Heavy and Punching Bag Exercises: The Knowledgeable’s Information

Most individuals don’t get enthusiastic about operating on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike, however nearly everybody likes the concept of wailing on a heavy bag for a exercise. Boxing/martial arts coaching speaks to a primal intuition all of us have (that’s, the intuition to kick ass), so, along with packing a punch conditioning-wise, it’s enjoyable to do. In case you’re the kind who loathes standard cardio, it’s time you discovered the best way to lace up the gloves to knock out physique fats.

Aside from beating boredom, bag coaching gives some useful, athletic benefits that extra mainstream modes of cardio don’t. “On a treadmill, bike, or rowing machine, there’s a constant cadence, and your respiration is rhythmic,” says Onnit Professional Workforce supervisor Andrew Craig, who’s additionally a veteran of the UFC’s middleweight division. “However while you prepare with a heavy bag, your inhalations and exhalations are speedy and diversified.” This makes them just like how you’d breathe in a struggle, and most different stop-and-go, anaerobic actions. Assuming your placing method is nice, you’ll generate energy that begins out of your toes, and is then launched with the twist of your torso. “The rotation required to throw a punch or kick works nearly each muscle in your physique. You progress by means of a number of planes of movement in methods you wouldn’t with every other coaching device.”

On this article, you’ll be taught all about the best way to prepare with a punching bag, together with the perfect bag to get and the best gear to go along with it, and also you’ll uncover two punching bag packages that you need to use for full-body exercises that get you lean and conditioned. It’s the baddest cardio on the planet!

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What’s the Distinction Between a Heavy Bag and a Punching Bag?

First, let’s clear up a small however important matter of terminology. Many individuals consult with heavy and punching luggage interchangeably, as in the event that they’re one and the identical. Nonetheless, a heavy bag is only one sort of punching bag.

“An everyday heavy bag is normally 4 or 5 toes lengthy, and is principally used for punching,” says Craig. They usually weigh between 30 and 200 kilos, and sometimes cling from the ceiling or one other construction overhead. The heavy bag doesn’t transfer a lot while you strike it (trace: as a result of it’s heavy). The traditional heavy bag is a cylinder form, however there are offshoot luggage with totally different designs that supply distinct coaching benefits. “There’s a banana bag, which is longer—as much as six toes—and infrequently thinner,” says Craig. “Due to its form, it’s simpler to strike this one along with your knees or elbows.”

There are additionally luggage with contours that simulate an opponent’s physique, making it simpler to throw particular sorts of punches like uppercuts and physique pictures. Nonetheless, until you may have a martial arts or boxing background, otherwise you’re able to spend money on some skilled teaching to be taught good placing method, Craig suggests proscribing your exercises to throwing punches. “These other forms of strikes are extremely expert actions, and also you would possibly damage your self for those who don’t carry out them correctly.”

The time period punching bag can embody a wide range of instruments. Essentially the most distinguished might be the free-standing bag, which is mainly a heavy bag that’s mounted to a base. They’re normally encumbered with sand or water, and could be rolled anyplace you wish to place them, which makes them handy to maneuver and straightforward to arrange in a house fitness center (particularly for those who can’t mount a heavy bag in your ceiling or wall). Free-standing luggage normally spring again into place after you hit them, making them an excellent choice to follow kicks on. Nonetheless, Craig isn’t a fan of luggage mounted to a base as a result of they’ll alter the footwork fundamentals wanted to get in place to strike the goal. These luggage can slide and wobble on the ground while you hit them, altering your distance from and orientation to the bag all through the exercise. The dynamics of how they recoil may cause issues, significantly for a novice.

Pace luggage are the small, ceiling-mounted, teardrop-shaped ones you’ve seen in movies of old-time boxers coaching (and all of the Rocky films the place Stallone makes them rattle so quick you surprise in the event that they sped up the tape within the modifying course of). Pace luggage are nice for enhancing response time, boosting hand-eye coordination, and, because the identify suggests, growing punching velocity, however they aren’t meant to be hit onerous, and also you don’t use the identical placing method you do for energy punches. As they’re actually a specialised device for devoted boxers, Craig says to not hassle with a velocity bag till you’ve gotten a heavy bag and mastered the boxing fundamentals.

What Heavy Bag is Proper For Me?

Again within the day, any boxing fitness center value its salt would solely have leather-based heavy luggage. Although there are a bevy of synthetic supplies accessible now that each one promise better sturdiness, Craig thinks good ol’ animal disguise continues to be the best way to go for longevity, high quality, and really feel. Typically, you’ll need a heavy bag that’s equal to about half your body weight. So, if a model has three totally different weights accessible—say 75, 100, and 125 kilos—most adults ought to go along with the center choice. So long as the bag doesn’t swing or shake dramatically with each blow you land, it’s providing sufficient resistance to supply an excellent exercise. Heavy luggage vary in value relying on the scale and materials (leather-based, whereas extra sturdy, is costlier than vinyl), however you possibly can count on to spend greater than $100.

Most luggage come pre-filled, however it can save you appreciable cash by shopping for an empty one and stuffing it your self. Take a pair of scissors to a few of your outdated T-shirts and shove these rags into the bag. Nonetheless, luggage can be crammed with sand, water, textiles, and air.

Unsure the best way to mount your bag? Try this video from Fight Alex for those who’re planning to anchor the bag to your ceiling, and this one if you’re going to affix your bag to a wall bracket as an alternative.

What Do I Want To Work Out On A Punching Bag?

Hitting a bag with naked fists or exercise gloves is about as harmful as strolling as much as Mike Tyson and telling him he talks humorous. In case you’re going to coach like a boxer, you’ll want to go all in, and meaning investing in gloves. Once more, Craig recommends leather-based. Retailer offered out? Then artificial leather-based is an effective backup choice. Get a 12 or 14-ounce pair, that are normally offered individually from a bag. Punching luggage are sometimes bundled with 16-ounce gloves, however Craig says these are extra suited to sparring within the ring, and the burden of them will make your forearms and fingers fatigue faster while you attempt to pound the bag with them.

Gloves don’t simply match over your bare fingers. Your fists need to be wrapped first to assist stabilize them and forestall harm. Craig recommends material hand wraps which might be at the very least 180 inches lengthy every (they arrive in packs of two). Two different kinds—fast wraps and elastic wraps—are additionally common, however many individuals don’t like how the elastic feels on their fingers. The old-school material wraps additionally soak up extra moisture, conserving your fingers dryer and decreasing the danger of painful chafing. The one exception is for those who’re all the time pushed for time, and scheduling your exercises is a problem. On this case, fast or elastic wraps might help you begin your heavy bag session with out having to individually bundle up every paw like an Egyptian mummy.

Want particular model suggestions? After all, there’s Everlast, most likely the most important identify in boxing gear. However Craig additionally likes the Muay Thai kickboxing favourite Fairtex to produce a bag, gloves, and wraps, with INFIGHTSTYLE and Action Pro Gear additionally excessive on the record. Failing that, go along with a traditional boxing model like TITLE or Ringside. In case you can’t discover the gear you want as a result of each vendor is offered out, look on Craigslist, eBay, or, as unhappy as that is to say, an area fitness center that’s going out of enterprise. Test for put on and tear before you purchase, and don’t really feel unhealthy about providing a lot lower than what the vendor is asking. Shrewd customers pays as a lot as 50% much less, and even get the stuff delivered free. Individuals who promote health gear see it as litter (and infrequently heavy, soiled, cumbersome litter at that), they usually’re normally determined to do away with it. Simply inform them you possibly can pay in money, and also you’ll take the gear instantly. In the end, you’re doing them a favor, they usually comprehend it.

How To Stretch Earlier than Hitting The Bag

Use the next warmup routine from Andrew Craig to organize your physique for a punching bag exercise.

1 Reverse Lunge To Sumo Squat

Reps: 5 (all sides)

Step 1. Step again along with your proper leg and decrease your physique right into a lunge till your again knee is barely above the ground and your entrance thigh is parallel to the ground.

Step 2. Pivot in your proper foot as you flip your knee out and keep low, in order that you find yourself in a sumo squat, going through 90 levels to the best of the place you began. Reverse the movement to return each toes to standing and going through entrance. Repeat on the alternative aspect.

2 Fast Ft Drill

Reps: 20

Step 1. Stand simply behind a line on the ground along with your toes shoulder-width aside and a bend in your knees.

Step 2. Step your proper foot simply over the road, after which the left foot. Step the best foot again behind the road, adopted by the left. Every step over the road and again is one rep. Transfer your toes quick, minimizing contact time with the ground.

Three Scorpion Pushup

Reps: 4

Step 1. Get into pushup place along with your fingers shoulder-width aside. Tuck your pelvis barely in order that it’s perpendicular to the ground, and brace your core and glutes.

Step 2. Decrease your physique till your chest is about an inch above the ground. As you go down, elevate your left leg off the ground and attain it up and behind you, and twist it towards the ground on the alternative aspect. Proceed till you possibly can faucet the ground with the underside of your foot.

Step 3. Press your physique again up, uncoiling it and returning the leg to the ground. Repeat the pushup, lifting the best leg. Every pushup is one rep.

Four Wall Suplex

Reps: 2

Step 1. Stand in entrance of a wall, going through away from it, with toes barely wider than shoulder width. Squat down midway, after which lengthen your again, reaching overhead till you possibly can contact the wall behind you with each fingers.

Step 2. Drive your fingers into the wall so it will possibly assist your weight, and brace your core. Stroll your fingers down the wall towards the ground so far as you possibly can—in case your decrease again will get uncomfortable, cease.

Step 3. Stroll your fingers again up the wall and return to standing. That’s one rep.

5 V Up

Reps: 10

Step 1. Lie in your again on the ground and lengthen your arms overhead and behind you.

Step 2. Draw your arms ahead in entrance of you whilst you carry out a situp and concurrently elevate your legs. Your physique ought to type a V form on the high.

6 Fast Ft Drill

Reps: 20

Repeat the fast toes drill from above.

7 Scorpion Pushup

Reps: 4

Repeat the scorpion pushup.

eight Wall Suplex

Reps: 2

Repeat the wall suplex.

9 V Up

Reps: 10

Repeat the V up.

10 Switches

Reps: 20

Step 1. Stand along with your proper leg in entrance of a line and your left behind it.

Step 2. Rapidly change your toes forwards and backwards. Every change is one rep.

11 Scorpion Pushup

Reps: 4

Repeat the scorpion pushup.

12 Wall Suplex

Reps: 2

Repeat the wall suplex.

13 V Up

Reps: 10

Repeat the V up.

14 Soar Rope

Reps: Soar for 60 seconds

Step 1. Maintain the rope with fingers at hip degree and stand tall.

Step 2. Soar over the rope with each toes, touchdown on the balls of your toes. You’ll be able to land with each toes directly, or one by one. Combine up your leaping kinds as you change into extra comfy.

The Newbie’s Punching Bag Exercise 

In case you’re model new to bag coaching, do this routine from Craig. It makes use of solely punches, so the danger of harm is low, even when your method isn’t stable.

In case you’re unclear how every punching method must be carried out, right here’s a fast information to some boxing fundamentals.

Stance. Stand along with your toes about shoulder-width aside and legs staggered. In case you’re right-handed, your left leg will likely be in entrance, and also you’ll jab along with your left hand whereas your proper is reserved for energy pictures. In case you’re a southpaw, stand along with your proper foot in entrance. You must really feel balanced in your stance, and your fingers must be held on the sides of your chin. Your chin is tucked, and your elbows are close to your sides. On the finish of each punch, return your hand to your chin instantly.

Jab. That is your major weapon—a fast, quick punch finished with the lead hand. Throw your entrance hand straight out, turning your knuckles towards the ceiling as your arm locks out. Your knuckles ought to level up simply because the punch snaps to completion. Sometimes, the jab is finished whereas taking a small step ahead.

Cross. An influence punch thrown with the rear hand. Drive by means of your rear foot, pivoting on the ball of the foot to show your hips as you throw it. Once more, flip your knuckles because the arm extends.

Hook. This can be a swinging punch that may be finished with both hand. Bend your elbow 90 levels, and convey your arm up till it’s parallel to the ground. Twist your physique, pivoting your foot to ship the punch. The palm can face down, or towards you.

Uppercut. When you’ve arrange an opponent with jabs and crosses, you possibly can usually end him/her with an uppercut to the chin or physique. The motion is sort of the identical because the hook, however the punch comes on an upward trajectory. Shift your weight to the aspect that may throw the punch, after which throw it upward along with your palm going through you and elbow pointing down.

On each punch you throw, let the primary two knuckles of your hand (the index and center finger knuckles) ship the blow. Touchdown with the smaller knuckles will injure your fingers. Attempt to keep relaxed as you’re shifting along with your fingers up, and exhale forcefully as you throw every punch. Transfer your head back and forth while you throw punches.

Instructions: Carry out 6 rounds as directed. All rounds are Three minutes, adopted by 1 minute of relaxation (so set a timer!). Earlier than you start, wrap your fingers, and use them for the primary spherical of shadow boxing. Then put your boxing gloves on and use them for the remainder of the exercise.

Spherical 1: Shadow Boxing

Along with your hand wraps on, transfer round whilst you throw punches. Attempt to keep gentle in your toes and minimize angles so your physique isn’t sq. to your goal. (You don’t want the bag but; simply field in opposition to an imaginary opponent.) Throw jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts, and focus in your respiration whilst you heat up slowly.

Spherical 2: Construct Drill on Bag

Along with your boxing gloves on, cycle by means of these 4 mixtures in your heavy bag.

  • Jab
  • Jab, cross
  • Jab, cross, hook
  • Jab, cross, hook, cross

Jab, cross, hook

Jab, cross, hook, cross

– Take a second between every combo to handle your stance and protection (fingers up!). Don’t keep in a single spot in entrance of the bag the entire spherical—transfer at angles, imagining the bag is an opponent you wish to minimize off from the remainder of the ring.

– After the mixtures, hit 20 fast, straight punches for velocity, alternating fingers, whereas standing proper in entrance of the bag.

Straight Punches

– Now carry out a burpee—squat down, shoot your legs again so that you land in a pushup place, after which reverse the movement to face again up.

– Repeat the mixtures, straight punches, and burpee for the entire spherical. When there are 10 seconds left on the clock, hearth off straight punches nonstop, alternating fingers.

– When the spherical ends, do 5 burpees.

Spherical 3: Jab, Cross Combos

Cycle by means of the next mixtures.

  • Jab, cross
  • Jab, jab, cross
  • Jab, jab, jab, cross

– The cross all the time comes onerous, however the jabs can have totally different cadences behind them. Within the instance beneath, a brief sprint signifies a faster mixture, whereas an extended sprint represents a slower mixture with an extended pause between strikes. Experiment with all of them, and make up your personal.

  • Jab-cross vs. jab—cross
  • Jab-jab-cross vs. jab—jab-cross
  • Jab-jab-jab-cross vs. jab-jab—jab-cross

– When there are 10 seconds left within the spherical, throw straight punches nonstop, alternating fingers.

– When the spherical ends, do 5 burpees.

Spherical 4: Identical-Facet Palms

Alternate the next two mixtures. You’ll do combo 1 along with your rear hand and combo 2 along with your lead hand.

Combo 1

Combo 2

  • Jab
  • Lead hook
  • Cross (that is the exception; use your rear hand to cross)

– When there are 10 seconds left within the spherical, throw straight punches nonstop, alternating fingers.

– When the spherical ends, do 5 burpees.

Spherical 5: Sluggish to Quick, Quick to Sluggish

Throw 5 gradual/mushy punches on the bag with each fingers and, instantly after the fifth punch, rip off Three onerous and quick punches.

– With out resetting, repeat the 5 gradual punches and three quick punches. Proceed in the course of the spherical.

– When there are 10 seconds left, throw straight punches nonstop, alternating fingers.

– When the spherical ends, do 5 burpees.

Spherical 6: 7-Second Drill

Stand near the bag so that you don’t need to step in for all of your punches. For the primary 7 seconds of the spherical, hit the bag as onerous and quick as you possibly can. Relaxation 7 seconds, after which repeat the drill until the tip of the spherical.

– Hold your fingers up even whilst you’re resting. Preserve a bend in your knees, and preserve shifting your head aspect to aspect.

– When there are 30 seconds left within the spherical, throw straight punches nonstop, alternating fingers.

– When the spherical ends, do 5 burpees.

The Final Heavy Bag Exercise 

This exercise from Craig is for skilled strikers, and makes use of all weapons, that means the fingers, toes, elbows, and knees. Don’t try it until you’ve already had some instruction in kickboxing or Muay Thai.

Instructions: Carry out 5 rounds as directed. All rounds are Three minutes, adopted by 1 minute of relaxation.

Bear in mind to follow protection and footwork. Don’t stand nonetheless between mixtures. Hold your fingers up, and use slips, rolls, and pulls (head motion) to evade counterattacks. Take into consideration stepping out of vary after each combo you throw. This can guarantee it’s a must to additionally step into your punches when initiating every combo.

Spherical 1: All Weapons

Work the next mixtures for 30 seconds every.

  • All punching combos
  • All elbows
  • Skipping knees
  • Proper kick
  • Left kick
  • Push kick


Skipping Knee

Push Kick

– On the finish of the spherical, throw a jab, cross, hook, cross with most energy.

Spherical 2: Hook and Kick

Carry out a lead hook, adopted by a rear kick. Now throw a cross after which a change kick. Let the change kick land you within the reverse of the stance you began in.

Swap Kick

– Repeat the drill forwards and backwards in each stances in the course of the spherical.

– Range your energy output, and alter the extent of your kicks.

– On the finish of the spherical, throw a jab, cross, hook, and cross with most energy.

Spherical 3: Physique Work

Cycle by means of the next mixtures.

Combo 1

  • Jab to the pinnacle
  • Cross to the physique
  • Hook to the pinnacle

Combo 2

  • Jab head
  • Cross head
  • Hook head
  • Hook physique

Combo 3

  • Jab head
  • Cross head
  • Hook physique
  • Hook head

Combo 4

  • Jab head
  • Jab physique
  • Cross head

– On the finish of the spherical, throw a jab, cross, hook, and cross with most energy.

Spherical 4: Slip/Roll Drill

  • Jab, cross
  • Slip
  • Cross, hook
  • Slip
  • Hook, cross
  • Roll

– Repeat the combo, however exchange the slips with rolls.

– On the finish of the spherical, throw a jab, cross, hook, and cross with most energy.

Spherical 5: Four Sequence

  • Jab, rear kick
  • Jab, cross, change kick
  • Jab, cross, hook, rear kick
  • Jab, cross, hook, cross, change kick

– On the finish of the spherical, throw a jab, cross, hook, and cross with most velocity and energy.

Circuit Coaching with Heavy Baggage 

A circuit is a collection of workout routines finished again to again with little or no relaxation in between. Circuits get your coronary heart price up and preserve it elevated, which improves conditioning, they usually can burn a whole lot of energy in a short while. Carry out the next circuit on the bag along with your boxing gloves on.

Instructions: Carry out the primary train for 30 seconds straight, after which relaxation 10 seconds. Then go on to the subsequent train and do the identical. Repeat till you’ve accomplished each train within the circuit, after which repeat the circuit for five whole rounds.

1 Straight Punches

Hit the bag with a right-left-left-right mixture with full energy.

2 Kick Combos

Alternate legs for the next kick mixtures.

  • 1 proper kick
  • 1 left kick
  • 2 proper kicks
  • 2 left kicks
  • Three proper kicks
  • Three left kicks

Three Alternating Leaping Lunge

Get right into a lunge place after which explode upward, switching your legs in mid air and touchdown with the alternative leg in entrance. Instantly leap once more and change again. In case you can leap excessive sufficient so that you’ve got time to fireplace a knee strike on the high of the motion, accomplish that.

Four Hooks On the Bag

Sq. your self as much as the bag and throw hooks in a right-left, left-right mixture. Use full energy—rip them!

5 Kick Combos

Repeat the kick drills from #2.

6 Pushup with Shoulder Faucet

Carry out pushups, tapping your shoulder with the hand reverse to it on the high of every rep. So, do a pushup, and on the high, contact your left hand to your proper shoulder. On the subsequent rep, contact your proper hand to your left shoulder.

Need extra exercise concepts? Skip the Instagram poseurs and take a look at “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini, Tony Jeffries, or Damien Trainor—all well-credentialed placing coaches.

What Ought to I Do for A Cooldown?

In your cooldown, finish every bag coaching session with three minutes of gradual and easy shadow boxing. Hold shifting your toes, and consciously decelerate your respiration.

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