10 Muay Thai Heavy Bag Drills For All Levels

Muay Thai practitioners use heavy bag drills to work on their techniques, increase their punching power, fine-tune their footwork, and improve their endurance for fights. Heavy bags are commonplace in boxing and Muay Thai gyms worldwide, and they allow you to put everything you have into your strikes with little risk of injuring your hands or shins. 

Make heavy bag drills a regular part of your training routine, and you’ll be known for how hard you hit in little time. 


Heavy Bag Drills For Muay Thai Students Of All Levels

Let’s jump right into our list of heavy bag drills that should be a part of your Muay Thai training strategy:


1) Power Drill

A Muay Thai fighter throws a hook punch on a heavy bag.

The power drill involves throwing repetitive, slow power strikes. It’s an effective exercise for increasing the power behind your strikes and it’s also one of the simplest heavy bag drills. There’s no need to time yourself when performing this drill since the only goal is to throw each strike as hard as you can. Every strike you throw while performing this drill should be with max power. 

Here’s what the power drill looks like:

  • Throw ten jabs.
  • Throw ten low kicks with each leg.
  • Throw ten crosses.
  • Throw ten roundhouse kicks to the body with each leg.
  • Throw ten hooks with each hand.
  • Throw ten roundhouse kicks to the head with each leg.

There are no hard rules when performing this drill, so feel free to add any techniques you like to the circuit. Remember to reset after every strike so you can throw the next one with maximum power. 


2) Attack And Defense Drill

muay thai bag kick

This heavy bag drill is used to train your offense and defense simultaneously. Think of it as shadowboxing with a heavy bag. The idea behind this drill is to pretend the heavy bag is an imaginary opponent and defend against their imaginary strikes while working on the heavy bag. 

For example, you can throw a combo at the bag, check an imaginary kick, and respond to it with a kick of your own. The goal of this drill is to get you thinking defensively even when dishing out offense. It’s also an effective way to train to fire off a retaliatory kick whenever you get hit with one. That’s something many professional Muay Thai fighters do on the big stage. They rarely ever allow opponents to land kicks on them without responding. 


3) Interval Drill

sagetdao punch bag

The interval drill is designed to imitate the energy demands of a Muay Thai match. It alternates between periods of light activity and bursts of high energy. In other words, the three minutes that make up a round in Muay Thai are broken into 30-second periods that alternate between high and low intensity. 

Here’s an example of what the interval drill looks like: 

  • Throw strikes as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
  • Throw strikes with perfect technique for 30 seconds.
  • Throw strikes as hard as you can for 30 seconds.
  • Throw strikes with perfect technique for 30 seconds.
  • Throw strikes as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
  • Throw strikes as hard as you can for 30 seconds.

As is the case with most heavy bag drills, you’re free to customize your circuits to your liking. The key is to alternate between periods of high intensity and low intensity, so you get some active rest during the round, just like you would in a real match. 


4) Knee And Elbow Drill

throw stronger muay thai knee

Our list of heavy bag drills for Muay Thai wouldn’t be complete without adding some knee and elbow drills. The goal of this drill is to teach you how to land effective knees from clinch positions. 

To perform the drill:

  • Stand in front of a heavy bag and grab the top end with both hands as if you were clinching up with a real opponent.
  • Throw ten knees toward your opponent’s rib cage with each hand. Make sure you use proper technique while doing this, meaning you bring your knee up and horizontally into your opponent’s rib cage.
  • Mix in some elbows with both arms while working your knees. Try to get in ten elbows with each arm during your round. You can increase the number of strikes you throw during this drill as your endurance improves.


5) Combination Drill

Practicing combinations should be a significant part of your heavy bag training. Doing so helps to improve your technique, creativity, endurance, and power. There are countless combinations to work in Muay Thai and you can also create your own. 

The key to getting the most out of combination drills is to focus on throwing the strikes as cleanly as possible instead of focusing on power or speed. Throwing combinations cleanly helps to build your muscle memory, so you’ll be able to effortlessly execute them during matches. 

Some of the more commonly used combinations in Muay Thai include: 

  • Jab-cross
  • Jab-low kick
  • Jab-roundhouse 
  • Jab-cross-left low kick
  • Cross-lead hook-rear uppercut
  • Jab-cross-switch kick
  • Roundhouse-front teep
  • Jab-cross-roundhouse

These are only a small sample of the many combinations used in Muay Thai. Some combinations feel more natural for some people while feeling awkward for others. Practice combinations regularly to determine which ones suit your fighting style best and to make them part of your muscle memory so you throw them instinctively. 


6) Flow Drill

Muay Thai Kick

Here’s one of the more fun drills on our list. There are no hard rules with the flow drill; you can time your sessions or simply go as long as you wish. Don’t focus on power on speed when performing this drill; instead, focus on throwing every strike perfectly. 

The goal of this drill is to rely on your creativity and learn how to throw fluid strikes seamlessly. Imagine the heavy bad is an imaginary opponent and try to land up to 15-strike combinations when performing the drill. Keep your hands up and follow proper fundamentals when performing the drill. Stay in the moment and let what’s in front of you dictate what your next strike will be. 


7) Alternating Teep Drill

The teep or push kick is one of the most used techniques in Muay Thai. It’s the equivalent of a jab with kicks and it’s often used similarly to how jabs are used to determine range, set up other attacks, and prevent opponents from crowding you. It’s way more effective than the jab when it comes to managing distances since a well-timed push kick leaves people stumbling backward. 

The heavy bag teep drill is an effective way to increase the power of your teeps. You want them to be powerful so even the most aggressive opponents can’t get past them. 

To perform the drill:

  • Get into your fighting stance and throw a push kick at the bag.
  • Wait for the bag to swing back toward you and intercept it with a teep using your other leg. Keep alternating teeps with both legs for about three minutes.
  • Switch stances and repeat the drill for another three minutes.


8) Endurance Drill

muay thai lunch time

Heavy bags are excellent tools for building up your fighting endurance since you can throw strikes as hard as you want. The key to improving your cardiovascular endurance with heavy bag drills is treating your workout sessions like real matches.

Break up your workouts into three-minute rounds and maintain a high pace during each round. You can slow things down for about 30 seconds during each round if you’re feeling winded, but try not to get too much active rest since that defeats the purpose of these drills. 

Start with three, three-minute rounds for your endurance drill and slowly work your way up. Use all the weapons you have during these drills like your kicks, elbows, and knees. Treat the heavy bag like a real opponent and defend against their imaginary strikes as you attack and circle the heavy bag.


9) Footwork Drill

The footwork drill is one of the first drills new Muay Thai students learn. It helps to get you used to moving in all directions after throwing strikes. Footwork is one of the most important aspects of mastering any striking-based martial art since it puts you in position to land your most powerful strikes while getting you out of the way of your opponent’s attacks. Master how to move inside a Muay Thai ring, and your training partners and opponents will have a challenging time landing clean strikes on you. 

The footwork drill can also be used as a warm-up for more intense heavy-bag drills. Here’s what the drill looks like:

  • Stand in front of a heavy bag and throw short combinations or single strikes. Move around the bag after each combination before throwing the next.
  • You don’t have to move a full circle around the bag when performing this drill, nor do you have to restrict yourself to only lateral movement. Step back from the back, step back in, land a combination, and move somewhere else.
  • Keep moving around the back for a few minutes before taking a 30-second break. Aim for at least three rounds.


10) Low-Kick Drills

Low kicks are one of the most used weapons in Muay Thai, right alongside the teep, so it only makes sense to spend some extra time working on them. Low kicks aren’t the most exciting techniques used in Muay Thai, but a few well-placed ones are enough to significantly hinder your opponent’s movements. Low kicks are also an excellent way to finish off your combinations. 

Here’s what the drill looks like:

  • Start with 25 low kicks with each leg as fast as possible followed by 25 low kicks as hard as you can on each leg.
  • For the first round, throw a jab-low kick combination in both the orthodox and southpaw stances.
  • Rest for a minute and repeat the drill at least two more times.


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