Your Guide To The Best Heavy Bag Workouts
So you have just got your heavy bag and you want to go for your first workout? The first thing that you need to understand is that a good punching bag workout is more than just punching the bag a lot.
If you are a boxer then you need to bear in mind that there are many ways that you can perform your heavy bag drills. You will want to maximize the benefits that you get from your heavy bag workouts, and try out different punches.
It is important that you organize your boxing heavy bag training sessions so they are not all the same. You will never challenge yourself properly and make significant progress if you keep sticking with the same routines.
Always Start With A Warm Up
Never forget to start with a warm up with every heavy bag workout routine. This is easily achieved by taking a walk around the bag, using some jabs to test your long shots and doing some one two’s. Make sure that you maintain your focus on the bag, but don’t fixate on just one place. Practice your aim here.
Imagine that the bag has arms and that you are able to anticipate an attack from just about anywhere. Don’t over exert yourself during this warm up phase. Go for about half your normal power, and be sure to move around the whole bag so that you can set up your range properly.
So what do you need to achieve from this warm up? Well you need to adopt the correct boxing stance and keep this going throughout the boxing bag workout. You need to determine your boxing range, and you should also get used to using your eyes a lot.
Increase Your Movement And Power
Once you have warmed up sufficiently it is time to approach the heavy punching bag as if it was a real live opponent. This means that you need to up the power applied from the warm up 50% power to around 75%.
You need to build up to some really hard punches here, so you want to increase to full power every so often. Check your movements to see if you are staying in range or going out of range, and be prepared for a quick move in with some good upper cuts and sharp hooks and then move out swiftly.
Maintain a good technique here as much as you can. This includes using good footwork and breathing properly, taking sharp breaths when you need to. Keep all of your movements as slick as possible and practice pivoting. Avoid the temptation to jump around.
Picking Up Your Speed
Now it is time to pick up your speed. You can start to do this by punching the bag really fast for about around 15 seconds and then taking a break for 15 seconds. Keep repeating this process until the round ends. These are known as Tabata drills, where you go for high intensity for a time and then rest for a similar amount of time.
Do not concern yourself with technique and power here. Your aim is speed and to hit the bag as fast as you can in the 15 second timeframe. Involve all of your body in this routine as much as you can.
The aim of this exercise is to develop your arm and leg muscles into a fast and coordinated contraction. The faster that you can make these contractions the better. Combine this with fast breathing and forget about technique when you are performing this workout.
Make The Final Round About Conditioning And Endurance
The last round of your training should be focussed on conditioning for endurance. When you approach the bag go for endless punches until you hear the bell ring. Be prepared to give it everything that you have here.
Try to avoid swinging wildly with punches and go for small short punches instead. Don’t worry about feeling foolish with these small punches, because they will develop your muscle memory and help to develop the rate that your muscles contract.
If you go for a lot of wild lunges then you will need to relax for a short time after this. By using continual small punches you will be activating your muscles all of the time. Make sure that you keep your balance at all times and breathe properly throughout the round. There is no requirement to go for power in your punching. It is all about maximizing the number of contractions that you make and keeping your balance.
Mix It Up And Change Your Heavy Bag Workouts
This is a good punching bag workout to follow, but it is always a good idea to mix it up a bit. It is really up to you what you do in the time that you have available. If you don’t have the time for a full six rounds then go for three rounds instead.
You can focus on speed and endurance one day, and movement and power the next. Design your boxing heavy bag training to suit your needs. If you are weak in certain areas then spend more time on these.
How many rounds and how often each week? This entirely depends on you and your situation. You can never do too much or too little so don’t worry about that. If you can manage 6 rounds of heavy bag training 5 days a week then go for it. If not then don’t concern yourself with this.
Conclusion - Don’t Just Rely On Heavy Bag Workouts
There is no substitute for a real workout with a live opponent. Don’t rely on your heavy bag too much, and participate in as many different workouts as you can. Use a speed bag and do some shadow boxing and sparring as well. It is not just about the muscle effort that you put in. Development of different skills is really important, and just because you can hit a heavy bag hard does not mean that you will be able to hit a live opponent in the same way. Make your punching bag workouts about 10% of your total boxing training routine.