Begin by warming up your shoulders: small arm circles forward and backward, eventually ending with big circles. Throw in some torso twists, and if you’re coordinated enough, a few minutes of jumping rope will get your heart rate up.
This will serve as both a warm up and skill builder. Practice your punches and combinations, crosses, hooks and jabs. Work on lining up your shots and footwork. Move left to right and right to left, practice feints and moving your head. Keep your hands up; don’t drop them to your side. Punches need not be heavy, movement and coordination with your punches is the goal for this round.
Here’s where we increase the intensity by throwing straight stiff shots. Get your body behind each punch and strike with power. Each combination you throw should be strong.
Mix it up for this round, alternating between soft and hard combinations. Also practice throwing hard body shots.
This round will consists of combinations, all of which will be hard shots. No letting up this round, no easy jabs.
This is for all the marbles, every punch you throw should be a bomb. Each punch is a knockout punch. By the end of this round your arms should feel like tree trunks—too heavy to even hold up.
At this point take the gloves and wraps off and cool down for a few minutes. The easiest cool down is simply walking, allowing the heart rate to come down gradually. A couple of things worth mentioning: first, how to throw punches. In law enforcement it’s important to stay close to your opponent. That means your punches should be short and come from inside. Haymakers, where your swing starts from behind your shoulder and you wind up like you’re pitching a baseball, only works in the movies. Never telegraph your punches. By the time your punch is delivered, the bad guy will have hit you 2 or 3 times. The other important aspect of staying in close is that you don’t allow the person you’re fighting to use all of his strength. And unless he’s practiced on a heavy bag like you, his short inside punches will be mostly ineffective.
After 4 – 6 weeks using this routine you will notice both your stamina and punching power increasing. You will want to kick it up a notch and you can do so by adding some intensity for the last 15 – 20 seconds of any or all rounds. Another way to step up to a higher level is to add 1 or 2 additional one minute rounds of punch-out drills, also known as an Olympic drill. It consists of rapid straight punches without any rest. The non-stop nature of this drill will make anyone arm weary in a hurry.
Heavy bag work outs are job specific. This type of exercise is an activity that will help you, physically and mentally, when facing that guy or gal who insists on trying to duke it out with a cop. Heavy bag training in this context is not meant to turn you into a boxer, rather it is an activity to develop your punching skill, power, and confidence, which translates into making you better prepared to defend yourself and your colleagues on the street.
Stay safe, Brothers and Sisters!
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About The Author:
John M. Wills spent 33 years in law enforcement as a Chicago Police Officer and FBI Special Agent (Ret). He is a Freelance Writer and Speaker whose third book, TARGETED, is now available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Contact John through his website: www.johnmwills.com.