Updated: Jan 14, 2020
I've spent a lot of time on the bag recently and quite frankly I'm loving this recent addition to my training! I changed gyms not long ago and the new Xercise4Less in Sheffield not only has a boxing ring and an octagon, but a decent set of bags.
(apart from this one bag that is very temperamental and I've seen hit the deck a few times - but otherwise spot on haha)
Just a couple minutes into my first session I realised boxing was no joke. My heart rate was sky high and my hands were in bits. But 4 months down the line my hands are long since adjusted and I now use the bag as a secret weapon in my arsenal of high intense workouts.
Aside from the fat loss benefits, hitting the bag will get your whole body burning.
Holding the gloves by your chin for 20 mins will have your shoulders screaming, throwing a punch will have your chest and back aching and moving around the bag whilst staying light on your feet will have the calves and quads begging for time out.
Although this may not grow huge amounts of muscle, it will help shape and maintain what you already have.
If you like what you've heard so far and can't wait to get gloved up. Then here's some great workouts guaranteed to get you leaner in no time.
Workout 1 - Style Switcher
This is a great place to start when new to the bag. It combines a lot of different elements within boxing, giving you a chance to really work on each movement individually. There's eight different styles which are worked on for one minute each, with a minute rest in-between. Here's each round with a brief description.
1. Jabs - First round, just get a feel for the bag. Throw some light and hard jabs to determine where your most effective distance is from the bag.
2. South Paw - This refers to having your right hand and foot forwards. Changing up your stance can confuse your opponent within a fight so well worth practicing.
3. Head Movement - Dedicate your third round to over emphasising head movements. A quick head is less likely to get hit. Also try to move it before and/or after your throw punches.
4. Fight Pace - This is your opportunity to take the intensity to the next level. Move around the bag quicker. Throw faster and longer combinations. Work on really pushing the pace.
5. Cautious & Cagey - Pick your punches carefully! As your move around the bag, try getting in with small combinations of punches and then out as quickly as possible - Pretty Boy Floyd style.
6. Head Speed & Volume - Get as many punches off as possible. Relax your mind, forget there are any punches being thrown by your opponent and let the hands of fury take over.
7. Power Shots - Unleash the beast! Take your time and drop some haymakers on the bag. Work both high and low.
8. Working the Inside - As you begin to tire, move closer to the bag. Imagine you're both leaning against each other (you can lean your head and body against the bag for brief moments). Get off some good body shots and the occasional head shot.
Progression: As you're fitness and technical abilities increase, you can add extra rounds dedicated to styles you're weaker on. You can also adjust the working and resting time to keep the intensity high.
Workout 2 - 3 Amigos
In this workout you'll be doing just three exercises. Bag work, skipping and fast feet. Each exercise will be done for 1 minute with a minute rest after each round. You'll be doing between 3-5 rounds based on fitness levels.
Bag work - As your only working for 30 seconds, use the 'fight pace' style of training mentioned above. Lots of movement, lots of punches with a few haymakers dropped in every now and again for good measure.
Skipping - Not much more I can say about this one. Apart from don't get cocky, look for uninterrupted & prolonged skipping rather than 5 or 6 double skip attempts.
Fast feet - I like to use the ladders for this one, but it can also be done through cones. Staying light of your toes and facing down the ladders, make your way side to side across each square making sure both feet tap in each one.
Progression: Once you can comfortable do 5 rounds. Take a short rest 2/3 mins and look to complete another 5. You can continue adding prolonged rests and more rounds until you submit defeat!
Workout 3 - Boxing HIIT
The final workout combines both boxing and fitness in one huge sweaty mess. We'll be looking at some bag work along with familiar bodyweight exercises aimed at pushing the heart rate as high as possible.
Bag: Punch volume - 30 secs
Burpess - 30 secs
Rest - 15 secs
Bag: Power shots - 30 secs
High knees - 30 secs
Rest - 15 secs
Bag: South Paw - 30 secs
Hill Climbers - 30 secs
Rest - 15 secs
Bag: Working Inside - 30 secs
Ice Skaters - 30 secs
Prolonged rest - 3-4 mins
Progression: The amount of times you choose to repeat this circuit is again dictated by fitness levels. As they increase don't be afraid of piling up the rounds to strip off even more fat!
So if you're up for the challenge give these workouts a go! One final word would be to invest in a decent set of boxing gloves. I've gone cheapo in the past and they haven't provided enough protect for my hands or wrists. Get yourself a trusted brand like ever last or RDX and make sure you get a 12-16oz glove.