Gym Post: April 2021 Various Bag Work

In a change of pace from other posts I have decided to post what I have been working on in the gym. I have video of heavy bag work, slip bag work and double end bag work all shot during the last week of April. Each bag is used for different training purposes to focus on combination punching, defense, foot work, hand eye coordination and counter punching. I will preface this by saying I am not a boxing coach, I am sure there are fundamental flaws in my boxing, this is more for fun and to see my development.

Slip Bag

This bag is designed to work on head movement and counter punching. The idea is to anticipate the bag returning and slip while being able to throw shots before it comes to you and before it comes back. What this should simulate is dodging punches and throwing back. It is vital to used head movement to avoid being countered and also to work your way inside an opponents jabs. What this will help you accomplish is learning to slip on your way in and your way out. The idea is to move your head just enough to make the bag miss. Do not over commit or overexaggerate your head movement as this will cause issues with balance that will prevent you from being able to counter properly or cause you to be knocked down due to being off balance. A fist is only a few inches wide therefore you only have to move a few inches to created a missed punch.

Double End Bag

Sometimes called the floor to ceiling bag is meant for hand eye coordination and again designed for head movement and defense. At my gym there are two with one being larger and slower and the other being quicker and smaller. The idea is to strike the bag as it reaches the middle, the location the bag is at a stand still. This takes timing and anticipation rather than chasing the bag and falling in out of position. In between strikes you can practice moving your head out of the way of the moving bag and use your feet to circle and move back and forth. I usually work to go jab, jab cross or jab, cross, hook. Much like the speed bag you can develop a rhythm to a beat and anticipate when it will return to the place where you need to hit it. Recently I watched a video of Virgil Ortiz Jr. training for Maurice Hooker where he circled completely around a fixed double end bag as he practiced moving left and right while scoring in combination.

The Heavy Bag

Everyone’s favorite, a chance to just unload with bombs and in combinations. That is great for fitness but for boxing there is more nuance to the heavy bag than just swinging away. Technique wise my coach has been working on keeping my left up when I throw my right, moving my elbow less on my left hook, leaning back a little on the left hook to position for the right hand and proper breathing while throwing. I think when I focus on these things I do well but as I tire after a few rounds I start to lose track of these foundations. I try to mix up the focus by the round and use different rounds to work different aspects of offense and defense. Normally I start off doing a round just jabbing: 1 jab, 2 jabs, jab head then body, jab body then head, and jab going in every direction. Then I will go a round just going left then a round going right. I will spend a round just hooking to the head and body at various ranges. I will do rounds of punch outs maybe 10 alternate straights for speed and then 2 hard hooks repeat over and over. Some rounds I go at the bag like its a fight mixing in head movement a jab, countering and combinations and clinch when necessary. I think it is important to keep your technique on the bag even during a punch-out drill to avoid bad habits in dropping your hands, lifting your chin, or not breathing properly. Do not hold your breath while boxing! Breathe for every movement you make and inhale when you are not throwing and exhale as you throw and block. When catching a breath try to cover up and hide your nose and mouth to not let your opponent know when you are getting some air.

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