MMA fighter practicing punch on punching bag

Unleash Your Potential with the 20-Minute Punching Bag Workout!

Do you think pummeling a punching bag is just a way to vent your frustration, or perhaps mimic a scene from a Rocky movie? Think again! In a mere 20 minutes, you can embark on a full-throttle, body-sculpting, fat-incinerating journey that not only transforms your physique but also elevates your cardiovascular fitness.

Starting a punching bag workout might seem daunting, especially for newcomers to boxing, mixed martial arts, or any combat sport. Fear not! We've got you covered with a step-by-step guide, emphasizing safety precautions and precise punching and kicking techniques.

As you dive into this boxing workout, you'll soon realize that heavy bag sessions are not just exhilarating and liberating; they're a surefire path to peak physical form!

Bare Hands or Boxing Gloves: Choose Wisely

Red professional boxing gloves hanging on white wooden wall

Before you throw your first punch, a word of advice: If you're new to heavy bag workouts, protect your hands and wrists with hand wraps and boxing gloves. These trusty accessories safeguard against injuries and empower you to unleash more potent punches.

Even as your skills improve, don't ditch your gloves or wraps. Punching the heavy bag bare-handed is not recommended, even UFC fighters opt for hand wraps!

Check out this video for a hands-on guide to proper hand wrap usage:

The 20-Minute Knockout Workout:

But before we delve into the high-intensity regimen, it's crucial to warm up your muscles. Spend five to ten minutes on light exercises to prevent injuries and enhance your overall workout experience.

Now, let's make your punching bag session more effective and enjoyable. Consider a pre-workout boost like TRANSCEND to maximize your energy levels.

The Warm-Up (6 Minutes):

  • Jog in Place (30 Seconds): Get those legs moving!
  • Jumping Jacks (30 Seconds): Activate your whole body.

Air Squats (1 Minute):

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms forward, parallel to the floor.
  3. Squat down, hips moving back and down.
  4. Maintain a curved lumbar and flat heels.
  5. Rise back up.

Arm Circles (1 Minute):

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms sideways, parallel to the floor.
  3. Gradually increase the size of your arm circles.
  4. Reverse direction every 15-20 seconds.

High Knees (1 Minute):

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Lift your knees toward your chest in a running motion.

Shadowbox (2 Minutes):

  1. Throw punches into the air, alternating hands.
  2. Maintain a rhythmic bounce or weight shift.
  3. Besides looking cool, shadowboxing warms up your body effectively.

The Heavy Bag Boxing Workout (14 Minutes):

Jab, Cross Punch, Squat (2 Minutes 30 Seconds Workout, 30 Seconds Rest):

  1. Face the heavy bag in a boxing stance.
  2. Jab with your left hand, swiftly followed by a cross punch from your right hand.
  3. Execute a squat similar to your warm-up routine.
  4. Repeat this combination.

How to Jab:

  1. Assume a proper boxing stance.
  2. Protect your chin, tuck your elbows, lower your hips above your feet.
  3. Keep your body and hands relaxed.
  4. Slightly bend your knees and lift your back heel.
  5. As you jab, shift your weight forward, imagining a straight-line punch tracing from your shoulder.
  6. Rotate your palm down.
  7. Drive the punch with your hips and shoulders.
  8. Quickly return your arm to the protective position near your chin.

How to Cross Punch:

  1. Begin in a boxing stance.
  2. Quickly pivot your right hip forward and rotate on your right foot.
  3. Extend your right arm forward, rotating your palm downward.
  4. Rebalance your boxing stance.

Plank Punches (3 Minutes Workout, 60 Seconds Rest):

  1. Assume a high plank position in front of the bag.
  2. Balance on your left wrist and lift your right arm at the shoulder.
  3. Deliver a quick jab to the bag with your right fist.
  4. Alternate between hands, maintaining a straight line from arm to back.
  5. Plank punches emphasize balance and technique over power.

Cross Punches - Dominant Side (1 Minute Workout, 15 Seconds Rest):

  1. Assume a boxing stance with your dominant hand forward.
  2. Repeatedly execute cross punches with your dominant hand.
  3. Focus on core stability as powerful punches may affect balance.

Cross Punches - Non-Dominant Side (1 Minute Workout, 45 Seconds Rest):

  1. Assume a boxing stance with your non-dominant hand forward.
  2. Deliver powerful cross punches with your non-dominant hand.
  3. Engage your core for stability.

Side Kick Straight Punch Combos (4 Minute Workout):

  • 15 reps of right side kicks.
  • 30 reps of left-hand straight punches.
  • 15 reps of left side kicks.
  • 30 reps of right-hand straight punches.

How to Throw a Straight Punch:

  1. Start in a boxing stance.
  2. Maintain relaxed shoulders, tucked elbows, and clenched fists.
  3. Rotate your hip forward and pivot on your foot.
  4. Pay attention to your footwork and spin your rear foot.
  5. Extend your punching arm from your torso, rotating the palm downward.
  6. Keep your arm close to your body.
  7. Snappily return your arm to the starting position.

How to Side Kick:

  1. Rotate your body until your side faces the bag.
  2. Pivot your front leg 180 degrees.
  3. Thrust your foot forward, striking the bag with the sole.
  4. Control your leg as you return to the starting position.

The Punching Bag: Your Ultimate Workout Ally

This 20-minute punching bag workout delivers unmatched intensity. It enhances cardio, torches fat, and sculpts your body from head to toe. Real results are within your grasp, transforming your physique and improving your self-defense skills. Enjoy the exhilarating journey, and remember – have fun, stay safe, and punch hard!

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.