Punching bags are great for just letting off some steam, or getting out those pent-up frustrations, but they are also a fantastic way to work out. They can also be used to perfect techniques that are essential for boxing and kickboxing.
Practice makes perfect, and using a punching bag is a great way to build up muscle memory and practice your strike. However, you don’t want all that practice to go to waste.
This is why it is imperative that you ensure that you are kicking correctly, effectively, and powerfully. If you don’t you’ll struggle to find success once you step into that ring.
Throughout this article, you’ll learn how to correctly kick a punching bag, specifically learning about 3 kicks in particular.
The Three Best Kicks To Practice
There are many different variations of kicks throughout the vast amount of martial arts practices, however, as a beginner, there are three main kicks that you’ll be likely to learn about. These are the front kick, roundhouse kick, and knee strikes.
So let’s delve into how to kick a punching bag using these three common kicks.
1. Front Kick
The front kick is the most basic form of kick that you’ll be taught in martial arts, so this should be the easiest one to learn. If you are practicing Muay Thai a front kick may be referred to as a Teep Kick.
For this move you’re attempting to strike and then push the bag with the bottom of your foot; this is done from a relatively long-range. Not only is it the easiest move, but it is also the safest move to practice.
You just need to ensure that you are kicking the punching bag with the bottom of your foot and not the top of your foot, or it’s likely you’ll injure your toes.
- Face the punching bag. Make sure that you are standing far enough away that the bag is just fractionally out of distance if you were to throw a punch.
- Feet wide apart, and have one foot slightly forward, both should be flat to the floor. Keep your toes pointed towards the punching bag. Your back foot should point out as far as possible while still being comfortable. Keep both knees slightly bent.
- Make sure your torso is upright and then with your fists make a stance similar to a boxer; both hands, in fists, in front of your chest.
- With your front foot take a small step forwards and shift your weight onto this leg. Then by using the momentum, kick through on your back foot. Be sure to extend your back leg and push the ball of your foot into the punching bag.
- After the strike, with your back leg step back into the starting position.
2. Roundhouse Kick
Most martial art movie fans are well acquainted with the roundhouse kick.
If somehow haven’t seen this move on a film or tv show before, it’s where a fighter kind of swivels his hips to turn, raises his knee, and then quickly extends his leg, impacting the opponent swiftly with the top of his foot. It’s a very impressive move.
It’s no wonder why it is such a popular and common kickboxing kick, however, it can cause some issues when it comes to practicing the move on a punching bag.
This is because the aim of the kick is to land the contact on the top of your foot. Connect your toes with a punching bag, and you’re not going to be practicing kicks again for a while.
This is why it is essential to learn how to do this kick correctly.
- Face the punching bag. Stand just out of reach of the bag if you tried to connect a punch.
- Stand with your legs wide apart, one foot slightly forward. Point your toes towards the bag. The back foot should be pointing as far out as is comfortable. Feet flat to the floor, and knees bent.
- Hold your torso upright, and bring your fists to your chest as a boxer would.
- With your front foot, take a small step forward and shift your weight onto this leg. As you step forward start to rotate your front foot so that your toes point out as far as they can go. Kick through with your back foot using the momentum.
- While you kick through, start to rotate your hips so that you’re pivoting on your front foot. Bring your front heel forwards towards the punching bag and then strike the side of it with the upper part of your shinbone in the center of the leg you’re kicking with.
- Making sure you pivot on your front toes will ensure that your front foot and your knee rotate together. This will allow you to bring your back leg into contact with the side of the punching bag without harming yourself. It is easy to twist and pull on the front of your knee.
- Once you’ve made the contact, step back on your kicking leg and return to the starting position.
3. Knee Strike
This is the strongest and most powerful kick of the three. It is great for trying to disable a potential attacker. In this kick, you are going to use the top of your knee and drive it right into the middle of the punching bag.
You may think it would, but this kick doesn’t tend to cause knee pain. The only problem you’ll have is friction rash if your knee slides up the bag after contact. But this can be avoidable.
- Face the bag. Stand close enough that you can steady it with both hands.
- Legs wide apart, one foot forward, and point your toes towards the punching bag. Point your back foot as far as is comfortable. Keep your feet flat on the ground and slightly bend your knees.
- Make sure you lean in slightly and keep the bag steady with your hands. Then take a small step forward and use the momentum to strike the bag with your back knee. Use the power from the back of your hip.
- Once you make contact, immediately step back into the starting position. Do not leave time for your knee to slide up the bag as this will cause a friction burn/rash.