T Nation

Heavy bag training

Can anyone share any drills or tips you may have for hitting a heavy bag? I’m beginning MMA training in a couple of weeks when I finish school, and I want to get a feel for punching before I go in there. I’m sure I will learn alot in skills training, but I don’t want to go in there looking like a shmuck, ya know.

Any websites or information you can provide would be appreciated. Thank you.

Most of them suck. If you have weak wrists, they’re roll a crappy bag. The solution is to keep your punches vertical or at a 45 degree angle.


Any boxing gyms near you?

The best way to learn to hit a heavy bag is to go into a boxing gym and just do it. You’ll learn the proper techniques there. Just learn the basics: jab, cross, hook.

It’ll probably take anywhere from 2 to 4 visits. to a boxing gym. There’s always someone at these gyms who are willing to show you the ropes.

But get some bag gloves and wraps, too.

Yeah Patricia, theres a gym not far from here… boxing, jiujitsu & submission wrestling. They have some weird hours though, and unfortunately I’m not available when they’re training. Not for another a few weeks anyways.

I’m hanging a bag in my garage tomorrow, and I wanted to start getting a feeling for things.

Punching vertical? Why the hell would you punch straight up?

45 degrees?

Sorry, but I could not resist.

Back to the question.

There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you are doing when you walk into a studio for the first time.You are a beginner,and you have to start some place.

If you really want a head start, hitting, find a boxing gym, as Patricia suggested. Learn proper technique. there is nothing harder than tryiing to unlearn bad technique.

Heavy bag training is a form of GPP and SPP. It is not the best tool to learn how to punch! I find people who exclusively use the heavy bag have a tendancy to push their punches and ?pose? after the hit connects (freese for a second after the hit). I believe it has to do with the weight of the bag and the trainers desire to move the bag. Your punchs should snap and return, along the same path, at the same speed. Other training tool should be used in concert with the heavy bag: top and bottem bag, speed bag, SHADOW BOXING, and (my personal favorate) focus mitts. Learn proper form first, then use the bag as a training tool. Sometimes I isolate elements of combat within rounds, ie. First round lead hand punches, then rear hand, then front leg, then combo, etc. Injuries do occur using the bag incorrectly. Don?t groove improper form without instruction or you will pay for it for years.


Don’t be so snappy. My reference was to hand rotation, not direction.

Bags tend to rotate on a horizontal axis when hit above or below the center of gravity. The surface angle subsequently changes in such a way to cause one’s fist to roll, particularly with a punch above shoulder level.

It’s easier on the wrists to punch slightly lower with the hand rotated 45 to 90 degrees outward. Such a strike also keeps the elbows in, preventing a haymaker-style punch that would break the last two knuckles against a real target.