipment, the benefits of using a heavy punching bag are amazing – it improves power, speed, technique and conditioning, while giving you a full body workout in the process.
But how can you get the most out of this amazing tool? What’s the best workout for you? Keep reading to find out.
Heavy Bag Workout Basics
A well-rounded heavy bag workout has to include everything you would be doing in a sparring match. Only about 30% of the entire workout consists of actually punching the bag. The rest of the time should be spent on practicing head movement, footwork, feinting and dodging. A few things to remember:
- Don’t stop circling the bag until the round is over
- Keep your hands up and throw your punches from a defensive stance
- Stay out of hitting range until it’s time to throw a punch, and slip out once you’re done
- Don’t hit the bag all over – if it were an actual opponent, you would be going for either the chin or the ribs. Stick to hitting a few spots on the bag with precision
- Your punches should be sudden and unpredictable. Eliminate any unnecessary movements that announce your punches
- Always wrap your hands and always wear gloves before practicing with the punching bag
Here is an example 6-round heavy bag workout which works well for anyone; I say example because the key to using a heavy punching bag is IMPROVISATION! If you want to increase power, focus on power; if you want to improve your technique, then focus on practicing technically sound punches. Every round should last 3 minutes, and you should be resting for 30 to 60 seconds between rounds, depending on how much you can take.
Round 1 – Warmup
Warm up all your joints and muscles before going hard on the heavy bag. It will help prevent injury and improve your performance during the actual workout.
During this round you will be throwing straight jabs, left hooks, right hooks and basic 1-2 combinations at 50% of your power output.
Round 2 – Power training
Increase your power output to 100%. Focus on throwing technically sound, strong punches. Take short breaks between each punch or combination, but never stop moving. From this point onward you should be practicing multiple different combinations throughout every round.
Round 3 – Speed training
Focus on speed, but not power. Try throwing light punches as fast as you can. Keep in mind that fast punches require a completely different approach than hard punches. Here is my complete guide on how to punch faster which you might find useful.
Rounds 4, 5 & 6
During these three rounds, throw in a mix of both powerful combinations and fast combinations. Go as intense as you can, don’t stop moving, feinting, dodging and punching.