Power Up: Some Punching Bag Workout Essentials For You

Fitness / Apr 03,2024

Engaging with a heavy punching bag may appear straightforward, but if you're new to boxing workouts with a heavy bag, brace yourself for a challenge. These bags typically weigh between 50 to 150 pounds, providing substantial resistance with each strikebe it a punch, kick, or knee. The initial impact can catch you off guard, highlighting the necessity for full-body engagement. To effectively control your movements against the bag, you must utilize your core, shoulders, and hips. Beyond the physical exertion, boxing against a heavy bag offers a unique cardiovascular workout, emphasizing upper-body engagement and bone-strengthening repetitive impact.

Prioritize Speed and Technique

When hitting a punching bag, prioritize speed and technique over sheer power. Striking with full force can compromise your form, slow your pace, and lead to quicker exhaustion. Focus on precise, lighter jabs to maintain speed and form rather than attempting to forcefully move the bag. Using a punching bag can indeed aid in weight loss and muscle toning. A one-hour session can burn approximately 450 calories, making it an effective cardio workout. Opt for heavier bags to increase resistance and energy expenditure. Supplement your routine with other cardio and strength-training exercises to enhance weight loss results.

For an effective punching bag workout, adhere to the following time intervals for each exercise. Take a minute's rest after completing all exercises, then repeat the series for a total duration of 20 minutes. Despite the seemingly brief timeframe, this workout promises to induce a considerable sweat.

Do a Thorough Warm-Up

Boxer warming up before training in fitness gym

Before commencing the high-intensity routine, allocate 5 to 10 minutes for a thorough warm-up. Engage in activities that mirror the movements of your main workout, such as jogging in place, jumping jacks, air squats, shadowboxing, and transitioning between high plank and downward dog positions. During the workout, maintain a boxing stance and proper foot alignment, ensuring the toes of your front foot align with the heel of your back foot, both angled at 45 degrees toward the punching bag. Utilize quality boxing gloves and hand wraps to mitigate the risk of injuries to your hands and wrists.

Cross Punches (Dominant Side)

Duration: 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

Cross punches are specifically aimed at engaging the shoulders and arms. To ensure maximum effectiveness during the 45-second interval, he advises exerting full force with each cross punch while keeping the abs engaged and the face protected by the non-working hand. The key lies in understanding that the power behind the cross punch stems from shifting your weight forward as you execute the movement. For those who are right-handed, assume a boxing stance with the left foot forward and the majority of the weight on the back foot, slightly away from the bag. Conversely, if left-handed, reverse the setup with the right foot forward and the left foot back. As you deliver the punch across the body with your dominant arm, shift your weight forward to propel the fist towards the bag using the force of your body weight.

Upon completion of the punch, ensure the hand returns to its guarding position in front of the face instead of dropping downward. Immediately revert to the starting position to prepare for the subsequent punch. Continue executing powerful cross punches with the dominant arm for the entire 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds before transitioning to the next exercise.

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Cross Punches (Non-Dominant Side)

Repeat the aforementioned exercise, this time focusing on the non-dominant side. If previously using the right arm (for right-handed individuals), switch to the left arm, setting up in the appropriate boxing stance. Similarly, for left-handed individuals, adjust accordingly. Complete 45 seconds of forceful cross punches, then rest for 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

Side-Kick Punch Combos

Duration: 90 seconds work, 30 seconds rest

Set a timer for 90 seconds and aim to complete as many rounds as possible of the following four-move sequence

  • 10 right side-kicks
  • 30 straight punches
  • 10 left side-kicks
  • 30 straight punches

Begin by standing a leg's length away from the punching bag, positioning your right side towards it. Adopt a boxing stance with the right leg back and arms up, left arm guarding the face, and right hand protecting the chin. Initiate the movement by swiveling the hips, shifting weight onto the left foot, then pivoting and lifting the right leg with the knee bent. Deliver a powerful side-kick with the right foot, extending the knee and hip to strike the bag with the heel. Recoil immediately and repeat for 10 reps before switching sides. Alternate with 30 straight punches using the right arm, then repeat the sequence on the left side. Rest for 30 seconds before proceeding to the next exercise.

Lunge, Kick and Jab, Cross

Duration: 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

Stand facing the punching bag, positioned approximately a leg's length away. Step backward with the right foot into a reverse lunge. As you return to standing, shift weight to the left foot and perform a front kick with the right leg, kicking the bag with the right heel. Transition into a boxing stance, feet staggered, and execute four cross punches, alternating hands. Switch sides, performing the reverse lunge and front kick with the left leg, followed by four cross punches. Alternate sides for the duration of the interval. Rest for 15 seconds before proceeding to the next exercise.

Hooks (Dominant Side)

Duration: 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

Initiate the exercise by assuming a boxing stance with your dominant foot positioned back (for right-handed individuals, the right foot is placed back). Rotate your front foot approximately 45 degrees inward and ensure your weight is evenly distributed between your legs. Lift the heel of your back foot off the ground and elevate your hands to guard your face. Execute consecutive hook punches with your dominant hand by rotating your back hip forward while pivoting on the back foot. Utilize core strength to swing your dominant hand upward and across your body, delivering the punch to the bag at an angle, resulting in your forearm being parallel to the ground in front of your face. Return to the starting position and maintain a rapid and forceful pace for the entire 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds before repeating the same sequence on the opposite side.

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Hooks (Non-Dominant Side)

Duration: 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

Following the completion of hook punches with the dominant arm, repeat the exercise, this time utilizing your non-dominant arm to execute the punches. Position yourself with the non-dominant foot staggered back and replicate the hip rotation, pivot, and punch motion. Continue the exercise for 45 seconds before resting for 15 seconds and proceeding to the subsequent activity.

Burpee With Pushups, Straight Punches, Hooks

Duration: 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

This marks the final exercise in the series before an additional minute of rest. Push yourself and conclude with strength. Stand approximately an arm's length away from the punching bag, with feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Perform a burpee:

  • Begin by squatting down and placing your hands flat on the ground under your shoulders. Step or jump your feet back to assume a high-plank position with engaged core muscles and a straight line from heels to head.
  • Execute a pushup by lowering your chest towards the ground, then push back up to the high-plank position.
  • Step or jump your feet back towards your hands.
  • Propel yourself upward, jumping straight into the air.
  • Land softly, bending your knees and hips slightly. Upon landing, adopt a slightly staggered boxing stance and promptly deliver a straight punch with the left hand followed by the right hand. Follow up with left and right hooks. Continue the exercise sequence, completing as many full rounds as possible within 45 seconds.

Bonus Workout: Pushup and Punching Reverse Pyramid

If the full 20-minute workout feels too challenging, consider attempting this brief yet effective alternative. Alternate between pushups and punching in a reverse pyramid-style rep scheme:

  • 10 pushups
  • 10 punches
  • 9 pushups
  • 9 punches
  • 8 pushups
  • 8 punches

Continue decreasing the repetitions by one each set until reaching one pushup and one punch. This workout structure offers great flexibility. You can substitute pushups with squats, lunges, burpees, or crunches. Similarly, you can vary the punching style or incorporate kicks instead. Moreover, you can extend the routine by working back up the pyramid, adding one repetition to each exercise until reaching the starting number of repetitions. Just 4 or 5 minutes of this workout serves as an intense finisher for virtually any routine.


Incorporating a punching bag into your workout routine can offer a multitude of benefits for both physical fitness and mental well-being. From enhancing cardiovascular health and muscle strength to improving coordination and stress relief, punching bag workouts are versatile and effective. To maximize the benefits of your punching bag workout, it's essential to focus on proper technique, safety precautions, and variety in your exercises. Start with a thorough warm-up to prepare your body for the intensity ahead, and ensure you have the necessary equipment, including quality boxing gloves and hand wraps, to protect yourself from injury.