Heavy Bag Workouts

(Last Updated On: August 6, 2019)

Even the most seasoned MMA fighters need a good workout routine. If you’re looking for a good full-body MMA routine for maximum conditioning, look no further than this heavy bag workout

MMA fighters will want to start by punching the bag repeatedly, then add in some kicks.

For example, start by kicking after every third punch, and then make sure to mix it up and alternate between punches and kicks to keep your fighting versatile and ready for anything. Use your hips to practice getting in strong, effective kicks, and throw in some hooks, straight kicks or takedowns.

This workout is really about improvisation and getting ready for fighting.

When the bag moves around, move with it to practice your footwork and make sure your feet are kept shoulder-width apart to condition yourself for maximum power in a fight.

Don’t be afraid to mix in some different things and definitely don’t forget about practicing your ducking!

This is really one of those flexible workout routines for MMA fighters to work on when preparing for fights. It can be practiced by fighters from levels amateur to pro, but may not be best for beginners who are unfamiliar with proper fighting stance or techniques.

If you’re new, check this out first: Boxing Basics For Beginners

This workout is best when practiced in short, sporadic periods followed or interrupted by other exercises such as other conditioning routines or core workouts.

Before you start, here’s what you need:

Heavy Bag Boxing Gloves: This is a given since we’re dealing with heavy bags here. Get a good pair of boxing gloves or perhaps even hand wraps. Whichever you prefer. These will do a great job of protecting your hands.

The Heavy Bag Itself: Get yourself a decently tough, sturdy and heavy bag to practise your punches on. If you’re not keen on fixing something permanent to your home, see my reviews of the best free standing bags.

Beginners need to get comfortable with punching and develop their fighting style, and this workout will definitely aide them in doing so.

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your stance is perfect. You should make sure that your feet are placed correctly with a good distance between them for maximum balance. You should also make sure that your dominant foot is placed behind your non-dominant foot. For reference, if your right hand is your dominant hand, your right leg is your dominant  leg.

Additionally the foot in front should be completely flat on the ground and angled straight ahead at the bag or opponent, while your back foot should be placed on the ball at a 45 degree angle. Taking the time to get your foot stance perfect will ensure that you are as powerful and stable as possible.

Now, it’s time to start. Of course, a good workout should always begin with jabbing, and jabbing should always be done with your non-dominant hand. This is done so that your strong hand is reserved for throwing big power punches.

Start with a jab from one hand followed by a punch from the other. Continue this and mix up the sequence. For example, throw a jab and two punches, then a punch followed by a jab, etc. It’s good to change it up to keep yourself versatile in the ring.

Conditioning Workout

In order to be able to withstand the intensity of boxing and MMA, you’ll need some good conditioning exercises. There are certain routines that you can follow by yourself to get some good conditioning in.

To prepare to fighting in such high impact, some quality time with the punching bag really goes a long way. The cardio workout outlined below is a great way to get that conditioning you need with the heavy punching bag and work out your upper body.

Punching: After you’ve warmed up with jabs, you’ll be ready to start punching harder. Instead of punching in increasing numerical order like you did with the jabs, punch continuously right after the other for a duration of time. While this may get tiring faster than the jab routine, it is a great way to build your endurance, speed and power. If you’re training for MMA, try doing this with kicks. Check out this article for power punching tips.

Jabbing: A great way to start is by warming up with some jabs, increasing by numerical order. This is the perfect way to warm up your muscles and get ready for an intense workout. Start with just one jab, then two quick jabs, then three and keep increasing.

Ducking: The final step is to mix everything together and add in the element of ducking. This means that you should practice throwing jabs, sequences of punches, holding your stance, throwing power shots and practice ducking like you’re in a real fight. It’s easy to forget about ducking during practice. But it is such a vital defense mechanism in the ring that it should not be left out.

Power Shots: Next, go ahead and practice those big power shots that do the real damage in a fight. Instead of continuously throwing multiple punches at the bag, hold your stance and swing a huge punch when the moment feels right. Practice letting your energy build up and really get a feel for throwing big power punches.

See the best water punching bags

Footwork Workout

In order to make sure your footwork is on point in the fighting ring, you’ll need to do some practice with the punching bag. While it’s easy to get caught up with just your punches, you have to remember how important footwork is to keep you safe and help you get out of the way during a match.

Start by punching the bag and let it swing. Then move away from the direction it is swinging in. You’ll want to keep the bag moving by continuously punching it then constantly moving away from its motion.

Doing this will help you stay light and agile and will aide your balance. This is especially important for beginners who are just learning tactics and strategies for the fighting ring, but it can also be of great help to professionals.


Whether you are a beginner or a professional MMA fighter or boxer, there is a workout routine out there for  you. Practicing conditioning exercises and always making sure to change up your routine will improve your fighting ability and take you to the next level.


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