Whether you're looking to develop your skills for boxing or merely want to learn how to box like a pro, a double-end bag is one perfect tool for you to start with. But, what is a DOUBLE-END BAG?
A double-end bag is an inflated ball which can be half speed bag and heavy mixed bag. It has two elastic cords that connect the ball between the floor and the ceiling.
The movement of a double-end bag mimics the action of an opponent, with the ball as its head and as it bounces back, it's like the counter - punches of the enemy.
It is like a heavy bag in a sense that you can hit it with punches, while you also move around it. It's also half-speed bag because it helps you develop your speed, rhythm, and accuracy.
With a double-end bag you can also improve the skill of avoiding the opponent's punches.
In other words, this double-end bag teaches you how to move like a great boxer fighting a real opponent.
And, since it works by swaying randomly and quickly for every punch you make, the frequency and speed of each punch you throw will largely depend on your reaction time.
For beginners, a double-end bag about 6 or 9 inches in size is a good option. Opt for the single, basketball-shaped one.
How to Train in Boxing Using a Double-End Bag
Start with a tight double-end bag.
It is better to start with a tight double-end bag. Also, make sure to position the bag at shoulder height. Don’t forget to wear your boxing gloves!
One great thing about starting with a tight double end bag is that it moves less, making it easier for you to make your punches land. Even the most potent punch is nothing if it doesn't land.
This is when training with the use of a double-end bag will prove to be very helpful. It gives you a lot of opportunities to practice your focus, rhythm, accuracy while you also slowly develop power punches.
Throw small punches and work on your rhythm.
As a beginner, it is essential that you stay close to the bag then just keep on hitting the bag with a 1-2-1-2 rhythm.
This is just a left-right, left-right combination which could also mean a jab-cross, jab-cross rhythm.
Perhaps, it’s the very first combination you learned in childhood days. During this time, don’t be too conscious about how you’re punching. Focus on rhythm first.
Remember not to hit the bag too hard; otherwise, it will become too impossible for you to keep a steady rhythm.
Then, once you find yourself being more in control of your rhythm start moving away a bit from the double end bag.
This time, hitting the bag may become more challenging considering that you're a bit far from the bag.
This time, you can also see your hands trying to beat the bag from a farther distance. Concentrate on hitting the center of the bag. This is because if you hit it on the sides, the bag will move in different directions.
Practice small combos instead of power shots.
While you're punching the double-end bag, see to it that the bag doesn't go back farther than 6 to 12 inches.
This stands for left-left-right or right-right-left rhythm. If you’re hitting the ball hard enough to make it bounce back and ensure your punches will land, it will now become more comfortable for you to do quick fluid combinations.
The best thing about the RRL or the LLR combination is that it increases your chances of hitting a moving target.
Punch any way you want.
As mentioned earlier, a double-end bag is something that lets you focus more on your timing, accuracy, and rhythm.
This goes to say that you can always work on developing your strategy and technique later.
For now, you can enjoy experimenting with different kinds of combinations.
So, if you're working on a left-left-right combination, you can use the jab-jab-cross or the hook-jab-cross combos. You can also try the uppercut-hook-cross or the hook-jab-cross combinations.
If you are using the right-right-left combination, you may opt for the uppercut-cross-hook or the uppercut-cross-jab combination.
You can also practice the cross-uppercut-hook and the cross-cross-hook combinations. The key here is not to hesitate to try different kinds of combinations.
Avoid hitting it like a heavy bag.
Some people make the mistake of using a lot of their power when punching the double end bag.
Unfortunately, the more they hit it with much power, the more that it becomes too difficult to hit. Their punches keep on missing the bag because it is now moving too fast. In turn, they find themselves just waiting for about five seconds for the ball to stop moving in all directions.
Sometimes you get tired of waiting and then see yourself just dragging the cord so that the bag will stop moving in all directions.
Read also: How to Use a Speed Bag
Focus on hitting the ball.
If you worry about your footwork while also struggling to hit the bag with your punches, you will be less likely to develop any of these boxing skills.
So, focus more on your punches for now and know that you will have time to train for footwork later. A double-end bag requires so much concentration.
Otherwise, none of your punches will land. This is why it is essential to focus on your punches and make sure that each of them falls on your target.
A double end bag makes you more powerful not because you hit too hard with all your strength. But, instead, a double end bag makes you more powerful because it enables you to hit your target with higher accuracy.
Aim for the head and body.
Once you get the hang of punching the double-end bag with speed and accuracy, now is the time to practice aiming not just for the head but for the body as well.
If your double-end bag is a single ball, aim for the cord below the bag. But, you can also throw punches on the rope above the double end bag.
Your drills could be 1b-1b-2. The letter b stands for the "body."
Another good combo to try would be the 1-2-3b or the 1-2-3b-3-2. Of course, you can always create your own combinations as well. Note that precision is so necessary, as well as timing and rhythm.
Do not pause and wait for the bag to stop.
Don't make the mistake of waiting for the bag to stop moving before you hit it again.
This is why it's a big no-no to hit the bag with your strongest power punch because the bag will be all over the place.
Just keep on running it hard enough for you to be able to keep a steady rhythm. If you keep on waiting, you defeat the purpose of having a double-end bag. It's there to help you build your accuracy, rhythm, and timing.
Keep defense in mind.
A double -end bag not only helps you develop your timing and accuracy. It also enables you to build your defense as it bounces back as if giving you a counter-punch right on your face.
This is when you need to practice head movements that will help you avoid being hit by your opponent - although in this case, your double end-bag.
So, once it bounces back, you have the option to either keep your hands up or make sure your head is moving away from the double-end bag. In other words, don't just sit there and watch the bag bounce back at your nose.
Match the tempo of the bag.
Once you punch the bag, it will start to make erratic movements. This unpredictable and seemingly non-stop movement of the bag should encourage you to hit consistently.
Don't let the erratic movement of the bag hinder you from making a quick reaction time. So, keep on punching, keep on moving.
Once it comes back, bring it to a different direction as you keep hitting it. The perpetual motion of the bag should not outwork you.
Work towards maintaining a fast-paced tempo. Remember that you need to work to beat your opponent. If you stop, it's like you are just allowing the bag or your opponent to outwork you.
Eyes on the bag, all the time.
Note that the double end-bag moves very quickly, so you need to focus your eyes on it. This is one great way to develop your focus and concentration.
When you're focused, it will be easier for you to think of ideas on how you can defeat your opponent.
If you have to throw your punches in rapid succession, go ahead and do it. If you need to throw lightning fast jabs, crisp uppercuts or short hooks, do it.
But, it's only when you maintain the focus that you'll be able to know which combination will most likely lead you to your goal which is to defeat your opponent.
Besides, if you're not focused, you cannot determine the perfect timing when to throw such punches.
Don't let your thoughts wander away and make you lose focus on the most critical task at hand. So, don't look elsewhere. Eyes on the bag and keep throwing punches.
Move around the bag.
Although your bag is placed in an exact position, the same thing should not happen to you.
Move around the pocket and keep in mind that your real opponent will also be doing the same thing.
Nobody stays in the same exact position in the ring. So, move around but always keep your eyes on the bag.
A moving target is difficult to hit, which also goes to say that if you keep on running your opponent will also have difficulty making his punches land on you. Besides, moving gives you the chance to improve your cardio.
Throw a combo and then make a sidestep to the right or left, depending on what’s deemed necessary.
Then, throw another combo and do another sidestep. Bob and weave your head while you move and see to it that the double-end bag is also moving.
Never give it the chance to be stationary. Punch, punch, punch and run. Punch and move. Keep on moving around the bag while you're throwing combinations at the same time.
Work on your reflexes.
The best thing about double-end bag is that it also allows you to develop your reflexes.
Note that the double-end bag often strikes back with high velocity. Remember that you can't just hit the bag and then celebrate. The thought of retaliation should always be in your mind.
So, you have to alternate your punches with slips, blocks and any movements that help you avoid being hit.
Block and move as the need arises.
Keep your guard up otherwise you'll find yourself being caught in the face. Work towards improving your reflexes. Know when to employ your defense or throw a crisp combination.
Develop your timing.
The unpredictable and rapid movements of a double-end bag allow you to develop your sense of timing.
Knowing where to hit the opponent is not the only thing that's important. You also need to know when is the perfect time to throw your punches or combinations and make them land.
Not to mention the fact that a lot of boxers win just by throwing fewer punches, with less energy but with the perfect timing and accuracy.
Notice that when you throw your punches as the double-end bag moves towards you, you are most likely to make a solid hit.
But, if you're throwing punches while the bag is running away, you may still hit it but only with minimal impact.
Don't just focus, you have to time your punch and throw it once you sense the perfect time.
With proper training, a double-end bag can definitely help you become a better fighter.
However, if you want to develop more skills, you also need to try other kits such as the speed bag and the heavy bag.
Each bag comes with a different feature for different skills that you need to develop. But, always remember that a double-end bag is an indispensable part of your boxing training.