The punching bag was designed with power-punching in mind. In fact, speed was only a small part of boxing before fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali entered the ring. So the purpose of punching bag workouts is not only to gain strength and learn to punch harder than you would if you were shadowboxing, but it can also be used for cardio, building speed, and developing solid footwork.
Heavy bag workouts are high-intensity, high-energy, full-body, and get fighters the results they are looking for quickly and efficiently. A heavy bag is an excellent HIIT addition to an already existing workout routine, or you can base your training regimen entirely around the heavy bag.
Whether you're entirely new to the exciting world of boxing or training for a legit bout, you will find many benefits to a boxing workout, some of which we’ll go over in a moment, but first, let’s jump into five boxing drills you can do today with a punching bag.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Six rounds, 3 minutes, 1-minute rest
Aside from teaching you how to increase your punching power and punch harder, this heavy bag training drill will also be great for those who need to let out some steam -- this is an effective drill focused on pure power.
Prior to starting, make sure your hands are properly wrapped because you will most definitely need to protect your hands while doing this drill. Also, make sure you already have the technique down to throw a proper punch to avoid any unnecessary injuries.
Here is the drill:
In each round, you’ll focus on only one punch. You don’t want to throw punches in rapid succession—you want to focus on delivering one, powerful blow every time, with each punch you land being harder than the last. Bring yourself to full power and repeatedly deliver that power to the bag. Focus on hard punches and perfect form in this training session-- you will deliver each punch as hard as you physically can.
Here is a breakdown of each round:
And here are the rules:
The last one is something most boxers aren’t really aware of. It's important to play with the angles of how your knuckles land to find that “sweet spot” that delivers the hardest punch.
Five rounds, 3 minutes, 1-minute breaks
This effective drill will help you to develop the punch speed you need to deliver quick blows to your opponent. In boxing, they say the punch you don’t see is the one that knocks you out—and it’s true. The key is to put those punches together and fast.
No matter if you’re an experienced fighter or not, if a punch lands, you’re going to blink. It’s just a natural human reflex. But you have to be quick enough to land the next punch before your opponent has a chance to open their eyes. That is what this boxing drill will help with.
This speed bag drill will focus on two punch combos with the goal to try and make the two punches sound like one. Your focus here is on pure speed.
Here is the drill:
Make sure you really emphasize on your punching speed here. You have to try and get the two punches to sound like a single punch, so get as close to that as possible. Isolate each combo and perfect it as the round goes on, and remember, throw as fast as you possibly can.
Five rounds, 3 minutes, 1-minute breaks
The next boxing drill is the counterpuncher, which will help to get you in the good habit of automating your defense and not getting caught stiff after throwing a punch. It'll also get you in the habit of countering after each defensive move. You see, the goal of sparring is to make your opponent miss and make them pay—not just make them miss.
This drill is pretty simple. It'll be a defensive move, quickly followed by a single punch or punch combination, followed by another defensive move. You can do this however you feel necessary; just make sure to follow the rule. Here are some great examples you can easily follow:
Three rounds, 1,000 punches per round, break as needed
If you don’t happen to have a punch counter, feel free to stick with times rounds, but still, break as needed.
This is a famous workout made by the one and only Floyd Mayweather. Here is how it works:
You hit the heavy bag nonstop with straight punches at an easy pace. Every fifteen to twenty punches, throw in a few uppercuts and hard hooks. This will really help to break up the monotony as well as give your shoulders a break, but beware—it will tax your lungs more! It also mimics a real boxing fight where there is an explosion of activity that gets your heart rate up, followed by “active rest.”
If needed, you can adjust the punch count per round to better accommodate whatever physical shape you’re in, whether better or worse. Just make sure to do a number you can do consistently for three whole rounds.
Three rounds, 3 minutes, 1-minute breaks
This drill is like the ‘everything bagel’ in the boxing world - it incorporates everything you’ve learned in the above drills into one tough workout. (With that in mind, be sure to try this drill after having tried all the drills above.)
Here are the rules:
This is an intense boxing drill—that is why it’s recommended you only do it for three rounds. However, if you find that you have more in you, by all means, go for more rounds.
The key to this drill is to stay sharp the entire time and bluff it even when you’re tired. Don’t cheat, and don’t get lazy. You want to eventually end up at a point where you are perfect from the first moment to the last, despite the intensity. The whole purpose here is to teach you to fight at your full potential the entire bout; that’s what separated the greats from the champions and the champions from the contenders.
There are a ton of benefits that come from boxing bag drills, even when a 3-minute round feels short:
With all of these amazing benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why boxing clubs like LegendsBoxing has become so incredibly popular over the years.
Boxing might be tough, but it provides an excellent workout! If you’re considering taking a boxing or kickboxing class, find an awesome gym like LegendsBoxing that focuses on proper technique and boxing drills that will get you in fighting shape in no time.
Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health by taking a fun and effective boxing class or wanting to learn how to properly throw a jab, LegendsBoxing’s got your back—find a gym near you today!