Punching Bag Workouts for Boxing and MMA

The heavy punching bag was made with the intention of facilitating power punching.

There was a time when in boxing, the priority was given to force rather than speed of delivery of that force. 

The purpose of punching bag workouts is not solely to enable its user to learn to punch better and gain strength. It is also intended to function as a full workout regimen.

The person can also improvise and use the punching bag for many purposes like enhancing their footwork, improving their boxing style, and integrating new techniques.


Boxing Equipment You Need

You can incorporate multitudes of equipment to help you with your workout. Some items, however, are mandatory to ensure efficient workout can be done. These are:

  1. Punching Bag (Heavy Bag) –Hanging heavy bag is ideal, but a standing heavy bag can be made to work
  2. Proper Shoes for Boxing – You need to wear proper shoes to make sure you can practice your footwork accurately
  3. Boxing Gloves & Wraps. You need to be wearing proper sized boxing gloves. Without proper boxing gloves and hand wraps, you will not be able to land punches correctly.
  4. Stopwatch – To time your rounds.

Best Heavy Bag Workouts for MMA and Boxing

Here we present to our readers the 5 best boxing and MMA workouts.

Power Punch Workout

This workout is designed with the focus on landing as hard punches as can possibly be landed on the punching bag.

Boxing requires the participant to have enough endurance and strength to throw a powerful enough punch which can knock out the opponent in a single blow while having left with energy to throw a couple of more punches of such force if the first few punches fail to land.

In essence, this workout is designed to enable you to hit punches harder and increase endurance.

The workout steps for this exercise are:

  • Warm-up by punching the heavy bag repeatedly with minimal effort for 3 rounds.
  • Throw combos of jabs, hooks, and uppercuts etc. in the next round.
  • Move rapidly and jog around the punching bag, and make sure don’t lose your footwork
  • Rest for a minute and repeat until you consider yourself to have warmed up enough
  • Freely punch as hard as you can at your own pace
  • Throw every form of punch at your full power without stopping. These will work on your shoulders and arms, and also your chest muscles.
  • Keep changing round intervals from 30 to 60s.
  • Take breaks in between of the same duration as your training round
  • Repeat for five rounds.

For this workout, make sure you pay attention to your footwork. People tend to forget that punching power comes from the legs. Keep your hands up at all times when punching during warm-ups and the actual workouts.

10 Rounds Workout

This punch bag workout is an incredible way to refresh your boxing skills in very short periods of time. The primary objective of this workout is to work on your boxing skills in short intense rounds.

Here, you will unleash your boxing beast for a total of 10 2-minute rounds with 20 seconds of rest in between rounds.

Round 1

This is the most important round. It is essentially an important warmup round. Get the heavy bag swinging and start moving around it without throwing any punches at the moving punching bag.

Visualizing the punching bag as your enemy, move forward and backward, and to the left and to the right likewise. Work on your foot placements.

Round 2

Time and place your jabs accurately, both singles and doubles, while making sure that you continue to move your feet along and around the bag all the while you’re working out

Round 3

The third round is almost solely about throwing 1-2 jab combinations while taking into account and practicing the range of your punches

Round 4

Practice your 2 and 3 punch combos while maintaining a primary focus on delivering the punches with speed and precision

Round 5

In this round you will be throwing consecutive 1 to 2 punch combos in 10-second intervals, followed by a 10-second rest. Keep moving while doing all this, move on the balls of your feet during the rest intervals.

Round 6

This is a Zero Round, or what some call the “Freestyle” round. In this round just keep moving and punching using combinations of your ouches and jabs. Do not forget to change your punch levels, while maintaining good hand speed.

Round 7

Deploy 2-3 punch combinations for speed (Repeat the Round 4).

Round 8

Freestyle Round (Repeat of Round 6).

Round 9

1-2 punch combination intervals (Repeat of Round 5).

Round 10

This round is an all-out freestyle round. Put everything you’ve done in the previous rounds together in this last round. Give all the force you’ve got and worked as hard as you can. Throw 1-2 and 2-3 combinations, keep varying your punch levels, and deliver punches forcefully with good footwork and speed.

Workout for Speed

People generally confuse and conflate the speed workout with a speed bag. The reality is, however, that punching bag can be just as useful as a speedbag routine.

This workout is aimed to decrease your reaction time and help you in increasing your punching speed. It helps you build your combos and unleash faster punch and jab combos.

In this workout, you’ll be performing six 3-minute rounds, with 30 seconds of rest in between each round. This goes in the following manner:

Round 1

This round involves you loosening up your body. Move around and punch the punching bag freely but with minor efforts. Let your joints and tendons relax so you can proceed with the next rounds.

Rounds 2 & 3

These 2 rounds are hard-punching rounds. In this round and the next, you will want to throw hard and powerful punches. Follow through with the combinations and utilize your speed and power.

Rounds 3 & 4

These 2 rounds, that is rounds number three and number four, are Tabata (High Intensity) interval rounds.  They aim to deliver non-stop fast punches for 15 seconds. You are then advised to rest for 15 seconds and carry on with the workout until the full 3-minute round is performed to completion.

Round 5 & 6

In these rounds, you need to go on non-stop for 3 minutes. Try as hard as you can.

In this workout, the significance of correct footwork should not be forgotten as it forms the foundation for this workout. If your footwork is weak, you must first improve on that.

Without having the right footwork, this workout will not be of much use. The conventional combo that is integrated into this workout is jab, cross, hook, and uppercut.  More combos of your own choice can also be integrated into this workout.

If you are a novice you may find yourself getting exhausted past the first 3 rounds; in that case, feel free to limit yourself to just as many rounds you can perform without getting too tired and exhausted. You can work on upwards from that point onwards.


High-Intensity Endurance Workout (aka HIIT)

Endurance is an independent and exclusive paradigm all kinds of workout builds upon. Therefore, it also forms an integral part workout related to boxing and MMA. No one but those who have stepped in the boxing ring and faced an opponent realizes how much biology and physiology is involved in the whole process of boxing in the ring.

By using the HIIT technique, the user can be sure to find HIIT to be a great way to develop their endurance. In this particular workout, you will have to perform eight-30 second sets using all their body strength to reach their highest intensity level. 

This involves jumping for 20 seconds, followed by fierce punching, which in turn is followed by 10 seconds of rest.

It is strongly advised that the performer warms up as detailed already in the preceding passages.

  • First 20 Seconds: Throw full speed punch combinations on the punching bag. Kill it with your punches, and don’t stop! If the punching bad swings back, go forth and keep punching it, adjusting yourself accordingly.
  • 10 Seconds: Let your upper body rest but keep moving and maintaining foot movement.
  • Repeat the first 2 steps for a total number of 8 times
  • If you’re willing to go for a longer High-Intensity Interval Training workout, its best to take a 3-minute break and continue with another round of 8 sets.

As regards to this exercise intended to build endurance, it’s also important to remember to never be static.

You should keep moving even during the rest period.

In this workout, keep your hands up and treat the bag as your opponent. If and when it swings toward you, dodge and slip to the side and land a hook.

To further simplify, dance around the punching bag and with the punching bag as though the punching bag is the opponent you are faced with in the boxing ring.

Basic Footwork Exercises and Workouts

The aim of this exercise that involves a punching bag is to improve and materialize your footwork. The feet are not only the physiological base but also form the basis for a solid MMA and Boxing element. Its steps include:

  • Warming up as mentioned.
  • Punching and moving around the punching bag in a regular and periodic fashion.
  • Keep moving and land punches as you line up with the punching bag while moving around, do this for three minutes  Take a 60-second rest.
  • Repeat the entire workout

Remember this, however, that the footwork drill can be said to be an independent workout, similar to the endurance drill. In this scenario, it has been integrated with the punching bag to optimize the workout routine in any case, regardless.

Punching Accuracy Improvement Workout

This is a fun workout in regards to its simplistic approach which doesn’t call for strict adherence to this workout. After having covered the domains of workout-related to the power of punching, speed, and the boxer’s endurance on heavy bag workouts, we now intend to mix it up with an added workout feature solely designed for improving punch accuracy.

To get on with it, proceed with the following steps;

  • Apply paper targets with duct tape, or paint targets on your punching bag.
  • Swing the punching bag and get the punching bag moving and swinging.
  • Follow the targets you have made or pasted on the punching bag and let the bag dictate where you are to land your punches.
  • Now, focus on landing your punches only on the target you have aimed for beforehand.
  • Repeat these three rounds taking 60-second rests in between.

In this workout, it is worth noting that always watch your footwork, and keep your hands up during all the time when the workout is in process. As this is a fun little workout, do not forget to have fun with this exercise.


To conclude this guide, suffice it to say that whether you are an athlete with a know-how of boxing and martial arts, or whether you are a regular person who is a novice and is just trying to get in shape; punching  bag workouts for boxing and MMA is a healthy activity apart from serving as a great workout for boxers.

It can also be used for the purposes of losing weight and getting in shape or to simply increase upper body strength and endurance.