In the world of boxing, you cannot downplay the vital role heavy bags play. A heavy bag is a large cylindrical bag filled with different materials to weight it. This bag is used by boxers to improve their punching power. Boxers learn to focus their punches and deliver them with all the power they can master.
Heavy bags are made for more than just building a boxer’s punches, it also trains them on hand-eye coordination which is vital when faced with an opponent. You improve your punching speed and delivery of each punch as well.
There are some drills you can use on the heavy bag
1. Drills for Speed
This drill involves increasing your rate of delivery for each Punch. You cannot be slow while boxing. The rate at which you punch matters a lot. When working on your speed, drills are done in portions. You split up the number of punches used on the heavy bag to small portions. These portions can each last 15 seconds followed by 15 more seconds of rest. You continue this pattern of punch and rest until you are done with the portion.
15 seconds are the most ideal because you will not tire out easily. You can punch as fast as you can then rest. Remember when you rest to not standstill. Keep moving or skipping from side to side and keep your hands up always. Complete the drill but take care not to exhaust yourself. Do it effectively.
Breathing is important while using the boxing bag. It helps you to keep calm and controlled with each punch you deliver. This drill is best done by a pair. You take turns to hit the bag and can even use your legs on it as well. A partner is important to help you steady the bag for each other especially when striking at a fast rate every 15 seconds. The bag tends to shift from side to side which can be distracting as you train.
Divide up the punches you deliver to cover different heights of the boxing bag. Start at the part that level with your head. Punch it using straights for 15 seconds then rest for 15 seconds. Drop to the part in level with your torso then punch it for 15 seconds followed by rest. Lastly use uppercuts to punch the area in level with your stomach for 15 seconds followed also by rest. That is a complete round.
Drills geared towards speed require rest time in between intervals. These periods of rest are vital to helping your muscles relax. With relaxed muscles, you can do another 15 seconds of high-speed punches without having to strain. Lack of rest periods can cause you to easily tire out.
Speed involves more of your muscle power. It is not about how you hit the bag but how fast you hit it. You need your muscles to be able to handle very fast punching. Focus more on fast punches rather than how you deliver them. Control your breathing to match the rate of your punches. If you are not able to breathe easily, you won’t deliver fast punches either.
Work on your footwork while delivering fast punches. Let them be in rhythm with every punch. Lift and drop them as you punch from one hand to the other. Remember locking your knees will make you stiff. Always punch while slightly bending your knees.
2. Drills for Accurate Punches
Your punches must be accurate to benefit you. A boxing bag can help you build your punching accuracy immensely. One tactic of improving the accuracy of your punches is to have something to aim for on it. The secret is to tape pieces of duct tape all around the bag. You can do it in the form of small pieces strewn all around the bag. Or you can tape rings from the bottom to the top of the bag.
You aim to punch precisely at the spot with the tape consistently. This will slowly build your accuracy. Some heavy bags are more geared towards improving the accuracy of your punches. They are numbered all around that you aim your punches at. These numbers are printed on by the manufacturers of the bags. You simply purchase one that is already numbered and get to work improving your punching accuracy.
There is also the option of using a different size of a heavy bag. The normal bag is big and cylindrical. But there is also the option of a thin and smaller heavy bag. This bag has an elastic rope attached to it from the floor and is still hung using a chain from the ceiling. This bag is essential in helping you improve your accuracy.
The reason why improving the accuracy of your punches is important is because you need excellent hand-eye coordination to excel in boxing. The trick is to not wait for your opponent to deliver a punch for you to punch them back. You must keep delivering punch after punch while you work on improving the accuracy of each punch that follows. Your target will not slow down so the adjustments needed must be made as you punch.
3. Punching Power Drills
Heavy bags are the most ideal equipment to upgrade the power of your punches. You must deliver each punch harder than the last. The trick is to control your force. Try and keep your punching power at 80% with every punch. As a beginner, learn your boxing technique. The technique is what helps you deliver powerful punches on the boxing bag and even against as opponent. Learn the technique that works best for you.
Learn to throw punches that add to your technique. You should not just punch wildly. Work on punching in combinations rather than throwing one punch at a time. Combinations are more powerful. Single shots can be erratic with no aim whatsoever. You end up wasting your time on the boxing bag instead of adding power to your technique.
Combinations can help you build powerful muscles. The trick is to spend an entire round throwing the same combination over and over without hesitation. Soon this will become something you can even do in your sleep. It will also help you have a plan on how to use the bag instead of just hitting aimlessly.
The best way to do this is with a partner or even with more than two people. One person holds the bag for the others and vice versa. You have your trainer dictate to you the combination repeatedly until you are all done with the round.
4. Heavy Bag Drills for Footwork
Remember never to stand still while using a heavy bag. Even during intervals of rest, you must keep moving around. Select a heavy bag that is well attached and swings with ease. It should weigh a little less than your overall body weight. This weight is ideal for it to take your punches and not swing erratically with every punch.
Work on the power of every punch you deliver to feel the effect of using the heavy bag. Your feet should move with every punch. Do not standstill. You can even circle the bag as it moves from side to side with every punch. Remember footwork is very important in the ring. You must develop it as well while training with the heavy bag.
The bag should never be too close or too far away from you. Keep it at arm’s length to punch effectively. Follow the heavy bag as it oscillates from side to side or goes round in circles too. Keep moving with it.
Make sure every hit makes it swing but when it moves too fast, reduce the power of your punch. This will help your feet keep up. Use jabs while moving around. Remember to move with the bag rather than hop around it. Hoping around the bag only wastes your time and energy. Always punch the bag while relaxed and breath to keep calm.
5. Build your Punches on the Boxing Heavy Bag
Truth be told this is one of the most vital equipment in a boxer’s life. A boxing heavy bag will help you develop a good punching technique. There are different punches used in boxing. Develop combinations that you use on the punching bag to cover them. Your footwork must also go hand in hand with your punching technique. Focus your training on both whiles using the heavy bag for different drills.
These drills that you will develop on the heavy bag are important because you get to apply them when faced with a live opponent. This can either be during sparring or competition. The combinations you memorize on the punching bag will translate to the ring as well.
Make good use of that boxing heavy bag hanging in the gym or your garage. The different drills you master on it will prove crucial on the ring. Remember to build the power of your punches together with the accuracy of each punch delivered. You have to upgrade your footwork too. Your feet must go hand in hand with your punches. Standing still while using the heavy bag or on the ring is out of the question.