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MMA Workouts with Your Training Bag

Working out with a training bag used to be reserved for boxers, MMA fighters, Muay Thai fighters, and other martial arts practitioners. These days, more people are incorporating this excellent piece of workout equipment into their general fitness and sport training programs.

The training bag is a great tool to help develop strength and sculpt the body. It adds aerobic and anaerobic exercise to any workout regimen.  Try these MMA workouts with a training bag for an exercise routine that packs a punch.

Note: As with all exercise equipment, it’s important to know the right way to use a training bag before you start training. Always observe proper safety procedures. Know how to correctly throw strikes and punches before beginning to work out with a training bag.

The Training Bag Finisher Exercise Routine

This is called the Training Bag Finisher because these exercises were meant to be incorporated at the end of a normal workout routine. They can also be expanded into a full workout by repeating segments to reach a desired time or expanding the amount of time spent on each segment. We recommend using the Wavemaster® or Versys™ VS.1 bag.

Recommended time: 3 rounds, each with 30 seconds per exercise:

• Mixed strikes and kicks, while moving clockwise around the bag.

•Running in place.

•Light jabs while shuffling your feet.

•Running in place.

•Mixed strikes and kicks, while moving counter-clockwise around the bag.

•Running in place.

•Hard, heavy punches while shuffling your feet.


The MMA Training Bag Workout

This workout is designed to emulate the physicality of a mixed martial arts bout while working the training bag in intervals approximately the length of a round in the ring. It consists of five five-minute rounds, with a minute of rest in between each round. We recommend a heavy bag for this workout, such as the Brave™, Hydrocore, or UFC® heavy bag.

•Round One: Five minute cardio warmup

•One-minute rest

•Round Two: One minute each of the following:

     1) Muay Thai Skip Knees Drill with Training Bag: Grab the training bag at shoulder level. Stand on the balls of your feet, with your feet staggered. Bring knee up to strike the bag. Return foot to ground as you slide your back foot forward. Bring your other knee up to strike.

     2) Sprawls: Push bag away from you and shadow box until bag swings back toward you. Drop into sprawl position. Let the bag swing over you. When the bag has passed over you pop back up. Shadow box again until bag swings back toward you.

     3) Mixed Kicks and Strikes: Shuffle your feet while circling the bag clockwise. Throw strikes and kicks as you move. After 30 seconds, switch to moving counter-clockwise.

     4) Abs Spring Ups: Lie on your back. Extend your legs with knees slightly bent, as though you were doing sit-ups. Place your hands in front of your chest, elbows out. As you sit up, tap your fists on your chest, then upper thighs. As you return to the floor tap your chest again. Do as many of these as you can while keeping proper form.

     5) Repeat Round 1, Muay Thai Skip Knees Drill with Training Bag

•One-minute rest.

•Rounds Three and Four: repeat Round Two.

•One-minute rest.

•Round Five: Five-minute cool down with arm and leg stretches. Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds. You should never force your body into a stretch, as this may cause injury. Here are some examples of cool-down stretches:

Legs stretches

Hamstring stretch: Sit with your legs in front of you. Draw one heel in towards your upper thigh. Lean towards the extended leg. Hold your body as low as you can get it, then slowly come up. Repeat with other leg extended.

Quadriceps stretch: While standing, lift one foot behind your back. Hold the top of your foot with the same-sided hand. Gently push the foot back and up. Repeat on the other foot.

Inner thigh stretch: Stand up with your feet spread apart. The further apart your feet, the deeper the stretch will be. Put your right hand on your right leg and lean to that side. Straighten up, and repeat on the left.

Calf stretch: Place one foot up against a wall or other sturdy surface. Your foot should be as parallel to the wall as you can comfortably make it. Lean in and press your foot into the wall. Repeat on the other side.

Arms stretches

Triceps stretch: Bring your right arm behind your head. Place your left hand on the right elbow. Gently push the elbow down until you feel the stretch. Repeat with the left arm.

Deltoid stretch: Cross your right arm in front of your chest. Bring your left arm up and cross it over the right. Using your left arm, gently pull back on the right. Repeat on the other side.

Biceps stretch: Grasp your hands firmly behind your back, palms facing each other. Slowly raise your arms until you feel the stretch. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds and slowly lower your arms.  


These are just a few examples of bag workouts. Regardless of how you incorporate a training bag into your exercise regimen, you’re sure to see results from using this often-overlooked piece of equipment. Check out the Century Martial Arts website for a great selection of training bags and gear now, and amp up your workout routine today.

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