Most Muay Thai, boxing and kickboxing gyms offer a range of different bags to hit. In addition to different shapes and sizes, they also come in different weights. A heavy bag provides a lot more resistance when you hit it. Depending on your body weight and power, it can feel like you’re hitting a brick wall.
Due to the resistance provided by a heavy bag, it takes a lot more effort to get it to move. You might feel super powerful while hitting a lighter bag. One hit sends it flying. But when you move onto a heavy bag, it will soon become apparent how strong you really are. A punch may not even make an indent. You might try to push kick it and go flying backwards yourself. The benefit to be gained, however, is that hitting a heavy bag will make you stronger.
Heavy bag work for Muay Thai technique
Regularly training on the heavy bag not only helps you to develop strength and power. It also assists with balance, timing and technique. Since the bag is so hard, if you punch or kick it incorrectly you can really hurt your hand, wrist or leg. Many times I have punched a heavy bag without keeping a tight fist and hurt my hand. Similarly, if you punch upwards, instead of turning your knuckles over, you can hurt your wrist. A poorly placed elbow can leave you with bruises. Over time, you learn from these mistakes and remember to correct your technique.
Heavy bag work for conditioning
Continuously hitting a heavy bag helps to condition your body, which is recommended if you’re going to fight. If you want to develop stronger and harder shins, regularly kicking a heavy bag as hard as you can will help. When I first started Muay Thai training, kicking the heavy bag would leave me with constantly bruised shins. But over time, it has helped to strengthen my shins and I don’t bruise as much anymore.