T Nation

Heavy Bag Qs

Okay, so I hit the heavy bag this morning for the first time in quite a while. I was originally planning on running, but rain changed my mind (okay, so I’m a wuss – I just don’t like starting out when it’s raining AND cold AND dark out).

My first question is this: Where should the bag be vertically, relative to me? I’m 5’11", and the top of my bag (100lb bag, TKO bran) is at chin level, and the D-rings are at throat level. When I hit the bag at what’s a comfortable level for me, it ends up right about where the bottom of the straps for the D-rings are sewn on the bag. This also gets the bag swinging in a wierd way, which dosn’t happen if I hit lower. Am I just striking too high?

Second question: I’m going for that “pop” sound when I hit the bag (using bag gloves), but I still get a lot of swinging from the bag. My hand and foot speed is pretty pathetic, which may be contributing. Can any one diagnose a problem with this? Is this also related to the bag position?

As you can tell, I don’t do the bag often, and I’ve got a long way to go before I’d even call myself a neophyte. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

brider: you want to hit into the center of the bag; at least around that area.

And you kinda what some swing to the bag, since the bag is acting as your opponent and you need to feint, sway and move around it (like you would a opponent). But there are anchors for bags; check out Ringside or Title Boxing.

As for the “pop”. That’s more of the technique of boxing. If you dont’ get a “pop”, you could be “trying too hard” in your punches and “pushing the bag” rather than relaxing the arm and shoulder as you punch. And this could also cause the excessive swinging. You also may not be turning your fist “straight” when it hits the bag.

Proper stance is important, too. Don’t “square up”: keep one foot in front, the other in back, slightly perched on the balls of your feet, knees bent, throw the punch from your hip, shoulders relaxed, straight fist into the bag, arm extended - “jab”, “jab”, jab".

Yeah, I got the foot thing (after jugging it up for so many sessions…). I’m thinking my bag is hung too low. It’s on a stock stand (also TKO brand) that also has a speed bag on the back side (which I don’t use). I’m thinking I should hang it from the garage ceiling instead. The swing I was referring to really isn’t like the whole bag swinging, but more the top of the bag going one direction and the bottom going another. That’s what made me think I’m hitting the wrong area of the bag.

Definitely check out either ringside or title boxing for what they have to hang bags.

If ya got a sturdy garage wall or ceiling, definitely hang it from either!

Funny thing – I went into the TitleBoxing site to look around, and they have the EXACT TKO stand that I’m using (but I also have an attachment to add a speed bag on the back). Seems to me that, at 7’ tall, I should be able to hang a 100lb bag. Guess not. Would it be feasible to shorten up the four chains by hooking them up higher? I might be able to gain a couple inches that way.