Heavy bag workout mistakes that beginners make

heavy bag mistakes

With the increasing popularity of MMA and boxing-type workouts, more and more people buy a heavy punching bag for home. Maybe, you are here because you want to get one as well. There is no doubt that it is excellent training to develop your endurance, burn fat, and release stress.

But, do you really know how to use it correctly to get the best results and avoid severe injuries? Do you avoid the common heavy bag workout mistakes?

When I got mine, I thought it was only about hitting it—the way I wanted. Then, I realized it is a more complex workout than that. And I had to learn from my mistakes.

Do you want to know what the typical heavy bag mistakes are? Just watch the video below. Then, read on to learn more.

Let’s recap the common punching bag mistakes

1. Wrap your hands and wear boxing gloves

Always use hand wraps to protect your hands and wrists to avoid injuries. But do it the right way! The cover protects the small bones and joints of your hand and wrist. Boxing gloves are not enough alone! Learn how to wrap your hands correctly here.

Keep your hands safe!

A boxer’s bag gloves are one of the most important pieces of equipment. You can’t use regular gloves on a bag. Invest in heavy bag gloves and you’ll get more protection and longevity.

2. Hit the boxing bag with various punches

If you do not know the basic boxing punches yet, you should learn them first. Most of the beginners strike the punching bag with power punches such as left or right hooks. Yes, they are the easiest to perform, but have you ever seen a boxer hitting the opponent only with hooks?

You should handle the heavy bag as if it were a human opponent. Play with it as if you were sparring with someone. So, use all the other blows such as the jab, cross, uppercuts. Also, practice the footwork and do not always hit it from the same position.

3. Deal with your energy

Hitting the bag is such an exciting activity, and we want to hit it as a real fighter does. But, it is tough, and most of the beginners commit the mistake of beating the bag with full intensity and power at the beginning, then they just huff and puff.

Don’t rush! Set a timer for 1 or 2 minutes and make just 2-3 rounds. Hit the punching bag wisely. Throw only light jabs, practice the footwork, make some defense moves, etc. Just check out a boxing match, they do not hit each other all the time, do they? Make your training realistic, but you can have short intensive sessions if you want.

Shopping guide: Choosing the right punching bags for beginners

4. Proper Technique

Don’t be the dumb guy I was who thought that punching is just punching. Learn the proper forms of punches, and you will see that your strikes will be more accurate and powerful. Plus, you will not get out of breath so quickly.

If you are a total beginner boxer, start with shadow boxing to learn the basic strokes.

5. Mix You Punches Up

A common mistake is throwing the same blows and combos all the time. Jabs and crosses are easy to throw, and beginners are willing to stick to them. But for a real heavy bag training, you should utilize the other hits as well. And again, move around and practice the defense skills as you were in the ring.

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6. Throwing only power punches

People want to throw a strong punch on the punching bags all the time. Maybe this “habit” comes from the boxing matches where we are always waiting for the knockout. The KO looks cool and finishes the game when a colossal blow comes in.

But, if we see a match analytically, 95% of the blows thrown are light to medium ones. It would be impossible for the boxer to throw powerful punches for 12 rounds.

That’s what you need to keep in mind when having a heavy bag training. Imagine the bag is your opponent that you do up with many light hits, and when the optimal point comes, you give a huge punch.

The mistake of push punching ruins the arms’ speed with that the opponent has more time to react and throw a counter punch. So, it’s better to focus on speed than power and throw snapping punches that are light but much faster.

By the way, what is the force equation in physics?


m=mass of an object

Can you see that? Acceleration is an essential factor. A fast fist is not only harder to avoid but also powerful.

7. Don’t have a clear goal for your workout

I like to focus on my weaknesses instead of my strengths, and that is how I plan my heavy bag workout routine. Each round should have a purpose. For example, one round for improving power punches, one for practicing easy combos, another for speed, etc. But, if I have a weakness, I give more boxing training for that.

8. Not having enough proper rest

Boxing is thought sport that exhausts us both mentally and physically. Hence, enough time to recover is required, particularly for beginners. I say for a novice, 2-3 punching bag workouts per week is enough. Also, don’t hit the bag till you’re totally fatigued.

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9. Remaining stationery

Don’t just stand in front of the punching bag and hit it. Would you do that if you were in the ring? Sure, not since the other fighter would beat your up, and you wouldn’t hit him. Footwork is critical with bag training as well. Move around the bag, set up the proper stance for the strikes, and move away when you are ready with them.


If you are a total beginner, the best is if you imagine yourself in a real boxer’s shoes in the ring. That helped me a lot. I know the bag does not hit back, but still the best way to practice without a partner.

Also, be patient and learn. As with everything in life, the more you practice, the better you will be. Plus, there are tons of online material from which you can learn.

Thanks for fightTIPS and JT Van V for the excellent advice.

Learn more: Ultimate guide to beginner heavy bag workout

About us

There is no better fitness system than boxing. Your muscles grow, your endurance improves, your heart gets stronger and you're more energetic. Since boxing uses practically your entire body, you'll burn tons of calories. Because I love boxing so much, I started this blog to help others get started.

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