Boxing bag fitness classes are growing in popularity. They offer an ideal high intensity workout format. The structure of a traditional boxing program which offers 2 or 3 minute rounds provides individuals with various skill levels the opportunity to train simultaneously. But as fitness programs increase in popularity, the quality sometimes decreases. The demand for more classes in many of the Big Box chains does not always translate into qualified instructors offering consistent technical guidance. The truth is the quality of your punch matters. The better you throw your jab, cross, hook, the better workout. Simply put- if all you are doing is standing 18 inches from the bag with your feet square, wailing your arms to exhaustion; you may be hurting yourself more than helping your body. Good form matters. The better your technique, the better the workout.
10 Tips for Safer Heavy Bag Boxing Training
2. Use at least a 180’ Elastic style hand wrap that offers a gauze like material. Here is an example of a high quality boxing wrap: Example.
3. Keep your hands up. Many people actually rest their gloves on their chest. I believe in teaching a ‘high & tight’ guard. Knuckles touch your cheeks. This will help you to punch at head height and build your ability to hold your guard up with proper form.
4. Always reposition your fighting stance and correct the placement of your feet. Without a good fighting stance and the commitment to understanding the correct punching position and posture, you are not going to get that much out of your workout. Not to mention, you might hurt yourself.
5. Don’t stare so hard at the bag – step back a little. Learn to step into your punches which will force you to move your feet. This will also increase the intensity of your workout.
6. Keep your fists tight! Make sure you are closing your fists when making contact with the heavy bag. Even if you do not believe you punch hard, you want to avoid injuries to your hand. When you make contact, the wrist should not have a bend in it.
7. Your punches come from your legs and core. Begin by grounding your feet – so you can access the power in your legs when you throw your punches. Every punch receives its explosive power from the legs and the rotation of the upper body.
8. Reset yourself. After every combination you should move your feet and re-position them back into a good fighting stance. Remember that boxers integrate footwork into every punch they throw, therefore they are constantly positioning their feet into an ideal position for their punches.
9. Exhale on your power punches. Most boxers breath explosively when they throw power punches. Keep your mouth relaxed, so it is easier to breath.
10. When you are not punching, keep moving with your hands up in your guard. After you throw a 3-6 punch combo, you should be moving on the balls of your feet with your hands up!
3 Pains you should not feel after boxing bag classes.
1. Knuckles – If your first few knuckles are bruised and sore, most likely you did not wrap your hands properly or the gloves you used were too light. It is ideal to use a 12 oz professional boxing glove when hitting the bag. Another way to safeguard yourself from bruising the first few knuckles is to hit softer. Work on speed and technique. Here are two videos on ways to create extra protection over your knuckles. Click here: Example 1 and Example 2.
2. Wrists- Every punch you throw in boxing requires the wrist to remain straight. There should be no bend at the wrist, at all! Beginners often throw their hook and uppercut with a slight bend at their wrist. Instead of lifting their arm and elbow higher when throwing the lead hook, the wrist bends to create the angle with the bag. When uppercuts are thrown to the bag, they are intended to be a body shot. Instead of bending the knees and driving the punches into the bag at the correct angle, new strikers swing their arm and the wrist bends at the point of contact. If you are trying to correct this, use two wraps on one hand. The second wrap would create more stability in the wrist and you would wrap it in a figure-8 fashion.
3. Headaches- If you finished your bag class on a high and then make it home to only have a headache you probably held your breath and clinched your teeth. The mouth should be relaxed and slightly open. The muscles in your face should also be relaxed. After every combination, make an effort to move your feet, open your mouth and breath.
If you have a bag at home and need some guidance on how to create a quick 20 minute fat-burning workout check out the video below. Additionally, if you are looking for ways to improve your technique and get more out of your bag training program check out the second video that offers some simple tips.
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