heavy bag workouts
February 17, 2005 8:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some interesting ways to work a punching bag into workouts.

I've got one of those heavy bags on a water-filled base and need to find some new routines for it. I currently do a 3-minute round on the bag, followed by either 3 minutes of of ab work or 3 minutes on a step. I usually do this cycle 7 or 8 times. The problem is that after a few rounds, I have no idea what to do on the bag. I usually work on one 3-punch combo for a few rounds and then practice jabs and uppercuts while consciously working on improving hand speed. What other bag routines can I work in to make it more interesting? Also, has anyone used a slam man, and if so, would you reccomend it?
posted by ttrendel to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Do you include footwork in your time with the heavy bag? Circling the bag at regular or mixed intervals can be good.
posted by mexican at 8:23 PM on February 17, 2005

I've done some amateur boxing, so moving around the bag and incorporating footwork are things that I always do when I'm on the bag. I'm looking more for what I can do punching wise to mix up my routine.
posted by ttrendel at 9:05 PM on February 17, 2005

There are only so many hand techniques you can use with gloves on (I can only think of about 8). For variety with hand techniques combinations are about your only choice. You can vary the number and type of strikes you use in you combos.

If your not to concerned about keeping a strict boxing routine you can learn a few kicking techniques and throw those in to your combinations. I'd recommend add leg techniques if your using the heavy bag mainly for exercise as combinations that involve leg techniques are much more work than hands only stuff.
posted by mexican at 9:43 PM on February 17, 2005

Excellent advice from mexican, but I'd add a warning - get some instruction on correct kicking technique, especially when working with a bag. Incorrect technique can easily damage knees, hips, and back.
The only instructors I have direct knowledge of are ITF/USTF Taekwon Do instructors. Other martial-arts should have similar knowledge to impart, but I cannot personally vouch for any. TaeBo does not count. Thai kickboxing could do it for you, too....

Note: I would avoid WTF (i.e. Olympic Style) TKD McDojo's. I have yet to see any of them kick "properly".
posted by coriolisdave at 10:19 PM on February 17, 2005

coriolisdave is right to point out that god technique is essential for kicking a bag. If you don't know how to kick and want to learn how to include leg stuff with the bag, look in to either kickboxing or karate. Those guys know how to work leg techniques in to punching combination -- something a taekwon guy might not be able to show you. You may be able to get good enough advice from a kickboxing place without a lot of time investment, but it's unlikely that a karate place would be willing to just show you how to kick. You'd probably have to take classes for a few months before you could competently kick a bag (one of those "easier said than done" things). You really can hurt yourself if you decide to just go for it.

Kicks that work well with a bag are roundhouse (low, middle and high) and front kicks. Front kicks can be a little awkward though, as you can really get a lot of force behind them causing the bag to swing a lot. Other kicks are hard to work in to combinations as they are hard to do from a regular fighting stance. Roundhouse kicks are the easiest, which is why it's about the only thing you see in kickboxing and mui-thai.
posted by mexican at 10:57 PM on February 17, 2005

This article describes a couple of good routines and includes a video clip.

My experience with the bags on a free-standing water-filled base is that they are knocked over too easily with hard kicks. I'd stick to working punches. If you want to practice kicks, get a hanging banana bag.
posted by tdismukes at 12:39 PM on February 18, 2005

Go to a Krav Maga class you will definately learn kicks on a heavy bag there.
posted by CCK at 11:08 AM on February 19, 2005

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