Heavy bag training has long been used as a conditioning tool for boxers and martial artists. Sustained punching and kicking an 80-pound heavy bag utilizes the larger muscles of your legs and upper body, which is a calorie-burning cardiovascular workout. One or two heavy bag sessions a week can only help out your weight loss efforts.
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Before you start training with a heavy bag, you have to know how to hit and kick the bag properly. Hit the bag with your wrist straight so the back of your hand is in line with the top of your wrist joint. Punching with a bent wrist can damage the tendons. For front kicks, only the ball of your foot should touch the bag. Only your heel should connect for side kicks. Always wear boxing training gloves and protective foot gear.
Train a specific punch for each 60-second round, then rest 60 seconds between rounds. For example, you can focus on your left and right jab for the first round, hooks for the second, and front kicks for the third. Add more techniques, such as the uppercut, side kick and roundhouse kick, as you add more rounds to your training session. Once you reach 10 rounds, add 30 seconds to each round and rest period until you can complete 10 two-minute rounds with a two-minute recovery between rounds.
The intermediate routine focuses on increasing energy expenditure by increasing the power of your strikes. There are 10 two-minute rounds with a two-minute rest between rounds. Use light contact the first two rounds to loosen up. Punch and kick the bag with full power the remaining rounds. Imagine you're fighting a real opponent, and mix up your punches and kicks in each round. While you're striking with full force, your focus must still be on correct technique.
The advanced routine is for maximum energy expenditure and fat burning. Keep the rounds to two minutes, but reduce the rest period to one. Deliver all strikes with full power, and use combinations for rounds one through nine. Don't take any breaks in the 10th round, and do your best to deliver a constant stream of high-powered punches and kicks.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- FundamentalFitness.com: Training with the ‘Heavy bag’ for Awesome Conditioning!
- Rossboxing.com: Intensifying The Heavy Bag
- Voyager Fitness: Punching Away the Fat: Top 5 Benefits of a Heavy Bag Workout
- Fighting Fit: Boxing Workouts, Techniques, and Sparring; Doug Werner