With MMA getting more and more popular, and with so many people cross training in different disciplines like boxing, muay thai, one of the questions often asked is: Can you use MMA gloves on a heavy bag?
The short answer is Yes, you can absolutely use MMA gloves on a heavy bag. But there are things you need to consider before going all out destroying that heavy bag, or your hands in the worst case scenario.
Let’s explore this more.
Benefits of Heavy Bag Training
The heavy bag is a great tool to incorporate into your training. Hitting a heavy bag properly offers some amazing benefits that no other workouts can replicate.
Improves punching technique
Heavy bag training is one of the best ways to improve your punching technique, as it makes you throw your punches in good form, otherwise you are sure to feel it in your hands and wrists.
One of the biggest advantages of heavy bag training is it allows you to work on your punching technique on your own, by letting you throw thousands of punches without someone holding the mitts for you.
Improves footwork and coordination
When done correctly, the heavy bag training is a great way to improve on your footwork and coordination.
By correctly I mean, do not just stand in one spot and throw your punches aimlessly. Try to move around the bag, use your faints and defensive covers, move in and out of range.
I know bags don’t hit back, but try to imagine it does. Work your way in with a jab, throw a punching combo and either move out of the range, or practice on your infighting by covering up, and throwing hooks to the body and head.
It goes without saying that the best way to improve your shoulder endurance in boxing, is by throwing thousands punches, especially on a heavy bag.
But as mentioned above, heavy bag training will also help improve your leg endurance if you do it correctly by moving around the bag, and moving in and out as if you are sparring an opponent that punches back.
Working on a heavy bag is one of the best ways to burn calories. One of the advantages is you can customize your workouts however you want, depending on your preference.
For example, you can do a HIIT or Tabata style workout, where you throw full power punches non stop for 20 seconds, take 10 seconds rest, and go again until you reach 8 intervals. Do this for a couple of rounds, your heart rate will go right up and you’ll be sure to shed those extra calories.
This benefit is not talked about enough in my opinion.
Punching a heavy bag is a great stress reliever as it helps your brain increase the production of endorphins, which is a neurotransmitter that lifts your mood.
Working on a heavy bag also helps reduce tension that’s built up in muscles when you are stressed.
Bare Knuckle vs MMA Gloves vs Boxing Gloves
Punching a heavy bag without gloves, vs MMA gloves vs boxing gloves, how do they compare, and what are the differences?
Here are the things you need to know to avoid serious hand, wrist or shoulder injuries.
Can You Punch a Heavy Bag Without Gloves?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, when done correctly, punching a heavy bag without gloves is actually very beneficial in many ways.
For starters, it helps condition not only your knuckles, but also your wrists, forearm muscles and even shoulders.
Secondly, it forces you to use proper technique, as you’ll feel it immediately when landing a punch with sloppy form.
Lastly, we’d like to emphasize that hitting a heavy bag without gloves is for conditioning, for precision and for technique, but definitely not for power!
Make sure to keep your form tight, keep your arms straight, land with your two big knuckles, and retract your hands as soon as you make contact with the bag. Most importantly, be sure to only throw light punches.
Using MMA Gloves on a Heavy Bag
Similar to punching a heavy bag with bare knuckles, using MMA gloves on a heavy bag makes you use proper form. Speaking from personal experience, I have jammed my fingers on a heavy bag multiple times when throwing sloppy punches. So be sure to keep a good form.
While MMA gloves do allow you to punch harder compared to bare knuckles, they still don’t offer enough padding and wrists protection for you to throw with 100% power. So definitely control how much you put into your punches.
If you are training for MMA, definitely use MMA gloves on a heavy bag from time to time, as you’ll learn how to punch properly in MMA gloves, instead of punching with only boxing gloves.
Best MMA Gloves for Heavy Bag
The Combat sports MMA training gloves are my favourite MMA gloves for heavy bag training, especially if you’re looking for the hybrid style glove that allows you to put a little more power behind your punches. The front heavy padding does a great job of absorbing impact, and the strap system is easy to adjust as well as offering great wrist support for an MMA glove.
If you are looking to train in 4oz MMA fight gloves, whether it’s to focus more on your form and punching technique, or to get the feel of punching in actual fight gloves, you can’t go wrong with the Hayabusa T3 4oz Pro style MMA gloves. The quality is top notch coming from trusted brand like Hayabusa, my personal favourite feature is the dual-x closure system which offers unmatched hand and wrist stability.
Punching a Heavy Bag with Boxing Gloves
This is my favorite way of hitting a heavy bag, when I want to get a great workout. The thick foam padding and good wrist protection on the best boxing gloves for heavy bag training, means that you can put everything behind your punches, to really train for the power.
I love training hooks on a heavy bag, as it really allows you to dig in with your punches and get an understanding of how they should feel like.
To wrap it up, you can and should use MMA gloves on a heavy bag, especially if you’re training for MMA. In fact, you should also try to do some heavy bag training without gloves and with boxing gloves from time to time.
But do remember the differences between each, and ensure to do it correctly to avoid any damages or even worse long term injuries.