Whether you’re training for the next boxing championship or you’re just trying to lose weight or toning abs, punching bag workouts are always helpful. However, you can’t just set up a heavy bag, wear a pair of gloves and start banging! It’ll cause you injuries and nothing else.
In this article, I’ll tell you how to work out with a punching bag with different techniques and some effective warm-up sessions. But remember, we all differ in physic and work out endurance. You’re suggested to consult an expert before starting the practice.
The issue of how long you should workout with a punching bag or how hard can you hit a punching bag depends much on how you’ve trained. And a major part of the training involves prepping for the workout and then following instructions properly during the practice.
It’s best if you can manage a pair of leather gloves. If you can’t, bring home a synthetic leather-covered pair weighing 12 – 14 ounces. You’ll also need hand wraps. These are usually 180 inches long cloths that you’ll use to cover your wrists to save them from injury.
Let’s explore the warm-up techniques –
Reverse Lounge to Sumo Squat
- Step back on one of your legs and lower your body, so your knee gets close to the floor. Your front thigh’s to be parallel to the ground.
- Pivot on your leg and turn your knee out on the side of the leg and stay low. It ends up in a Sumo squat. Do this once.
Quick Feet Drill
- Make a line, keep your shoulders wide, feet apart, and knees bent.
- Take your right foot ahead of the line, then your left foot. Bring back your right foot just when you take the left foot ahead. Keep doing this and speed up with each round, minimize the touching time span with the floor. Twice is enough.
- Get in a pushup position. Keep your shoulders wide apart and your pelvic area vertical to the floor. Bring strength to your core and buttock.
- Bring your body closer to the ground. Now, raise one of your legs, try to twist and take it to the other side of your body, and touch the ground with the fingertip. Bring it back and repeat the same for the left foot.
- Complete the rep four times during a session.
- Stand in front of a wall and face away from it. Keep your feet slightly wider, squat back. Stretch your hands to touch the wall.
- Move your hands downwards and try to bend as much as you can but be careful with how much pressure your waist and back can take. Return back gradually, and that’s round one. Once more!
- Lie down straight on a mat or floor. Stretch your hands behind your head, bring them upward and close to your legs like a sit-up but pull your stretched legs closer to the hands simultaneously.
- Your body will look like V when your hands and legs touch each other. Now, go back to the lying position. It’s one round complete. Go for ten rounds at a stretch.
- Hold the two ends of the rope with two hands and keep to your waist level.
- Stand straight and start turning the rope round and round. Jump over it each time it passes your legs. You can jump with both of your legs or one of them. Make a combo of movements when you get better with the practice.
You’re now perfectly warmed up. Now it’s time for the real action!
The different styles of kicks and punches we use in punching bag workout sessions are differentiated with specific terms. Before we learn workout techniques with a punching bag, let’s go through them to understand the workout techniques better.
Keep your feet apart and legs still. If you’re a lefty, put your right leg ahead and support your body with the left one. You’ll punch with the left hand while the right hand will jab when needed. If you’re right-handed, reverse the process.
Remember to keep your hands on both sides of your chin elbows closer to your sides; your hands will get back to the chin after each punch as quickly as possible.
It’s the quick short punch you throw with the leading or more powerful hand. Bring your front hand out fast; turn your knuckles upward and your arms locked out. You should take a small step forward while jabbing.
Make a 90-degree angle with your elbow parallel to the ground. Twist your body and punch by swinging it. Your palm can either be downward or towards you.
When you throw a power punch using the front hand and driving through the real foot, it’s called crossing. You’ve to pivot on the football to turn your hips and turn your knuckles while extending the arm.
Similar to hooks. The punch goes upward trajectory, and you need to shift body weight on the side you’re using to punch. Your palm will face you and elbow pint down doing it. It blows the chin of the opponent and often is used to finish the game.
Punching Bag Workout for Beginners
Remember to hit with your index and middle finger at the force point. Else, you’ll injure the smaller fingers. The main workout goes as below –
Stay light on the feet and cut angles. It’s easier to put you down when you’re standing square to your opponent. Focus on your breathing. Inhale during resting motions and exhale during actions. Shadowboxing is often done against an imaginary opponent. But keep moving!
Keep repeating four moves and combinations such as Jab, Jab & Cross, and Jab – Cross & Hook, and finally Jab – Cross – Hook & Cross. Two tips – don’t stand at one point; keep moving with making an angle. Secondly, go 20 quick rounds of these steps and combos.
Squat down; take your legs back for pushup position and reverse to stand back. Keep doing the combos, straight punches, and burpees. Shoot nonstop straight punches with altering hands for the last 10 seconds and 5 burpees after the round ends.
Jab and Cross Combo
You can make a repetitive cycle of the movements – Jab – Cross, Jab – Jab – Cross, and Jab – Jab – Jab – Cross. As time passes, make the combos faster. You can also create your own combos for experiment and versatility. Do five burpees with each round ending.
Same Side Hands
Practice by altering these two combos but use your rear hand for combo 1 and your lead hand for combo 2. Combo 1 consists of Rear Uppercut – Cross – Hook. Combo 2 consists of Jab – Lead Hook – Cross. Shoot straight punches at the final 10 seconds and 5 burpees after the round.
Shoot 5 slow punches altering the hands and three fast punches just after the slow ones. Then again, five slow and three fast punches. Keep repeating the cycle for the whole round duration. And don’t forget the nonstop straight punches and burpees afterward.
The 7 Seconds Drill
Get closer to the punching bag. Bend your knees a little. Now punch it with the fullest force and speed for straight 7 seconds. Rest for the next 7 seconds and start the 7 seconds punching round again and keep repeating. Try to keep your hands up during the resting seconds and move your head side to side.
Punching Bag Workout for Cardio
You’re suggested not to go for a heavy workout unless you’ve got some training on Muay Thai or kickboxing. You need to utilize hands, knees, feet, elbow, and everything you’ve got to fight hard. Also, you can’t stand still during break sessions; keep moving to save yourself!
All the Moves
Create a combo of all punching moves, all elbow moves, skipping knees, right and left kicks, and push kicks for this round. Continue each combo for 30 seconds.
Hook & Kick
The combo consists of rear hooks and lead kicks. Switch the moves as you throw across. The switch kick should land you in the opposite direction that your eyes were. Change your power input as you keep repeating the moves. A Jab – Cross – Hook combo will be better at the end of the round.
Body Work Combo
Use some combo. Combo 1 comprises of Jab to the head – Cross to the body – Hook to the head. Combo 2 consists of Jab head – Cross head – Hook head – Hook body. Combo 3 is about Jab head – Cross head – Hook body – Hook head. Combo 4 is Jab head – Jab body – Crosshead.
Repeat the combos throughout the round and before it ends, shoot some powerful Jab, Cross, Hook, and Cross.
It’s a combo of Jab – Cross – Slip – Cross – Hook – Slip – Hook – Cross – Roll. As you repeat the moves, sometimes replacing slips with rolls gives better output. And, of course, some power shots before the round ends!
This series is a combo of Jab – rear Kick, Jab – Cross – switch Kick, Jab – Cross – Hook – rear Kick, and Jab – Cross – Hook – Cross – switch Kick. Shoot some power punches in the end.
After all, this ends, do some shadow boxing with slow and lighter moves. It’ll help normalize your breathing and let the heat release.
People often ask, is it good to work out with punching bags? Well, it offers more health benefits than many other workouts. While walking burns 243 calories, jogging 398 calories, and running 544 calories, punching bag workouts can burn up to 1000 calories per session!
Besides, you get to generate power from the core, and your entire body has to work during boxing or punching. Therefore, it helps in weight loss by burning belly and waist fat and saves you from diseases like diabetes, cardiac arrest, esophageal, pancreatic and colon cancer, etc.
You can also tone your abs with punching bag workouts. But you’ve to go hard for this. Therefore, take proper training and use the right equipment for rough practice sessions. The combos I mentioned in the cardio section will help you with this purpose.
As a concluding note, I’d suggest you learn how to work out with a punching bag in the presence of a professional trainer. Obsession with workouts often goes wrong, so you better be careful. Good luck!