Have you ever gone shopping for anything with no idea what you are looking for? It can be daunting, right? Never make the mistake of getting a heavy bag for boxing without an idea of what you are buying. Why? You might get ripped off or worse get stuck with something that may not suit your needs. For those who at least have an idea of what a punching bag looks like, have to agree with me that the appearance alone can put someone off.
What is even the use of a heavy bag anyway? For starters, this sporting equipment is used for developing a boxer’s power, rhythm, and timing. It is legendary when it comes to modeling champions in boxing, MMA, or even fighting.
Most bags look very basic, with many being made of either vinyl or leather. They are stuffed and can weigh between 35 to 200 pounds. I can assure you for a rudimentary piece of gear; it sure does deliver amazing results. Whether it is polishing self-defense abilities, complete body workout, or toning a muscular body, a heavy bag is a fantastic addition to any commercial or home gym.
So what are the benefits of having a heavy bag in your gym or home? What are the dos and don’ts of a punching bag? Continue to find out.
Does a punching bag make you hit harder?
Without a doubt, yes. Hitting a punching bag consistently will help you develop muscle. The force you exert while repeatedly beating a heavy bag will eventually build your core, shoulders, back, arms, and even legs.
This equipment is the ultimate tool for boxers and fighters that helps them develop the massive punching strength to win it in the ring.
Let’s delve more in-depth on why a using heavy bag develops your punching power. We can agree that your muscles will get resilient when they encounter some resistance. If you continually force your muscles to work harder than yesterday, they eventually develop some tears.
These tears heal and become stronger and thicker. And that’s how resistance exercise forms your muscle power. Therefore, when you hit a heavy bag, it resists your thump, thereby building the force that drives the punch.
How often should you hit the heavy bag?
Now here is where it gets tricky. Do you know why? There is no right or wrong answer. In as much as you may want to get that punching power within the shortest time possible, you also need to be smart. Otherwise, you may injure yourself.
Just like every other routine or exercise, repetitiveness depends on an individual, and everyone needs to find their own pace through steady exercises in intensity and power. Personally, I take three heavy bag sessions a week. These consist of 15 by 2-minute series and 45 seconds rest.
Depending on how focused you are, you can adjust as you like. As you progress, you can modify your technique, power, speed, and finally, duration. Caution should, however, be taken when choosing a heavy bag routine to avoid overtraining and allow your tendons, muscles the chance to recover.
Can you punch a heavy bag without gloves?
This question is common among MMA fighters and boxing enthusiasts. The candid response is yes. You can hit a heavy bag with hand wraps, MMA gloves, or even without using any protection for your hands at all.
Do you know why? It’s considered advantageous for you if you want to fortify your wrist, forearm muscles, or even toughen up your knuckles. The real question, however, is how often you should hit a heavy bag without hand protection. I personally minimize my bare-knuckle sessions to only once a week.
Should you wrap your hands when hitting a heavy bag?
I know newbies would be tempted to just slip in boxing gloves and hit the punching bag training sessions right away, assuming they are taken care of in terms of safety. Wrong. Hand wraps are an essential tool in your safety arsenal.
Having hand wraps on helps prevent your knucklebones from spreading, especially when you are hitting bags that are heavy but soft. Also, if you have the tendency to avoid wraps, you will notice that the fists tend to slip while inside the gloves. For people with small and soft fists, this sliding causes the knuckles and fists to start bleeding, which is avoidable.
Similarly, experienced boxers will tell you that having hand wraps inside your gloves makes your punches more crisp and robust. The reason is that they bind the hand, creating a single unit that is sturdier.
Since wearing gloves is dependent on several factors like the type of bag, how hard a boxer hits, the weight of a fighter among other factors, it is crucial to wear wraps until you know, especially as a newbie where you fall.
Sometimes, you may have to wear a set of superimposed wraps. For instance, you could have a soft cover underneath like a bandage and a tougher one on top like a herringbone wrap. Likewise, carry with you some tape in case a wrap gets lose, you can quickly slap some tape on and continue with your training session.
How long should you work out on a heavy bag?
The length of time you should spend on your heavy bag work out regime varies depending on several factors. These elements include whether you are working out for a competitive bout if you are undertaking personal exercise techniques, or whether you are doing it just for stamina, health or fitness.
If you are practicing for a competitive match, make sure to follow the number of actual tournament minutes and rounds. For instance, if a contest is 2 minutes long, spend 2 minutes hitting the bag and then a few seconds rest. Continue for the number of rounds for the tournament.
For a drilling technique workout like polishing a punch, you can do 50 or more times focusing on one side, then repeat the same number of times for the other side. Do deviations of the same technique to get an all-round workout, especially in terms of flexibility, speed, and strength.
When it comes to the general routine for health and fitness, it is imperative to get the proper training to avoid injury and ensure an effective workout. If you insist on going it alone, make sure always to use protective gear to minimize harm. Also, you can approach a Tabata style where for 5 minutes, you hit the bag intensely for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds.
How much space do you need around a heavy bag?
Supposing you have all the tools necessary to hang your heavy bag, there are several factors you need to consider before commencing. One of them is location. You need to have enough space, probably in the basement, so that the bag can have ample room to swing.
Likewise, the room should be free of barriers or debris so that you don’t risk tripping over stuff when working with the bag. Although the amount of space you need is dependent on the type of training you will be conducting; an 8 foot by 8 foot is a good place to get underway.
How far should a heavy bag be from the wall?
The reason basements form the ideal location for a punching bag is because they create a safe mounting option. At the same time, the place helps in hushing the punching bag sounds. Once you have traced a stud to suspend the bag on the ceiling, make sure the bag is at least (61 centimeters) 24 inches from either wall.
You might be interested in our article: “How to hang a punching bag? – Made easy”
What are heavy bags filled with?
Punching bags can be acquired either pre-filled or empty. Getting an empty bag is cheaper, plus it gives you more control as to how heavy or light you want your bag to be. It is critical to use the correct filling materials for your bag to ensure it is safe to use.
For beginners who prefer light punching bags, old clothing or scrap fabrics are ideal for filing. Also, as you get used and need more resistance, you can add sand or sawdust to increase the density.
On the other hand, if you require a dense bag, don’t go for sand alone, this will make your bag too heavy and hard to move around. So mix with sawdust and also add some clothing. It is essential as you start filling to ensure that whatever material you are using, it is evenly distributed in the bag.
For instance, if you are using cloth and sand, ensure you put the fabric in layers while ensuring you weigh it every few layers. Make certain that the fabric is even on the sides of the bag since this is the area where you will be hitting.
Heavy bags are arguably the most common work out equipment for boxing fanatics, MMA fighters as well as other martial arts practitioners. The best thing is with a proper regimen, consistent training, and focus; you can achieve superb work out results right in your basement.