Boxing is a great exercise and workout that anybody can do because it provides the body and mind a lot of benefits. However, not everybody knows how to punch a heavy bag correctly. In this article, you will be taught how!
Having a punching bag workout is very essential to improve your hand power as well as footwork. Punching the heavy bag seems to be quite easy and basic. However, if you want to get better and improve your hands, there's more to it than just punching the bag.
There are rules to be followed, strict techniques to be remembered, and correct form to master. These are just a few checklists that one should be keen on to get the best out of the training. In addition, these also keep you from getting injured or hurt.
To avoid letting the bag working you out and start working the punching bag, you must know how to do it properly. So if you want to learn about how to punch a heavy bag, you are in the right place! You will find tips and many more.
What Is A Heavy Bag?
It is suspended by chains or ropes. However, there is another type of heavy bag called, a free-standing heavy bags. Instead of hanging at the ceiling, this type of heavy bag has a counterweight to allow it to stand.
Most of the time, MMA fighter use this for training their punches, kicks and a technique called, "ground and pound". Furthermore, with heavy bags, fighters can strengthen and toughen up their fits and other limbs they use to strike.
There are several forms of heavy bags aside from these two. Examples are the Muay Thai Banana Bag, Human Shaped Body Opponent Bag, Aqua/Water Bag, and many more. Different bags provide different feel and applicability. It all depends on preference.
Everlast Poly Canvas Heavy Bag
Everlast Power Core Freestanding Punch Bag
Benefits Of Heavy Bags
Fighters train using heavy bags for a reason. It is not just for punching and striking. In fact, there is a lot more to this equipment than meets the eye.
For starters, heavy bag workouts really help in enhancing both your striking techniques and self-defense skills. Furthermore, they can improve and strengthen your upper body, bones and ligaments. That includes the limbs you use for striking as well.
Heavy bag workouts enhances endurance, core stability, coordination, power, stamina and aerobic fitness. Moreover, it can help with weight loss and in toning your body!
How To Punch A Heavy Bag
1. Great Punching Execution
A heavy bag or punching bag is not called by its name for nothing, right? It is mainly used for punching. However, before using it, you must know the proper way to punch. There are two basic punch skills you must learn; snap and flow.
a. Snap punches
When punching, the most common thing that coaches tend to identity is pushing the bag. That is why most of them say "Hit the bag, not push it."
That is what we call "push punches". Basically, you just strike your fist all the way through the bag or your target. However, using snap punches in heavy bags are much better. A snap punch means that the moment you strike your fist and cause an impact on your target, you snap it back to you.
Most experienced fighters do snap punches because it is simply just better than pushing punches. Furthermore, it is faster and harder, which using less energy to execute. Learning how to do it properly may take some time. So you better start doing it!
b. Flowing punches
Another punch skill you need to learn is the flow punch. Basically, in executing this, you just need to throw flowing combinations one after the other. Always remember, that it is all about how you throw your punches.
A flowing punch means that you will move around the heavy bag while you throw punch combinations. Not flowing punches means that you just set your feet in one place then throw out punches.
The idea behind this is to feel relaxed and to let out your punches naturally, while being agile. Furthermore, do not always throw our hard and powerful strikes. This will tend to drain your energy and stamina a lot quicker.
Most of your punches should be 50% to 70% power while giving emphasis on speed and the snap, of course.
Most of the time, fighters tend to not develop their footwork due to spending too much time on the heavy bag. With that, while you are having a heavy bag workout, do not neglect your footwork!
And a good footwork means knowing how to walk and stand.
Don't get me wrong here. When I say walking, it doesn't mean that you will be walking around the heavy bag. That would be rubbish.
By this, I mean that you must keep your feet on the ground while you move around, punching the bag. Avoid crossing your legs and instead of jumping, keep a walking flow around the heavy bag.
This is because, if you do the jumping feeling, it will just waste your energy, poor range awareness and will even lessen your ground stance. Furthermore, this will limit you from using powerful punches, as well as being agile.
Another thing that most fighters do when heaving their heavy bag workouts is they tend to lean on it or push it or even shoulder it.
Doing this will do you no good. In fact, the moment you will be in a fight, you will easily lose your balance. Furthermore, your opponent are trained how to dodge and evade. Which means, not learning to stand on your ground will be at your disadvantage.
That is why, when practicing on the heavy bag, learn to stand on your ground and maintain your balance.
This may sound absurd but it is actually helpful! When using a heavy bag, don't just look at it as a mere equipment. Using your imagination will help you mentally.
Visualize it as your opponent. Imagine that it can also hit back at you. So when you throw your punches, you got to learn how to evade from time to time. Hit and evade. When you do this, you will get used to it and can help you in actual fights.
Tips On Using A Heavy Bag
When you are spending time on the heavy bag, always focus. You are not just punching it for nothing.
Also, most fighters only focus on one spot to punch. There are a lot more parts of the heavy bag that you can strike. You got to see the whole heavy bag, watch the target and follow your strikes with your eyes.
Like I said above, balance is very important when you are training on the heavy bag and during your fights.
Learn how to maintain it and do not fall to the bag. You can do this by developing your footwork properly! When you do, results will be visible. Your punches will even be more powerful!
3. Don't Push
Another thing I mentioned above, hit the bag, don't push it. Learn how to do a snap punch properly and you will develop speed and power.
A pushing type of punch is valid, but it's a style that is integrated by elite fighters in certain circumstances. As a beginner, you want to develop fundamental punching!
4. Don't Wait
Do not wait for a long time in between your punches. And even if you are resting, you got to throw a few and easy punches too.
I suggest that you rest 2 to 3 seconds and then punch again. However, most beginners rest for 8 to 10 seconds. When it comes to the real fight, do you think you will have the luxury of time to rest? No. Train and be used to resting like this.
5. More Breathing And Less Power
In punching, it is not always about power. It is about controlling it and your breathing. If you don't, you will easily tire yourself out and lose air.
Just prioritize the proper way of breathing first when training on the heavy bag. Focusing on the power of your punches can come later on.
6. Move Away After Attacking
Another tip related to footwork, you got to move after your strikes. It is very useless if you train on the heavy bag. punching while standing on one position.
If that was a real fight already, you are giving your opponent and easy target! Move around after you throw your combinations. With that, balance is very important!
7. Stop When Punching
In relation with the 6th tip I have for you, learn how to stop at the moment that your punch lands on the target.
Move around but stop in a stable boxing stance when hitting the opponent.
Precautions And Injury Prevention Tips
1. Learn The Proper Punching Technique
If you are a beginner, you will find it a bit difficult to punch on the heavy bag because honestly, you will be feeling it!
That's right. It can hurt even if you are using gloves. That is why it is very important to know how to throw your punches properly.
I suggest that you start on practicing it while shadowboxing. Once you are getting the hang of the proper way, you can start practicing on the heavy bag. Furthermore, punch lightly first. Do not go full on with power.
2. Use Comfortable Gloves
Well you probably thought that there is only one type of gloves that most fighters use. You are mistaken. There are different types of gloves for every type of training you will undergo. Since you want to know how to punch a heavy bag, you will need to use well-padded gloves.
I suggest that you pick the ones that weigh at least 14 oz because this can help in absorbing the impact of your punches. Moreover, using gloves with more weight in the heavy bag will condition your muscle endurace.
3. Choose An Excellent Heavy Bag
Another equipment you should consider is of course, the heavy bag itself. This is because there are heavy bags out there in which its bottom part can become hard as a rock after punching them.
The reason for this include the wrong type of filling being used, the filling does not have enough foam around it and the bag is being poorly filled.
However, it is very common for a heavy bag to become hard at the bottom since the sand inside will eventually settle at the bottom after receiving punches. That is why punching bag manufacturers today use high density fabrics.
4. Wrap Your Hands Properly
Are you one of those people who use their boxing gloves without wrapping your hands? Because if you are, you better change that, mate, before you end up injuring your hands.
Even though gloves are padded to protect you, hand wraps are still needed for more protection from the impact. Furthermore, it can prevent being unhygienic.
With that, purchase hand wraps and learn how to wrap your hands properly. Make sure that you cover all of your hands, including the wrists.
5. Strengthen Your Hands And Fists
When punching, it is essential that you strengthen your hands and fists. And let me be honest with you, it might not be easy and pleasurable. Sometimes, you have to go through pain. But remember, it will always be worth it at the end.
Having strong hands and fists can help you develop power without injuring them. There are lots of exercises that can be found in the internet that will help you strengthen wrists, fists, and hands, just search them!
6. Control Your Power
I like to think that there are two kinds of fighters. One are the powerhouses. They tend to strike with so much power on every punch. The other one are the selectives. Meaning, they choose when to deliver powerful punches.
As a beginner, I suggest that you should be one of the selectives. Control your power to prevent injuries. Practice your jabs too! They are important in setting up powerful punches.
7. Let Your Body Recover
Last but not the least, let your body recover. I know that training hard is very important. But do not forget that your body has limitations too.
If you tend to over train, you might become tired mentally and physically. during your matches. Also, when you do not give ample time for your body to recover, you will lose your hard earned physical gains.
There you have it! Thank you so much for reading my "How To Punch A Heavy Bag" article! Always remember to practice your techniques especially footwork to develop power, speed and to avoid injuries.
To make the most out of your Boxing heavy bag training, choose equipment and gear that suits you best. This includes the heavy bag itself, the type of punching gloves, and even your shoes to keep your feet comfortable for hours of moving, skipping, and bursts of movements.
As a beginner, it is important to take things slowly at first. Don't expect that you'll do well at the start because your body isn't used to it yet. Once you are getting the hang of it and have built momentum already, then you will see results!
Featured Image Credits to Boxing Scene