A punching bag is one of those gears that comes in really handy to train for any competitive fighting sports, especially for MMA, boxing, and kickboxing. Training with a punching bag is also a great work-out for anyone in general as it’s a great way to develop strength, speed, endurance, and power.
Punching a bag yields a lot of benefits, but only if you’re hitting it in the proper way. Some people think that punching a bag is a no-brainer thing. Well, can anyone punch a punching bag? Yeah, sure they can. But do all of them know the right way to do it? No, they don’t.
If you’re expecting a good outcome from working out with punch bags, you should use your time and effort in the right way. That’s why, in this article, I’ll guide you through the whole process of how to punch a punching bag, along with some useful information.
So, let’s start!
A Basic Idea about Punch Bags
I was thinking that it’s in your best interest to have a basic idea about the thing on which you’ll be landing your heavy fists. And let me remind you that you won’t be just playing around with a punching bag; you’ll use a decent amount of force in there. So, getting your facts checked twice shouldn’t hurt.
A punching bag is a cylindrical-shaped sturdy bag that is designed to be punched repeatedly. To ensure the must-have durability feature of this gear, the exterior part is made of leather, synthetic leather, or nylon. And to fill this bag different materials are used, such as – sand, textile, and sometimes water/air.
So, it’s always good to know about the inside materials. That actually helps you to figure out what you should expect at the impact point of the punch. Another thing is, you should be expecting it to sway a little after the punch as it’s usually suspended from a roof or other high platforms with ropes or chains.
Now that we are clear about what we’re dealing with, we can move to the next part.
The Equipment You’ll Need
It’s a common saying that the right tools can bring out the best in a carpenter. Well, I think it’s more or less true in this case too. In this part, I’ll tell you about all the necessary equipment needed and how you should choose them. Here they are –
A good punching bag is the first thing that you need for this job. There are different types of punching bags based on their build, material, and weight. The build and material are something you should figure out based on your personal preference and budget. But, you should never compromise with durability.
The approximate weight of your punching bag should behalf on your own weight. A standard punching bag weighs between 70-80 pounds. That should be your way to go. However, there are also some lightweight bags around 35 pounds and heavy bags that weigh almost 200 pounds.
A Pair of Gloves
A pair of quality gloves is really important for punch bags. A good pair of gloves save your knuckles and fingers from any unfortunate damage. Wearing gloves can also save your wrists from getting sprained. So, be careful when you’re choosing this.
There are different types of gloves too. You can use personal training gloves, bag gloves, fighting gloves, and sparring gloves. But the gloves that weigh 12 ounces or below are comparatively more convenient. It’s completely your choice; just make sure that the gloves will provide good protection.
Hand Wraps (Optional)
Hand wrap isn’t a must-have thing, but I would recommend you to wear these under the gloves if you’re a beginner. It gives an extra layer of protection to your hand. Sometimes, the knuckles and other parts get skinned due to abrasion. Hand wraps are really an evident solution to this problem.
How to Punch a Punching Bag: In 5 Easy Steps
In this part, I’m going to guide you through the whole process of punching a bag, starting from scratch. I’ll try to elaborate the whole process in a way that should be easy to comprehend. Just focus on each of the instructions and try to visualize them. Here are the five steps –
Step – 01 (Get Prepared)
Prepare for the drill. That means, put on your gloves and hang the punching bag from a stable platform. Make sure that the gloves are of the right size. Too tight or too loose, both can be troublesome. Also, make sure that the straps and the chain of the bag are not twisted.
Step – 02 (Figure Out the Distance)
Stand in front of the punching bag, maintaining a proper distance. There’s a way to figure out the proper distance. Stand on both feet with the toes facing the bag, keep your chest and head straight, and stretch your dominant hand straight towards the bag so that it touches right about the surface.
Step – 03 (Get in Proper Stance)
Move your feet about 45 degrees to the side of your dominant hand (the hand you’ll be punching with). To make the whole thing easier to understand, let’s say you’ll be punching with your right hand. So, your toes will be moving 45 degrees to your right.
Now maintaining that angle, simply slide your left foot a little bit to the right so that it faces the center of the bag and then take a step behind with your right foot. There will be about a 16-20 inch gap between the feet. If your dominant hand is the left one, then the process will simply be vice-versa.
So, what to do with the hands? Well, the instructions for the hands are rather easy here. Make a strong fist with your punching hand and keep it close to your chest. The inner side of the elbow should be touching your body. Place the other hand in front of the body as if you’re holding a shield.
Remember that in this step, the whole body will move naturally with the movement of each leg. Just try to keep the whole body straight. I know this stance thing seems like a difficult thing in words, but it gets a lot easier when you’ll do it practically. With practice, eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.
Step – 04 (The Footwork & Drive)
Next comes the footwork and drive of the punch. You’ll start the punch with your back foot, which is on the same side of the body as your punching arm. First, dig into the ground with your big toe and push your body towards the bag while moving the whole weight on your front foot.
The back foot will be touching the ground only with your toe, and the knee will bend a little downwards. At the same time, drive the punch with your torso and shoulder using the back foot’s motion as an added force. Don’t drive the force from your wrist. Also, incline your head forward a little with the punch.
Step – 05 (The Final Delivery)
The right way to deliver your punch is to land it on the bag with your first two knuckles. That means use your index and middle fingers. To make sure that the knuckles will come in contact at first, bend your wrist a bit down. This way, the knuckles will face the bag instead of facing the sky.
However, don’t bend the wrist too much. That’ll make your wrist joint vulnerable. Always keep your arm straight and stable. Punching with your small knuckles or without knuckles can cause great pain. So, don’t use too much strength as long as you don’t get the hang of it.
As soon as you withdraw the punch, drive your hand forward and start the whole process again.
Some Extra Tips
I’ve got some extra tips here that you could really use as a beginner. These are the basic things that you eventually get used to over a long period of training or realize based on your experience. However, knowing about these beforehand can help you a lot to figure out things easily.
Always Start With Warm-up: Most of the beginners forget to warm up before training with the punch bags. But, warming up is actually more important for the beginner than anyone else. By doing a little exercise to loosen up the muscles can save you from a lot of pain that you’d feel after practice.
Work on Your Breathing: You can’t work out for a long time if you can’t control your breathing. If you want to control your breathing, then you shouldn’t throw punches with massive power. Instead of that, focus on doing it properly. The power will increase gradually with the development of your techniques.
Hit the Bag, Don’t Push It: Remember that you need to hit the bag, don’t just push it. If the punching bag swings away instead of popping, then you’re probably doing it wrong. Timing and the impact point are necessary to make this right. Keep practicing with more attention, and you’ll figure it out.
The thing about learning how to punch a punching bag is, it’s not something you can completely learn just by reading a piece of article. Reading about it really helps to understand the mechanism and to play the whole process in your head. But there isn’t much of a substitute for live instructions.
The best way is to learn it is under the instructions of a trainer or someone who has experience with this thing. It’s just like learning any other thing. You need to keep practicing and practicing for weeks just to get it right. Then with time, your skills and techniques will improve.
All the information and guidelines in this article are sorted out in a way that you should find easy to comprehend. I’ve carefully decorated this article as a full-proof thing with all the important information that you would need to have a complete idea about it. I hope it was helpful for you.