Let’s take a look at some basic etiquette for working on a heavy bag in the gym. These are a few of the things we ask members at our gym to be aware of, but every gym has there own take on these so be sure know what YOUR gym expects.

  1. Don’t hit a swinging bag! You aren’t getting stronger or hitting harder by hitting the bag as it swing away from you. There’s no need to to keep the bag swinging waaaaay out. In general we try to use our striking and kicking to steady the bag if it’s swinging towards us. Also, you’ll actually gain more from creating that impact against the weight of the bag instead of just adding to the momentum.
  2. Don’t hit the bag with your bare hand! Look, it might be something you think looks cool, maybe it feels badass to hit with your bare hand and get those scraped up knuckles. You might eeeeeven think it’ll “condition your hands and wrists better”, but the fact is, it’s not… Really all you’re doing is wearing out the bag faster and leaving skin and possibly blood on a bag that your gym bought for EVERYONE to use. Wear gloves, get a pair of bag gloves if you want something a little lighter, but don’t hit the bag with your bare hand.
  3. Don’t kick the bag with shoes! Serious, why are you wearing shoes on the mats anyway? This goes with the last tip, shoes will scuff up, wear out, and dirty the bags faster. The bags are for everyone, having some awareness for others in the gym goes a long way, trust me.
  4. Watch your space! Sometimes class sizes can fill up and space is more limited. Especially if your gym has a few bags hung closer together, try to stay in your lane. Of Course we want to work good footwork and learn to cut angles, but maybe your bag rounds aren’t the place for that right now. Work your power, flow, and technique, and try to avoid cutting into someone else’s space while you work. It’s appreciated.
  5. Chances are your coach has taught you some things they’d like you to work on. In general bag work helps you build power and endurance for the material you’re working on. You might have seen that wicked cool, totally awesome dude doing the amazing triple flying backward dragon kick on YouTube, but you don’t need to be doing all that during bag rounds. Know what you need to be working on, stay focused, and know when it’s appropriate to try some new things.

There’s always more to heavy bag etiquette. Be sure to check out what your gym is looking for before you get your rounds in. Another good tip is to watch what the senior members at your gym do. These things better your progress and training, so spend some time learning the ropes. Be sure to check out our schedule and sign up for our heavy bag class!