A double end bag is an incredibly useful piece of equipment for a boxer to have in their arsenal.
That being said, they’re definitely not the easiest type of punching bag in the world to use, especially if you’re a beginner.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled this guide on how to use a heavy bag to help ease the learning curve and get you working the bag correctly, as fast as possible.
Let’s get to it.
What is a Double End Bag?
A double end bag is a type of punching bag that’s anchored to the floor and attached to the ceiling using elasticated material, similar to a bungee cord.
When struck, the bag will rebound back and forth, allowing the user to practice their both their offensive and defensive technique in one go.
There’s two main types of double end bags that you’ll come across; a single bag and a Mexican style double end bag.
A single bag, as the name suggests, features one ball-like surface area, where as a Mexican is essentially two single bags on top of one another.
Below are the two different styles of double end bags so you can see what I mean.
If you haven’t yet got yourself a bag, head over and check out our in-depth guide on the best double end bags.
Benefits of Using a Double End Bag
Right, lets look at some of the benefits you can get from implementing a double end bag into your training regime.
Can work on both your offensive and defensive technique and form at the same time.
Once you’ve hit the bag, it’s going to swing back towards you. This means that you need to get your hand back to your guard position, and slip out of the way before it hits you in.
This in itself is a great reason to practice using a double end bag, as very few other pieces of equipment can help to improve your defensive game so effectively.
Work on Your Timing
Very few other bags or equipment, with the exception of maybe focus mitts, allow you to focus working on your timing as much as the double end bag.
Yes, the speed bag does help in this regard, however there’s a much smaller area of movement with a speed bag, as opposed to a double end bag.
What’s more, can you adjust and play around with the bags tension in order to adjust the speed in which it rebounds.
If you’re looking to spar or compete in boxing, the chances are you’re not going to be punching a still target.
Your opponent/ sparring partner is going to be utilising head movement in order to slip and evade your attacks. As such, it’s important to work on your accuracy, with the double end bag providing the perfect way to do this.
Once you’ve hit the bag, it’s going to rebound at a fairly fast pace, depending on how much you loaded up your strike. As such, this movement will somewhat mimic that of a sparring partner, allowing you to get used to landing your punches on a moving target.
Reflexes & Reaction Time
If you’ve ever used a double end bag, you’ll probably know that there’s a pretty short window of opportunity in which you have to hit it on it’s rebound.
In order to maintain a solid rhythm, you’ll need to land your punches at the right time, from the right angle in order to keep the bag rebounding correctly.
Doing this on a double end bag can help to prepare you to make these split second decisions and land your punches efficiently when sparring or competing.
As you'll be throwing a high volume of strikes, double end bags provide a great way to work the endurance of your arms and shoulders.
Unlike a heavy bag, where you'll be loading up a lot of your strikes, when using a double end bag, it's more about volume, accuracy and timing. As such, you'll probably find that your'e working at a higher output with a double end bag, as opposed to most other types of training bags.
To further add to this, you can always throw on some heavier gloves, such as 14 or 16oz gloves, use weighted wrist straps or even hold onto small dumbbells in each hand.
Practice Footwork and Movement
The double end bag is the perfect piece of equipment for getting your stick and move game up to scratch.
This is due to the fact that once you’ve thrown your jab, i.e. the stick, you have the opportunity to throw another jab or use your footwork to move laterally or backwards, avoiding the bag.
Very few other pieces of equipment can provide such a brilliant platform to focus on both your movement and your strikes at the same time.
Setting up Your Double End Bag
First things first, is getting your double end bag set up. Here, there's a few things that's worth considering before you get started, which I'll discuss below.
When you're setting up your double end bag, you'll be able to decide how intense you want the tension to be. If this is your first time using a bag like this, keep the tension pretty tight. This way, the bag won't move around too much, which will make it a lot easier to hit.
As you get more comfortable working the bag, you can loosen up the tension, which will cause the bag to sway more dramatically. This in turn will allow for a much more intense working out, as hitting the bag will be more of a challenge.
Ideally, you want the bag to be set up so that it's roughly the same height as your shoulders. This way, you won't be punching up or down, which in turn can cause the bag to bounce and rebound awkwardly, making it hard to hit.
You don't really need to wear bag gloves when working the double end bag, however it does make it a lot easier. When you've got gloves on, the surface area of your hand is significantly larger, making the bag much easier to hit.
Plus, unless you're a bare-knuckle boxer, you're going to be training and competing wearing gloves, so you may as well wear them for bag work.
How to Use a Double End Bag: Top Tips
Ok, let's look at some top tips that you can implement into your double end bag training.
Focus on Technique, Not Power
First and foremost, this is not a heavy bag.
The whole point of using a double end bag is to work on your accuracy and timing, so leave the loading up of your punches for the big bags that can provide some resistance.
If you're finding the bag is swinging around all over the place, try putting a little less power into your shots, focus on snapping your arm back and hitting the bag so that it rebounds exactly where you want it to.
Start With Simple Combinations
Let's not run before we can walk. A good starting point is to just work your jab, alternating hands and keeping the bag swinging back and forth.
Once you've got that mastered, start incorporating some jab, cross or or jab, jab cross combinations. Just bare in mind that when you throw a cross, the bag will start to swing side to side. You can then start to implement your footwork and head movement to circle the bag 90-degrees and start to work your jab again.
Remember Your Footwork
This kind of ties in with my previous point. The whole beauty of a double end bag is that you've got a 360-degree range of movement that you can utilise to circle the bag.
It's highly unlikely an entire boxing match is going to consist of planting your feet and just banging it out with your opponent.
Practice your lateral movements, sticking and moving and circling the bag. By doing this, you'll get a lot more out of your bag work than if you were just stood still. Plus you won't pick up any bad habits that will accompany you into the ring.
Use Instinct & Rhythm to Throw Combinations
While it's no doubt beneficial to have a set game plan going into a fight, a lot of the time you'll need to rely on your instincts to react to your opponent.
As such, just go with the flow when working the double end bag. Fall into a rhythm and get the bag going where you want it.
Don’t Forget to Use Your Guard to Block the Bag
I know I've banged on about movement a lot in this article, but let's not forget about utilising our guard.
If the bag is swinging back towards you, try getting your guard up and using your elbow to block the bag. When sparring or competing, the chances are you're opponent is going to be looking for the opportunity to land a counter somewhere along the line.
Practicing snapping our hand back and getting our guard raised will help to instil this movement into your muscle memory and prepare you for the real thing.
Can’t Hit the Bag? Try Tightening the Cords
When I first got my double end bag, I didn't really thing about how tight I should make the cords. As such, I was having a pretty tough time maintaining a rhythm, as it was bouncing and swinging wildly.
I learned this the hard way unfortunately, but if this is happening to you, just tighten up the cords which will make the bag much more stable and easier to land on.
Example Drills & Combinations
Ok, enough typing now I think.
I had a look around online and found a few, very helpful videos that are sure to provide some great insights on how to use a double end bag.
The following video is great if you're an absolute beginner, as it nicely breaks down the basics of working the double end bag.
How to Use a Double End Bag: Final Thoughts
Ok, so we've made it to the end of our guide on how to use a double end bag.
Hopefully now, you've got an idea of how to approach using these bags and what sort of training they're designed for.
If you've got any questions at all, please feel free to drop a comment in the section down below.