A Complete Guide to Punching Bag Workouts for Beginners

A Complete Guide to Punching Bag Workouts for Beginners

What do you think, how boxers get ripped? Do they run a lot or spend over a half-day on a treadmill? not really. The secret is hidden behind their hard-punching bag.

Though the secret behind the shredded physique of every boxer is a punching bag, what makes them stick to it, is the bona fide.

Boxers do not only rely on shadow boxing or sparring with their partners. They train hard to get their arms strong and enhance their punching power. Pro boxers endeavour to train with a boxing bag because it helps them with their footwork as well.

Punching a boxing bag gives strength to your overall body and also accelerates your heartbeat, which improves your stamina. 

However, you are here because you want to get your hands on a punching bag but don’t know how to do it, right? Don’t worry, this is your guide to punching bag workouts. You might have brought some questions into your mind. We have tried to answer all the possible questions in this punching bag workout guide for beginners.

1. How Punching Bag Helps in Polishing Your Skills?

Boxing against a punching bag serves many advantages. Working out with a punching bag trains your muscles and enhances your upper body strength through building bone power as well.

The weight of a typical heavy punching bag falls somewhere between 50 to 150 pounds. However, there are three types of fillers to fill up a punching bag.

  • Sand
  • Abandoned Clothes
  • Sawdust

Whatever you choose to fill up your punching bag, that is your decision to make. Well, heavy bag workouts are really effective in multiple ways and also help you lose weight fast. To get out the best of your punching bag workout routine you need to engage your upper body, lower body, and core.

Though, whenever you hit a punching bag you engage your feet, fist, and knees. Your body feels tremendous resistance by engaging when you get into a boxing stance. Your entire body is activated, including your shoulders, core, and hips. This workout also engages your arms, shoulders, chest, back, waist, and legs.

When you perform punches like hooks and uppercuts, you use your arms and back. Whereas, while throwing straight punches, you strengthen your shoulders and chest. To get better results and increase your muscle mass, try to vary your training routine to target different muscles and areas of your body.

Hitting a punching bag builds power and stamina. Moreover, it increases your metabolic rate for days afterward. Punching bag training involves your upper and lower body movements that eventually become the reason for whole-body training. Punching bag workouts enhance your boxing skills by toning your body and strengthening your bones. It builds stamina that helps you stick around in the ring until the last bell rings.

2. Pro Tips to Elevate Your Punching Bag Workout

  • Only make contact with the bag and try not to move it
  • Keep your knees bent
  • Keep your hands up and get them back after every strike to protect your face
  • Keep moving, do not stand at the same place or hit the bag at the same point
  • Aim for short combos, your punches combination shouldn’t be more than 5-6 punches

3. What is the Best Punching Bag Workout for Beginners?

  • Warm-Up
  • Jumping Jacks (1 minute)
  • High-Knees (1 minute)
  • Butt-Kicks (1 minute)
  • Mountain Climbers (1 minute)
  • Shadowboxing (1 minute)
  • Basic Punches
  • Jab

To perform a jab, get into a boxing stance. Punch in the center of the punching bag with your non-dominant hand leading with your knuckles out. Your wrist is going to rotate in the center of your body as you throw the punch. It will create more power due to the torque.

Practice this for 100 reps as per workout session. Make sure to keep the punches level straight to your eye and the other hand up to protect your face. 

3.1. Cross

To throw a cross, you’ll utilize your dominant arm and hand. Starting from your boxing stance, extend your back arm out in front of you, punching the bag. Rotate your fist slightly inward as it leaves your side.

Return your fist to your side, making sure to bring your back fist up by your face. Your jab and your cross should ideally be hitting at the same spot on the punching bag.

Do 100 reps of the cross as per workout. 

3.2. Hook

For a front hook, make a 90-degree angle at the elbow on your front, arm extended in the same direction with the floor. Hit the punching bag by rotating your waist. Perform the same movement on the opposite side for a back hook.

To perform them into a circuit, speed up the movement by performing 20 seconds of a front and back hook combination. Take a one-second rest in between each pair of hooks.

3.3. Uppercut

Prepare for an uppercut by ensuring your knees are bent. You’ll get power from your hips and body as your push of the ground. Weight shifting is a crucial part of throwing an uppercut successfully.

Throw a lead uppercut by shifting your weight on your front foot. Take your front elbow downwards so that it almost touches your front hip. From there, push powerfully upward from your legs to release your punch up into the bag.

To perform a rear or back uppercut, repeat the same process on the opposite side and vice versa. Speed it up into a circuit by shifting quickly from front and back uppercuts for 20 seconds nonstop.

3.4. Cool Down

Punching bag workouts are really intensive and tiresome. But a cool down is your relief here. There are many ways to relax your muscles after a tiring punching bag workout session. Though, stretching is one of the best ways to cool down your body.

You can pick any type of stretching you have in your catalog. However, our recommendation is “Child’s pose”, it is a great way to slow down your heart rate while stretching out your shoulders, which takes a lot of impact in heavy bag training. Lower back stretches and hip flexors are some of the other stretches you can employ for the cool down.

3.5. Combinations

  • Jab-Cross (1-2)
  • Jab-Hook-Cross (1-3-2)
  • Cross-Hook-Cross (2-3-2)
  • Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross (1-2-3-2)
  • Jab-Cross-Jab-Cross-Hook-Hook (1-2-1-2-3-3)

Punches combinations are a bit hard for beginners to digest. Although, all of these punches have numbers. You should remember a combination with numbers, which is a bit easier way to remember the punching sequence.

First, try simple combinations by hitting the punching bag. Remember the numbers of the punches and practice counting on them.

4. What are the Benefits of Punching Bag Workout?

  • Boost muscle power and strength
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Strengthens core stability
  • Enhance aerobic fitness
  • Increase self-defense techniques
  • Enhance Boxing Technique
  • Reduce anxiety and stress
  • Help with weight loss
  • Tone your Body
  • Improve upper body strength
  • Enhance power, stamina, and endurance

5. Learn the Basics of Boxing

5.1. Formal Boxing Stance

Certainly, boxing is a complex sport, you have to master a wide variety of skills before you can consider yourself an expert in it. The most basic yet crucial is the proper boxing stance. It provides you with the foundation of everything you do in your training sessions or the fighting ring.

Your boxing stance reflects how well you will react to your opponent's attacks and how you throw the punches.

If you place your feet too close, you’ll lose your balance. If your feet are too far apart from each other, you will be too open to defend yourself from your opponent’s approach.

If you carry a perfect stance, you’ll be able to move quickly from side to side while keeping your hands up to protect your face. Moreover, you’ll effectively block or land punches on your opponent’s body.  

5.2. Footwork

Footwork is an essential part of boxing that should not be neglected. Boxing footwork is a skill that is equally important as punching and blocking. A good footwork technique helps you to avoid punches coming from your opponent, rather it makes you a hard target to catch and hit on.

Good boxing footwork is vital in many other ways as well, it makes your opponent confused that he won’t guess where to hit. Moreover, it helps you to get to a safe position and provides you space to drizzle continuous punches on your opponent.

5.3. Basic Boxing Punches

There are four basic punches in boxing (Jab, Cross, Hook, and Uppercut) and they are also known as the fundamentals of boxing. There are variations of these punches as well like, hooks (lead and rear), and uppercut (lead and rear or left and right).

First comes the simple and straight punches, Jab and Cross. They are the primary punches to be practiced by every beginner. Whereas, hooks are usually the hardest to acquire and require time to get your grip on them.

However, proper punching technique is a vital part of boxing. So, keep practicing with a punching bag or your shadow boxing workout routine may lead you directly to the ring as a professional boxer. 

5.4. Warm-Up Before You Start

Have you ever listened to severe muscle contraction or cramps, yes? That’s the outcome of not doing a warm-up before workouts. Either you are doing punching/heavy bag workouts or shadowboxing, a proper warm-up is compulsory to be done. In simple words, warm-up is a way to get your muscles ready for an intensive and hard work out.

Boxing is a brutal sport, and it demands a lot more than a simple workout at home. If you don't warm up before punching a heavy bag, your muscle will get fatigued soon and you’ll end up with a muscle injury. Your joints will ache, your wrist will be sore, and eventually, you’ll have to take time off from your heavy bag workouts.

Make sure your warm-up consists of a sequence of exercises to engage your all-body muscles. However, there are some particular muscles like the shoulder, arms, and legs that require a complete warm-up because of their maximum involvement.

Exercises you can perform for heavy bags warm-up are:

  • Jump Rope
  • Shadowboxing
  • Jumping Jacks
  • In-place Jogging
  • Power Walking

5.5. How to Choose a Heavy Bag?

Although, picking up a good quality heavy bag demands a good budget as well. Though if you are thinking of spending a handsome amount on a punching bag, in case, some points need to be considered.

Pick a heavy bag about half of your weight, so that it will provide you enough resistance for power punches. An appropriate weight of a heavy bag allows it to swing well so you improve your footwork, timing, and accuracy.

However, if you are considering picking up a freestanding punching bag, be sure to think about your power and body weight. But an oversized bag would be a better choice, in case they're less likely to fall over.

5.6. What is the Correct Way to Hit a Punching Bag?

Most beginners think of a punching bag as a stress reliever, that’s true actually. A punching bag is a great stress reliever. But there are ways to hit a punching bag correctly.

So, hitting a punching bag with absolute power is common, that’s what it is made for. Though, a better way to hit a punching bag is to think of it as a human opponent. Your targeting should be specific.

Play around a punching bag like you’re in a real fight and use your footwork as well. Besides hitting straight punches, throw other punches like uppercuts and hooks. But, first practice how to throw punches correctly.

The accurate technique will lead you to stronger strikes and perfection. Moreover, it will build your stamina.

Hitting a punching bag ends up aggressive sometimes and you should start punching anywhere on the bag. Don’t forget to throw punches with proper technique and practice with footwork to not always hit the bag at the same position.

6. How Often Should You Workout?

There are no limitations regarding workout routines. You can set your personal heavy bag workout routine according to your schedule. But, a boxer should workout at least twice a week for 1-2 hours. Though if you want to see results really quickly you will need to workout 3-5 times a week. However, your presence mentally and physically is a condition.

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