How to Use a Punching Bag for a Punch Bag Workout?

How to use a punching bag, the types of punching bags for different workouts, the benefits of doing a punch bag workout, and how can you improve your punching technique?

A long cycling class or a good yoga session can feel cathartic, but nothing can ever beat a punch bag workout when it comes to stress-busting. When you do punch bag workout routines, your brain releases endorphins to make your body feel good.

A punching bag workout also called a heavy bag workout, gives you the best of both worlds: strength training (with punches) and cardio (with speed). A punch bag workout is a total body package that engages the legs, core, chest, and shoulders.

So, do you want to punch the stress away, but you do not know how to use a punching bag? You are at the perfect place, then. Keep reading to find out the right punch bag workout routines combinations, the best punch bag combinations, how to use a punching bag, and the benefits of using a punching bag:

Types of Punching Bags

It’s vital to choose the right kind of heavy bag for your workout. Using a bag around half your weight will deliver the correct amount of resistance to your punches. You will also have to decide what material is filled in the punching bag as well. But before you decide what size punching bag should I get, you need to learn about the types of punching bags:

A Straight or Heavy Bag

A straight or heavy bag is a standard punching bag. As its name suggests, it is straight and bulky. You’ve to attach it to a bracket or ceiling by a chain. You can use it for kickboxing, MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai.

Freestanding Bag

Freestanding bags are quite heavy at the base, so you can use them without hanging them up. A freestanding bag is perfect for a free standing punch bag workout and other fight styles demanding a lot of high kicks like MMA and Kickboxing.

Angled Bag

An angled bag is much larger at the top, and angles down into a thinner base. This offers the trainee upward resistance for perfecting high head kicks and uppercuts.

Related: Crash Course on Basic Martial Arts Training at Home

How to Hit a Punching Bag

Get your stance right by standing with your feet at shoulder-width apart, and your front foot facing the punching bag.

Don’t shy away from unloading your punches. And do not stand and dance around the heavy bag like most people do because this just wastes your time. Always plant your feet firmly when throwing the punches, and when you are not throwing punches move around on your toes. Trying throwing different combinations and ensure that your every punch flows nicely into the next.

When hitting the bag, make sure that you throw powerful, snappy punches. It’s very easy to fall into the routine of pushing the bag rather than punching it. The only follow-through shots that you need to throw have to be a front-kick or cross. Other shots, like jab or hook, needs to make a good snapping sound as your hand moves in and away at a fast pace. If you push the bag on every punch, it will just soak up your energy and make you tired quickly.

Even though a punch bag can’t hit you back, practice having your limbs back into the guarding position as soon as possible.

Once you fully understand and know, what is the proper way to use a punching bag, you can move onto trying different punching combinations.

Punch Bag Workout Benefits

Improves Boxing Technique

Boxing isn’t just about punching a bag, it is about doing every move with precision and proper form. A punching bag workout lets you experience the impact’s force when you punch. So, punching the bag while perfecting your form will improve your overall performance, punching technique, and body movement.

Builds Endurance

The challenge of giving it your all pushes you beyond your comfort zone, which builds endurance over time. The more you get out of your comfort zone, the more your endurance increases. That endurance will be noticeable, both, when you practice other types of fitness activities or do a punching bag workout. 

Relieves Stress

Punching a heavy bag relieves stress, reduces anger, and enhances your mood. Physically, it stimulates the production of neurohormones, including norepinephrine, which improves mood and heightens cognitive function. And mentally, it acts as a symbolic release of stress when you look at the bag as a representation of your problems.

Improves Strength

Punching bag workouts focus on building as many muscles as possible. The arm, chest, shoulder, back, legs, core, and chest muscles are all engaged during a punch bag workout which over time increases your power and upper body strength because you punch with the greatest force possible.

Improves Balance, Stability, and Coordination

A heavy bag workout requires you to move around the bag and incorporate your footwork. Circling and punching the bag improves coordination and balance. And staying on toes and switching the weight from one foot to the other builds stability and balance.

Punching Combos

Here are some different moves that you can combine during a standard punching session. Choose whatever technique suits your discipline the best: 

Cross

A cross is thrown with a stronger hand, and it should be used when you’re sure that it will land. The cross usually eats more energy because it requires, the use of, legs and the body to throw it effectively.

Hook

A hook is thrown with the same hand a jab is thrown with. It aims to come around the opponent’s guard and strike him on the temple or jaw. Keep your arm a little bent when throwing a hook, so you will have to adjust your range accordingly.

Jab

Throw more jabs than other punches. A jab is generally the first punch thrown in any punching combination. It’s thrown with the weaker hand and is utilised to keep a distance. A jab is also used to open the opponent’s guard.

Front Kick

The front kick is mainly used in MMA and Kickboxing. It is thrown with the stronger foot while aiming for the solar plexus. It is an effective kick which can stun your opponent and stop him/her in an attack.

Uppercut

An uppercut is used when you are fighting up close, also called “in the pocket”. An uppercut comes under the opponent’s guard, which means that they often don’t see it coming.

How to Improve Your Punching Bag Workout?

  • Only make contact with the punching bag. Try your best not to move it. The goal should be to strike fast and then defend.
  • Always keep your knees bent because staying low will make your centre of gravity strong and let you garner more power in your punches by rotating via your waist.
  • You must protect your face. If you aren’t throwing a punch, keep your fists up by your face.
  • It is important to keep moving. Try to move around the heavy bag and incorporate head movement to keep your heart rate up, and you ready for your opponent.
  • Go for short combos at high intensity with rests in between. These are better than trying to put together long combos.

Bottom Line

Whether you are a person trying to get fit, or a seasoned boxer, heavy bag workouts can be amazing for boxers, or simply for fitness and weight loss goals. Remember to stay focused and follow the right technique. Try to mix things up to keep your punch bag workouts interesting and fun.

Before you start boxing: A Step by Step Guide to Wrapping Hands for Boxing!