Heavy Bag Workouts for Power, Speed and Conditioning

The best thing about heavy bag workouts is their versatility. Trainers can use them to work on the three major areas of stand-up fighting:

  1. Power
  2. Speed/Combos
  3. Stamina/Conditioning

From striking combos to conditioning circuits, almost everything you need to train your students (or yourself) can be rooted in a good heavy bag workout. Depending on which area of stand-up fighting you want to work on, your heavy bag workout will change significantly.

Power Heavy Bag Workouts

Heavy bags work the muscles all throughout the body. While straight punches, jabs and crosses work the shoulder and chest, uppercuts and various hooks rely more on the arms and back. Regardless of the punch being thrown, power is often derived from the legs, so heavy bag workouts give you a full body workout.

Power workouts utilize short sets (10-15 punches) and focus on hitting the bag hard without moving. Plant your feet into the ground and drive into the bag (for jabs and crosses) or punch through it (for hooks). The idea is to go from stasis (no movement) to a heavy, solid strike.

When working on power, remember that proper technique, rather than raw muscle, decides the overall power of a punch. It’s not about hitting the bag as hard as possible, per se, but about putting your entire body behind a strike.

Speed and Combo Heavy Bag Workouts

While speed bags are the best option for developing quicker strikes, you can still use a heavy bag to work on developing faster and more complex combos.

The basis of speed heavy bag workouts is movement and timing. Work on short sets (3-6 punches) in quick succession. Start a few paces back from the bag, move in quickly for the set/combo, then retreat out of range. This will help you work on your footwork while increasing the speed in which you deliver combos.

The important thing to learn about speed is that you should not have to sacrifice power to achieve it. Technique still applies here as much as ever.

Stamina and Conditioning Heavy Bag Workouts

When you are tired in a fight, you still have throw more punches. That much is certain. Conditioning on heavy bags allows you remain focused when your muscles are under stress.

Try completing a total of 5-8 rounds on the bag, each time working on a particular punch or combo. These rounds can last anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on how well conditioned you are.

For an added bonus, superset the rounds with one of the following exercises:

  • Jumping rope
  • Squats
  • Pushups
  • Mountain climbers

Equipment for Your Gym and Your Home

You can hang a single heavy bag on a bag rack at home and go at it alone, or you can hang multiple bags on a trolley system at your facility and teach multiple students at the same time. Whether you are teaching or training, you will get the most out of your efforts with Zebra’s Pro Grade Equipment.