- 1 Heavy bagerrors !
- 2 The guard in front of the heavy sack
- 3 Balance
- 4 Bad sense of distance
- 5 The look and reflections in front of the heavy bag
- 6 Push the shot
- 7 Low speed
- 8 No Uppercuts
- 9 Protect your hands
- 10 Conclusions
Heavy bagerrors !
8 mistakes you make when you are in the heavy bag is a post that serves everyone but even more if you start using the heavy bag for the first time and want to avoid taking strange vices or making mistakes in method.
Heavy bag is a useful and fundamental tool if you do combat sports on which you can perform a multitude of exercises rhythm/power and on which you can train alone without a training partner (training only), but it should be used very carefully and should not be used in excess because it can also worsen your skills as a fighter.
There are at least 8 mistakes you can make when you’re at the heavy bag.
Beware of bad habits and mistakes you make in the heavy bag
The main reason is because over-training (that’s the exact term) on a heavy bag leads to developing bad habits.
Honestly, as a workout I prefer paos and focus pads over sacks and as I recommend sack training should be a low training percentage because there are only a few downsides and disadvantages to doing the sack all the time.
Attention I do not want to say that it is not useful, indeed the heavy bag is a very useful and fundamental tool, I use it a lot, but with due attention.
The main purpose of making the heavy bag is to increase the power of your shots.
Ok, martial arts and combat sports is hitting hard, but it’s not always hitting and not always hard.
Martial arts and combat sports also require fast shots, combo shots, precise shots and timing shots, footwork shots and heavy sack doesn’t help you in all these aspects because it has limitations derived from its own staticity that do not fit well with some aspects of combat!
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying it’s useless, also because I wouldn’t have spent all that money to take on different shapes, sizes and types.
I use them and I will continue to use heavy bags but there are at least 8 reasons why hitting the sack can damage your fighter skills!
Watch out for these 8 mistakes you make when you’re heavy bag.
The guard in front of the heavy sack
The bag does not respond and so taken by the emphasis of the training you start to pull the shots not caring about the guard or losing the sense of the position of the hands, or you stand still in front of the bag to pull punches, or you hit without returning the arm on guard, do not move your head, do not use footwork, etc.
There are many possible flaws.
In sparring or combat your hands are not guarding correctly, you are uncovered and they beat you, you do not dodge, you stand still on your legs becoming a target, etc. because the bag does not tell you where you are discovered and does not correct you.
Get help from a training partner who is behind the bag with a rubber stick or glove and when you are uncovered or inside the measure after you hit, he beats you.
You will see how quickly you learn!!.
Even someone who punches you slowly after you hit the sack will help you keep your guard in place.
The guard to the sack is one of the 8 mistakes you make when you are at the heavy bag
Another common problem with hitting the heavy bag too much is the development of poor balance.
Beginners prefer to focus too much on power and hit the sack to the point that they let their feet lift as they walk around the sack.
Another common mistake is shocking to the bag and pushing all their body weight in each stroke, supported by the sack.
The biggest risk of going beyond each blow and putting too much power is when you miss your opponent you unbalance.
If you are putting all your weight in one punch and you miss the target it is very easy for you to lose your balance and receive a blow from your opponent.
You have to learn to hit empty with power without losing your balance, you don’t have to be balanced only if you find your opponent and use it as a support, that’s not how it works, you have to unload all the power in one place but without leaning or pushing.
The best “cure” for this is learning Shadow Boxing.
Every good fighter must know how to pull “heavy” shots in the void (hit the air) without losing balance.
Bad sense of distance
Some people will never learn to control their distance with the heavy bag because they are probably too focused on hitting hard.
The two common problems are letting the bag get too close and let the bag be too far away.
- Some stand by the sack and start unloading a machine gun of kicks and punches as if to push it away.
- Others hit the bag so close that they could pull shoulder pads or go into the clinch.
This is a huge mistake! Never use this approach, if you do this in a real match, every time it is easy for you to get hit.
As for letting the bag is too far away, this is just because you’re training “springs.”
Never let the bag swing too far from you, pass fast with fast leg work, plant
your feet and hit it 2-3 times before getting out of distance and leaving.
Do not get into the “lazy” habit of always waiting for the bag to come to you. Start chasing the sack more often and turn it around to keep the correct distance to hit the sack.
- If the bag swings too much, you need to lighten your fists or use a heavier bag.
- Conversely if the bag fluctuates little, then it means that it touches lands or is too heavy.
The distance from the heavy bag
If you don’t learn how to keep your distance and learn the exact reach of your arm and legs, knees, and elbow, you’ll lose all the fights with fighters who do.
- You might meet a fighter who for some reason always seems out of your reach, and you’re always at his disposal every time he hits.
- You may notice that every time you get too close to your opponent, keep hitting you.
The reason for all this is because it has a better sense of distance, knows how far it hits you and only pulls you when you’re at the right distance.
Be aware of your distance.
Try not to get any closer to the sack than you need to get to hit it with the shot you choose.
This also gives you a better understanding of how to use combinations of shots.
When you’re close to the sack you have to get used to getting in by keeping your guard and executing the combination and quickly get out of the way.
When the bag comes towards you make sure you go back.
Always keep your distance.
When the bag swings away from you, take the steps forward to reach the sack instead of waiting for it to come back.
Ps. There are some Muay Thai exercises that take advantage of the oscillation with the meeting shot during the oscillation but I’m talking about the general use of the bag.
Pss. There are exercises where you push the sack, you take it in clinch, you give it shoulder pads, you push it to swing it and turn it around, but they are specific exercises is not the typical use of the heavy sack, I’m talking about a use on shots and combinations.
The look and reflections in front of the heavy bag
The number one problem I’ve seen with heavy sacks is that they don’t develop reflexes in fighters.
What happens is that you are a little too comfortable in the sack and you start to take bad habits.
Lose focus and take your eyes off the bag.
Eyes begin to wander over the sack to watch other fighters in the gym or wander in the mirror to control their own punches and kicks.
Some people look at the sack but they’re not really focused on what they’re hitting.
Have you ever spared someone and you keep getting caught easily by straight shots?
Di ewas hit by the same simple straight shots over and over again.
If this is happening to you now, you’re probably training too hard that doesn’t develop in your eyes the inputs of the shots and fakes that also serve to search for and develop the movement of your head and body.
Stay too still leave a fixed target.
The reflexes are blocked.
Use the bag but from both ends put a training partner or your trainer with a rubber stick or gloves.
You need something that attracts the attention of your eyes, you always have to stay alert.
Do much more focus mitt.
Be that as it may, even if you use the bag yourself always make sure you keep an eye on the bag without wading around at random and always stay on the move.
When the bag is too close to you, move so you can see it well.
Don’t get too close to the bag to rest your head.
Always keep the bag in your field of view.
Ps. Don’t watch pros in packed videos because when they film there they’re not showing how they really train, it’s just for promotional and journalistic purposes, they don’t show the tricks on how they train I assure you, and anyway you don’t know what they’re training so it can’t be an example of reference, be very careful what you see on YouTube and on the internet.
Push the shot
Many fighters are carried by the emphasis of the sack and begin to try to pull the shots as hard as possible.
What happens is they try to make the bag swing as much as possible as if this indicates that the shot is stronger by pushing it instead of hitting it.
This way slows down your shots that are busy pushing the sack but this way also slows down the recovery time of the arm and legs that are too busy to try to push the punch and kicks through the sack instead of pulling back the arm immediately to resume the guard.
In a real match or sparring, the fighter starts doing just as he does on the sack and starts throwing slower punches because he’s trying to maximize power.
The arms don’t retreat so fast and it starts to get uncovered all the time because it just knows how to throw punches in thrust.
Don’t always hit hard
The fact of always looking for all the shots and all the time the “hard hit” is a mistake and the pros do not pull all the strong shots, but only when needed and above all do not pull the blows in thrust if not deliberately.
The opposite of a thrust stroke is a punch.
Ps. Snapping is the Shot shot that is much more insidious and faster.
When you take it into practice,it may not feel as if you hit hard since the emphasis is more on speed than strength but overtime, if you practice, you will learn to shoot fast and even hard “sting” shots.
They’re the best kind of shots and if you can’t stop throwing shots, you’ll never be able to evolve the way you fight.
The strong shot must be pulled when needed!!
The problem with heavy bag is that there is no real emphasis on speed.
I’ve seen many sack fighters move around and pull all kinds of strong but slow shots with laziness because the sack doesn’t force you to pull every shot with speed.
The risk is to get used to shooting hard shots but without precision, speed and emphasis, so in sparring and fighting you are predictable because your shots are not fast enough to overcome your opponent’s guard.
What’s the point of having strong punches if they don’t have the speed to hit your opponent?
Use the sack but with speed to make sure your body is used to it and forced to respond with quick and precise punches.
Put notches on the bag, whichwill also increase your accuracy in hitting!
Today there are many trackers that allow you to measure the work you are doing!
Many fighters who spend a lot of time practicing at the sack often neglect the uppercut!!
The biggest reason is because they don’t have a specially designed bag that allows you to practice the uppercut.
Of course, you’ll have two fewer punches in your arsenal than your opponent has and wants to use.
The uppercut is very effective in breaking tight guards so it is useful on opponents who like to move their heads with bob and wave movements so it is important within your range of shots to have a good trained uppercut.
So you have to use some equipment that will allow you to pull the uppercut or exercise the shot with some training partner or trainer who keeps your focus pads to let you practice.
If you’re on your own, you can still practice them in the traditional sack by pulling lower punches with your elbows bent and palms facing up against the sack, almost as if it were an uppercut to the body.
Today they sell “salamotti” to tie around the sack to pull the uppercuts.
Protect your hands
One of the most common problems I’ve seen from heavy sack over-training is having your hands damaged or very inflamed.
If you throw your fists at a very durable object every day, your hands wear out!
That’s one of the 8 mistakes you make when you’re heavy and I see a lot of guys doing and it’s not good.
Professional fighters are very attentive to their hands protecting them at their best not only during matches but also during training.
The muscles of the hand if unprotected will become bruised and inflamed and your bones will be sore.
Of course the bones and muscles adapt and harden over time, but you have to give your body some rest.
Once your hand is damaged, it will take a long time to heal and you will never be able to pull hard.
Ask older people, you’ll see how they tell you not to neglect your hands that in time you will regret it.
Of course, there will always be people who have higher density bones, but don’t use this rare statistic as a reason not to protect the most important weapons you have.
If your hands are not damaged, other problems such as shoulder muscles can incur, which reduces your agility and stroke speed.
Remember that the bag especially if it is not of the correct weight in proportion to your weight always returns you of the strength that is discharged on your joints and musculature.
Always strap your hands and start with light shots and increase the power as you hand up, it warms your hands well too.
Give your body the right rest and recovery and do more exercises to train.
So after all these recommendations I don’t have to do the bag?
Absolutely NO, you have to do it because the bag is essential if you practice combat sports but with attention to detail I told you about, but you have to be careful of these 8 errors to the heavy bag.
Always keep these aspects under control and use the training time to work on other fighter equipment, there is not only the heavy bag!
Now I don’t want you to worry when you get close to the sack but I want you to keep working heavy bag with more awareness.
If you are heavy-handed on your own and you are not careful you risk taking bad habits if there is no one to correct you and this is not good.
The sack can give you a great workout but also very dangerous habits for combat.
So what do you have to do?
Always stay under control and above all use the time to work on other equipment, do not do like those who spend hours hugged in the sack!
Avoid making heavy bag mistakes that lead to bad habits.
Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport