Without the structure of a class, it can sometimes be hard to know what to work on. If you can get in front of a heavy bag, along with some basic equipment, you can still have a great training session. Here are some tips and ideas to get the most out of your next open mat gym session or home workout.
At Austin Kickboxing Academy, we have our timer set for 3 minute rounds, with 30 seconds rest.
Warming up before any workout session is important, that’s why we devote the first 15 – 20 mins of every class doing so. Some warm up ideas include:
- Jump rope or shadowbox (2 – 3 rounds)
- Dynamic stretching (punter kicks, lunge and twist, etc)
- Leg blasters (3 sets): This rep scheme is slightly modified from the full Atomic Athlete leg blaster routine demonstrated in the video below.
20x stepping lunges (10 each side)
20x jump lunges (10 each side)
10x jumping squats
For some bag work can be monotonous, repeating the same techniques round after round. Here are some examples for each round to keep it fresh. Depending on how much time you have to train, try to aim for 8 – 12 rounds.
- Push kicks – lead and rear side
- Leg kicks – low, medium, high on each side
- Boxing – just hand combinations
- Boxing with knees
- Knees with elbows
- Boxing with knees and elbows
- Cycling knees – clinch the bag, throwing non-stop knees throughout the round
- Freestyle – work on techniques from class that week or work on weak areas that you want to get better at
Working on blocking and footwork while on the heavy bag, also helps break routine and are great for your technique. Don’t treat the bag like a bag, treat it like a person in front of you. During the 30 second break, you can add push-ups or work your hand speed and conditioning with non-stop straight punches.
Having a strong core is essential for any striking art! Core strength improves your power, balance, and ability to absorb strikes to the body. Here’s a basic core circuit to get you started:
3 Sets Total:
- 25 Weighted Russian Twists each side – using a medicine ball or plate (10-15lbs)
- Planks – start with a normal plank on your elbows for 30 seconds, then transition to each side holding for 30 seconds each
- 20 Full Sit-ups
- 20 Superman Back Extensions
It’s always a great idea to spend 5 minutes or more to cool down and recompose yourself after training. Use this time to work on your mobility by stretching or using the foam roller.
With some direction open mat can be a great time to work on your trouble areas, as well as help you to improve your techniques and develop your mental focus!