Heavy Bag Training
A heavy bag is a stuffed bag weighing 40 to 100 lbs. It is suspended from the ceiling so it can be punched and kicked. Properly conducted, heavy bag training can improve your self-defense ability, your health, fitness and sense of well being. However, if done improperly it can be counter productive and injurious.
Hitting a punching bag does a lot more than improve stamina and provide a great cardio workout. It can help improve your overall coordination. If you punch the bag it swings back and comes back toward you. You want to practice hitting the bag at the time it is coming back toward you. You will soon find that if you hit it too early or too late it will not stay in rhythm and you will more than likely miss the bag.
Heavy Bag Benefits
1. Killer Aerobic Workout
Following the right intensity a two minute round in the heavy bag could be similar to jogging or sprinting. The constant switching of position and the flurry of punches that you punish the heavy bag with is an aerobic workout.
2. Improves Power
Fighters usually punish the heavy bag to improve technique and gain more power. While punching away, you could practice your combos while getting a full body workout at the same time. Throwing combinations while bobbing and weaving at the same time works out your upper and lower body.
3. Helps You Improve Your Technique
The heavy bag is also the perfect place to practice different punching techniques. There’s nothing better than putting theory into action, and the heavy bag is the perfect equipment to do just that. This is hands down the most important aspect of your heavy bag training. If you’re punching the heavy bag without following the correct fighting stance you’re missing out on one of the critical aspects of training with the heavy bag.
4. Great Stress Reliever
Who doesn’t get a kick on hitting something up when they’re stressed? This is one of the benefits that the heavy bag is famous for. It is an great tool for stress reduction. Don’t you feel more motivated after punching? Let all your frustrations out and feel refreshed.
5. You Could Easily Install it in Your Home
Setting up your own Heavy Bag training area is relatively cheap. A heavy bag ranges from $50-$100 depending on the brand and after that all you have to do is install it in your home and you could start training. Complete your equipment with some good hand wraps and a good quality boxing gloves and you’re all set and ready to go.
Heavy Bag Common Exercises
Exercise #1 Straight Jab: With your hands held high shuffle forward and strike the bag head high with your lead hand. Remember the closest distance to two points is a straight line. Make sure your hand travels directly to the target, and that it does not retract before coming forward. Practice circling right and left while delivering the punch. Perform this exercise for two rounds with both feet forward.
Exercise #2 Jab-Cross: The hook is one of the most powerful blows in boxing. With your hands held high, shuffle forward and strike the bag head high with your lead hand, and then the rear hand. Twist your rear hand as you deliver the second blow. This is called a two-punch combination, and is usually delivered with a one-two beat. Sometimes, however, it is good to break the rhythm in order to confuse the opponent. Practice circling the bag in both directions and throwing the combination in different ways high-low, and low high. Perform this exercise for two rounds with both feet forward.
Exercise # 3 Jab-Hook: Like the cross, the hook is one of the most powerful blows in boxing. A hook blow starts out like a straight jab thrown to the outside of the opponent’s guard. At the last second the elbow flips upward and the blow strikes at a 90-degree angle to the head or body. It is best to set up this punch by moving in the direction of the lead or hooking hand. For example, if you are throwing a right hook, step to the right. Make sure to alter the way you throw your combinations, high-low-high, low-high-low, high-high-high, high-high-low, low-low-high, etc. Perform this exercise for two rounds with both feet forward.