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Punching Bag Exercises - 4 Best Punching Bag Routines

Updated on June 19, 2011

Training with a punching bag can be one of the most rewarding experiences; it's a combination of cardiovascular and muscular endurance that utilizes boxing and kick-boxing techniques. This combination makes it one of the most popular home workouts on the planet and one that is used by people of all ages and of all body types.

Punching bag exercises are also known as boxing exercises and many boxing training programs utilize a punching bag workout. The best punching bags, such as a canvas punching bag, or a double punching bag, are very affordable and great investment for a home gym. In no time you'll feel like you have better stamina as well as a strength that is not just superficial, but one that translates into the real world.

When wanting to learn kick-boxing many people sigh at the fact that they have to purchase kick-boxing equipment; the good thing, perhaps the best thing, about punching bags, and punching bag exercises, is that all you need is a punching bag to do the workout. Whether it's a boxing workout, a kick-boxing workout, or heavy bag exercises, a punching bag will be all the equipment you need.


Heavy Bag Exercises

The biggest difference between a heavy bag and a normal punching bag is just what you think it is - weight. A heavy bag will weigh between 40 to 100 pounds, making it much more stable and much more difficult to move out of place. This translates initially into meaning you need to use more force, more strength, to get anything accomplished with a heavy bag; and this, in the end, makes heavy bag exercises one of the best kind of punching bag exercises.

One of the best aspects of heavy bag exercises is that use gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are large muscle actions that won't deteriorate over time; they are, in a sense, a way to train the big parts of the body.

Heavy bag exercises - in fact all punching bag exercises - can be compiled into four types of training:

  • Rep-based Training
  • Time-based Training
  • Circuit Training
  • Blitz Training

Time Based Training

If rep based training is like power training, then time based is equal to cardio training. Time based training is one of the most popular punching bag routines, and one that is included in all boxing training programs.

Since boxing is split up into rounds many people will train with the punching bag the same way. The best way to use time based training is to have 3 minute long rounds - where you practice punches and jabs - with a 1 minute rest period (where you do 5 -7 rounds). This will get your heart rate up - and keep it up - while getting you to maintain technique and power. Although mainly a boxing exercise, it's a great cardio exercise you can do at home that is very effective.

Another way you can use time-based training is to do a mix with rep based training. Set up a cardio circuit that will include punching your punching bag (for how long you decide) as well as things like burbees, push-ups and crunches; this kind of punching bag workout is great because it uses many different parts of the body.

Rep Based Training

Rep-based training is great supplement if you want to try power training. Instead of, say, punching for a minute straight, you'll be punching a certain number of times and punching in a certain way.

For example you could set up your own circuit of four different exercises.

  1. For the first exercise you could just to straight punches with the left and right hand. Punch the punching bag ten times with each hand, focusing on your form, as well as the amount of force you use.
  2. Do a combination of jabs and hooks. Do another ten reps.
  3. Get into more detailed punching combinations - like hook-jab-cross-uppercut. Do the entire combination ten times; go slowly, once again focusing on the technique you are using. Remember: the punching bag isn't going anywhere.
  4. Cross-hook into a cross-jab. Pick how many reps.

Rep-based training is best used with a heavy bag, as you are looking to build your power and strength compared to your stamina; all in all it's one of the best punching bag exercises you can do.

Blitz Training

Blitz training is the most intense kind of punching bag exercise one can ever do; what it is a mix of circuit training, time based training and rep based training. It's so physically demanding that it requires mental focus, as well as determination and commitment.

Blitz training is used a lot in kick-boxing exercises as well as boxing workouts.

It includes:

  • 15-30 seconds long.
  • In that time period set a goal of reps (20 -30)
  • Set it up as a circuit, performing different punches,kicks and combos each time.
  • Don't take too long of breaks in-between (you want to improve cardio)


Punching Bag Exercises - Do's and Don't's

Frequency: Using a punching bag is hard on the body. Don't do it more than 3 to 4 times per week.

Intensity: Know your body and know your strenghts. Don't overdo it on the first day.

Technique: Technique is the best way to get stronger. Learn before you do too much.

Equipment: Punching bag equipment is minimun - but get boxing gloves. You'll thank me later.

Core Strength: Like most intense cardio exercises core strength is very important.


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      Sierra 3 years ago

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    • alanhugus profile image

      alanhugus 5 years ago

      You saying "but get boxing gloves. You'll thank me later." May I ask what would happen if we train without a glove. Does it actually hurt our hands or am I missing something here.

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      jawad 6 years ago

      i like this boxing workout and many divas also liked this but i am a good guy and wanna become a boxer

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      Tech Updates>> 7 years ago

      Punching bags are also useful for building hand speed and punching power. To exercise for strength, make sure to wear gloves with adequate padding; you may wish to wear full 16 oz gloves if you have a lot of power. Structure a workout in a way similar to your cardio training routine, but cut down the length of rounds to one minute apiece, with a shorter rest period.