Even if you're working out just to get in shape, wailing on the heavy bag is therapeutic and can be healthy if done right. Follow some basic guidance to build yourself up using basic drills and cautions to avoid getting hurt.
Step 1: Go for three minutes Put on your hand wraps and gloves. Perform the drills for a couple of minutes at a time. Build up to three minutes as your aerobic capacity increases, exhaling as you punch.
Step 2: Release a flurry Keep your elbows in and your hands up, continually moving, relaxing to snap the punches sharply, using a full extension when hitting. Release a flurry of punches from each side.
Step 3: Work upper body Work your shoulders, chest and waist to generate upper-body power as you punch, using your legs to brace and step. Uppercuts and hooks will work your back and arms.
Step 4: Throw combinations Circle the bag and throw combinations for coordination. Stay on your toes. Practice transferring weight from one foot to the other to help core stability.
Step 5: Expand the workout Expand your combination exercises with maximum power for 30 seconds at a time, rest for a minute, and then repeat four more times.
Step 6: See bag as opponent Visualize the bag as an opponent as if you're actually in the ring. Bob and weave, keeping balanced each time you punch. Swing the bag to make a moving target to build your skill and confidence.
TIP: Hitting the heavy bag allows you to vent stress.
Step 7: Tune up Progress to the point where you can throw your shots rapidly and accurately every time. Tune up your left hook to the body and right uppercut to the ribcage with full force.
Step 8: Test yourself Test yourself by building up to 200 punches in three minutes, moving as you would in a real fight. Heavy bag drills are meant to build stamina and endurance.
FACT: In 2008, boxer Manny Pacquiao won 3 fights in 3 different weight classes, also claiming two titles.