A Heavy Bag and the Importance of Proper Use

October 6, 2009

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A boxing spectator turned novice boxer is always eager to jump right into a heavy bag; in fact, they want to get started on the first day of training! Some training schools will humor their students and let them give it a try. However, any type of boxing bag requires some skill and most beginners just do not have this skill (at least in the beginning). The wrong moves when attempting to punch a bag cannot only result in injury, but costly, painful, and permanent damages.

In boxing schools around the globe, you will find different bags setup inside. Some are designed for circuit training to develop a boxer’s strength, coordination and speed. However, these different sized and weighted bags can also be there just to accommodate to the varying needs of gym members.

On average, a typically male needs a heavy bag that weighs around 65 pounds. However, most boxing schools and fitness centers have bags that range from 40 pounds to 100 pounds in weight; these varying sizes enable them to match the size, weight, and skill level to all boxers. An experienced boxer of average size and weight will require a bag much closer to their weight than a novice.

See, an experienced boxer has spent a lot of time perfecting their techniques and they have built up the necessary amount of stamina, speed, and strength. The goal of a suspended hanging bag is to get the bag to move a little with each punch. This helps to develop coordination, which comes from hitting a moving target. The perfect weight is important, because a light bag can cause too much swaying.

At a training school, the trainer will pair their boxer with the best sized bag. Overtime, they will evaluate and move them to a different sized bag when ready. A bag that sways too much with improper use is not only a bad practice tool, but it can be a danger to an inexperienced boxer. You might be surprised how many beginners have walked away with broken noses.

It can be difficult to buy a heavy bag for home-use. It is difficult to choose the right size because what works now may be too heavy or too light later on. The advantage of the gym is that they can afford to have a range of sizes, whereas the home gym user is lucky to have space for one boxing bag, much less ten.

To this end, picking a bag that is a little on the heavy side to begin with is the better choice. Most aspiring boxers will grow exponentially in the first few months of committed training so the added weight will be welcome fairly soon after starting. Since you don’t have a trainer when using a heavy bag at home, go slow and steady to not only prevent injury, but prevent those injuries from becoming permanent.

It is exciting to use a heavy bag either at the gym or at home. Punching hard enough to move the bag for the first time is impressive and learning to strike it repeatedly while it is moving is equally as satisfying. While using the heavy bags at a training school or fitness centers has benefits, there is nothing like buying your first boxing bag.


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