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5 Heavy Bag Drills That’ll Improve Your Conditioning & Punching Power

Heavy Bag Drills

When it comes to boxing there are a plethora of different bags and training tools out there, from water-filled body snatcher bags to leather double-ended speed balls and wall mounted uppercut bags… you can spend a fortune on all of these bags too, but unless you’re a pro boxer looking to hone every aspect of your boxing game you can’t go past the good old heavy bag.

For building conditioning and bang for buck the heavy bag is king, unlike double-ended bags, speed balls and cobra reflex bags we can hit the heavy bag with full power as well as a ton of volume.

If you’re on a very strict budget I recommend purchasing an inexpensive empty heavy bag and filling it yourself with old rags and cloth.

Got your heavy bag sorted?

Great!

Before we move into the 10 heavy bag drills I recommend performing let’s go over a quick refresher on punching technique.

How To Throw A Jab

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Drive through your hips as you twist them while extending your lead (left) hand outward to punch – your punch should go straight out from your chin level – no dropping of the hand.
  • Just before your glove makes contact with the focus mitt or heavy bag rotate your fist (often calling ‘turning it over) so your knuckles are horizontal to the floor as your glove hits.
  • As soon as your jab connects with the focus mitt or heavy bag bring it back in front of your face and return to your elbows tucked in position.

How To Throw A Right Hand (Cross)

The #1 key when it comes to throwing a cross is to remember that the power comes through the lower body and hip rotation, the power does not come directly from the arm… as such if your stance, footwork or pivot are incorrect then your power punch is going to lack power!

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Pivot on your rear foot as you drive through your hips while extending your rear (right) hand outward to punch – your punch should go straight out from your chin level – no dropping of the hand.
  • Just before your glove makes contact with the focus mitt or heavy bag rotate your fist (often calling ‘turning it over) so your knuckles are horizontal to the floor as your glove hits.
  • As soon as your right hand connects with the focus mitt or heavy bag bring it back in front of your face and return to your elbows tucked in position.

How To Throw A Left Hook

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Drive through your hips as you twist them to the right while pivoting on your front (left) foot.
  • Your left glove should not drop down at all, in one fluid horizontal motion your left glove should fire from your chin to the side of your opponents chin as you maintain a slight bend in your elbow.
  • Strike the mitt or heavy bag with either your knuckles parallel to the floor or horizontal to the floor (personal preference)
  • As soon as your left hook connects with the focus mitt, opponent or heavy bag bring it back in front of your face and return to your elbows tucked in position.

How To Throw An Uppercut

In terms of transferring weight, rotating the hips and pivoting your feet the left (lead) uppercut resembles the left (lead) hook. The right (rear) uppercut resembles your right cross.
The arm movement to throw the punch is the only aspect that differs.

The Lead (Left) Uppercut

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Drop your left shoulder slightly as you drive through your hips as you twist them to the right while pivoting on your front (left) foot.
  • Your left glove should drop down a couple of inches your before firing to your adversaries chin or your training partners focus mitt.
  • As soon as your lead uppercut connects with the focus mitt, opponent or heavy bag loop it back immediately and return in front of your face with elbows tucked in position.

The Rear (Right) Uppercut

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Pivot on your rear foot as you drop your right shoulder slightly and drive through your hips.
  • Your right glove should drop down a couple of inches your before firing to your adversaries chin or your training partners focus mitt.
  • Ensure your left glove is guarding firmly positioned against your cheek to protect yourself in case of a counter.
  • As soon as your rear uppercut connects with the focus mitt, opponent or heavy bag loop it back immediately and return in front of your face with elbows tucked in position.

Now, Give These 5 Heavy Bag Drills A Try!

1 – The Endurance Drill

Begin with a 1 minute warm-up of throwing light jabs and crosses on your heavy bag while moving around to get your shoulders warmed up.

Perform 3 rounds of 3 minutes each of constant punching output – the key here is not to throw overly heavy punches – just aim to keep ‘touching’ your opponent (the heavy bag) for the duration of the 3 minute round. Do not throw single punches, all punches should be combinations (a double jab is OK).

Take 1 minute rest between rounds.

You may wish to alternate the punches in your combination each round – spend the first round throwing straight punch combos (i.e. double jab, cross and jab, cross, jab) before moving into strictly body shots (straight right to the midsection, shovel hooks) in the second round and uppercut variations only in your final round.

Remember, this is all about output, not power.

2 – The Power Drill

Begin with a 1 minute warm-up of throwing light jabs and crosses on your heavy bag while moving around to get your shoulders warmed up.

Perform 5 rounds of 1 minute each, focusing on performing one power-punching combo each round.
Throw the combination over and over for 1 minute while putting about 80% power into your shots… you should be hitting the bag HARD but not at 100% power as you will not be able to see all fiive rounds through if you go 100% from the first punch.

Below are a few of my power oriented combos you may like to try:

Jab, slip, left shovel hook.
Jab, cross, left uppercut, right uppercut
Jab, jab, right uppercut, left hook
Jab, straight right, straight right
Left uppercut, right uppercut, left uppercut, right uppercut, left hook, straight right

3 – The Accuracy Drill

Begin with a 1 minute warm-up of throwing light jabs and crosses on your heavy bag while moving around to get your shoulders warmed up.

Use duct tape or similiar to mark between 3 and 5 different targets on your heavy bag… opt to have these at different levels/positions on your bag.
Place some targets at head height for straight punches, place a few around the midsection of the bag (to replicate body shots).

You will now spend 3 rounds of 3 minutes (with 1 minute rest between rounds) throwing punches that MUST hit your duct tape targets.

4 – The Speed Drill 

Begin with a 1 minute warm-up of throwing light jabs and crosses on your heavy bag while moving around to get your shoulders warmed up.

Perform 10 rounds of 1 minute on, 1 minute off of fast straight punches (jab and straight right) with approximately 50% power.

5 – Tabata!

This is a great one to really empty the tank.

Begin with a 1 minute warm-up of throwing light jabs and crosses on your heavy bag while moving around to get your shoulders warmed up.

Now, you’ll be following the Tabata interval system which is 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest for 4 minutes.

This is the one to give it all you’ve got… mix it up with a combination of fast straight punches with punishing heavy shots to the midsection of your bag.

What’re Your Go-To Heavy Bag drills? Let Me Know Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.https://ignorelimits.com
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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