Boxing with a punching bag at home in the garage can be quite a workout. Punching bag exercise routines are considered to be HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. This is an exercise routine where you have quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short rests and recovery periods.
The exercise is quite intense as you punch the bag with the different combinations and then you take short rests in between the workouts.
The heavy punching bag normally weighs up to 200Lbs and you have to engage the use of several bodily muscle groups as you hit it.
There are however several techniques you need to master in order to avoid injury and ensure you get the benefits of the full compound workout.
The benefits of heavy bag punching
- Improves muscular strength
- Improves muscular speed
- Improves coordination
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Improves heart strength
- Burns body fat
- Improves endurance
- Builds strong bones
- Arms – Forearms, Biceps, Triceps
- Shoulders – Deltoids, Rotator Cuffs
- Chest – Pectorals
- Legs – Hamstring, Quads, Calves
- Core – Rectus Abdominis, Erector Spinae
- Back – Trapezius, Lattismus Dorsi, Rhomboid
- Heavy Punching Bag
- Boxing Gloves
- Skipping Rope
- Exercise Shoes – with good grip
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Before the workout it is important to learn the technique of the punches and practice the correct body movement and foot position.
This will help to avoid injury and ensure you get the maximum benefits from the workout. Boxing is a sport where you attack and defend.
Bringing you fists up to the side of the face just above you shoulders is for defense, protecting you head and face. Keep you head down but look straight ahead at the opponent, the punching bag.
You must perform this boxing exercise as if you are fighting an actual opponent, in this case the punching bag. Keep you fists up all the time protecting you face if you are not throwing punches.
Your feet must always be positioned one slightly forward and the other one at the rear to maintain balance and build up momentum as you throw the punches
The jab is a quick punch which you hit straight from the shoulder.
When you fists are lifted up for defense, you palms must be facing you.
As you stretch out you arm to deliver the jab you palms must be facing downwards. Aim to hit with you knuckles.
The positioning of you feet must be one foot slightly in the front and the other foot slightly back for balance. The hand that is on the same side as the front foot is the one that is going to jab.
Watch out for the following when using the Jab
- If you are right-handed then generally use you left-hand for the jab. That also means left foot forward and right foot back. It’s OK to switch and jab with the other hand. Just remember to also switch you feet in the process
- You do not put you hands down throughout the exercise. The hand that is not delivering the punch must stay up protecting the face and head.
- After the jab you must quickly bring you hand back to protect the face
- Keep you head down in the process but look ahead straight at the opponent/bag
- Keep you elbows tucked in as you jab, do not let them flare out.
- Your standing distance must be such that you arm is fully stretched at the time that you hit the bag with the jab
The cross is the punch that you throw with the other hand soon after the jab.
If you jab with the left-hand then you quickly cross with the right hand.
When jabbing with the left-hand you body’s position should be, you left foot slightly in the front and you right foot at the back.
This will allow the cross to be a much stronger punch as you will engage you whole body and core to rotate through you hips and give weight to the cross punch.
Watch out for the following when using the cross
- You must move you body and rotate you hips as you throw the cross punch. Put some body weight behind it.
- You can lift and slightly twist you heel on the rear foot as you throw the cross punch. It will allow you to put some weight behind the punch
- Keep the other fist up covering you face as you deliver the cross punch. Defense as you attack.
- Keep you elbow tucked in. As you move you arm do not flare out you elbow
- Be quick to bring back you fist back to the side of you face soon after the landing the punch.
The hook is the punch that you throw by moving you fist in an arc from you shoulder into the punching bag.
Your fisted palms will be facing you as you throw the punch. Aim to hit the bag with you knuckles.
The hook is a short range punch as you arm is curved into an arc. In this case it is easier to hook with the hand that is on the side with the front foot as this side will be closer to the target.
The hook is normally used in a combination where you hit with the jab first, then the quick cross and then the hook with the same hand that was jabbing.
The hand jabbing and hooking is the hand on the side with the front foot. In a boxing match with an opponent, the hook will mainly be aimed for the jaw to give the knockout punch.
When you execute a low hook you will be aiming for a body blow in the rib cage.
Watch out for the following when using the hook
- You also need to rotate you hips to give the hook some good body weight
- To gather enough momentum before throwing the hook, move you elbow back slightly and then thrust forward quickly going into the arc.
The workout routine – 30 Minutes
1. Warm up – 10 Minutes
It is important to warm yourself up before any exercise routine. Warming up helps to get you heart to start pumping faster and get you blood flowing.
It helps to prevent injuries and muscle cramps when you are working out.
You can warm up by:
- Stretching you muscles – 2 Minutes
- Skipping – 3 Minutes
- Squats – 2 Minutes
- Shadow boxing – 3 minutes. (throw punches in the air, without the actual punching bag)
2. Jab & Cross – 5 Minutes
Stand in front of the punching bag. Assume the boxing stance.
Start by throwing the quick jab followed by a quick cross. Do this for 5 minutes.
You can move around the bag as you throw you punches but remember the correct foot positions when you punch.
3. Jab, Cross & Hook – 5 Minutes
From the boxing position start by throwing the jab followed by a quick cross and a quick hook.
If you are jabbing with the left-hand, you cross with the right hand and hook with the left again.
Use a high hook aimed for the chin. All the 3 punches must be in quick succession.
4. Jab, Cross, Hook & Cross – 5 Minutes
This is just adding on to the above number 3 combination. You end with the cross as the 4th punch.
Don’t forget to move around the bag but assume the correct foot positioning when throwing the punches.
5. Jab, Cross, Upper Hook, Cross & Lower Hook – 5 Minutes
This is adding to the number 4 combination and you add the lower hook to the body at the end.
Keep yourself light on you feet and move around the bag as you punch. When you are used to the workout learn to switch legs and start the jab with the other hand.
This is a 30-Minute workout. By the time you finish you will be aching and sweating.
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Make sure to drink lots of water to keep hydrated. You can do this workout twice a week and on the other days do a full cardio workout.
This workout will make you lose excess body fat and keep you in shape. Punching bag exercise routines will make you lean and strong. You will master true punching power and the explosiveness of boxing.
As with any exercise routine it is important to combine with a healthy and balanced diet. INcrease portions of protein for muscle gain, reduce carbs for fat loss. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Drink a lot of water for hydration.
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