Are you tired of the same, old boring exercise routine? Are you looking for a way to improve punching power, hand speed, accuracy, endurance, rhythm, timing, and reflexes, but can’t afford a gym membership or the latest exercise contraption you saw on TV?
No problem. We’ve got the solution. All you need is a good double end punching bag. If you’ve never heard of double ended bag workout before, you may have a few questions, such as:
- What is a double end bag?
- What are the advantages of double end bag training?
- Which bag is right for me?
- How do I install a double end bag in my home?
- So how in the world do I hit a double end bag?
- Which double ended bag workouts are best for me?
Read on for the answers to those questions and more.
What is a double end bag?
If you’ve ever watched a Rocky movie, you are no doubt familiar with the heavy bag and the speed bag. So what in the world is a double end bag? Well, if the heavy bag and the speed bag got together for drinks late one night after hours, the double end bag would be their offspring.
Whether it looks like a football or a basketball, the double end bag is immediately recognizable because of the way it is tethered to a post at both the top and the bottom (hence its name, “double end”).
Double end bag drills allow you to combine the power punching techniques you’ve learned on a heavy bag with the speed, rhythm, and accuracy techniques you’ve learned on a speed bag.
What are the advantages of double end bag training?
There are numerous advantages to training with the double bag, such as:
- Punching power
- Hand speed
Which bag is right for me?
The best set up for beginners, in our opinion, is a double end bag that features a single ball, basketball shaped, 6″ to 9″ in size. And don’t be afraid to do a little market research. Search online or go to your local gym to find out which one works for you.
If you’re more experienced, the bag you choose will ultimately depend on what your fitness goals are.
- Ball-shaped bags are great if you want to work on power punches (uppercut and hook).
- Pea-shaped bags are excellent if you want to work on your straight punches (jab and cross).
- Two-ball bags are the way to go if you want to work on accuracy and head/body combinations.
How do I install a double end bag in my home?
That’s a tricky question, and will really depend on several factors such as where you are mounting the double end bag, how larger your room is, and the size of your bag.
Some general rules to keep in mind though:
- Make sure the bag is positioned at shoulder height.
- Make sure the cords you are using to mount the bag will allow the bag to bounce back anywhere from 2-4 feet when you hit it.
- Adjust cord elasticity to suit your training needs. Tighten the cords if you want to work on speed, as this will prevent the ball from moving around too much when you hit it. Loosen the cords up if you want to work on accuracy, as the bag will be bouncing all over the place, thus making it harder to hit.
So How in the world do I hit a double end bag?
Don’t try to murder your bag. It’s not a heavy bag, remember? Don’t hit it so hard that it is flying all over the place. You want to start your double end bag drills out simple. Focus on accuracy. Build rhythm.
- Jab, jab, cross
- Jab, cross, jab
- Jab, jab, jab
- Jab, cross
These simple techniques will help you build rhythm in the gym, and hone your techniques for the ring. An initial jab works well as a range fighter, setting you up to better land the power punches that will follow it.
Once you start to find your rhythm, have fun with the bag. Be creative with your double end bag drills. You’ll enjoy your workout more, and you’ll be a better fighter in the ring. Some combinations you might try are:
- Hook to the body/hook to the head
Be mindful of the bag. You want to build rhythm and accuracy here, so don’t just stop and admire your handiwork after you throw a nice combination. Keep the bag moving. The goal is to be landing punches on the bag as it is in motion, not when it is stationary.
Now that you’re getting into the groove, try circling the bag. Just as we don’t want the bag to be stationary, neither should you be stationary. A moving target is more difficult to hit. Moving in the gym improves your cardio. Moving in the ring keeps you on your feet instead of on your back.
Throw a combination and then sidestep to your left. Throw a combination and then sidestep to your right. Bob and weave your head as you move, and make sure the bag is moving too. Don’t let it rest. Pop, pop, pop, move! Pop, pop! Move again. Circle the bag, firing off crisp combinations as you do so.
Working with a partner can be a great way to add some variety to your double end bag drills. Have your partner stand on the opposite side of the bag, and take turns landing punch combinations. This is advantageous because it makes predicting the bag’s movements harder, and if you’re working with a more seasoned partner you might even learn a thing or two!
Which double end bag drills are the best for me?
It depends. As we learned earlier, the double end bag allows us to work any various facets of the fight game. The types of workouts you do will depend on what your goals are.
I want to build punching power
No problem. But let’s clear up one thing, power is nothing without technique. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. So we’re not only going to be working hard in the gym, we’re going to show you how to hone your skills and maximize your talent.
Yeah, yeah, you’re saying. Now how can I build power? If you followed our tips here and on the heavy bag, then you’ve already begun to build power. Now you just need to learn how to deliver that power effectively. The first step is getting your punches there quickly.
Okay, I need to build hand speed
To build hand speed you need to tighten up the cords on your double end bag. This will keep it from bouncing around too much, remember. Now you can focus on landing lightning-fast combinations. There will be just enough movement to keep you honest, but not so much that you’re constantly chasing the bag during your double end bag drills
You’ve got the power and the speed, but they mean nothing if you’re whiffing with every shot you throw. Now we need to think about accuracy.
How do I improve accuracy?
You’re already doing it. This is the great advantage the double end bag has over the heavy bag and speed bag. Because the bag is moving in such an unpredictable manner, you are inherently improving accuracy with every workout.
To get a more extreme accuracy drill, loosen the cords up more than you normally would. The more movement and freedom the bag has to move around, the more precise your punches have to be. Get it moving and then hit it with a power shot. Follow that power shot up as quickly as you can with another punch combination, and see how you become more and more accurate with each new workout.
Okay, now I’m ready to go, right? Wrong. It takes more energy than you can possibly imagine being a professional fighter. They are some of the most well-conditioned athletes in the world. They’ve got to be ready to fight almost non-stop for up to 36 minutes. Now you may not want to be a fighter, but there’s no reason you can’t be in that same great fighting shape. So we’re going to need to work on your endurance.
Your body is a remarkable machine, but your mind is designed to look for patterns. We get comfortable, both physically and mentally, when we can identify those patterns. The great advantage of the double end bag is that it allows neither of these things to take place.
Chasing a double end bag around forces the body and the mind to expend maximum effort, all the time. It exercises your brain, heart, chest, lungs, hips, and various muscles in your arms and legs. It even improves hand-eye coordination. This is why we recommend circling the bag after you punch. The constant movement during your double end bag drills ensures a maximum endurance workout.
You may often hear sports commentators talk about fighters being in a rhythm, and how important finding a rhythm is. Which leads us to the next question…
How can I build Rhythm if the bag is bouncing all over the place?
For beginners, the best way to work on your rhythm is to tighten up the cords. Limit the movement of the bag, so that you can start to recognize how your bag reacts to certain punches. The same thing happens in the ring. Fighters react certain ways to certain strikes. Your bag is no different.
Though the bag’s movements may seem unpredictable, it’s really just reacting to the speed, angle, and power of your punches. The more practice you get, the easier it will be to develop that rhythm. The way the bag moves with your punches will soon start to become second nature. Even the sounds it makes will help you with your rhythm.
Didn’t you mention something about timing, you may be asking. Aren’t those the same thing?
No. Rhythm is all about the effect your punches have, and how they make the bag move. Timing is about when you should be throwing those punches. You can time punches, but you can’t time rhythm.
Timing, ideally, is about landing that perfect punch. The bag is just like an opponent; hit it when it is moving towards you to deliver your punch with maximum impact. Chase the bag as it’s moving away and you’ll find yourself bumbling around off-balance. Controlled aggression is the name of the game when you’re doing your double end bag drills.
But you better watch out, because unlike a heavy bag, the double end bag can hit back. This leads us to our final category…
Because the double end bag is flying around after each shot you hit it with, you can never just pound away on it like a mindless zombie the way you could on a heavy bag. It’s constant movement forces you not only to move with it but sometimes to move away from it, whether that be a side-step or a step back to your left or right.
As we said earlier, the ideal time to land a punch is when your opponent is moving forward. Treat the bag the same as you would an opponent. Move, create space, land your combination, and escape. Every time you do this, you’re improving your reflexes so that you’ll be able to move even faster next time.
Whew! Is that it? Am I ready? I’m exhausted!
Yes, that’s it. Now you’re ready. Go get your double end bag and have some fun. You’ll look great, and you’ll feel great too. And we’ll be here with some more good advice when you get back.
Let’s get it on!