How to Use a Punching Bag: The Ultimate Guide (with Pictures & Videos)

Boxing – it looks so easy, does it not? You throw punches at something. It looks like something that anyone can do. Yet, spend even thirty seconds with a sparring partner and you will soon realise that boxing is by no means easy. If you want to build up the skills, the self-belief, and the wider confidence needed to box, you need to learn how to use a punching bag.

And unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there that can increase your chance of injury whilst reducing your chance of progress. With that in mind, you want to learn how to use a punching bag for your own greater understanding. To help you get to grips, this guide breaks down what you need to know in simple, easy to understand terms you can use to your advantage.

In this guide, we will make sure that you understand the various aspects of using a punch bag. However, you should also look into our guides that are built around essential usage tips, such as filling a punching bag.

Getting Started

1- How to use a Punching Bag Properly

How to use a Punching Bag Properly

Training with a punch bag is something that can provide numerous benefits to anyone who decides to take part in the training aspect. The main punching bag benefits include improving accuracy, consistency, and punching power. To use a punch bag properly, though, you need to consider quite a lot of information. Using a punching bag properly can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Make sure that you are using a punch bag that is the correct height for you personally. You should be able to look a punch bag ‘in the eye’ and land head, and body, height punches with comfort.
  • Pick a punch bag that feels right for you. Typically, average punching bag weights can break down to around 80lbs, but lighter bags can be as little as 35lbs with heavier bags exceeding 200lbs.
  • Unless you are an experienced sparrer, you should always wear boxing gloves. Gloves are vital for protecting your hands and avoiding bruises, discomfort, and needless wear and tear damage.
  • Make sure you dress for the occasion. This means removing distractions such as tying back longer hair, wearing comfortable clothing that maximises movement, and wearing comfortable footwear.
  • Always look through the bag book that comes with any punching bag that you buy. This will break down essential tips on how to use that bag, including the right stances to take when sparring.

The technique you use whilst throwing a punch matters too. Typically, the main things to focus on when throwing a punch include:

  1. Make sure you are always close enough to the bag that you can hit the bag by rotating your hips. If you throw a punch from the hip as opposed to direct from the arm, it always hits harder.
  2. As you throw a punch, ensure that your big toe is dug into the ground on the same side as your punching arm. This helps you to ensure you throw your punch with your hips and shoulder.
  3. The punch should be seeing its power come from the hips and the torso as opposed to simply from your first. The best punches carry weight from your whole upper body, not just your arms.
  4. Make sure you always land a hit with your index and middle finger knuckles leading. These are the most powerful and durable knuckles, and can take the brunt of the impact much easier.
  5. As you throw a punch, focus on punching through the punching bag. Imagine you are striking right through to the back – this will add more force than stopping as you make contact.

These five basic steps ensure that your punch carries the correct level of weight and balance. Now, a punch is far less likely to feel like it throws you off-balance. It should also ensure that punches land with confidence without making you lose your balance or position.

2- How to Safely use a Punching Bag

How to Safely use a Punching Bag

When you first start using a punching bag, it is easy to find yourself making some common mistakes. This can lead to injuries and bruising as you mishit the bag, throw punches from the wrong angles etc. – to help you avoid those common issues, we recommend that you take the following into account:

  • Always make sure you warm-up before you start using a punching bag. If you start using a bag without a warmup you are less resistant to injury, which could reduce the quality of your workout.
  • When it comes to stretching, focus especially on your cardio – something like going for a light jog around the block, or using some skipping ropes, can warm you up and get you limber for fighting.
  • Stretch out your hands and arms, too; even something as simple as leaning on the top of a doorframe and pulling down can help to stretch out the muscles in your hands and your arms.
  • Always start out nice and slow when it comes to boxing. Many try and start their workout in a whirlwind, but this increases the risk of an inaccurate punch which leads to staves, strains etc.
  • Start out by using the bag for 30 seconds, then stopping. Then, go for a 45 second burst, before stopping. Then, a minute, and so on. Add small timeframes to each burst session when starting out.
  • Try and avoid working out on that bag to excess; three to four sessions per week is more than enough to make sure you can train and develop without overexertion or risking a needless injury.

3- How to use a Punching Bag for Beginners

How to use a Punching Bag for Beginners

Starting out as a newbie to the world of boxing can be daunting, and it can be surprisingly easy to do yourself an injury. To get you started with using a punching bag for beginners, we recommend that you:

  • Get used to pacing yourself. In a real fight, if you come flying out the traps, you could be gassed too soon. Pace your energy, and get used to working your way into sessions as you would a real fight.
  • Focus on accuracy as opposed to power. Knocking the back around and seeing it twirl is fun; making sure you land 90% plus of your punches feels even better. Focus on snapping hits with accuracy.
  • Try and spend some time learning how to throw punches with the right hand shape. Many throw punches either too tight or too loose, which increases the risk of staving your hand/thumb if you miss.
  • When striking a punching bag, you want to ensure that the knuckles of your index and middle fingers are hitting the bag first. If you hit with the smaller knuckles first, they are prone to damage.
  • Take the time to appreciate the importance of good balance. Better balance works your entire body; poor balance works only your arms. Both feet should stay planted on the floor as you swing.
  • Make sure you focus mostly on accuracy and balance in your initial training and sparring session. You will find that your workouts are more invigorating this way.
  • Again, make sure you read the bag guide that comes with any punch bag that you buy. This will give you invaluable tips on punching form and similar.

4- How to use a Punching Bag without Getting Bruises

For many boxers, especially beginners, it is common to come off an early punching bag session with bruises. This naturally is not a good thing as it shows you are punching incorrectly, and you are likely making some mistakes in form and in preparation. The most effective ways to learn how to use a punch bag without getting bruises includes:

  • Making sure you wear hand wraps and gloves so that your knuckles are not being moved around as much as you land punches on the bag.
  • Ensure you are landing with your index and middle fingers as we noted above. This ensures that your strongest, most punch-suitable parts of the hand are taking the brunt of the force.
  • Focus on making sure you hit the right parts of the bag. If you are punching too low down on a bag, you could be hitting close to the more solid base, which is likely to cause injury over time.
  • Bare knuckle boxing is for skills development, and is something that should be left to advanced boxers when you start to really improve your skills and master the foundations of boxing.

5- How to use a Punching Bag for Anger

How to use a Punching Bag for Anger

There are many punching bag benefits associated with this kind of training, not least working out high stress levels. The problem that you might have, though, is that you might hop onto the bag when you are feeling angry. This is a common decision, but it can result in some pretty big mistakes if you happen to jump on when you are in the wrong frame of mind. With that to consider, then, make sure that you use a bag properly when you are angry. To us, this means:

  • Avoiding going overboard when it comes to landing punches. Control your anger; do not allow yourself to lose focus as you will start swinging wildly, increasing the risk of injuries as mentioned above.
  • Fight in small bursts. Using a punch bag for anger should be done in 30-45s bursts where you can focus on throwing powerful, precise strikes. Do not allow yourself to throw wildly, it is pointless.
  • Always use gloves and/or wrapping when anger-training. You are likely to find yourself working up a frenzy at times, and all it takes is one misplaced pass and you could hurt yourself quite badly.
  • Keep moving on your feet, and moving around the bag. You will burn more energy and work through more of your stress if you focus on moving around the bag, thus reducing stress quicker.
  • Try and focus your anger into your hits. If you are stressed out about a certain situation, think about that situation as you box; allow the punces to literally transfer the stress from mind to bag.

All of the above details should help a beginner to get started with boxing. There is a lot to learn in a short space of time, but you can easily take all of the details above and put them into action as soon as possible. if you want to keep improving, the above basics are something you should spend more time getting to grips with. These are the fundamentals of using a punching bag.

Now, before you start doing anything else, we want to look at the different types of punching bags. There are various styles out there, and learning how to use each style is very important to your long-term growth as a boxer. So, how do you use the numerous styles safely?

Of course, be sure to look into our punching bag buying guide if you want to know more about buying the right kind of punch bag.

Using The Various Punch Bag Types

As you might have noticed when looking around, punch bags come in all shapes and sizes. There are many different styles that you could choose to start using, which can in turn make things a little awkward. Try and use one type of punch bag the same as another, and you could be on a one-way street to a broken hand!

As such, we want to make sure that you know roughly how to use each of the punch bags out there. We highly recommend you also look up some videos, too, as you can get some extra ideas on how to properly stand and use a punch bag of this type.

Also, please note that this will not tell you how to put up the punching bag type that you have bought. Every bag is hung, or handled, in a different way. You should always consult the content provided by the vendor of your punch bag that you buy. They can give you more ideas on how to properly set-up and arrange the bag as it should be. How, then, do you properly use each major type of punching bag to your long-term benefit overall?

6- How to use a Heavy Punching Bag

Among the most common choices is the heavy punch bag. Heavy bags are typically on the weightier side of things, and require extensive physical force to move. They are very strong and thus can take a lot of physical effort and grit to move. If you can send a heavy bag spiralling and spinning around, you have plenty of power! How, though, do you use a heavy punching bag without hurting yourself?

  • You really need to focus on making sure you hit a heavy bag with accuracy. Always use the technique we spoke about above, making sure you land the punch with correct form to avoid injury.
  • Make sure you put lots of time into mastering breathing techniques. Heavy bags are intense, and they will drain your stamina. At first, focus on getting good breathing technique as opposed to KO power.
  • Good breathing means that you stay focused and relaxed as you hit the bag. If you find yourself gassed after a few minutes on the heavy bag, you are breathing incorrectly and/or using too much power.
  • Focus yourself as you use a heavy bag; spend as much time as you can getting used to its position and where it stands. Always keep your eyes on the bag whilst being aware of other movements.
  • Get used to hitting a heavy bag without looking at any one point in particular. If you get too used to looking where you punch, you will likely telegraph where you are going to try and impact.
  • Your balance is essential to using a heavy bag; make sure you throw your punch from the hip, allowing the hit to be carried into the bag. This avoids you throwing yourself at the bag with your punch.
  • Never allow your feet to lift off the ground when you swing at a heavy bag. Being grounded improves your balance, adds more power to the hit, and gives you more control as you step back from the hit.
  • Do not push with your shoulders, throw from the hips and allow the punch to follow around. An accurate hit on a heavy bag makes a smacking sound, not a dull and dour sounding thud.
  • Get used to making sure all punches, even your starting jab, ends with a snap. As soon as you feel your first hitting and contacting with the bag, draw back and throw your next hit.
  • Heavy bags are about building power and endurance, so focus as much as you can on constantly throwing punches. Resting time should last 2-3 seconds max, then throw your next barrage.

Keep these tips in mind and you should find it much easier to go about using a heavy bag without worrying about leaving yourself shattered in terms of energy.

7- How to use a Double Ended Punching Bag

Another popular choice today for many boxers would be the double ended punching bag. These are very popular bags as they can feel great to hit and connect with. Double ended punching bags will tire you out very quickly if you do not use them correctly, though!

With that in mind, try and keep the following tips in mind when using a double ended punch bag:

  • Get used to your combinations being short and sharp. Double ended bags are focused on landing several punches in a quick burst. Focus on landing several accurate hits as opposed to a haymaker.
  • Move to a new position after every combination. Always stay on your feet, and take at least one step to the left or right after each combination that you have just thrown.
  • Small punches are the aim of the game; if the bag is moving any more than 6-12” in any direction, you are being too forceful. Focus on throwing fast combinations that maintain your balance.
  • Find a punching balance you like; for example, left-left-right, or right-left-right. Find a punching rhythm as opposed to aiming for a KO hit. Something like two quick jabs and fast hook will do the trick.
  • Vary up your rhythms and get used to creating three to five different left-right combinations that you can use. This makes your punching much harder for an opponent to read and to guess.
  • Use the double end bag to build-up some endurance and rhythm. Try and get used to throwing each of the aforementioned rhythms one after the other to build up your fighting stamina.
  • Do not wait on the bag to come back to you; keep swinging, with each combo coming 2-3 seconds after the last combination for the best results.

The double end bag is a tremendous training tool as it requires so much stamina to keep up with and to keep hitting. Using the above tips, you should find it much easier to retain the proper form when punching.

8- How to use a Speed Punching Bag

The speed punching bag is, as the name suggests, all about improving your pace. If you want to become a better boxer, then you need to know how to use a speed bag safely. To do this, we recommend that you get used to:

  • Using the bag at the correct height. It should be level with your mouth, basically. The right height perfects the balance and power needed whilst avoiding muscle strains and over-reaching.
  • Find the right stance that works for you; the most typical stance is going to be your feet shoulder-width apart, your entire body facing the bag, and your shoulders square with the bag itself.
  • Keep your fists in a good position, which should mean keeping your hands around chin height and your elbows raised parallel to the floor. Keep your arms bent at 90-degrees for comfort.
  • Each punch you land should be followed up quickly by a second punch with the other hand; try and focus on making contact with the side of your first, throwing in a front-circle motion repeatedly.
  • Once a hit lands, circle the fist back to the original position that we spoke of above. This makes energy usage more efficient and makes sure that you can keep your hands moving in a whirlwind.
  • Avoid hitting with enough power that the bag does more than one rebound. You can create continual rebounds, but you only want to strike on the odd rebound when the bag comes back to you.
  • As bag is tilted away, you can land your next hit using the other hand. This creates a back-and-forth combination that ensures you are landing punches when the big hits a 45-degree angle.
  • Keep rotating from left to right hand, looking to use the other hand every second or third punch if you can. This helps to keep variety, improves dexterity in both hands, and works both arms fairly.

These simple tips should make sure that you can keep on hitting the big with total confidence. Using a speed bag is mostly about making sure you can build up strong rhythms. Aiming for 30-45s bursts whilst maintaining the described form should be your priority.

9- How to use a Reflex Punching Bag

Another popular option for your boxing training would be the reflex punch bag. This is an excellent tool for just about anyone who wants to try and make themselves faster. To use such a bag, though, there are some factors that you need to take into account. To make the most of a reflex bag, you should:

  • Make sure that you stand directly in front of the reflex bag at all times. Make sure that your dominant hand is facing towards the bag, with your other hand a few inches further ahead.
  • Keep your feet planted as you throw. You should always have your front foot sitting just to the right of your target, and your front toes should be lined up with the heel on your other foot.
  • As you throw punches at a reflex bag, the main thing to try and focus on will be the shape that you take. Make sure that you are always extending your arm entirely as you land, never recoil.
  • Your fist should always snap onto the bag, never lingering for too long, before returning to a natural guarding position. Make sure you step forward with your front foot as you take each punch.
  • As you return to your previous position, you should stay focused on keeping your stance at around feet apart shoulder-width. This will ensure you can keep a strong, consistent rhythm as you throw.
  • Try and also make sure that you move around a reflex bag with every single hit that you land. Keeping your feet totally planted is not as effective in this training regime; move around the bag regularly.

Keep these factors in mind and you should find that reflex punching bag training is much easier to learn from and improve with. These simple tips make reflex training far more impactful, effective, and easy to master.

10- How to use a Free Standing Punching Bag

If you happen to go down the route of using a free standing punch bag as opposed to one attached to the wall/ceiling, things do not change too much. To try and improve your overall experience, though, we recommend that you consider:

  • Making sure that you fill the base with enough material/weight to keep it nice and sturdy. If you are hitting the punch bag and it is almost tipping over with the force, it requires more weight to be added.
  • Finding a punch bag that stands to the correct height. You want to make sure that you can land head and body blows without having to stoop. Stooping reduces power and leaves you imbalanced.
  • The location of your free standing punching bag matters; you need to be able to move around this like you would an opponent. Ensure you do not pick somewhere with tight space around the bag.
  • You should try and focus on adding a good variety to the type of punches that you throw when using such a punching bag. Get used to throwing head-body-body-heat combinations and other varieties.
  • Focus on moving yourself around the bag and taking the right breathing as you go. Deep breaths through the mouth and out through the nose are very useful for maintaining endurance as you fight.
  • Do not focus your eyes on one particular part of the punch bag. Move around it, look for weak points, and land shots at various combinations and powers to help add variety to your game.
  • If possible, find a free standing punch bag that comes with targets and light-up targets. Free standing dummies are a great choice for this, making sure you never become comfortable or repetitive.

Use these tips to make free standing punch bags even more effective as a training tool moving forward in future.

11- How to use a Teardrop Punching Bag

Another important factor to take into your thinking would be to look at using a teardrop punching bag. These are very popular for those looking for a bit more variety in their training. You can make best use of this bag type by:

  • Getting used to delivering punches from new angles. Teardrop bags are great for landing uppercuts and other hits that if you tried with another bag could risk injury to yourself and/or the bag itself.
  • Moving around at all times; these bags ask that you look to exploit their shape as they swing around. Make sure that you get the bag in a position where you can move around it as you throw down.
  • Using a hook or a hanging section that is tall enough for the bag to be hittable from your standing height, but also short enough that the bag does not swing around too much after you have put it up.
  • Look for combinations that can be more varied; a body-uppercut-head-body combination, for example, is a great combination to learn – and it is something you can master using a teardrop shape bag.
  • Focusing on particular parts of the bag that are normally out of reach with other bag types. Teardrop bags are great for improving your ability to hit a target with a close punch and then move back outward.
  • Delivering variable hits that come from different angles and areas so that you can spend more time landing blows and moving out of punch range. Use the teardrop to work on close-up hits generally.

Whatever you think you might need to work on as a boxer, the teardrop can make sure you can improve your closeup game. Focus using this particular bag type for that kind of training, then, and the benefits will become pretty clear in time.

Using your Punchbag Further

So far, we have looked at how to use each of the bag types out there in the most effective way. From making sure you get used to changing your stance to making sure you can benefit from particular punching rhythms, there is much that you can learn from the above. However, if you want to know how to use a punch bag in different situations, you need to understand how to use each of the bag types out there. How can you use a punch bag in different scenarios?

12- How to use a Punching Bag Without Hanging it

How to use a Punching Bag Without Hanging it

If you wish to use a punch bag without hanging it up, you can simply have someone hold it up for you. This is a common choice if you have a lightweight-ish bag that might not have a hanging spot for you to use wherever you are based. Using a punch bag without hanging it up means that it will generally be in a more stationary position as someone can simply hold it down for you in place.

Of course, you also go down the route of using a punch bag that comes with a free standing holding section. This means that you simply need to fill up the base as the instructions suggest, and you can start using that punch bag without any real issues.

Using a punch bag without hanging it will typically need someone else there so that they can hold the bag up. If you are used to using things like sparring pads, though, that can be effective as a new way to train. It gives you a larger object to hit; you just need to make sure the person holding the bag can withstand the power of your punches arriving!

13- How to use a Hanging Punching Bag

How to use a Hanging Punching Bag

To hang a punching bag, you need to make sure of the following factors:

  • Your punch bag is going to sit at a level that you can reach for both head and body area punches without having to extend. If you are having to crouch down or go on your tiptoes, it is too low or high.
  • A hanging punch bag should be suitable for the kind of hook that it is on. Make sure that you have chosen a hook or hanging section that can take the level of weight your punch bag has when filled-up.
  • Ensure you put your hanging bag in a location where you can move around; hanging punch bags are much easier to use if you can walk around, it in a full circle without banging into anything.
  • Try and find a location for your hanging punch bag that has flooring with good grip, too. You need to be able to move around and move in/out of the bag range without risking a slip or a fall.
  • Make sure the bag is filled out with enough padding that there are no inconsistencies with how filled-up the bag is, ensuring each punch landed feels consistent with the last blow thrown.

14- How to use Punching Bag with Stand

How to use Punching Bag with Stand

Punching bags that come with stands are always very useful, and can be a good choice if you are looking for something easy to setup and put away. To use a punching bag stand, though, you should:

  • Ensure that the base has been filled up with enough water, sand, or material to give the base enough weight. If a haymaker causes the base to rock and tip, then it needs more weight included.
  • Guarantee that you can land punches at the head and body level of the punch bag at your normal height. If you need to find that you crouch down to throw your punch, then it is probably too low for you.
  • Fill up the bag itself with enough filling/padding to ensure your hands feel properly rested as they land shots. This ensures the bag does not feel inconsistent when you are raining down blows.
  • Make sure that you fill both the stand and the bag to the right levels; underfilling can feel really light and weightless, while putting too much in could cause splits and leaks within the bag itself.

15- How to use a Punching Bag in an Apartment

How to use a Punching Bag in an Apartment

Trying to setup a punch bag in an apartment? Or are you intending to develop a homemade punching bag? Then try and keep the following factors in mind:

  • An apartment will typically have people below you or above you. If you are worried about those below, try and put down a mat that you can work on when using the punch bag to try and dull the noise.
  • If you are worried about those above, then going for a punching bag on a stand can make sure you are not causing too much noise. Wall mounted bags can be a good choice, too, if you have the space.
  • Make sure you still have enough room to move around, though; you might need more than one mat to make sure that you are not making too much noise for those above.
  • If you are short on space, you could attach your punch bag to a pull-up bar that is in a doorway or similar area. This can then be secured using heavy duty strapping and high quality carabiner clips.
  • If you make your own punching bag, again make sure that it can be hung from the right height and that it has the right balance in terms of materials and fillings so that you get a consistent experience.

16- How to use a Punching Bag Stand Low Ceiling

How to use a Punching Bag Stand Low Ceiling

The same applies to those with low ceilings. You might not be able to hang a bag, and you might struggle to find the space that you need for a free standing punch bag. If that is the case, you might benefit from using the same technique as above. Buy a smaller punch bag at around 3-5ft in size, and get a pull-up bar. Attach the bag to the pull-up bar and put it in a doorway or similar. You will not have the same amount of space to move around, and it might mean every now and then you scuff the doorway with your hand.

Yet, if you are serious about using a punch bag and you have limited ceiling space this might be one of the only options you have. If you lack the space for a free-standing punch bag, then the solution listed above of using a pull-up bar and a smaller, lighter punch bag might be your only option.

It means that if you want to use something more specific or robust you might need to visit a boxing gym, but at least you can get something set up in your apartment.

17- How to use a Punching Bag with Gloves

How to use a Punching Bag with Gloves

Of course, it makes sense that you might want to use a pair of boxing gloves when it comes to using a punch bag. It is the right thing to do if you want to protect your hands. To help you make sure that you can get the most out of using gloves, though, we recommend that:

  • You make sure you also have wrapping underneath the gloves. This extra padding and protection can make sure that your hands are better secured and sprains, injuries etc. are less common.
  • You find gloves that fit your hands very closely. This is hard to judge online; you should visit a local sports shop or boxing gym, try out some gloves, and then buy a glove set based on the suitable size.
  • You ensure that your hands can sit in the gloves without the gloves moving around. Also, ensure that the gloves protect your wrist area as well as this can be a common area for getting jolted during training.
  • Any boxer who wants to wear gloves looks to find gloves which are made from the best materials. Avoid cheap materials; the best options are proper leather boxing gloves, or high-quality PU leather gloves.
  • You make sure that your hands can move around with ease in the glove; if you feel like your hands are too tight or are being forced into an uncomfortable position, try out a different set of gloves.

18- How to use a Punching Bag without Gloves

How to use a Punching Bag without Gloves

If you wish to take part in some bare knuckle boxing training, you need to make sure that you do it right. The first thing to note is that you will have less protection, so you need to be very careful about what your hands are doing and the positions they take up as you throw down.

So, try and make sure that you focus more on throwing punches with a flat fist. This means closing your hand so that the exposed parts of your hands are all in-line with one another. You want the top row of knuckles and your fingers below to hit the bag at the same time to spread out the impact. Try and avoid your hands from being too tight, too, as you stand in a defensive shape.

Tightening your hand comes as you are about to land the punch. Starting too tight can lead to damage due to overexertion, and being too loose can mean that you end up staving something in your hand. Boxing bare knuckle is all about technique, so make sure that you focus on technique over power when training this way.

This means making sure you get used to tightening your arm and your shoulder, as well as your wrist and hand, just before impact. The aim here is to get used to throwing a flurry or sharp and strong punches that are accurate. As soon as you feel that snapping contact, pull back and start the next strike.

This will take time, and no doubt some trial-and-error, but always favour accuracy over aggression when using punching bags without gloves.

Making The Most of Your Punch Bag

Keen to learn more about using a punch bag and how you can benefit from it in various ways? Then keep reading. We will break down some of the best tips that you can use to try and use a punch bag for various workout programmes.

You should also do some more independent research into specific training regimes. If you attend a boxing gym or a workout class, your trainer can probably recommend some good boxing training programs. How, then, can you use a punch bag to improve your workouts moving forward?

19- How to use a Punching Bag for Workout

The best way to engage in a punch bag workout is to start getting used to using your bag as a varied object. To use a punch bag in a workout you should look to add a variety which can include:

  • Using the punch bag as a traditional boxing training tool for adding more power to your shots.
  • Training using the punch bag as something to work around, helping to add more agility over time.
  • Developing footwork by making sure you land a combination of 3-5 punches before moving around.
  • Boosting physical strength by taking the punch bag down and using it as a weight to lift up and down.
  • Holding the punch bag for someone else as they lay into the bag, improving balance and endurance.

These are just some of the examples as to how you could go about using a punch bag as part of your workout. Alongside standard boxing regimes where you work on your punching power, accuracy, and variety, you can use a punching bag workout to add extra depth to how you train in general. It can be used to improve strength, resistance, endurance, cardio, and your balance simply by varying-up your workout programmes.

20- How to use a Punching Bag for Exercise

A punching bag in terms of using it for pure exercise is all about simply improving how long you can last. The most effective way to use the bag is to focus on 30-plus minute sessions where you focus on one type of bag. You might look to work on your physical strength one day, so you will work on delivering combinations to a body bag. The next day, you might work on your agility and footwork, so you use something like a speed bag.

The next time you might wish to become more reactive and ready to read the opponent, so you use a reflex and/or double-end bag. Using a punch bag for exercise really does just mean using more than one bag type. You can vary up how you train using a punch bag just by going to a different type of bag in the first place.

Keep that up and you can soon develop the kind of rhythm and control that you were searching for. Using a punching bag purely as an exercise tool in an all-around way, though, is best done simply by following the training regime(s) laid out for you by a boxing trainer locally.

21- How to use a Punching Bag at The Gym

If you go the gym, the sheer competitive nature of the building means you might feel self-conscious. The best way to use a punching bag at the gym is to ask an instructor to show you the basics. Then, focus on following the plan they put in place for you at the gym itself. Beginners should be focusing more on making sure you land punches with accuracy.

There is no benefit to going to the gym and landing heavy punches on anything apart from the heavy bag. If you are going to be using any punch bag at the gym that is not a heavy bag, focus on improving punching volume, punching accuracy, and your breathing. The trainers at the gym will be able to guide you into the best breathing techniques, and also guide on where you might be making mistakes.

For example, you might have a hunched posture, or you might not be moving your feet enough. Using a punch bag at the gym is not about impressing everyone with your knockout power. It is about using quality facilities to improve your accuracy and your fundamental boxing skills. So, listen to your trainer and focus on accuracy over aggression.

22- How to use a Punch Bag for Fitness

If you wish to use a punching bag for fitness, then the best thing that you can do is to try and work on endurance settings. We recommend that you try and focus on endurance runs where you essentially throw flurries of punches whilst working your way around the punch bag itself.

This is effective as it keeps you on your feet, forces you to keep changing angles and thus keep hitting from different positions, and it asks you to always keep breathing.

You will soon realise that your fitness will improve massively simply by working hard. Fitness with a punch bag is most likely to come from making sure you focus on landing punches from the furthest distance you can without having to stretch. This ensures that your hits work each part of the body, whilst the fact you are moving around the bag constantly will mean you are seeing big cardio developments over time.

Using a punch bag for fitness is so much easier if you just commit to the ned for regular and perpetual movement. Again, try changing up the type of punching bag used each day to work different parts of the body and force adaptation.

23- How to use a Punching Bag as a Bar Bell

For many people, the benefit of using a heavier punch bag as a bar bell is easy to see. These are heavy products and when filled to the max they can require a lot of strength to lift and then to hold in place. For that reason, a filled-up heavy bag is a tremendous at-home bar bell if you are looking to keep your gym costs and equipment down.

This is really easy to do, but we highly recommend you do this the first few times with someone watching over you – preferably a professional trainer. You essentially will be lifting the weight of the punch bag as if you were lifting a bar bell. You simply need to follow the same technique, making sure you lift with your back and that you have your feet properly balanced as you lift, giving you a proper grip and balance.

Some even recommend doing a short circuit on the heavy bag before going and lifting an actual bar bell before returning to the punch bag. This is best done in a gym, though, where a coach can watch over you and ensure you are doing things in the correct form and manner.

24- How to use a Punching Bag for Strength Training

Another way that you could use your punching bag for strength training is to carry out various lifting techniques. For example, power clean shrugs – lifting the bag from the ground upward to around hip height before doing a ‘shrug’ motion – is a good way to build arm power and endurance by holding the bag.

The main thing to note is that you want to use a proper heavy bag that can be lifted from at least two places. This should be filled with sand, water, or thick materials. This is great for giving your body a proper workout, but you could also use a punch bag to carry out some rows. Bent over rows, where you lean over the top of the bag, keep your legs straight, and then proceed to lift the bag upward towards your chest area, are a great workout for strength training.

Basically, anything that involves you to lift the punch bag and putting it back down will be an effective workout. Even something as simple as over-the-shoulder throws can be a great workout. Speak to a strength tutor at your local gym, and they should be able to show you numerous ways that you can add to your training regime by using a punch bag. 

25- How to use a Punching Bag to Lose Weight

The best way to lose wight when using a punch bag is to focus on using the strength training tips above, and also regular high intensity bouts. For example, making sure that you focus on the kind of high-speed bouts of 30-45s plus punching sessions will make sure you are giving yourself an all-around workout. When you start adapting some workouts that involve moving around the bag and using your feet, too, the results can be pretty incredible.

Using a punching bag to lose weight is mostly about completing 30-plus minute sessions where you throw punches properly. If you are moving around and if you are focused on landing punches with the snap we spoke about, you should feel your arms, legs, core, and entire upper body getting lots of work.

Losing weight with a punch bag is mostly about intensity. When combined with lifting the punch bag as a strength exercise, too, you can start shredding calories and feeling the benefits of working out in this manner. Since punch bags focus on both developing endurance and power, you should find it easy to burn weight using this particular tool.

26- How to use a Punching Bag for Cardio

If you want to use a punch bag for cardio, then you can do so by using a simple jab-cross-squat combination. We love this as it is very easy to do and requires 45 seconds of pure effort followed by 15 seconds of rest. This workout asks that you basically land a jab, follow it up with a cross, and then complete the motion with a squat.

Throw your first then your cross, and then go into the squat – come right back up, land the next jab-cross combination, and then do a squat. Carry this out for 45 seconds repeatedly, take a 15-second break, and go again. It really is that simple if you want to start burning weight and getting rid of some of those excess calories.

You will find this is a great workout as it works your core, your arms, your legs, your thighs, and your buttocks. It will burn weight, and the rapid intensity of the workout will be great for endurance. As ever, make sure you are breathing properly and if you really want to add more challenge try and take a step to the left or right of the bag after each squat completed.


Hopefully, you can now see why so many people turn to using a punching bag as part of their daily training regime. Whether you are using it as a total beginner or you are looking to vary-up your skills as an intermediate, you should have found some very useful information above.

Boxing is all about form and it is all about gradual improvement. Nobody goes from having to hold on to the bag, exhausted, after 20 minutes of training to being a knockout machine who can last an hour in a short space of time. Few training regimes need more time and patience and, yes, commitment than boxing.

Still, now that you can see just how easy it is to manage a boxing circuit, you can go out and buy a bag with more confidence. In time, you should find that this has a positive impact on your health, your wellbeing, and your general conditioning.

Be sure to look into individual regimes and routines, especially from local professionals, that can take your game to the next level. For now, though, you have all of the information you need to get to grips with the basics of boxing training both for fitness and for technical improvement.

Good luck, and happy boxing!

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