Mike demonstrates how to get a martial arts-based workout using a punching bag.


>>Hi. My name is Mike Bell, and I’m a student
and a personal trainer at Duke University. And I also have a bit of
a martial arts background. And today I’m going to give you a workout that
you can do by yourself with a punching bag or potentially with a friend if you
have punching bags or thai pads. It’s important to note that the
objection of this video is not to teach you any self-defense maneuvers, just
to give you a good, fun full-body workout. This workout will use four basic punches. The first of these punches is the jab. Jab with the same hand as your lead
leg, usually your less-dominant leg. Begin with your elbows in
and fists at chin height. To throw the jab simultaneously, push off
with your back leg and twist your body on your lead leg side, rotating your fist until
your arm reaches full extension on contact. Make sure to keep your wrist straight,
and don’t throw the jab so hard that you injure your elbow on the extension. After contact, immediately recoil your
body and bring your hand back to your chin. The next punch is the cross. A cross is thrown with your
trail leg or dominant hand. The cross is similar to the jab in mechanics
except that now you’re both pushing off and twisting with the trail
leg side of your body, therefore delivering much
more power in the punch. Like with the jab, after contact,
you want to immediately recoil and bring your hands back to your chin. Our third punch in this routine is the hook. Throw the hook with your lead hand,
the same one you use to throw the jab. Plant your rear foot, and begin the motion by
twisting slightly towards your lead leg side. Then unwind back into your
stance as you bend your arm to a 90-degree angle and parallel to the floor. Pivot all the way back through on your lead leg
foot; and maintain the 90-degree arm position as you make contact, using your abs
to generate power and stay balanced. Again, immediately after the punch,
return your hands to your chin. Our fourth punch is going to be an upper cut. An upper cut is performed with the rear
leg hand, the same one you used for cross. Keeping your arm tight to your body, lower your
trail leg hand and turn your palm to the ceiling as you slightly twist your
body to the punching hand side. Pivot back into your stance by driving off
your back leg as you punch in an upward motion with power generated from
the legs, hips, and abs. Return to the set position
before throwing the next punch. Once you’ve mastered the
four punches individually, it’s time to start trying combinations. The first combination we’re
going to try is a jab cross. The jab cross is exactly what it sounds
like: jab with the lead leg hand; return to the set position with both hands at
the chin; and then immediately use your motion from the recoil to launch a hard cross,
making sure to generate the power from your core, not just your arms. Once you have the jab cross
down, try adding a hook. The sequence is now jab with the lead hand, cross with the rear hand,
hook with the lead hand. Remember to bring the hands back
to the chin after each punch. Finally, you can try stringing all four
punches together: jab with the lead, cross with the rear, hook with
the lead, upper cut with the rear. Again, be sure to come back to the set
position in between each individual punch to ensure correct form and build good habits. An extra motion that you can add in to
give your abs some explosive work is to simulate slipping a jab from an
opponent and coming back with a hard hook. This allows you to really twist your torso and
uncork on the bag, generating a lot of power. The beauty of working out on a
punching bag is that you can make up just about any workout you want. Begin by learning to throw the punches
individually, switching up sides after every maybe 10 to 20
reps or 20 to 30 seconds. Then once you feel comfortable with your
technique, learn to throw combinations. Start slowly and build proper muscle memory
before launching into a worthless flurry. Finally, once you’re comfortable with
combinations, start freestyling on the bag and make up your own workouts to keep it fresh. And remember, if you’re training
for general fitness purposes, it’s important to use both
side of your body evenly. That’s it for now. If you find yourself interested in learning
martial arts in a formal environment, check out the area around you for kickboxing,
karate, or a mixed martial arts center. Until next time, good luck
and keep your hands up.

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