A punching bag, also referred to as a heavy bag, plays an important part in the world of combat. There are so many benefits for you to gain when using a punching bag.
If done properly, a punching bag workout can improve your endurance, strength, techniques, and overall fighting skills. However, if you don’t know how to use it, it’ll only waste your time or at worst, you might even end up hurting yourself.
Anyone can hit a punching bag, but knowing how to hit it the right way is actually a rare skill.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about hitting a punching bag the right way and help you hone this rare skill.
But before we jump right to it, let’s first discuss some of the many benefits you can gain if you know how to use a punching bag properly.
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Benefits of Training With a Punching Bag Properly
A punching bag is an important workout equipment for many professional boxers, fighters, and boxing enthusiasts. Here are some of the benefits of training with a punching bag when done the right way.
Enhances Your Boxing Skills
If done properly, training with a punching bag is an effective way to enhance your boxing technique. You’ll have a better understanding of throwing punches and moving your body correctly.
When you’re hitting the bag, always remember to keep your arms up, your elbows in, and don’t stand in one position, keep changing your movements.
Since a punching bag can also help you relax and improve your stance, you’ll be able to land powerful punches.
Improves Your Coordination And Develop Core Stability
During your workout, you’re constantly moving around and throwing multiple combo punches at the bag. This is an effective way to improve your body coordination.
When you stand on your toes and transfer your weight from one foot to another in order to throw a punch, you’re also developing your core stability.
By improving your coordination, you’re also improving your posture and balance. Additionally, when your core is toned, you’ll be able to support your body and avoid falling as a result of sudden movements.
Improves Your Physique
When you train with a punching bag, you’re working your back, biceps, and shoulders and over time you’ll see a visible improvement in these areas.
Although it’s not the same as heavy weight workouts, training with a punching bag is a great way to lose fat and gain lean muscle.
It’s also a great cardio workout. By training for about an hour, you can burn around 500 calories. It also helps in building resistance, which in turn tones the muscles and develops your overall physique.
As you get rid of body-fat, the chances of heart disease and diabetes are greatly reduced. When you gain lean muscle, it raises your metabolism, which means you can burn more fats at a high rate.
Helps Reduce Stress
Hitting a punching bag is a great way to reduce stress. This workout, like any other exercise, has unique stress-countering properties.
While punching a heavy bag is unique in the sense that it’s an aggressive and demanding activity, it requires you to focus only on one thing, i.e., hitting the bag.
Hitting a punching bag also helps to channel your negative energy into something beneficial for your mind and body. Like any other intense workout, it allows you to get rid of the toxins which have been building up due to stress in your body.
Enhance Your Self-defense Skills
When you’re hitting the bag, it allows you to visualize it as your opponent and helps you brush up your self-defense skills through a combination of punches.
As the bag can’t hit you back, it makes it an ideal workout to concentrate on your techniques.
You can even swing the bag in order to get a real fight experience as in a real match, your opponent won’t be just standing in one place and getting hit.
Hence, it’s also a great way to prepare for a real fight while at the same time improving your self-defense.
The Right Way to Hit a Punching Bag
Learning to hit a punching bag properly is essential in order to get the best out of it and also to avoid getting hurt.
Here is a list of things you must keep in mind:
Before you start your training, it’s important that you address all the safety aspects in order to ensure a productive training session and avoid any injury.
Preparing well before you start your training is the key to achieving positive, long-term goals. Always remember to apply wraps to your wrists and knuckles before you begin.
Wraps are meant to provide support to your hands and wrists. If you don’t apply wraps, it’ll damage both your wrists and hands in the long run. After you’re done wrapping your hands, put on your boxing gloves.
Also, it’s ideal to do a little warm-up before you start your training. You can start with shadowboxing, followed by some stretches.
Paying attention is crucial when you’re training with a punching bag as well as while in a real fight. Most fighters, especially beginners, make the mistake of either staring too rigidly at the bag or not staring at all.
When you hit the bag, imagine it as your opponent and don’t focus only on one area, see the bag as a whole.
Whatever you do, never look down when you throw a punch as this makes it quite easy for your opponent to counter your punches.
When you’re throwing hits at the punching bag, keep your balance and try not to fall forward as you strike at it.
When you get better at keeping your balance, your footwork will improve, and your punches will have a greater impact.
Always remember not to push the bag with your head or shoulders. If you do the same thing in the ring, your opponent can counter you easily and make you lose your balance and at worst, you might end up getting an uppercut.
So when you’re training, always train as if you’re in a real match, keeping all fundamental rules the same.
Punch, Don’t Push the Bag
Don’t push the bag, punch it. Throw light punches in order to prevent the punching bag from swinging. You can even try to aim at the center of the bag instead of at the surface. This way you’ll have a much better chance of landing your punch.
When you push the bag while hitting it, your punch will have a lesser impact, and your arms will tire quickly.
Maintaining a proper distance is important if you’re aiming to throw a power punch at the bag. If you’re too close, you’ll only end up pushing the bag.
And if you’re too far, you’ll have minimal contact. Instead move along with the bag, back up if the bag comes at you, or try to move forward if it swings back away from you.
If your footwork isn’t swift enough, try to throw light punches till you work on your footwork and then increase gradually.
Another mistake most people make when they train with a punching bag is waiting too long after they throw a powerful punch.
In the ring, you won’t have that chance to wait for your next punch. That’s why most professional boxers never stop throwing punches. They only rest for no more than 2 to 3 seconds.
Keep this in mind and don’t stop hitting the bag. If you’re tired, try throwing light punches while moving around the bag.
Don’t Move When You Strike
You must keep moving when you’re training but when you’re about to hit, you must keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
When you’re grounded, you’ll have more balance, control, and flexibility to move to a safe position after you strike. It’ll also help you throw powerful punches.
If you find it difficult to punch and stand still all at the same time, take small steps as you move around. Another essential thing to keep in mind is to always keep your hands up when you throw punches.
While training, develop the habit of keeping your other hand up and your elbows in as doing this will allow you to defend yourself from counter punches in a real fight.
Less Power and More Breathing
Training with a punching bag is quite similar to running. When you’re running, your focus should be on your breathing.
The same goes for punching bag exercises. If you want to do it right, you must focus more on breathing correctly and less on throwing powerful punches.
The key to throwing powerful punches is nothing but proper breathing and a good technique.
Need a little more guidance? This video from fightTips should help you out!
As you can see, training with a punching bag has a lot of benefits. Unlike other gym equipment, punching bags are quite inexpensive.
Learning to hit a punching bag properly will certainly take time. You’ll have to put in more effort and you must be committed to it. Also, remember to implement the tips mentioned above.
Knowing how to hit a punching bag properly will not only improve your overall fitness but also enhance your punching technique, footwork, balance, strength, and overall fighting abilities.