Heavy Bags

Some gyms will have a lot of equipment to play with. Other gyms will have a little, based on how much space they have to work with, and what management can afford to buy. The equipment may be brand spanking new, or showing signs of wear and tear.

At any rate, the equipment has to be used properly to get the most out of them. The coach will explain what each piece of equipment is for and how to use them for boxing training.

Always respect the gym's equipment. I've seen people tear up equipment without any regards for the next people to come behind them and use the stuff. If you notice something is wrong with any piece of equipment, please bring it to the coach or trainer's attention. They'll appreciate it. Even if it can't be replaced right away, a quick fix might be able to be done so it can be used for that day.

Heavy bags are essential to boxing training. These can be found hanging from the ceilings. They're long and cylinder -- but there are other heavy bags that come in other sizes. The bags come in different weights, are filled with foam, sand, water, or in some cases, a combination of these items.

The purpose of these bags is to practice your punches on a target similar to a human body. Think of the bag as an opponent. If you hit it hard enough, it will swing. Move around the bag as you execute the punches. All of the punches can be done on the heavy bags.

A tear drop bag is a round bag that is well, often shaped like a big tear drop. The bag is an oblong shape. It's great for practicing body punches.

An uppercut bag is either hanging from the ceiling or attached to the wall. It's a shorter, horizontal cyclinder bag. If the people who run the gym have installed it correctly, it'll be at the perfect height on which to throw uppercuts. Headshot bags, which are round, are also good for uppercuts.

A body snatcher bag is round. Like the tear drop bag, it's mainly for working on body punches.

An angle bag is a little heavier at the top, and thinner at the bottom. Sometimes, punches like hooks and uppercuts aren't always easy to throw against a standard heavy bag. The angle bag allows for people to throw those punches easier. I think this is a good bag for boxing training purposes, but I seldom have seen one hanging in the gyms I've been inside.

The gym may also have free-standing bags. These aren't attached to the ceilings, but to their own stands. Some can be easily moved from spot to spot while others are meant to be set up and stay in one place. Some are just like regular heavy bags, while others may have what looks like an upside down speed bag on the top of the stand. A bad thing about these types of bags is how easily they can be abused during boxing training.

There used to be two free standing bags in the gym where I train. One was a heavy bag, and the other was a cobra reflex bag. A cobra reflex bag has an inverted speed bag on the end of a long pole that is attached to a stand. There was an ongoing contest among the kids in the gym to see how far they could make those bag bend over. First the cobra reflex bag was broken, then the heavy bag keeled over and never recovered. Those types of bags are good for boxing training, because one can move around them easily, simulating footwork in the ring. But once they're broken, it's time to replace them.

The video shows what is known as a burn out.  Two people get on one heavy bag.  One person holds it while the other throws punches at it.  A third person gives each person several seconds of time -- in this instance, 10 seconds -- to throw punches before telling them to switch.  This is a tiring exercise, but a good one.  Boxers are challenged to keep their form and their stance correct even as they are throwing a flurry of punches.  This is a great exercise to do at the end of the workout before going into cool down mode. 

Working out on the light bags is beneficial, as well.

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