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If "good enough" just isn't "good enough" anymore, it's time to take your training to the next level like the "big boys" do.

A great MMA workout is in the bag...literally!

The Heavy Bag can take you from good to great. Just ask any great fighter if he (or she) trains with a heavy bag and you will find they ALL do!

Take UFC Heavyweight Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva for instance. Along with brushing up on his wrestling skills, Silva can be seen in the photo below working on his punches too as he prepares for a shot at the championship title in the near future.



The heavy bag is a very standard and simple basic piece of equipment but it's results are amazing. It is a stuffed leather or vinyl bag that usually weighs in somewhere between 40 and 100 pounds.

Heavy Bags come in all shapes, sizes and specialties. While lighter bags are great for reps, heavier bags are excellent for strength building. You will want to consider what goal you would like to achieve with the bag when you decide which one to purchase.


The heavy bag, in some form, has been around for as long as written history has been. Used in Martial Arts, military training and fencing, the appearance of the punching bags were much different but the purpose was the same...to perfect kicks, strikes and punches.

One ancient form of the Heavy Bag was the Okinawan Makiwara. The Makiwara is used in Karate similarly to how the punching bag is used in Boxing, acting as a stand in human target so the practitioner can practice punches, kicks and strikes.

Although the Makiwara was made numerous ways, the most popular was from rice straw with a rope tied around it and generally it was placed on a stick.

The Chinese Mook Jong is another historical form of the Heavy Bag. The Mook Jong has an "arm" and "leg" configuration so that it resembles a human and is used to perfect fighting skills, just like the modern Heavy Bag.

The Chinese version was traditionally placed into the ground while the Hong Kong make hung on the wall.

The Mook Jong is akin to the Wing Chun Wooden Dummy that is so popular today. Wing Chun is a Chinese martial art that focuses on the art of self-defense. In Wing Chun, both striking and grappling while specializing in close range combat.

The Wing Chun Dummy is a thick wooden post with three arms and a leg mounted on a springy frame designed to resemble a human opponent but not so much in physical appearance and form as it is to imitate the energy of a human.

Training with the Wooden Dummy is purposed to perfect angles, positions, and footwork, and to develop full body power which are all skills that can be attained with the Heavy Bag of today.


There are tons of benefits of working out with a Punching Bag. It's one of the most versatile and useful pieces of equipment available for Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing. No wonder amatuers and professions alike incorporate it into their training in order to perfect their skills and reach a whole new level of their game.

heavy bags


In essence, the word "endurance" means to "hang in there". We all know, you can't win a fight if you can't finish it. If you give out during a fight, you might as well hang it up.

So obviously, endurance training should be of upmost importance in your program. A good Heavy Bag workout is a one of the best ways to work on those strengths that will get you fit and will keep your engine running when your opponent has run out of gas.


Few, if any, pack a punch like the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos! Eleven of his fifteen UFC wins have been via Knockout.

If you want to be able to pack a punch too, practice on a Heavy Bag! No opponent in their right mind is going to stand there and let you plow into them so the Heavy Bag is the ultimate substitution for a human opponent.

By digging deep and hard into the bag, you will build your strike power by leaps and bounds. The same is true of kicks, knees, and elbow strikes too.

Contrary to popular belief, power punching is not dependent on mere size, strength or body weight. There are lots of other factors that determine the power behind a punch.

Power punching techniques can be developed by learning how to execute them with proper form and are perfected through practice with the Heavy Bag. My students don't believe me many times, but speed and technique are the keys to power pnunching.

So no matter your build or strength, you have more control over the power behind your punches that you may think which is a good thing because when push comes to shove in MMA and Boxing, you had better be able to back up what you dish out. And you need to be able to do it...hard! Cain Velasquez (blue glove tape) vs. Junior dos Santos


Coordination is, by definition, the balanced and effective interaction of movement. Think about it, it takes coordination simply to walk so how much more coordination does a Martial Artist need in order to pull off punches, kicks, take-downs, throws and all the other moves required in a match?

Core Stability is where it all begins. It has to do with the bodily region bounded by the abdominal wall, the pelvis, the lower back and the diaphragm and its ability to make the body steadfast during movement.

Together, coordination and core stability have everything to do with your progress and perfection in the Mixed Martial Arts.

When you see a fighter who looks as if even the most difficult moves are done with ease, it is due to his expert coordination and core stability. He does those moves with "grace"!

Anderson Silva is a fine example. He breezes through his seemingly effortless movements. Not only are his strikes incredible, his defense is impeccable as well.

Silva's head movement alone is so good that he can stand right in front of his opponents with his chin up and his hands down, conident they're not going to be able to hit him. He does things that few, if any, of the other fighters can do. Why? He has outstanding coordination and core stability.

In offense and defense alike, you will find that profecting these two areas will give you a cutting edge that very well may make THE difference in your game.

There are many things you can do with the Heavy Bag that will help with your coordination and core stability. Circling the heavy bag and throwing off combinations is one way to exercise these functions. Keeping on your toes, and transferring weight from one foot to the other is excellent too.


Skills and drills go hand in hand. Learning drills to do on your Heavy Bag will not only teach you the fundamentals, it will also show you a variety of different techniques. There are a number of drills that will greatly help you.

Combination Shot Drill. This classic drill focuses on throwing 4 or 5-punch combinations. You will find that practice makes perfect and the more you do this drill, the better combinations you will throw.

Dirty Boxing Drill. This drill is done upclose and personal, thus, the name. Stand really close to the bag and work on shortening up your punches, Also get into close distance behind a jab or another combination and also practice working your way out.

Body Shot Drill. On this one you will give it all you've got. Hard, forceful punches are the name of the game. Take as much time as you like as long as you hit with all your might.

Reaction Drill. There a lots of drills you can do that will strengthen your reaction skills such as counter punching the bag or swinging it to make it even more effective and unpredictable.. It is imperative to have excellent reaction in MMA or you are going to get hurt...real hurt!


Since it cannot punch you back, the Heavy Bag is perfect for practicing Self Defense on. As you practice your moves, you can picture the bag as your attacker and make it even more real. Strikes, kicks, punches are all employed when using self defense so have at it and give it your best shot. Hit it hard like your life depends on it because some day...it just might!


So knowing the facts, it's a no-brainer that a Heavy Bag will greatly enhance your training and will help you get to the next level of your game. But now the question...which bag is best?

Heavy Bags come in a variety of styles. There are two main categories: Freestanding Bags and Hanging Bags.

Freestanding Bags consist of the Bob family (Body Opponent Bag) and Wavemasters along with other types too.

Hanging Bags can hang from the ceiling or wall or can be mounted on a Heavy Bag stand. Weights, shapes and construction materials vary as well as the price so doing your homework is well worth it.


The Heavy Bag is a considerable purchase so you will want to be sure to go with a name brand, reputable company like UFC, Century, Title, Revgear and so on.

Check out some of my favorites!

ufc-heavy-bag ufc-heavy-bag ufc-100-lb-bag

ufc-muay-thai-bag century-gold-heavy-bag


Heavy Bag Gloves

If you are going to workout with the Heavy Bag, you will want to check into getting a pair of Heavy Bag gloves. Be sure to check out our reviews and helpful information on Heavy Bag gloves.

Get the DVD

One of the best Heavy Bag DVDs you will find is "Heavy Bag Training" by the world renown instructor, Sammy Franco.

Franco is the founder and creator of Contemporary Fighting Arts, an offensive-based self defense system that is specifically designed for real world self defense. In this phenomenal DVD, he teaches sophisticated and practical skills and attitude necessary to successfully get working on the bag!

Unlock the secrets to success in your Heavy Bag workout with this state-of-the-art DVD. You'll be glad you did!


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