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Heavy Bag Workout for Beginners

Posted by Mike Gales on

Boxing is often called the sport of repetition, which means that the more times that you complete the movements involved in punching then the faster and more efficient your punches will become. In the beginning, trying to remember all the little nuances of each punch can seem overwhelming. As such, the whole point of this beginner’s routine will be to make throwing the basic punches in boxing become second nature to you. To achieve that, we will solely focus on throwing one punch per round to build up your muscle memory. Before long, all of the little technical aspects of each punch will be so instilled into your being, that you won’t be able to do it wrong if you tried.

The goal of the beginner’s routine;

  • Learn how to properly throw each individual punch.
  • Help to develop the muscles involved in throwing the punches.
  • Have your brain, muscles and central nervous system become more efficient at the movement patterns involved with punching.
  • Learn to control the heavy bag.
  • Get your body used to an interval style of training

In this beginner’s routine, you will not train for a certain period of time but instead for a goal of one hundred repetitions of each punch per round. A thirty-second rest period will follow each round. It may not sound all that challenging but you will find that your shoulders will be quite fatigued by that final round. More importantly, your brain will begin to recognize the proper pattern of movement for each of the basic punches in boxing.

Rule Number One, is to protect yourself at all times. Hitting the heavy bag in one of the best ways on the planet to destroy some calories but you must always be aware that boxing is a contact sport. You may not be planning to compete but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get injured none the less. It is imperative that you learn to properly protect your hands by wearing both hand wraps and boxing gloves. It may also help if understand some of the basic concepts of heavy bag training.

Once you have ensured that your hands are properly protected, we can begin. Below are just a few things to keep in mind for each round.

  • Snap your punches (return them as quick as possible to the start position)
  • Keep the hand that is not throwing punches up for defense.
  • Exhale as you strike the bag.
  • Throw one punch and then reset yourself into your proper boxing stance.
  • Control the bag and do not push it.
  • Remember to make contact with the bag using your knuckles.

We will aim for 7 consecutive rounds of 100 repetitions each. Remember to rest the full 30 seconds between each round. If at any point your shoulders feel exhausted then take a break for a moment and continue as soon as you are able. Below will be photos of the punches that you should be working on for that particular round. Underneath the photo will be some technical pointers that you should consider for that specific punch during that round.


Round 1 - Jab for 100

  • The power for the jab comes from a slight rotation of the lead hip.
  • Keep the lead shoulder up high enough to protect your chin.
  • The lead elbow does not flare out to the side but the jab is thrown in a straight line.

Rest 30 seconds and then continue on to Round 2

Round 2 - Double Jab

  • Double up that jab, which means that you will throw two jabs in a row without resting in your proper boxing stance.
  • The cadence should be…bam, bam and then return to your stance.

Rest 30 seconds and then continue on to Round 3

Round 3 - Cross for 100

  • The power for the cross comes from the rotation of your hips and core.
  • The faster that you can use your rear foot to push off of the floor to rotate your hips, the harder the punch will be.
  • Just like the jab, keep your elbow in and throw the punch in a straight line.
  • Your rear shoulder must come up high enough to protect your chin

Rest 30 seconds and then continue on to Round 4

Round 4 – Left Hook to the Body for 100

  • The power for the left hook to the body comes from the rotation of the hips and core.
  • Picture that you are squashing out a cigarette butt on the floor with your lead foot.
  • Keep your elbow bent at about 90’ to keep pressure off of the joint
  • If thrown properly, you should notice that your arm does not really move and that most of the movement for the punch comes from the rotation of your legs, hips and core.
  • Make sure that the lead shoulder comes up high enough to protect your chin.

Rest 30 seconds and then continue on to Round 5

Round 5 - Right Hook to the Body for 100

  • Remember to use your legs, hips and core to throw your hooks… your arms should not be moving all that much. This will improve your punching power and limit shoulder fatigue.
  • You want to be able to transfer your weight from your rear foot to your lead foot as you rotate your core to deliver the hook.

Rest 30 seconds and then continue on to Round 6

Round 6 - Left Hook to the Head for 100

  • This will be the same as left to the body but you will aim your punches higher up on the bag. This will be much more taxing on your shoulders

Rest 30 seconds and then continue on to the final round…Round 7

Round 7 - Right Hook to the Head for 100

  • Once more, this will be the same as the right hook to the body but you will aim your punches higher up on the bag. By now your shoulders may be burning but hang in there because you are almost done.

Congratulations you did it! Performing this routine two or three times per week, for a month will really help cement the movement of punching into your muscle memory. From that point on, whenever you throw the punches you won’t waste as much energy, as your body will have become more familiar with the movement patterns and thus more efficient at throwing the punches.

Here's the video demonstration.

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