Guide to Heavy Bags for MMA, Boxing, and Muay Thai

Heavy bags are fundamental training tools used in combat sports such as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), boxing, and Muay Thai. They provide a versatile platform to enhance various aspects of a fighter’s skill set, including power, speed, accuracy, and technique. In this guide, we will explore different types of heavy bags, how they are used, their intended purposes, and the techniques applicable to each type.

Types of Heavy Bags

Heavy bags come in various types, each designed for specific training purposes. Here are 10 common types of heavy bags and their intended uses:

Standard Heavy Bag

Purpose: General-purpose training, developing power and technique.

Techniques: Boxing combinations, strikes, kicks, knee strikes.

Speed Bag

Purpose: Improving hand-eye coordination, speed, and rhythm.

Techniques: Quick punches, double punches, crossovers.

Double-End Bag

Purpose: Enhancing accuracy, timing, and reflexes.

Techniques: Jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts.

Maize Bag

Purpose: Precision and accuracy training for punches and elbows.

Techniques: Straight punches, elbow strikes.

Teardrop Heavy Bags

Purpose: Mimicking body targets for body shots and clinching.

Techniques: Hooks, body shots, clinch work.

Uppercut Bag

Purpose: Developing uppercut punching technique and power.

Techniques: Uppercuts, angled strikes.

Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag

Purpose: Simulating moving targets and improving agility.

Techniques: Various strikes, footwork, dodging.

Body Snatcher Bag

Purpose: Focusing on body punches and conditioning.

Techniques: Body shots, hooks, uppercuts.

Angle Heavy Bag

Purpose: Enhancing striking angles and footwork.

Techniques: Angled strikes, footwork drills.

Specialty Grappling Bag

Purpose: Integrating grappling techniques into training.

Techniques: Takedowns, throws, ground and pound.

How to Use Heavy Bags

  1. Standard Heavy Bag:

Stand at a proper distance and practice various striking combinations (jabs, crosses, hooks, kicks).

Focus on developing power and refining technique by hitting the bag with force and precision.

  1. Speed Bag:

Use the wrists to hit the bag in a rhythm, focusing on speed and accuracy.

Start with single punches and progress to more complex combinations as you improve.

  1. Double-End Bag:

Keep the bag moving by hitting it and evading its rebounds.

Practice quick and precise strikes to improve hand-eye coordination and timing.

  1. Maize Bag:

Target specific points on the bag to enhance accuracy and precision in strikes (punches, elbows).

Focus on maintaining a consistent rhythm and hitting the maize bag with various strikes.

  1. Teardrop Bag:

Practice body shots, hooks, and knee strikes to simulate striking an opponent’s body.

Work on perfecting your body shot technique and footwork.

  1. Uppercut Bag:

Focus on uppercut strikes to develop power and technique in this particular punch.

Experiment with different angles to hit the bag effectively.

  1. Wrecking Ball Bag:

Evade the swinging bag and strike it when it’s at your desired target area.

Improve your agility, timing, and striking accuracy by moving around and hitting the bag.

  1. Body Snatcher Bag:

Concentrate on hitting the bag in the midsection area to simulate body shots.

Work on the power and technique of your body punches.

  1. Angle Heavy Bag:

Circle the bag, changing angles to simulate movement and improve footwork.

Experiment with different striking angles to enhance versatility in your attacks.


  1. Specialty Grappling Bag:

Utilize the bag for practicing takedowns, throws, and ground and pound techniques.

Integrate striking and grappling in a continuous flow to simulate real fight scenarios.

Purpose of Heavy Bags

The purpose of heavy bags in combat sports training varies based on the type of bag being used:

Power: Heavy bags like the Standard Heavy Bag, Uppercut Bag, and Body Snatcher Bag are designed to help fighters develop and enhance their striking power.

Speed and Accuracy: Bags like the Speed Bag, Double-End Bag, and Maize Bag focus on improving speed, hand-eye coordination, and striking accuracy.

Technique and Form: All heavy bags contribute to refining technique and form in various strikes, aiding in the development of a fighter’s skill set.

Striking Techniques

Heavy bags can be used to practice a wide range of striking techniques, including:

Punches: Jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts.

Kicks: Roundhouse kicks, front kicks, side kicks.

Elbows and Knees: Elbow strikes, knee strikes.

Clinching: Practicing clinch work and close-range strikes.


Heavy bags are invaluable tools in the training regimen of MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai practitioners. Each type of heavy bag serves a specific purpose, allowing fighters to enhance power, speed, accuracy, and technique. Incorporating heavy bag training into your routine will undoubtedly elevate your combat sports performance and overall skill level. Remember to prioritize safety and proper technique while using heavy bags for training.


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