When training for boxing, it can become tiring to try and continuously be creative with new combinations and drills to do without a partner. If you are training solo, you are very limited with which aspects of training can be practised, and that is one of the reasons why a heavy bag plays such an important role in a boxer’s training.
The heavy bag has long been used in boxing training. It allows you to practice certain movements and be as refined and picky as you please, without having to put a training partner through the painstaking task of standing there while you throw the same punch 300 times. It also can be hit as hard as you like, as you will not because harm to anyone else when you punch the heavy bag.
Here are 5 combinations that you can practice on the heavy bag on your own:
*NOTE* It is highly recommended that you bandage your hands correctly prior to hitting a heavy bag, as a heavy bag can weigh more than the average human, so hitting the bag at full force can put a lot of strain on your hands and wrists. (click here for a hand wrap tutorial)
Combo 1 – Jab, Cross, Hook.
This combination is great for landing the left hook around your opponent’s guard. The jab and cross aimed to the face should bring your opponent’s guard to the front, exposing the side of the face for the left hook to land flush on the jaw, ear, or temple. Be sure to try and keep the same tempo for all three punches, rather than two fast punches and a longer pause while winding up the left hook, which is often the case for even some experienced boxers. Also be sure to move in and out of the range between combinations, to practice your footwork at the same time.
Combo 2 – Jab, Body rip, Hook.
It can be difficult to use the left punch 3 times in a row at different angles, but like all things, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. Focus on generating power by rotating your shoulders between the punches. You can do this by simply pulling your left shoulder backwards before the body rip, and again before the hook, but we will try to keep the jab snappy, to catch our opponent off-guard with the first punch. Allow yourself to slow the combination down slightly, as we are focusing on hitting hard rather than fast for this drill.
Combo 3 – Jab, Cross, Jab, Cross (four straight punches)
In this boxing combination, we are aiming to practice punching with both speed and power. Many people can punch with speed or power, but it is difficult to use both at the same time while staying balanced on our feet. By taking very small steps, we can adjust our weight slightly to keep our poise for the next punch. Practice landing the left foot simultaneously with each left punch and the right foot simultaneously with each right punch as shown in the video. If you want to increase the difficulty, you may choose to increase the number of punches to 6 or 8 straight shots, but ensure you keep your timing and balance as your number of punches increases.
Combo 4 – Jab, Cross, Uppercut, Cross, Hook.
In combo 3, we practised throwing multiple straight punches and keeping our balance. In this boxing combination, we will take that one step further, and include some uppercuts and hooks. Try to concentrate on getting the timing of the punch correct, meaning that you are not “pushing” into the bag, slowing down your combination, but striking the bag and ending the force of your arm/body once you feel the solid connection between your fist and heavy-bag. Also, ensure that the hands come back to protect the face after every punch.
Combo 5 – Jab, Cross.
To practice getting our distancing perfected, we can use the momentum of the bag. As shown in the video, giving the bag a little shove at the beginning causes a swinging motion, which will help stimulate an opponent stepping towards us, so that we can practice punching as soon as they come into your punching range. What we are aiming to do in this combination is to strike the bag at a distance that our arm is at its longest. If we wait until the bag gets too close we lose the “snap” of the punch, forfeiting lots of the power. We should be aiming to develop power through our punches as well as perfecting our distance, so be sure to hit as hard as you can, without losing integrity through the technique of the punch.
Here is a way you can combine this bag routine with a few other exercises to give yourself a simple but effective boxing workout. Obviously you will never become fight ready by only repeating this workout at home on your own, but it is a great workout for those days when you can’t make it to the gym:
- Dynamic movement/stretches to warm up.
- 3km run
- 2 x 3 min rounds skipping
- 2 x 3 min rounds shadow boxing
- (short rest)
- Heavy bag rounds (5 x 3 minute rounds)
Round 1 – Combo 1
Round 2 – Combo 2
Round 3 – Combo 3
Round 4 – Combo 4
Round 5 – Combo 5
- *Do each combination repetitively with a short break between (2 or 3 seconds).
- cool down with light shadow box for 1 x 3 minute round and some stretches.