Whether you’re practicing boxing or MMA, the heavy bag will become an essential component to your success. They train footwork, strong hitting, focus, and more; however, many beginners practice too often, leading to various injuries. Since there’s no perfect number, how are you supposed to know how frequently you can hit the bag?
It’s not ok to hit the heavy bag every day since it is designed to train and test your power. Too much can lead to joint and muscle aches. It would help if you hit the heavy bag two to three times per week in one to two-minute intervals, then work your way up to four or five sessions per week. Heavy bags have numerous benefits, so it’s best to add them to your routine, along with speed bags and pad work.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about hitting the heavy bag:
- Various problems associated with hitting the heavy bag every day
- Details about how frequently you should visit the heavy bag
- Alternative solutions to hit your hands and feet in action throughout the week
Should You Hit the Heavy Bag Daily?
Hitting the heavy bag might seem like the best choice. You’ve probably read all of the benefits, so you’re ready to put in hard work for optimal results. Unfortunately, too many days at the heavy bag can cause all sorts of unwanted issues. You’ll be better off mixing it up, as you’ll learn in a few subheadings.
Here’s a list of five reasons you shouldn’t hit the heavy bag every day:
- Hitting the heavy bag every day can cause wrist pain. If you’ve ever punched anything too hard, you’ve probably felt a sharp pain around your wrist. Heavy bags are an irreplaceable resource, but you’ll hurt yourself if you use them too often. This method will lead to joint locking and weaker punches.
- Daily usage can lead to shoulder problems. Since heavy bags have so much weight, the force and pressure go up to your arms into your shoulders. Regular, planned sessions can train your shoulders to handle the pressure. Doing it too often too early will limit your shoulder movement, though.
- You could risk a hand injury. According to Expert Boxing, heavy bag hand injuries are far from rare. Continuous use can cause muscle and bone bruises, most of which take weeks or months to heal completely. This issue will bring problems for fights, training sessions, and simple daily tasks.
- It would help if you mixed punching bags throughout the week. You’re about to learn several alternatives, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t punch a heavy bag every day. Speed bags and free-standing bags are lighter, which means they won’t cause the same issues as heavy bags. Consider blending your routine to prevent injuries.
- It can scrape your elbows (if you’re throwing elbow shots). If you’re practicing your elbow, the heavy bag is a perfect tool. Make sure you hit the bag with the end of your elbow, not the center. Improper use will lead to abrasions that take a couple of weeks to heal. The same rules apply to throwing knees.
As you can see, heavy bags aren’t the solution to every MMA fighter’s problems. They have a handful of issues, so use a heavy bag a few times per week rather than daily. If you’re looking for exact numbers, proceed to the next section.
How Often Can You Hit a Heavy Bag?
You know you shouldn’t hit the heavy bag every day, but how often can you go after it? Beginners need to take it slow to practice their form and encourage muscle development. Your body needs to ramp up to the challenge. Hitting the heavy bag daily is too much to take at once.
Let’s dive into the details below.
Hit the Heavy Bag Two to Three Times Weekly
Regular use starts around two times per week for most people. You might think you can dive into the training bouts without a problem, but you’d be surprised. Evolve MMA explains that heavy bags improve your punching power, an integral part of most combat sports. When your body is healed and ready to move on, increase the frequency to four or five times weekly.
Focus on Short Intervals
Heavy bags allow you to put your full force on the table. Hit the bag with precision, power, and technique. This training style will leave you exhausted after a couple of minutes. Don’t push your heavy bag sessions beyond one to two minutes to prevent injuries and to overtrain. They’ll allow you to get your maximum power with each punch.
Take Enough Rest Breaks
As with all workouts, rests are equally as essential as the exercise. Wait for 45 to 60 seconds between each heavy bag set. Let your muscles relax, take deep breaths, and analyze your punching technique. Rests allow you to regain your power without sacrificing muscle development and punching accuracy.
The heavy bag has more than enough to provide for anybody. Even if you’re not an MMA fighter, you’ll enjoy training new muscle groups and practicing power or footwork. When you’re not using the heavy bag, read the next section to learn about a few alternatives.
Alternative Solutions and Suggestions
Hitting the heavy bag too much is a poor practice, but you can try a few other punching bags to keep your accuracy, power, footwork, and muscle growth in check. Below, you’ll discover five top-notch choices that almost anyone can try.
- Use the speed bag regularly. Speed bags are perfect for most people because they’re not too tasking on shoulders, elbows, and wrists. You can get a free-standing speed bag or purchase one that hangs on the ceiling or wall. Whether you’re practicing MMA or boxing, speed bags need to be a part of your routine.
- Try an uppercut bag. These useful horizontal bags provide a broad, tough surface to throw uppercuts, knees, elbows, and more. If you’re having trouble landing uppercuts or you want an easier target, these bags should be at the top of your list.
- Grappling dummies are an excellent choice. Ringside shows that grappling dummies allow you to train your skills with every limb. Punch, elbow, knee, and grapple these free-standing dummies throughout the week. You can throw a few punches in between grapples to practice realistic fighting scenarios.
- Consider wall bags for your training sessions. Wall bags aren’t as popular as a typical hanging bag because they don’t bounce back. However, you could set them up anywhere in your home or gym for an instant bag work session. They’re a bit tougher than most options since the force doesn’t distribute evenly.
- A freestanding bag is worth a try. For simple at-home sessions, you could get a free-standing punching bag. They’re not as durable, nor do they provide as much power per punch. That being said, these bags train your precision. They’re an ideal tool for anyone who’s recovering from heavy bag training injuries, too.
These five solutions aren’t all necessary, but you can choose a couple of them for your schedule. Mixing them with heavy bags will yield the best results.
Now that you know how often you should hit the heavy bag, you’re set for a successful week of training sessions. Remember to mix it with other boxing workouts such as shadow boxing, touch sparring, strength training, jump rope, and other cardio. Beginners should take it slow to avoid unwanted injuries.
Here’s a rundown of the post:
- There are plenty of heavy bag alternatives.
- Using the heavy bag every day can lead to various injuries, including joint pain, even when wearing hand wraps and MMA gloves.
- Start with two to three heavy bag sessions per week, then work up to five sessions.
- Work in short one to two-minute intervals with rests in between each set.