The double end bag is one of the most unique and versatile tools in the training arsenal of a boxer. While scantily used in the amateur categories, it has been proven to bring great benefits when used properly as it offers a great variety of training possibilities and exercises.
How Did We Get It?
The sport of boxing can offer many great tools that develop a fighter’s pugilistic skills to the point of where you really don’t want to provoke the guy. Boxers train on heavy bags which are designed to improve their strength and also speed bags which work their coordination and timing.
However, the double end bag is the tool that really shouldn’t be left out of any training camp due to its versatility and endless training choices available. Also known as the ‘’floor-to-ceiling’’ bag, this is a small, circular ball which needs to be connected to both the floor and the ceiling using elastic cords.
It comes in different shapes and sizes, starting from 9-inch bags for the beginners and going down to as much as 6-inch bags that give even advanced boxers a run for their money. Therefore, it is a way of working out which offers a myriad of different techniques and exercises to perform.
The double end bag is pretty unique in the world of boxing in the sense that it is the only training tool which can come close to simulating a real opponent due to the erratic and unpredictable moves it does.
Benefits of Double End Bag Training
This is the perfect tool to develop your more sensitive punching skills such as hand-eye coordination and accuracy, this being the reason why many professional fighters live and die by the double end bag. Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits you will get from hitting this on a daily basis.
It’s obvious that a bag such as this one will not be your typical heavy-bag stationary type but, instead, it will move back and forth quite fast, creating a perfect replica of an opponent’s head and making it tougher to hit. Not only will you have to hit the bag but you will have to time your strikes in order to actually make it effective.
Again, when compared to the heavy bag, the double end one is a smaller target that moves around a whole lot more and requires your hands and your eyes to be way more accurate in order to land a hit. When you’re starting to connect with multiple punches in a row, that’s when you know you’ve made some progress.
Your obvious goal when training with this bag is being able to hit it multiple times in a row. The constant back and forth and side to side movement, however, will make it very hard to do that unless you build up a certain rhythm in your punches instead of simply throwing them at whatever moment seems more convenient.
Developing this rhythm will not only allow you to fight better but it will also help you fight longer as it will conserve your energy in the ring.
The fast movement of the double end bag requires you to use fast punches in order to actually hit it. This is a very important workout because many boxers get used to the slow heavy bag which does not move that much so they end up being too slow when the time comes for the actual fight.
In technical terms, you have to understand that punching power is not the same as punching skill. With good technique and proper conditioning, anybody can become a more powerful puncher but you need actual punching skills, which are mostly related to timing and accuracy in order to actually hit with those punches.
How To Hit A Double End Bag
The first thing you want to aim for as a beginner are constant combinations of hits. Solid, steady, quick little punches are the way to go until you get used to the flow and the movement of the bag. You have to remember that the double end bag more closely resembles a speed bag rather than a heavy bag, so be prepared with fast movements.
Moreover, you need to pay attention to the tension of the cords, since it will be very hard to throw quick combinations if they are so loose that they make the bag swing far away from you with every chance it gets.
The most important thing is to try and consistently hit the bag without allowing it to slow down else you lose the rhythm that you are trying to build. Another important tip here is not waiting more than two seconds between combinations in order to better simulate the conditions of a real fight.
Basic Combinations To Try
Anybody just starting boxing is going to learn the Left-Left-Right and Right-Right-Left basic combinations as these are the framework for building other, more complex sequences of hits. Always start your workout with them to allow you to warm-up properly.
Try a combination of straight punches throwing nothing but jabs and straight rights. The challenge here is that in order to keep the bag straight, you’ll have to be very accurate and precisely hit its right part in order to keep the movement going in a direct line. You can use 1-1-2 and 1-2-1-2 combinations in order to get the flow going.
Hooks & Uppercuts
Remember that the hardest possible punch to land on the double end bag is the left hook. While you are still in the early stages, try simple combinations such as 1-2-3 and 1-3-2 and try to add uppercuts anytime you can.
Head & Body
For this part, we’re going up and down the bag. Punch the head, punch the body and try to keep a rhythm between them. You can find special ‘’double-balled’’ double end bags which have two balls attached to one another in order to better replicate an opponent’s body. If you don’t have one of those, try aiming your ‘’body punches’’ at the cord under the actual bag.
Working On Your Defense
One of the unique qualities of the double end bag is the fact that it can also help you drill your defense by simply punching it and then defending as if the bag was coming back with a vengeance to hit you. Note to self here, it’s significantly easier to do this on a loose bag that swings more.
For example, you can use this method to work your punch and block combination. Punch it, block so the bag can bounce off your guard then go for a combination straight away to transform good defense into easy offense. Being forced to react to an unpredictable movement pattern will drill better reactions into you come fight time.
Using the double end bag, you can drill your punch and slip movements with the best of them. Try going for a jab and slip then a double jab and slipping twice such as not to fall into a pattern. Remember that a general rule is to slip to the side you just threw from, especially if you are a beginner trying to master the movement. You can switch it up once you get the hang of it.
Last but not least, footwork is always extremely important for a boxer and this bag can also help you with that. As a rookie, you should work on being able to move after every combination. More advanced boxers can also move during combinations but bide your time and stay with it, as this takes a lot of practice.