During a typical CKO Kickboxing class you can expect to hit the bag hundreds if not thousands of times over the course of the hour. So it should only make since that in order to get the most out of class you need to understand how to properly hit the bag. But before you can hit the bag you have to ask yourself, “are all bags created equal”? The short answer is NO…
Choosing a bag
When you walk into a CKO you will find that some bags are dragging on the ground while others are actually hanging.
So whats better dragging or hanging?
Well the political answer is that depends on your personal preference. However, the professionals use a “hanging bag” because the “natural” movement of the bag provides for a more realistic feel which allows the puncher to better work on his/her timing, rhythm, and control.
While timing and rhythm are very important (maybe a future blog post) I want to talk more about control. When a new person hits a hanging bag for the first time they might find themselves having a hard time controlling the bag. Even though our heavy bags are heavy (weighing in at 125-lbs) if they are hanging they are very easy to move. In fact on occasion we have kids classes and these kids can easily get the bag moving with minimal effort…
So if a child can easily move a hanging heavy bag with just a few punches and kicks you can start to understand where the control aspect comes into play. Below is a short 10sec video of World Middle Weight Champion Canelo Alvarez throwing some hooks on a heavy bag. If you know nothing about Canelo just know this, he is considered to be one of the hardest pound for pound punchers in all of boxing. This means he can punch harder the you, me, and all the kids that have ever taken our class.
Check out the video before reading on…
Hopefully you noticed two things from the video:
- He is punching the bag extremely hard
- The bag is barely moving.
The bag is barely moving because he is snapping his punches. In other words he is hitting the bag like a “whip”, minimizing the amount of time he is actually in contact with the bag.
The big take away:
If you find yourself on a hanging heavy bag and you notice the bag swinging wildly after just a few punches then you are “pushing” your punches. So instead of “pushing” your punches take a lesson from Canelo and snap your punches. I like to imagine that the bag is extremely hot (well over 1000-degree) because the bag is so “hot” I need minimize the amount of time my fist is in contact with the bag.
Once you start to become successful at snapping your punches you will start to notice two benefits immediately:
- Your punches are much harder and faster – Which makes you feel like a badass
- Your class enjoyment go up because well you feel like a badass
This is perfect because punching the bag harder and more class enjoyment are two key ingredients to helping you reach your fitness goals!!!
Give it a try, and if you still need help snapping your punches we offer one-on-one focus mitt sessions.