How to Get Started With a Punching Bag

How to Get Started With a Punching Bag

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Focus on hitting the bag at an elevated tempo.

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If you've dreamed of hoisting a championship belt over your head while the crowd chants your name and flashbulbs go off, begin the journey to boxing supremacy by learning how to hit the punching bag. Even if your moment in the sun never comes, you'll learn a valuable self-defense skill, strengthen your body, burn calories and improve your self-esteem. Getting starting with a punching bag revolves around learning the sport's basic fundamentals and gradually increasing your intensity.


Develop your basic boxing stance by standing square to the punching bag and then turning your body to either side. If your right hand is your dominant hand, turn slightly to your right and position your feet so your left foot points slightly to the right of the bag. You should be able to draw an imaginary line from the bag through your legs. Your left foot's toes and your right foot's heel should touch the line. Raise your hands with your left hand slightly higher and farther away from your face. Keep both hands close to your chin to develop what's known as a guard position. Ensure your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are tucked against your sides, your knees are slightly bent and your chin is down. If you're left handed, flip the stance.


Step forward with your left foot and simultaneously throw your left hand at the bag in a straight line at head height. This punch is a jab and is the foundation of striking. As you quickly snap the fist back to its starting position, take a small step forward with your right foot to restore the original distance between your feet. Maintaining this distance prevents you from losing your balance. Practice throwing jabs and moving your feet correctly. Avoid the temptation to drop your right hand as you throw your jab.


Throw a basic jab-cross combination by stepping forward with your left foot, throwing your jab and, as you step forward with your right foot, throwing your right hand across your body so the inside of your right biceps is next to your chin. By the time you throw your right hand, your left hand should already have returned to the guard position to provide protection. Both punches should snap into the bag, rather than push at it. Practice this basic one-two combination until you're comfortable with the punches and footwork.

Things Needed

  • Hand wraps
  • Bag gloves
  • Timer


  • Incorporate other punches, such as hooks, to your workout only when you're comfortable with the jab and cross. Focusing too early on multiple forms of striking limits your ability to grasp the fundamentals.
  • Hit the punching bag in three-minute rounds with 60-second rest periods between each round.
  • Hitting the punching bag can be a valuable addition to your weekly cardiovascular workout. According to HealthStatus, a 165-pound person burns about 334 calories during 45 minutes of hitting the bag.


  • Before hitting the punching bag, protect your bones and joints by correctly wrapping your hands with hand wraps and using bag gloves. Your hand wraps should be tight enough to stay on your hands when you form a fist, but not so tight that they're uncomfortable.

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