Anyone can punch one of these things, but where is the fun in that? Well, okay, that can be fun. But isn’t it more fun to take something intended for one purpose and think up a dozen other good uses for it? If you’re me, then the answer is an emphatic yes.
Allow me to introduce my heavy bag. I picked it up from the local used sporting goods store for $35. At 100 pounds that works out to 35 cents per pound. Not a bad investment. Here are three exercises that involve nothing more than you and a heavy bag of your choice.
Heavy Bag Squat. Stand the heavy bag on its end, and squat down with the bag between your legs. Wrap your arms around the bag- a standard bear hug will do. I like to start on the balls of my feet and drive my heels into the ground as I propel my body and the bag upward. Head position is up to you. I like to bury my chin in the bag so I can keep it tight against my chest and hips. In addition, this helps me keep my hips tucked in and my torso straight.
At the top of the movement I keep my body straight with my hips aligned evenly with my torso. Also, feel free to reposition the bag in this position in order to get a lower grip on the bag. That will allow you to take your squat deeper, if you so choose. Also, if you want to add a twist to this, you can turn it into a good morning/dead lift combination by dropping the hips and bending at the knees; letting the bag swing down and between your legs. Then just snap your hips forward like you would in a dead lift.
Squat and Toss. Same starting position as the first exercise. This time once I get to the top position of the squat I reposition my hands from the classic bear hug position down to the bottom of the bag (letting the bag rest on my shoulder and chest. From here I bend slightly at the knees and use my hands to propel the bag up and forward (see pictures below). When I do it correctly the bag does at least one 360 spin in the air.
Shoulder and Slam. Shoulder the heavy bag. This is usually easiest to do by doing the same squat position shown earlier and lifting the bag onto your shoulder slowly. I like to let the bag rest a little more toward the back (as you see in the picture). I keep my hands on either side of the bag (with one hand toward the bottom of the bag and on top of the bag and the other hand further back and underneath), legs slightly bent. Usually I perform a squat with the bag on my shoulder and at the top of the movement I contract my abs pulling my torso forward and at the same time use the forward hand to push down on the bag while the other hand presses up and forward. I make sure to alternate shoulders with each repetition.
(*Note, my back is a bit out of position in the second picture. I deal with a back problem that causes my lower spine to curve in too much. So you might want to ignore the things you see my back do in these pictures.)
There you go, three simple exercises performed with a piece of equipment that will cost you $35 or less. Enjoy.