3 Heavy Bag Drills To Improve Counter Punching

With repetition being the the most important ingredient in the recipe of creating a successful boxer, the act of practicing the sport of boxing can be… well, repetitive! These 3 heavy bag bag boxing drills provide a way for students and trainers to break up the monotony of doing the exact same boxing drills the same way over and over every session.

Although this method of drilling doesn’t perfectly replicate an opponent standing in front of the boxer, it does allow the student to practice the technique and movement in a controlled situation. When each movement has been practiced enough times that it becomes autonomous, it is much easier to apply correctly to a boxing sparring situation without losing the technique in amongst the chaos that sparring and fighting can sometimes become.

Boxing Drill 1

Roll under right hook, counter left body hook


As an opponent throws a right hook, the boxer first rolls his head in the same direction as the punch, then bends the knees slightly to drop under the hook and at the same time twists back the other way to reset the shoulders in the opposite direction. As the opponent has just thrown the right hook, his right ribs will be exposed. The counter fighter will be in a good position to deliver a powerful left hook to the body.

This can be incredibly effective, especially if the recipient of the hook is still in a twisted position, as this makes it difficult for them to flex the abdominals enough to brace against the left body hook.

Boxing Drill 2

Block right body hook, counter left uppercut


When an opponent throws a right hook to the body, often times the must close the distance by leaning forward, and exposing the right side of the head. This leaves the opportunity for a counter fighter to strike the face with a left uppercut.

As the right hook comes to the body, the counter fighter must twist and lean slightly to the left to protect the left rib with the left elbow. Once the strike has been landed, it is safe for the counter fighter to extend the left uppercut and push with the left arm and shoulders to create a powerful uppercut to the exposed side of his opponents head.

Boxing Drill 3

Block Left hook, counter Left hook


As an opponent throws a left hook, the counter boxer rolls away from the hook slightly. This allows him to cover the right ear with his glove to protect the right side of the face, and also rotate the shoulders in order to position himself for a powerful left hook.

If the opponent has committed his full body into the hook, there is a good chance he has exposed his head, leaving it open for the counter left hook. Often times, even a professional and seasoned boxer will let their right hand drop while throwing the left hook, leaving a clear shot for the counter to find home on the Jaw.

Applying to training

To practice these drills, simply add them to the beginning of a training session after a good warm-up, or the end of a session. Perform each drill for a 3 minute round. adding these simple steps once or twice a week could see you applying them automatically into your sparring after a few short weeks!