Have you ever wondered how competitive fighters get the most out of their heavy bag and go the extra mile to keep their edge? There are some things everybody should know when working out on a heavy bag, and I thought I’d share some of my personal favorites.
Here are five (5) tips to take your heavy bag workout to the next level.
5 Tips For Your Next Heavy Bag Workout
1. Take active rests
Everyone, even the best pro fighters in the world, takes their foot off the gas during bagwork sometimes. The tip here is that when you rest, keep moving: move your head, pivot, clinch and spin. This will keep your body moving and your heart rate up while your arms rest. Plus, it will train you to never stand still, which is key when facing an opponent in the ring and doing whatever you can to avoid getting hit.
2. Don't shove the bag
A lot of fighters hear “punch through the bag” and think that it means that they should try and shove their fist through the bag after it’s already made contact. But that isn’t actually what the phrase means. “Punching through the bag” means that you should already be targeting behind the bag, and as soon as impact is delivered, your fist should snap back to your guard. This is how you get “snapping” shots: power delivered in an instant, and then retrieved before an opponent can react.
Extra Tip: With a hanging bag, a good test to see if your punches are snappy is to check whether the bag shakes or moves away from you. If the bag shakes, it's snappy, if it moves, it’s a push. With a free-standing punching bag, a snappy punch shouldn’t cause the base to move, only the bag.
3. Work your levels
One thing people often forget in heavy bag work is that in a fight, the body is a great target. Don’t always punch at eye or shoulder level. Bend your knees and waist and attack that body!
4. 3, 5, 7 challenges
A “3,5,7” is a “gut check” or endurance test. It refers to throwing a 3-punch combo, then a 5-punch combo, then a 7-punch combo, and repeating this nonstop for an entire round (how long that round lasts depends on your current level). This is an awesome anaerobic exercise and it trains you to mix up the power, speed, and angles of your punches to adjust for fatigue. It's also a great way to figure out how you like to punch.
5. 30-second rule
This is a great rule of thumb in general, but especially for shorter workouts. The general preference is that for a heavy bag workout, the last 30 seconds should be just as high-intensity and high-energy as the first 30 seconds. It sounds hard and it is, but trust me, it's very rewarding to not just make it through a workout, but really show up and crush it right at the end.
Why You Should Work Out On The Heavy Bag
The heavy bag is an awesome way to train both boxing technique and strength and conditioning, and knowing how to advance your workouts with tips like these will let you really get the most out of this piece of boxing equipment. Coupled with the professional coaching at FightCamp, you can learn boxing and kickboxing basics and advance your at-home training, and get in great shape doing it!