Working out with a heavy bag provides benefits that last far beyond the boxing ring. Heavy bag exercises are good for improving aerobic capability, increasing coordination, strengthening the body’s core muscles and relieving stress. The typical heavy bag weighs 40 to 100 pounds, and is made of leather or vinyl.
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A basic heavy bag routine consists of punching drills. Start with 25 jabs on each side, then follow with 25 hooks, 25 uppercuts and 25 cross punches. Repeat this punch circuit three times, while focusing on form over speed.
A combination puts together two or more punches and intensifies the workout. For example, start with a right jab, followed by a left hook and end with a right jab. Repeat this combination 25 times on the bag. You can experiment with different combinations for your workout. Try left uppercut, right cross, left hook or left jab, right cross, left jab. As you get used to these movements, increase your speed.
Spend 15 to 60 seconds throwing non-stop punches at the bag -- left, right, left right or 1 - 2 - 1 - 2. Straight punches, rather than combinations are preferred for this type of exercise. Otherwise known as the Olympic Drill, punch-out drills are a form of interval training at a high intensity.
Power Boxing Drills
Athletic trainer Ross Enamait recommends rounds of power boxing to build power and cardio endurance. In this drill, you punch the bag full force for one minute, without resting. Each punch should have the maximum amount of power behind it, and focus should be on strength rather than form. Once you throw punches nonstop for one minute, rest for one minute and repeat. You can repeat this drill 10 times.