We advocate hitting things. Not carelessly, of course, and certainly not someone within striking distance when you are in a bad mood. Rather, we recommend striking objects as part of your training. The pandemic has made partner training with focus mitts and Muay Thai pads a challenge. Not everyone has the resources or space for a punching bag or a “Bob”. Some people are quite innovative. One of our students props a mattress against a wall and wails on it.
If you have something to strike the benefits are tangible. We lost our Bob when we closed our studio. (his name is Sebastian and no I don’t want to talk about it) but retained the punching bag. Training with the heavy bag 3 to 4 times a week certainly benefits my training.
Here are 5 ways hitting something helps you.
Cardio. Shadowboxing (striking the air) has great benefits and will improve your fitness. Striking pads and bags that offer resistance are even more challenging. Try a Tabata workout (interval training), 20 seconds of striking, 10 seconds rest, repeat for 5, 10, 20 or more minutes. You will feel it.
Gauge Your Impact. You might be striking the air believing you are throwing knockout punches like George Foreman then go to a heavy bag, strike it, and it doesn’t move. Some whipped cream with your humble pie? Striking a heavy bag, for instance, reminds you to rotate, strikethrough, and recoil from a proper distance.
Gauge Distance. Speaking of proper distance. Another humbling experience is when your strike comes up short because you misjudged the distance. Or, perhaps you threw a punch from a very short range (T-Rex arm style) and not much happened. Striking pads and bags help you understand distance.
A Moving Target. When you strike pads and bags they move. Even a heavy bag. You hope! It is not as elusive as an attacker but it can help with precision and decision-making.
Stress Reduction. Get your aggression and frustration out. Also, the endorphins from a rigorous workout elevate your mood. You’ll be a shiny(sweaty) happy person in no time!
So, continue shadowboxing but when the opportunity “strikes” hit the focus mitts, Bob, or punching bag. Your striking skills will significantly improve.
p.s. Sebastian found a good home.