Heavy Bag Drills

Heavy Bag Drills


The use of a heavy bag in a fighters training regimen is one of the most common methods to training.  The bag simulates a fighter by allowing physical contact with an object similar to hitting an opponent.  The heavy bag also offers those who you it many benefits such as developing powerful strikes.

For those who are new to the heavy bag or just need some inspiration will find this article useful.  This is how I train on a heavy bag and it has given me a lot of successes in my martial arts training and development.

In this drill, we will be focusing on training to simulate a sparring match.  It is as real as you can get aside of actually sparring.  We will focus on round based sparring to develop power, conditioning and endurance.

Round One – Work on Strategy

In the first round, we will focus on being strategic.  In a real competition, both fighters do not always go for the kill right off the bat.  Without knowing the opponent’s style and fighting personality, you can get caught up into a really bad day.  I have seen fighters go all in too early and lose the fight instantly.

Focus on the following techniques in this drill:

  • Lead boxing technique – (jabs, back fists, and hooks)
  • Push and Front Kicks
  • Footwork and movement

Throw mostly single shots and add a couple of two count combinations.  Work on getting inside your opponent’s defense, but also work on blocking, evasion, and moving around the bag.

Go for two or three minutes if you are new to it, and for those who are seasoned, shoot for five minutes.

Round Two – Weak Side

A great fighter knows to be versatile and being able to fight in different stances.  Focus on your weaker side in this drill.  Practice switching your stances as you move around the heavy bag.

  • Two count combinations
  • Round, Push, Side, Front Kicks
  • Footwork and movement

Round Three – Boxing Only

Learning to use your hands is a very important skill in fighting.  Focus only on your boxing skills in this round.

  • Minimum three strikes combinations
  • Footwork and movement

Round Four – Kicking Only

Focus on your kicking strikes.  Focus on an assortment of kicks such as the round, front, push, and sidekicks.

  • Basic Kicking Technique – front, round, side, push
  • Footwork and movement

Round Five – Put Them Together

In this round, focus on your boxing and kicking techniques. Mix up combinations so you have at least one kick in each combination.  For example, use a jab, cross, and round kick combination.  The goal of this drill is to go at 110% pace.

  • Boxing, Kicking combinations
  • Footwork and movement.

Round Six – On the Defense

In this round, you will focus on blocks, evasive movement, and slips.  As you work on defense, visualize areas that would be great for counter attacks.

  • Slips and cover
  • Blocking (front, side, parry)
  • Footwork and movement

Round Seven – Explosive Speed

In this round, focus on fast and explosive technique.  Perform as many fast techniques as you can with little rest.  Do not worry so much on your power.  Work to pull your shots without moving the bag as much.  The main goal is to work on fast technique.

  • Explosive Techniques
  • Footwork and movement



Round Eight – Power Shots

Now it is time to work on powerful strikes.  Focus on single, double, or triple combinations.  Make sure you focus solely on powerful shots emphasizing sound technique.

Round Nine – Inside Fighting

We are almost finished with the drill.  Work on your inside fighting.  Get up close and personal with the heavy bag.  Focus on short bursts including elbows and knees.

  • Boxing and kickboxing combinations
  • Elbows, Knees
  • Footwork and movement

Round Ten – Free for All

This is the last round, and now it is time to show the judges everything you got.  Throw fast, powerful, and precise shots into the bag.  Work on evasive and defensive techniques, inside and outside fighting, and any type of kicking you are familiar with.

  • Boxing combinations
  • Kicking combinations
  • Blocking, Evasion, and Slipping
  • Footwork and movement
  • Outside and inside fighting
  • Speed and Power


Finishing Up

You should feel pretty good if you made it to the end.  Heavy bag drills are one of the many building blocks to making and training great fighters.  The heavy bag has been around for decades and is a proven tool for martial artists.  Add this drill to your current workouts and watch your abilities soar!

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