Boxing workouts with a punching bag can be as intense or relaxed as you want them to be. By controlling your level of effort, you can control the results you get. Punching forces you to recruit muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, core and legs to deliver powerful strikes. To get the most out of a punching bag workout, mix up your strikes, throw with proper technique and stick to a plan.
Once you're an experienced puncher, you don't necessarily have to relegate yourself to timed rounds on the bag, but beginners should adhere to a structured training routine to prevent fatigue from cutting down on boxing technique. Throw basic punches, such as jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts on a heavy bag. In a typical workout, you might do three or four two-minute rounds on the bag with one minute of rest in between rounds. Keep your pace moderate and stay hydrated.
Intensifying the Bag
Once you're comfortable with a few short rounds at a moderate pace, the best way to increase the intensity of your punching bag workout is not to increase the length of the rounds, but rather the speed and power at which you strike. It's easy to slow down your pace to finish a longer round, but in the end, you're really not accomplishing much. Instead, try setting a new record for the number of punches you land during each two-minute round.
Mixing it Up
The heavy bag can absorb all manner of strikes, but it's not the only bag at your disposal in a boxing gym. You can strike speed bags that hang from a circular board, reflex bags that are suspended at head height or spherical heavy bags that allow you to work on uppercuts. The lighter, quicker bags require more technical skill and finesse. Putting in the time on these bags will make your strikes faster and more powerful, allowing you to get a harder and more effective workout in when it comes time to turn up the heat on the heavy bag.
Considerations and Safety Precautions
The amount of time you should spend training on the bags depends on your level and goals. Pay attention to your body and take rest days when you need them. Don't do intense rounds on consecutive days. No matter how confident you feel in your striking skill, don't hit the bags without wrapping your hands and wearing training gloves. Otherwise, you increase your risk of injury to the hands and wrists.