Nothing feels more rewarding than being able to punch something over and over again. That’s just what you can do when you work on boxing skills using a heavy bag. These bags hang from the ceiling and should be about half of your total body weight. Working with a heavy bag gives you the chance to visualize that you are hitting another person without having to worry about them hitting back. It’s also a way to get in shape while improving your strength and cardiovascular fitness.
It’s important to protect your hands when you punch a heavy bag. Using hand wraps provides stability to your wrists and hands. Wearing boxing gloves provides you with additional protection and padding to minimize the risks of broken bones, torn muscles or other hand and wrist injuries. Punching the bag as hard as you can repeatedly instead of focusing on proper form and technique can also lead to injuries.
To maximize the power of your punch, you need to make flush contact with your opponent. Working with a heavy bag will encourage you to do this because you’ll feel when you make solid contact with the center of the bag versus throwing a glancing punch that leaves your hand skidding off the side of the bag. Punching the bag when it is swinging to you will help increase your punching power, although you need to be sure to hit it squarely to avoid injury. Heavy bag work also teaches you to keep the proper distance from your opponent in order to deliver a punch with maximum power.
Throwing a series of quick punches on a heavy bag increases your hand speed as well as helping your cardiovascular conditioning. Throwing a steady barrage of punches at the heavy bag more accurately simulates real-world boxing situations than throwing a few big punches and then resting for several seconds. Throw quick punches for 15 to 20 seconds and then hold the bag while a partner does the same. Alternate for three minutes, and then take a one-minute break to simulate the time off between rounds.
Boxers need to move laterally to avoid punches and find angles to deliver their own shots. Working with a heavy bag can help you to improve your footwork and increase your agility within the ring. You can move from side to side around the bag while a trainer swings it at you. The momentum of your punches will also help to move the bag and you can use this to practice throwing punches and moving to set up additional punches.
- ExpertBoxing.com: What Boxing Gloves to Use
- ProtectiveStrategies.com: There’s Nothing Like a Swift Kick to the Bag
- "The International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Basic Boxing Skills"; Floyd Patterson and Bert Randolph Sugar
- "Boxing Fitness: A Guide to Fit Fighting"; Ian Oliver
- ExpertBoxing.com: 10 Heavy Bag Training Tips
- ExpertBoxing.com: Hand Speed Drills and Exercises
- Dick’s Sporting Goods: Everlast Heavy Bag Sizing
Richard Manfredi has more than a decade of professional writing experience, both in the media and at a corporate level. Since 2003, he has worked in the public relations industry, creating and executing campaigns for technology and entertainment companies. Manfredi is also a journalist who has worked for the "Orange County Register," as well as several online publications.