Tips to use a Muay Thai heavy bag?
One of the things that Muay Thai athletes enjoy about the sport is the range of training exercises. The main aim of Muay Thai exercises are to keep your body strong, your kicks and punches fast and sharp, and get your heart rate going. Some of these exercises include jump rope, sparring, punching and sprinting, sit-ups and punch-block-kick combos with a heavy bag.
Using a heavy bag can seem intimidating to a beginner, especially if they don't have much previous experience.
What are the benefits of using a heavy bag?
Incorporating a heavy bag into your Muay Thai training is essential for several reasons:
- Strength and power - Training with heavy bags will result in the strengthening of bones and muscles overtime. This will allow your body the ability to withstand the strikes and hard impact kicks and throws in the ring.
- Perfect your form - Just like with exercising, good form is essential for executing each move with power and precision and reducing the chance of injury. A heavy bag will give you the practice you need to get the form right in order to deliver powerful, more accurate strikes.
- Increase balance - The swing of the heavy bag can knock one off balance if they are not careful. Being able to repeatedly throw kicks and punches and kick-punch combos at the heavy bag can help to improve your balance and overall coordination. Working on your balance helps to build core strength to keep you more grounded and give you a better stance.
- Increase creativity - Working with a heavy bag can help to make you think outside the box and challenge your creativity as it relates to fighting combos. Being able to develop a wider range of fighting combos with the bag will translate to you becoming less predictable in the ring.
- Greater convenience - Having access to a heavy bag outside the gym, you are able to get more training time at your convenience. Home training cannot replace the much-needed time with your coach at a fully equipped gym, but it does add to your overall training experience and routine.
Five tips for training with a heavy bag for Muay Thai
- Set your goal - Develop the habit of setting an intention each time you use the heavy bag, and train each day with that intention in mind. Are you seeking to develop more powerful jabs or kicks? Do you want to be faster with your moves? Doing this will help you to decide at the end of each session if it was successful.
- Strike, move, defend - Sometimes it can be hard to remember to move when using the heavy bag since there is no one there actually trying to hit you. However, since heavy bag training is also training for the ring, getting into the habit of moving after each combo move as you would in the ring is essential. This helps to develop your muscle movement for real fights.
- Punch at eye level - It is easy to forget when throwing jabs at the heavy bag that you should practice aiming your punches at eye level. This will help you to develop muscle memory for punching and defending at the height that your opponent is most likely to be.
- Diversify your strikes and levels - The last thing you want is to become predictable in the ring. This will make you an easy target for your opponent to study and likely predict your moves, which can cost you the match. Practice mixing up your combos and strikes so that it will come naturally in the ring.
- Get creative - Muay Thai should be fun! Don’t forget to be creative with your moves. Throw in some unexpected, fun moves to make things interesting.
If you are a Muay Thai fighting and are considering getting a heavy bag to train, this is your sign. The benefits are vast and at the end of the day it will help you to become a better fighter.