Hurt Foot 30 Minute Total Body Workout. Stay active and Stay Positive While Recovering from Injury.
How to Get a Good Work out with Punching Bag
Bag training is a great alternative to more traditional forms of exercise, such as running, biking, and swimming. This fast-paced, high-intensity workout will have your sweating and burning calories in no time! Bag training consists of drills, which are executed during timed rounds. Improve your footwork, enhance your stamina, and let off some steam while hitting the bag with your powerful 1-2 combo.
Gathering the Equipment
Locate or purchase a heavy bag.If you are not ready to invest in your own heavy bag, find a local gym that has the equipment you need. Do you prefer the convenience of working out at home? There are lots of heavy bags on the market. Research heavy bags and read reviews in order to find the one that will work best for you.
Find a timer.Grab a stopwatch. Your phone, watch, or even the egg timer from your kitchen will work. You will use the timer throughout the workout to time your warm-up, rounds, and cool-down.
Locate a jump rope.Skipping or jumping rope is an excellent way to warm-up. Purchase a jump rope or use the old jump rope stored away in your garage. If you are working out at your local gym, ask an employee to help you locate a jump rope at the facility.
Wrapping Your Hands
Roll-up your hand wraps.Protect your knuckles, loose ligaments, joints, and the bones in your hands with a wrap. Hand wraps are single strips of semi-elastic cloth with a thumb loop on one end and a piece of velcro on the other end. They come in a variety of colors, widths, lengths, and styles. You will need one wrap for each hand. Roll up your hand wrap so that the thumb loop is on the end.
Wrap your wrist and palm.Insert your thumb into the loop so that the wrap lays over the back of your hand.Beginning with the back of your hand, as opposed to the palm of your hand, prevents the wrap from loosening up when you make a fist. Wrap your wrist three times, keeping the wrap below the thumb loop. Position the wrap above the thumb loop and wrap the palm of your hand three times.
Wrap your fingers.Position the hand wrap diagonally along the palm of your hand--from the base of your pinky to the base of your thumb. Bring the wrap around the base of your thumb and between your pinky and ringer fingers. Pull the wrap between your pointer finger and thumb, positioning the wrap diagonally across the back of your hand. The wrap should form a “X” on the back of your hand. Move the wrap back to the base of your thumb. Form a second “X” by pulling the wrap between your middle and ring fingers in the same manner. Form a third “X” by pulling the wrap between your middle and index finger in the same manner. End this process with the wrap positioned at the base of your thumb.
- This separates the fingers.
Lock your thumb.Wrap your thumb once. Pull the wrap across the back of your hand and around your wrist to the base of your thumb. Pull the wrap halfway around the thumb. Instead of going around the thumb, pull the wrap across the palm of your hand at the base of your fingers. The hand wrap WILL change directions.
- This locks the thumb in place and secures the hand wrap.
- Wrap the knuckles. Pull the hand wrap around your knuckles three times. If you have extra length on your hand wrap, you may either wrap the knuckles additional times or make “Xs” around the back of your hand.
- Make sure the wrap doesn’t become too thick--you still need to put your gloves on!
Secure the velcro.Finish wrapping your hands at your wrist and secure the velcro. This provides additional wrist support.
Rotate your joints.Start your warm up with joint rotations in order to lubricate your joints and prepare them for the work out. Start by making circles with your feet. Work your way up to the knees, hips, and shoulders Finish by rotating your wrists.
- Rotate your ankles by moving them in small circles. You can rotate them clockwise or counterclockwise. This can be done seated or standing.
- To lubricate your knee joints, come to a standing position. Pull your right knee up towards your chest. Release it back to the ground. Pull your left knee up towards your chest. Release it back down. Repeat as needed.
- Lubricate your hips by completing single leg rotations. Stand near a wall or workout bench for balance. Anchor your left foot on the ground. Rest your hand on the wall or bench for support. Raise your right leg up, bend the knee to the 90 degrees. Rotate your raised leg, moving your knee from the front to the side. Repeat with the left leg.
- To warm-up your shoulders, begin with small shoulder shrugs. Transition from shrugging your shoulders to rotating your arms in clockwise circles, followed by counterclockwise circles.
- Move your wrists in a clockwise motion. Switch to a counterclockwise motion after approximately 30 seconds.
Jump Rope.Skip rope for at least 5 minutes, aiming to increase the number of jumps-in-a-row as you go. Skipping is an excellent, low-impact activity. It increases your blood circulation, raises your core body temperature, and elevates your heart rate. It also helps you work on your coordination, which is an important component of bag training and boxing.
- If there is a bike or a treadmill available to you, bike or jog instead of jumping rope.
Stretch.Complete your warm-up with a light stretch. Begin by stretching the muscle groups in the lower half of your body--your calves, hamstrings, and lower back. Move onto your upper body. Stretch your core, upper back, arms, and neck. Spend a little extra time stretching muscles that are particularly sore.
- To stretch your calves, stand approximately two feet from a wall. Facing the wall, rest your hands on the wall for support. Flex your right foot--press the ball of your foot against the wall while keeping your heel anchored on the ground. Lean into the wall to increase the stretch. Repeat with your left foot.
- Tight hamstrings can be pesky! Stretch your hamstrings by touching your toes. You can complete this stretch from a seated or standing position.
- To stretch your lower back, stand with your hands at your sides. Lean to the right and slide your right hand down your leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Come back to a normal standing position. Repeat on the left side.
- Stretch your core and upper back at the same time. Position yourself on all fours (use a towel or yoga mat for additional padding). Start with a straight back. Keeping your head up, inhale and arch your back. Exhale and round your spine. Repeat as needed.
- Stretch your arms. Pull your right arm diagonally across the front of your torso. With your left arm, come underneath your right arm. Bend your left elbow and position your right arm in the crook of your left arm. Repeat with your left arm.
- To stretch your neck, come to a seated position. Intertwine your fingers and rest your palms on the back of your head. Tuck your chin into your chest. Press your hands towards your thighs. Release and repeat as needed.
Put on your heavy bag gloves.Heavy bag gloves are used exclusively for training. They have just enough padding to protect your hands during your vigorous workout. Purchase a high-quality pair of leather gloves with velcro fasteners--don’t skimp! Heavy bag gloves are for everyday use. Gloves made of better material--quality leather and molded foam padding--will last longer and provide better protection to your hands.
Learning the Basics
Master the stance.Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. If you are right-handed, shift the left side of your body forward towards the bag and lift the heel of your right foot. If you are left-handed, shift the right side of your body forwards towards the bag and lift the heel of your left foot. Maintain a slight bent in the knees. Pull your hands up towards your face while keeping your shoulders and elbows down.
Learn the walk.When completing drills, you will not remain static in the starting stance. You will circle the bag. Walk around the bag--don’t jump or cross your feet. Keep a slight bend in the knees and your hands up by your face.
Hit the bag properly.The key to a safe and effective heavy bag workout is to hit the bag, not push the bag. Instead of throwing a pushing punch--meaning you are attempting to push your hand all the way through your target--you should throw snap punches while training.Snap punches allow you to conserve energy while hitting harder and moving faster. When throwing a snap punch, your wrist will snap back from the impact of hitting the bag.
Practice the jab.Assume the starting stance. Make a fist, placing the thumb on the outside of your hand. If you are right-handed, extend your left arm forward; if you are left-handed, extend your right arm forward. As you extend, keep your wrist straight and your elbow slightly bent. Draw the arm back to the starting position.
Try the cross.You will throw the cross with your power hand--your dominant hand. Assume the starting position. Pivot on the heel of your dominant foot and rotate the leg and the hip. As you rotate, extend your arm. Your dominant arm should retain a slight bent at the elbow. Keep the opposite hand near your face for protection. Draw the arm, hip, leg, and heel back to the starting position.
Master the hook.Assume the starting stance. Pivot on the heel of your non-dominant foot. Turn through the leg and hip. As you pivot, extend your non-dominant arm horizontally across your body. Elevate your elbow slightly. Hold your dominant hand near your face for protection. Draw the arm back to the starting position.
Try the 1-2 Combo.The 1-2 combo is a series of two linked punches. First, through the jab. Immediately after returning to the starting stance, throw a cross. Draw the arm back to the starting position.
Learn the 1-2-3 Combo.The 1-2-3 combo is a series of three linked punches. Like the 1-2 combo, you will first throw a jab. This will be followed by a hook. The last punch in the series is a cross.
Perfecting Your Skills with Drills
Practice your footwork.Complete a series of timed rounds (8 rounds x 3 minutes, with 1 minute rest in between) and focus on your footwork. In rounds 1 and 2, circle the bag to the right, feeding a jab for every one to two steps you take. In rounds 3 and 4, circle the bag to the left, feeding a cross punch, a straight lined punch with your dominant hand, for every one to two steps. In rounds 5 and 6, circle the bag to the right and feed a 1-2 combo per every one to two steps. In rounds 7 and 8, circle the bag to the left and complete a 1-2-3 combo per every one to two steps.
- The goal of footwork drills is to practice moving with the bag instead of waiting for it to return to you.
- Walk with the bag--move with it and stay loose to avoid hopping around the bag in a stiff stance.
- Keep the bag an arms length away from you.
Work on your punching speed.Complete a series of timed rounds (6 rounds x 3 minutes, with 1 minute rest in between) while focusing on improving your speed. Stand 2–3 feet (0.6–0.9 m) distance from the bag. Divide each round into 15 second intervals. In rounds 1 and 2, explode forward towards the bag in a lunge motion and jab the bag for fifteen seconds. Rest for 15 seconds and repeat until the round is over. During rounds 3 and 4, execute the same drill but substitute the jab with a 1-2 combo. Complete the same drill in rounds 5 and 6, substituting the 1-2 combo with a hook punch.
- Don’t focus on your technique during speed drills--work on contracting your muscle quickly instead of perfecting your form.
- Bend your knees throughout the drill to avoid locking your joints.
- Focus on your breathing. Short, small breaths will help increase the speed of your hands.
Use a speed bag.Another way to improve your speed is to use a speed bag, a small punching bag. Stand less than an arm’s length away from the speed bag with squared shoulders. Adjust the bag’s height until the bottom is level with your eyes. Keep both hands near the bag. Hit the bag with an open hand--this affords you more control over the bag--and move your hands in a small circles. Hit the bag twice with your right hand, followed by two hits with your left hand (RIGHT-RIGHT-LEFT-LEFT). Continue this pattern for an entire round.
- Speed bags rebound after you hit them. Before hitting the bag again, let it rebound three times--FORWARDS-BACKWARDS-FORWARDS.
Improve the strength and power of your punch.The power behind your punch is derived from good technique. Complete a series of timed rounds (3 minutes each, with 1 minute rest in between) and focus on punching the bag with power. Circle the bag and execute combos (1-2 combo or 1-2-3 combo). Try to hit the bag with 80% to 95% power output. Focus on the power of delivery and back it up with as much momentum and weight as possible. Repeat this drill as you feel fit.
Enhance your stamina.Complete a series of timed rounds (15 rounds x 2 minutes, with 1 minute rest in between) while working on enhancing your stamina. Find someone to hold the bag for you. In rounds 1 through 5, stand 1–2 feet (0.3–0.6 m) distance from the bag. Explode against the bag with a combo of continuous jabs. During rounds 6 through 10, repeat this drill and substitute jabs with crosses. In rounds 11 through 15, repeat the drill. Substitute crosses for 1-2 combos.
- Don’t hit with too much power--instead of working on how hard you can hit focus on increasing the number of punches you can complete in one round.
- Breath with every punch.
- Keep your knees bent and your shoulders square.
Rotate your joints.Take 5 minutes to perform some arm circles to help the circulation remove the excess lactic acid that may have formed and accumulated in the muscles. This will help your muscles recover faster. Repeat the rotation exercises from the warm-up.
Stretch.Slowly stretch your back, shoulder, triceps, and abdominal muscles. This will help minimize the training soreness and speed recovery.
Jog.Run slowly for 5 minutes. This will help flush out the lactic acid that built up in your legs. Jogging after a strenuous workout can speed your recovery time.
QuestionWhat is the punching bag filled with?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe heavy bag is usually filled with strips of old rags and cloth. However, in some boxing gyms, trainers will often fill it with more solid and heavier things, like coarse sand. The more expensive heavy bags are filled with water.Thanks!
QuestionWhich protein shake is best for bodybuilding?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEgg Albumin is packed with all the nutrients for body-building.Thanks!
QuestionWill the stance be uncomfortable?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it shouldn't be uncomfortable (at least not for long).Thanks!
- Every punch you throw must travel the same pathway back to the starting position. Don’t suffer from lazy punches that "die at the bag".
- Never close your stance (bring your feet together); this leaves you potentially vulnerable to being knocked over. Practice keeping a strong stance.
- These drills are not for the faint hearted! Work your way up to them, starting with shorter durations and progressing gradually.
- If you don't have a punching bag, or can't afford one, you can prop a mattress against a wall. (This is a bit noisy, though)
- Always use the correct equipment. Never punch the bag without gloves. You don't want to cut your skin open and definitely not pick up anybody else's germs.
- Take it easy in the beginning and build up gradually.
Sources and Citations
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