A 20-Minute Punching Bag Workout to Add to Your Routine

What is a Punching Bag Workout?

Forget the image of a sweaty boxer relentlessly pounding a heavy bag in a dim-lit, gritty gym. A punching bag workout is no longer exclusive to boxers and can be a fun, effective exercise routine for anyone. So, what exactly is a punching bag workout? Simply put, it involves a series of punch combinations on a heavy bag, designed to increase strength, speed, coordination, and cardiovascular fitness.

Benefits of Punching Bag Workout 🥊

  • Strength Training: Regular punching bag workouts are a fantastic way to train and strengthen your upper body, core, and leg muscles. Your punch is not just an arm movement; it's a coordinated full-body movement. As you throw punches, you engage your core, back, shoulders, and legs.
  • Cardiovascular Fitness: By varying the intensity of your punches and incorporating active rest periods, you can turn your bag workout into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, perfect for improving cardiovascular fitness.
  • Stress Relief: It’s no secret that physical activity can help reduce stress, and there’s something extra satisfying about swinging a good right hook. You'll walk away feeling a lot lighter mentally.

Overview of the 20-minute workout

Over the next 20 minutes, we're going to take you through a series of six rounds. Each round will last three minutes, with a one-minute rest period in between. Prepare yourself to go through different techniques like jabs, cross punches, left hook, and more.

Preparing for Your Punching Bag Workout🔥

Necessary Equipment

A heavy bag, Boxing gloves, Hand wraps, Comfortable workout clothes, A timer

Warm-up Exercises

Before you start throwing punches, you should always start with a warm-up. A good warm-up routine might include a light 5-minute jog, jumping jacks, or jump rope to raise your heart rate. Follow this up with dynamic stretches to prepare your muscles for the workout. This could include arm circles, leg swings, and torso twists.

Safety Tips

Always wrap your hands and wear gloves to prevent injuries. Ensure your punches land correctly and avoid fully extending your arm to prevent elbow injuries. If you feel any pain, stop immediately.

How to Punch Correctly

A proper punch starts from your feet, transfers power through your body, and ends at your fist. Remember, power comes from your hips, not your arm. Always keep your non-punching hand by your face for defense and snap your punches, don't push them.

Round 1: Jab Only


Your jab is your primary weapon. It's the fastest punch you can throw, create opportunities for heavier hits and helps to measure your opponent's distance. Stand with your left foot forward (for right-handed people) and punch with your left hand. Extend your arm straight out, rotating it so your palm faces down, and aim for the center of the bag.

Common Mistakes ❌

Many beginners often push their jabs, reducing their speed and leaving them open to counterattacks. Make sure you snap your jab, quickly retracting it after landing on the bag.

Practice Routine

For this round, focus on perfecting your jab. Keep your right hand up for defense and use your jab to control the bag. Consistently hit the same spot on the bag, varying the rhythm and power of your jabs.

Cool Down

Once you've completed your jabs, take a minute to stretch and hydrate. 

Round 2: Jab-Jab-Cross Combo


Now, let's add a cross to your jab. After throwing your second jab, rotate your back foot and throw a cross with your right hand (for right-handed people). Your palm should be facing down and your arm should follow a straight line from your shoulder to the bag.

Common Mistakes ❌

Avoid leaning forward or dropping your left hand when throwing your cross. This leaves your head exposed

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keep your heart rate up while giving your punching muscles a brief rest.

Round 3: Jab-Jab-Cross-Left Hook


The left hook is a potent punch that targets the opponent's side. After landing your jab-jab-cross, you're in the perfect position to deliver a left hook. Use the torque in your body from the cross to swing your left arm in a horizontal arc, aiming for the upper side of the bag.

Common Mistakes 

A common mistake is to throw the hook with just your arm, which loses a lot of power. The force behind your hook should come from the rotation of your hips and torso. Another common mistake is dropping your guard. Keep your right hand up to protect your face as you throw the hook.

Practice Routine

For this round, the focus is on incorporating the left hook into the jab-jab-cross combo. Start with slow, deliberate movements, focusing on the correct form and gradually increase speed as you get comfortable.

Cool Down

Just as with the previous rounds, it's crucial to take a minute to cool down and hydrate before moving on to the next round. Take some deep breaths, stretch out your arms, and shake out any tension in your muscles.

Round 4: Jab-Jab-Cross, One Step Back, and Comeback with a Cross


This round involves adding some footwork into your combo. After throwing your jab-jab-cross, quickly step back to avoid an imaginary counterattack, then step forward and throw another cross.

Common Mistakes ❌

Many people forget to maintain their defensive guard when moving. Keep your hands up even as you step back and ensure you return to your original stance after throwing your cross.

Practice Routine

During this round, focus on the jab-jab-cross, step back, cross combo. Concentrate on keeping your footwork smooth and your movements balanced.

Cool Down

Once again, don't forget to cool down. This can be a good time to hydrate and perform some light stretches.

Round 5: Constant Straight Punches - Fast and Slow


This round involves throwing constant straight punches at the bag. Alternate between your left and right hand and aim for the same spot on the bag. Every 30 seconds, increase your speed significantly, then slow down again.

Common Mistakes 

Ensure you maintain the proper form, even as you increase your speed. Avoid dropping your hands or leaning into your punches.

Practice Routine

During this round, concentrate on maintaining a steady rhythm. Even when you speed up, ensure your punches remain accurate and your defense stays tight.

Cool Down

End the round with a cool down. Breathe deeply to regain your composure and lower your heart rate.

Round 6: Freestyle


This is your chance to freestyle. Throw any punches you want, mixing jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts. Vary your speed and power, and try to incorporate movement around the bag.

Common Mistakes 

Even while freestyling, keep your form in check. Keep your hands up, snap your punches, and maintain your balance.

Practice Routine

Use this round to experiment and have fun. Mix and match different combos, and don't be afraid to try something new.

Cool Down

As always, end the round with a cool down. Drink some water, wipe off your sweat, and prepare yourself for a well-earned rest.

9. Conclusion

Congratulations, you've completed your 20-minute punching bag workout! Remember, the key to success is consistency. Practice regularly and before you know it, you'll be a pro at the punching bag workout.

The Importance of Consistency

Consistency in this workout not only brings about physical changes, it also improves your mental resilience and discipline. So, keep up the good work!

10. FAQs

Q1. Can I do the punching bag workout every day? A1. While the punching bag workout is a great way to improve your fitness, it's crucial to allow your muscles time to recover. Consider alternating your punching bag workouts with lower-impact activities or rest days.

Q2. Do I need a lot of space for a punching bag workout? A2. You'll need enough space to move around the bag without tripping over anything. A small, clear area in your garage or living room would suffice.

Q3. Is the punching bag workout suitable for beginners? A3. Absolutely! Just ensure you wrap your hands correctly, wear appropriate gloves, and start with light punches until you've mastered the correct form.

Q4. I don't have a punching bag. Can I still do the workout? A4. While having a punching bag is ideal, you can also shadow box. Shadow boxing involves throwing punches at the air, which can still be a great workout.

Q5. Can this workout help me lose weight? A5. Definitely. Combining this high-intensity workout with a balanced diet can help you create a calorie deficit, leading to weight loss.


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