Developing a punching bag workout for your nontraining day depends considerably on what exercises you include in your training. If a typical training day only includes sparring, working with a trainer wearing focus pads and cardio exercises, you can go full-tilt with a punching bag workout on nontraining days. But if a training day includes significant bag work, your other workout days should be less intense.
Punching the heavy bag is a workout that all boxers use to fine-tune their single punches and combinations while also combining elements such as defense and footwork. You can work the heavy bag at varying speeds depending on what skill you're practicing. If you're a beginner and want to work on the crispness of a jab, for example, standing in the proper stance and ensuring that your snap snaps out and back is an effective, low-intensity drill.
Most boxers incorporate a number of exercises into their typical training days to improve their cardio, build muscles and also work on their boxing skills. A standard training day often includes jogging, a cardio warm-up such as skipping and burpees, several rounds on the heavy bag, a few rounds on the speed bag, hitting the focus pads and sparring. Working the heavy bag in three-minute rounds helps simulate the length of a round in boxing and can also give you a significant cardio workout, which makes this exercise a staple of most boxers' daily workouts.
Light Bag Work
If you include several rounds of hitting the heavy bag on your training days, use your off-days to do light bag work to refine your skills. Some boxers stand at the heavy bag and go through a series of punches in slow motion while keeping an eye on themselves in the mirror. Punching slowly allows you to notice small details you might overlook at full speed. For example, if you have a habit of dropping your right hand when you throw a jab, it will be more pronounced in slow motion.
Although you'll likely spend most of your training time with the heavy bag, most boxing clubs have other styles of bag that you can use to fine-tune other skills. Working these bags during off-days is ideal because they don't drain your energy in the same way as sparring or an intense heavy bag workout. The speed bag provides plenty of burn for your upper body, but gives you the option of standing still while you work on your hand speed. The double-ended bag provides a workout that involves movement and punches, but they're light enough to fit in between heavy training sessions.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.