The most important thing in boxing is to keep things fresh. If you notice that you are hitting the punching bag with the exact same combos every time, chances are your opponent will notice as well. If you act like a computer and exercise the same motions over and over again, your opponent will be able to drop you pretty quickly. Be unpredictable. Quick jabs should make a pop sound on the punching bag, as opposed to a flat whack.
It’s not just the number of jabs that count- It’s the timing between them. Try throwing three jabs in a second, pause for another second, then throw one jab. Or maybe continuous jabs for a few seconds, followed by a pause, followed by a single jab and then a cross. The pause tells your opponent that you have tired out (even though you haven’t). The single jab makes your opponent think that you are going to repeat more jabs and the cross comes as a complete surprise. Use a stop clock or even a metronome next to the punching bag to test your speed and variation.
The final variation to the jab is the point of impact. Yes, the text book jab hits the same spot every time. That’s not very random though. That will not throw your opponent off their game. Take the text book jab and imagine that it is the center square in a 3 x 3 set of squares. The other 8 squares represent 8 other points of impact- landing the jab in a slightly different location can really throw your opponent of his game.
Pick a point on the punching bag and create the 9 tile square of all possible jabs around this central point. Practice various sets of jabs in each square, separated by 0.25,0.5,1,2 second intervals, finishing each set of jabs with a cross or a cross hook combo.
The jab / punching bag combos above are just a few ways to mix it up. Try applying some of the variable timing and impact location variations with some of the other punches such as cross, uppercut, jab, Lhook, Rhook, etc). Be unpredictable. Be quick. Be great.
Dave Toub is the owner of Punching Bags Pro and absolutely loves the sport.