How to Swing at a Punching Bag

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Slug that thing like it’s your childhood bully.

A punching bag is not only a fantastic conduit for full-body exercise, it’s a great target for stress relief. I’ve had plenty of occasions in my life where directing my blind fury at a soft inanimate object has left me feeling refreshed and relaxed at the end. The thing is, though, like so many other exercises, technique is important when working out with a punching bag. You can just flail your fists wildly at the thing, you’ll just tire yourself out without getting any benefits. You need to learn a few basic boxing techniques before you can really stick it to that thing.


The basic bread-and-butter boxing combo is the one-two-punch. That’s two jabs, followed by a dominant hook. To elaborate, a jab is a quick, powerful, forward punch. A hook, on the other hand (literally), is when you throw your fist out at a curve, creating a 90-degree angle as you move your arm. For the one-two-punch, plant your feet, slightly bend your knees, and pivot your body forward. Throw the jab with your nondominant hand, giving it a slight twist as you do so to face your thumb downward. Throw out two of those in rapid succession, then perform the hook with your dominant hand. Remember, picture the curve in your mind and hit the side of the bag. Imagine a line going from your fist and turning toward the bag, and just follow it.

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Aside from jabs and hooks, you can also try crosses and uppercuts. A cross is when you perform two quick jabs with both hands one after the other in an X shape. An uppercut is when you bring your dominant hand down to your waist, then scoop the punch upward, using your legs and hips to give it some extra oomph.

By mixing and matching these techniques, you can really sock that bag, and give your arms, legs, shoulders, and hips a fantastic workout in the process.