Punching-Bag Workouts To Smash Out At The Gym

Punching-Bag Workouts
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Need to brush up on your boxing basics? Read our no-nonsense guide to learning boxing in the gym.

Punching-Bag Workouts

Don’t just do three-minute rounds – even the pros tailor their sessions according to their aims


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Fight Fat

“HIIT-style training is ideal for the punchbag – unlike the treadmill or bikes, it works the whole body across multiple planes of motion,” says Remfry. “It’s also a good way to de-stress – there’s nothing like punching away a bad day.” You’re knocking out cortisol as well as fat cells. Add this session to the end of a technique-focused session on the bag or a resistance training session. Alternatively or use it on its own, as an ultra-short workout.

Work Punch the bag with alternating hands as hard and fast as you can for 15 all-out seconds.

Rest Move around the bag for 90 seconds, shadowboxing at an easy pace.

Repeat Do the above at least three times. For a tougher session, go for six.

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Build Knockout Power

“A good punch starts in the foot and generates force through the legs, glutes, core up into the upper body rotating out through the hand” says Travis Allan, a KX Gym coach currently working with Olympic medallist turned undefeated pro Anthony Ogogo. “To build power, keep intervals short and really focus on the intensity of each shot – intention is a big part of it.”

Work In a 15-second interval, aim to throw five to ten quality punches – throw each shot as hard and fast as possible, and reset between reps. Focus on a single style of punch in each interval: a jab, say, or a hook-cross combination.

Rest Rest for 90 seconds between intervals. Do five intervals in total.

Get Ali-Level Speed

“For speed and performance, I like the Tabata method,” says Remfry. “It’ll also give you chance to start practising your southpaw stance, which is a useful thing to have in your arsenal.” Do 20 seconds of punching, going for maximum speed, then rest for ten seconds. Repeat eight times.

Interval 1 Do jab-cross combinations in an orthodox stance (left foot forward, right foot back).

Interval 2 Jab-cross in a southpaw stance (right foot forward, left foot back).

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.