Heavy bag workout is one of the most effective segments of a boxer’s training sessions. Training with a Heavy bag always helps a boxer in plenty of ways, including improvement in technique and hand-eye coordination, which are essential for winning any boxing fight.
Heavy bags are a tried and tested tool and have helped many boxers to become champions in the ring. They are now considered an essential part of every boxing gym and studio. Though initially, they were specified for boxers and MMA fighters, they are also helping people get fit. They offer a high-intensity workout that can help you get lean as well as improve your stamina.
In this post, you will learn about the background of heavy bag training and what aspects make it so important that you cannot find boxing training without incorporating it.
Table of Contents
- 1. History of Boxing
- 2. History of Heavy Bag Training
- 3. Why is Heavy Bag Training Important for a Boxer?
- 3.1. Improves Boxing Techniques
- 3.2. Improves Strength and Power
- 3.3 Builds Endurance
- 3.4. Enhance Stability, Coordination, and Balance
- 3.5. Reduces Stress
- 4. Top Heavy Bag Training Drills To Add to Your Boxing Routine
- 5. Pro Tips Regarding Heavy Bag Training
- 5.1. Wrap your Hands
- 5.2. Warm-Up first
- 5.3. Breathe Correctly
- 5.4. Train With Proper Technique
- 5.5. Train in a Proper Outfit
- 6. Takeaway
1. History of Boxing
The sport of boxing dates back to the ancient Olympic games and to the time when boxers were trained as they were going to take part in a war. There were no particular rules and regulations as there are nowadays. Fighters had to box bare-handed, which most of the time led to the death of an opponent. The sport was brutal in its real meaning. Eurydamas was one of the earliest known boxers who was famous for his violence.
By the start of the first century AD, the sport of boxing was forbidden and was not seen in action till the 18th century. James Figg was the first known English boxing champ who fought in the early 1700s and was preceded by Jack Broughton, who was known for his blocking and hitting skills while retreating.
Jack Broughton was the boxer who changed the nature of the sport and came up with boxing regulations known as "London Prize Ring Rules." He also played a vital role in devising boxing gloves that were called "mufflers" to prevent boxers from getting injured easily. With the passage of time, the sport evolved, and the establishment of Queensberry rules further refined it to modern-day boxing.
2. What Is a Heavy Bag?
Though there is no written evidence that heavy bag workouts have become the staple of boxers’ training, the first patent for heavy bags was registered in 1872 to Simon D. Kehoe. Since then, they have become quintessential to the boxing world and are considered an effective training tool.
A heavy bag is a hard bag that is designed to be punched. They usually come in cylindrical shapes and can be filled with different materials like sawdust and sand. The more extra material you add to them, the heavier they will become, which will surely increase the intensity of your workouts.
Also Read: Best Heavy Bag Workouts: Benefits and Tips
3. Why is Heavy Bag Training Important for a Boxer?
Heavy bag training is beneficial and important in multiple ways. The following benefits of heavy bag training can help you understand why it is important for a boxer.
3.1. Improves Boxing Techniques
One of the most obvious benefits of hitting a heavy bag is the improvement in technique. There are people who consider throwing powerful punches the only way to succeed in the sport. But, it is not true anymore. If you are technically weak, your opponent has the full margin of error to knock you out when you come into their range, despite your powerful punches.
Throwing straight punches on these bags while maintaining your form will not only improve your punching technique but will also improve your body movement and fighting performance. The fact that it returns the impact to you when you hit, makes it a way better workout than shadow boxing when it comes to improving punching technique.
3.2. Improve Strength and Power
Do you want to improve the strength and power of your punches? Go for heavy bag training to meet your goals. Heavy bag workouts are found to be incredible for enhancing power and strength training as they help in building muscles as much as possible. Hitting a punching bag strengthens muscles like arms, back, chest, and shoulders, besides the lower body and core muscles. Heavy bag workouts involve all body parts and help trainees strengthen their overall body as well as improve their punching power.
3.3. Builds Endurance
Heavy bag training is also exceptional for improving endurance levels, which is as important as the punching techniques and boxing skills are. It requires you to give 100% effort and push yourself beyond the limits of your cardio comfort zone, which is essential for building endurance. The more you try hard to hit heavy bags to push past your limits, the more you will endure during your sparring sessions and fights.
3.4. Enhance Stability, Coordination, and Balance
For enhancing stability and improving coordination and balance, you cannot deny the effectiveness of heavy bag training. While training, when you move around the bag and incorporate footwork drills into your workout routine and throw punches, you improve your balance and coordination. Shifting weights from one foot to another and staying fast on your toes while moving around the bag is an efficient way of building balance and stability.
3.5. Reduces Stress
If you are experiencing stress more often and yoga is not working for you, boxing could be a perfect alternative. Hitting a heavy bag can help you release anger, improve your mood, and relieve stress. This is an intensive workout that promotes heart rate and boosts the production of neurohormones such as norepinephrine and vasopressin, which are linked to heightened cognitive function and improved mood.
Assuming the heavy bag is everything and anything that is causing trouble in your life, you can release your stress by hitting them.
4. Top Heavy Bag Workouts To Add to Your Boxing Routine
Here are some of the best heavy bag training drills that you should be incorporating into your boxing routine to improve your technique, skills, and overall body strength.
4.1. Power Punching Heavy Bag Drill
If you want to let out some steam, aside from increasing your punching power and making your punches harder, this boxing drill could be a perfect choice.
Before you start this drill, it is vital to wrap your hands with hand wraps and boxing gloves for protection from injuries that can occur otherwise. Also, make sure you are technically strong enough to throw proper punches and avoid unnecessary injuries.
In this drill, you have to focus on a single punch instead of throwing punches in rapid succession. Every time you hit the heavy bag, you should focus on one powerful blow. Try to hit it harder every time than the previous one.
This drill comprises six rounds that you have to perform for 3 minutes each, followed by a one-minute rest between these rounds. The further breakdown of this drill is shown in the following image.
Here are some tips that can help you make the most of this heavy bag boxing drill.
- Isolate your every punch.
- You must be in perfect form every time you throw a punch.
- Throw every punch as hard as you can.
- Do not go for rapid succession.
- Stay focused on your movement and rotation in power punches.
4.2. Combo-Speed Punching Drill
If you do not want to let your opponent settle after your attack, you need to punch them again before they regain their energy and counter you. For that purpose, this drill is focused on punching combinations and speed.
In this drill, you will be focusing on two-punch combinations with the aim of making the two punches sound like a single punch. This drill comprises five rounds of three-minute duration, with a one-minute rest between these rounds.
The following image can help you understand the breakdown of this drill to perform it effectively.
5. Pro Tips Regarding Heavy Bag Workout
Here are some incredible tips regarding heavy bag training that can help you stay safe as well as make the most of it for your boxing skills and techniques.
Also Read:10 Heavy Bag Training Tips for Beginners
5.1. Wrap your Hands
Wrapping hands is as important as wearing headgear and boxing gloves in sparring sessions and fights. Specifically, in heavy bag training, it becomes very crucial, as otherwise, you may face hand injuries. Therefore, give yourself a sufficient amount of time to put on your hand wraps and secure gloves before starting your heavy bag training.
5.2. Warm-Up first
Warm-up is one of the essential parts of any sport or exercise, as it helps you make your body ready for the actual work. Before starting your heavy bag workouts, go for a 2-3 minute round of light punching and circling around the bag. It will not just get your body muscles ready for the training, but also help you hone in on your form.
5.3. Breathe Correctly
Proper breathing is of great importance for heavy bag training. Inhaling while resting and exhaling while exerting always helps oxygen flow through your body and fuels your tired and working muscles.
5.4. Train With Proper Technique
Though heavy bag training is considered to be focused more on power and speed, you should always remember that proper technique is what makes everything work for you. Power and speed can be gained with practice and time, but technique is the aspect that you should be focusing on from the very start. If you do not have the proper technique, you are vulnerable to getting injured.
5.5. Train in a Proper Outfit
Like the proper technique, you are also required to be in the proper outfit to perform your training session smoothly. You should wear proper boxing shorts, rash guards, and other gear that can help you stay comfortable and safe during your heavy bag training. Your outfit should be flexible enough to bear the stretching movements without getting torn apart.