You can create a variety of heavy bag boxing workouts using different methods, depending on your training goals. You can train for fighting by working on your technique, endurance and cardio stamina using different intensities. If you aren’t a fighter, you can create aerobic workouts to help build calories while building muscle. Whatever your goals, the key to effective heavy bag workouts is variety, in order to prevent muscle fatigue from occurring too soon.
Before you begin working out against a heavy bag, warm your muscles off the bag. Start with jogging in place or light jump rope. Perform moderately intense shadow boxing moves and jumping jacks. Practice moving your feet the way you will during your workout. Take several minutes to raise your heart rate, increase your circulation and warm your muscles. Avoid static stretching, or stretching your muscles and holding them, until after your workout, to prevent desensitizing your muscles just before you start exercising.
Begin your workout with jabs, dancing around the bag as you get into your rhythm. Don’t start close to the bag, throwing power punches with little footwork. Gradually increase the intensity of your workout, using all of your punches, moving in closer to the bag for more powerful punches after several minutes. Practice your breathing technique so it is automatic when you begin working out at full speed.
Work out against a bag with a purpose by using timed rounds. Rather than simply punching until you are tired, create multiple bouts of exercise that create a work/rest rhythm that helps you meet specific goals. For endurance, work at roughly 50 percent to 75 percent of your maximum effort for one minute, then take a one-minute break. To train recovery, work at close to your maximum intensity for 30 to 60 seconds, take a short break, then start again. Take a two-minute break every 10 minutes. For cardio workouts, work at 70 percent to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate for 10 minutes at a time, changing punches every 30 seconds to prevent muscle fatigue. Take a short break every five to 10 minutes, depending on your conditioning. Perform light footwork drills while you recover to keep your heart rate elevated.
Train specific punches if you are preparing for a fight. Work closer to the bag for power punches, using the same fighting stance and footwork you would during a fight. Dance close to and away from the bag with quick footwork, just as you would against an opponent. After you practice each punch separately, begin practicing combinations. Make sure you use the right footwork, stance and angle of attack for each punch during combinations.
Finish your workout away from the bag using increasingly slower muscle movements to help lower your heart rate and let anabolic wastes leave your muscles. Avoid repeating the punches you’ve just been doing; instead, straighten your arms while you raise, lower and shake them. After your heart rate is back to normal, stretch your arm and leg muscles.