You don’t have to be Danny Green to have a punching bag set up at home. A regular workout with a punching bag can help reduce stress, increase your metabolism and get fit.

Amanda Clark is a personal trainer, accredited boxing instructor and the owner of mobile fitness business She’s a Knockout, and says boxing is a great way for women to get fit.

“When I first started getting into health and fitness it was one of the first things I tried, ” she says. “I really enjoyed it because I saw results really fast.”

The right gear

Philip Pen, of Giri Martial Arts Suppliers, says the right kind of bag is as important as the right punching technique. He says a leather bag is more expensive but it will last longer.

“The main thing when people are selecting bags is the size, ” he explains. “Kickboxers go for long bags, boxers a stockier bag, but for general fitness, you can get away with a three-foot (1m) bag. The main thing is you want a firm bag. The weight of the bag is personal preference but you don’t want a soft bag as you can roll your wrist.”

Also invest in a good set of bag gloves. Mr Pen says bag gloves are not the same as boxing gloves.

“Boxing gloves are used to protect your hand and someone else’s head. Boxing gloves rarely make full contact, so on a bag they will wear out quickly.”

Correct technique

Women are often nervous about punching but they tend to excel once they learn the right technique, trainer Amanda Clark says.

“Always keep the elbows in at the side of the body, in a real fight that’s to protect your ribs, but it’s also the way you’d throw a punch. It should come out of your body. With your elbow in by your ribs it should then be coming forward and not flailing out to the side.

“Keep your feet a hip distance apart with a slight bend in the knees and keep the weight distribution even. Thinking about it as if you’re standing on a clock face, with your left foot up at 10 o’clock and right foot on 2 o’clock with your left foot forward.”

Giri Martial Arts Suppliers owner Philip Pen says it’s important to make a fist correctly.

“People are hurting their thumbs on bags because they are wrapping their fingers over the top of their thumb, ” he explained. “The other thing people often do is make a fist and have their thumb sticking straight out so it hits the bag first.

“When you make a fist the thumb needs to come around underneath and over the fingers so it doesn’t make contact with the bag at all.”


Punch It Out: The correct techniques for boxing.

Getting started

Philip Pen says the best place to hang a bag is in the centre of a room. “Then you can move around it unhindered, ” he explained. “Hanging it off the wall is the next best solution and next is the bag stand. A stand is good if you rent or live in an apartment but it can get in your way.”

Once your bag is set up, make sure you start off slow. “Start off slow and soft until you get the conditioning factor. If you start hard your wrist can buckle up, ” Mr Pen says. “When you want to jog you don’t start up sprinting so start out with light work.”

Stand tall, Stay focused

At the punching bag remember to stand tall, with your weight balanced equally on both feet. Focus your eyes firmly on the punching bag and where you want your fist to land for the most viable workout.


© The West Australian

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