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Alternative Heavy Bag Workout Routine

With this article, I’m going to provide you with an alternative angle with this heavy bag workout routine. The heavy bag is a great tool to use and improve many facets of your Martial Arts game. A standard in the fight game for many years, the heavy bag helps develop and improve power and cardio and is just a lot of fun to use. I want to provide a full-body workout with a heavy bag that does not involve striking it with this article.

This routine will help improve stability, mobility, explosiveness, cardio, and overall total body conditioning and explosiveness.



I am going to present this routine as a circuit, 8 workouts will be 30 seconds, each done consecutively for 5 rounds. This will give you a 20-minute total body workout that over time should increase your overall fight game.


I created the sequence to alternate the body’s target areas and create an interval heart rate workout.

  1. Sit Outs
  2. Alternating Shoulder Pick Ups
  3. Side to Side Jumps
  4. Bent Over Rows (alternate arms)
  5. Bent Over Rows (alternate arms)
  6. Squats
  7. Dumbbell Press
  8. Alternating Knee Mounts (strikes optional)


Sit Outs

A great workout that has been implemented into workout routines for a long time. You will gain strength in your shoulders and core while teaching your body to open up at the hips to improve movement. Traditionally done on the floor, adding the heavy bag provides an added factor for improved stability and balanced awareness.

Heavy Bag Workout Routine


Alternating Shoulder Pickups

A great workout for ab and oblique rotation introduces the lats or latissimus dorsi (your largest upper body muscle) and improves explosiveness.

Grab the bottom of the bag with the opposite hand of the shoulder you will bring it up to. Then bring it back down to the ground and repeat by switching the bottom hand and bringing it up to the opposite shoulder each time.

Left, right, left, right, left, right…

Heavy Bag Workout Routine

Side To Side Jump

This should really get your heart rate up!

Jumping side to over the bag is another explosive, overall dynamic workout. You will see an increase in ankle stability, increased power in the quads, and it will get your heart rate up and improve your conditioning.

Bent Over Rows With A Dumbbell

This is the only set we will double up on by doing 30 seconds with 1 arm and alternating to the other arm for another 30 seconds for a total of 1 minute. This should allow you to recover and let the heart rate come down while performing a compound exercise.

Bent-over rows will target the major muscle groups in the back, including the lats and rhomboids. Additionally, your biceps, forearms, and muscles in your shoulders are also triggered while also helping grip strength.


Universally recognized as one of the most essential and beneficial workouts in your workout routine, we try to add a grappling aspect to the traditional squat by incorporating the heavy bag. This is a fantastic lower body workout, with the prominent benefactors of the squat being your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

You will also feel squats in your ab muscles, and they are just a fantastic overall full-body workout. Squats help keep your bones strong, improve mobility, help prevent injury, and make you faster.

Another fantastic benefit is that squats will help your legs muscles move more efficiently, allowing your body to move more efficiently and perform better.

Heavy Bag Workout Routine


Dumbbell Press

Using the heavy bag instead of the bench will add additional benefits to this workout by creating an environment that requires more balance body awareness and will help increase the development of stabilization muscles. Compared to the bench press, this dumbbell press also provides increased joint motion, allowing a more unrestricted range of motion to rotate your arms, position your shoulders, and modify your movement.

Alternating Knee Mounts (strikes optional)

Another great workout that will get your heart rate back up and will increase overall stability. You will also gain improved lower body mobility, hip mobility, and some strengthening in your quads. An additional benefit is overall body control and movement that will help in your ground game and body control.

A great option for this workout is adding strikes as you alternate from side to side.

Gain control on one side, throw 3 or 4 strikes, and then move to the other side, throw 3 or 4 strikes, and repeat.

Heavy Bag Workout Routine

You can easily modify this heavy bag workout routine by adjusting the rounds and intensity to your fitness level for optimal benefit.

If you are just starting out, you might want to begin with 3 rounds instead of 5 or you can do 7 or 8 rounds if you’re more experienced. An alternate method I will do is to perform this workout before or after I’ve done my forms or shadowboxing.


Let me know in the comments below how this workout goes for you or if you have any variations on these workouts you like to do.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. grea8J

    This is a nice one. I have never enrolled as a member in the martial art; nevertheless, I love it and I know it’s something great to join. I have seen Taekwando members in my area but I’m not sure if it is the same as Martial Art.

    Question: Is there a difference between Martial Arts and Taekwando?

    1. lgoupil

      You should definitely try it out if you have a love for Martial Arts. 

      Pretty much all schools will offer a free class or week to try it out. 

      Try a few and see which one works for you. 

      And to answer your question, yes Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial Art 

  2. Henry

    Hi! I’m just starting out and I find this total body workout easy to follow (with the exception of one exercise) and also fun. I’m particularly a huge fan of sit outs, so I won’t have any trouble with them. But I have had trouble all my life with squats. So I may probably leave it out of the workout routine. I’ll begin with 3 rounds, as you have advised. Thanks!

    1. lgoupil

      My pleasure 

      Squats are a critical workout, I’d suggest working on just body weight squats to work on your form.

      My next article coming up is actually in regards to getting rid of back pain and I’ll go more in depth on squats.

      Take Care  

  3. Jordan Smith

    Thanks so much for this post! I finally found something I believe my dad will appreciate – it’s been many years since he worked out on heavy bag or in general for that matter. He will be  57 years by November, and he already had his bag and ready to go, He is unsure on how to begin the process, hence the reason I kept looking for a guide.


    1. lgoupil

      Appreciate the feedback. 

      This is a little of an “outside the box” workout for the heavy bag and I hope it sparks some ideas and motivates. 

      He’s 57 years young and it gets more important to stay in shape the older you get! 

  4. Steve

    As someone who is always looking out for a way to get a better workout, I love what you have provided here! This looks like you can really make it an intense interval workout to really build up your cardio and strength. Is this something you would recommend for someone who is just starting out or is this more an intermediate kind of workout? I know you said that 2-3 rounds would be good for a beginner, but didn’t know if that included someone who has never done a workout with a heavy bag. 

    Thanks for any info you could provide!

    1. lgoupil

      Thanks Steve! 

      I try and shake it up a little and offer a different angle then a traditional heavy bag workout. 

      Beginners can definitely do this workout. 

      Only thing I’d caution is the squats depending on how many pounds the heavy bag is. 

      A true beginner should start with squatting with their body weight at first to develop the correct mechanics. 

      The knee mounts can be challenging at first but once someone gets the coordination of the movement down they’ll be fine. 

      Just take it slow at first and build up intensity and increase the rounds over time and a beginner will be fine. 

  5. Charles

    Thank you for this great post, I find your website very user friendly and the interface is great, You have really provided great insight to how best to go about heavy bag workout.i like the dumbbell exercise, I never knew one can alternate the work out bag for the dumbbell bench. 

    1. lgoupil

      Thanks for the positive feedback! 

      I’m glad you picked up a tip on alternating a heavy bag for a bench. 

      Let me know how it works out for you. 

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