Retired professional boxer and former British welterweight champion Chris Evangelou knows a thing or two about throwing powerful and accurate combinations thanks to his heavy bag drills and boxing technique.

The London-born athlete of Greek-Cypriot origin represented Cyprus at the 2008 Olympic Trials and boasts a professional career that included 13 wins, two of which came by way of knockout. As an amateur, Evangelou was a six-time international gold medalist and was an England Boxing National Amateur champion (ABA).

Having retired from the sport due to a hand injury, “The Flash” pursued his love of acting, including a supporting role in the Guy Ritchie hit film The Gentlemen, but he’s also continued to share his wealth of boxing technique.

Alongside his brother Andreas, a fellow pugilist as well, the heavy hitter provides boxing training from their Fit Factory gym in Cockfosters, London. Evangelou trained with the best during his storied career and knows that sweating it out with a heavy bag, no matter your level of boxing prowess, is a great way to stay fit.

Boxing training provides many health benefits, such as better stamina, greater hand-eye coordination, and it’s also the perfect way to relieve stress. Here, Evangelou takes us through four drills that can be practiced by anyone, inside or outside of a gym. The following exercises will serve to raise your cardiovascular game while also improving your boxing technique and give you the explosive punching power you need for when you step in the ring.

Chris Evangelou’s Heavy Bag Drills

Heavy Bag Drill 1:
2-minute round

Start off by working at 50% of your usual speed and power for 10 seconds, throwing left and right jabs. This will also act as your recovery round between combinations.

First Combination: Double jab, then a straight right (or reverse hands if you’re a southpaw) for 20 seconds. The purpose of the combination is for “power, precision, and accuracy,” says Evangelou. Tense your whole body and deliver the punches hard.

After 20 seconds of the combination, return to 10 seconds jabbing at 50% power for recovery.

Second Combination: 1-2, hook, straight. Pause between each combination “just so that you can load it up again,” says Evangelou. Once again, deliver these punches hard for heavy loading work.

After 20 seconds of the combination, return to 10 seconds jabbing at 50% power for recovery.

Third Combination: 1-2 to the head and 1-2 to the body. “Punch forward with those body shots, not upward,” Evangelou emphasizes.

After 20 seconds of the combination, return to 10 seconds jabbing at 50% power for recovery.

Final Combination: 1-2, left hook to the head, slip, left body. Once again, you’re using maximum power in your punches. Finish nice and strong.

Bag Drill 2:
2-minute round

Before every combination, start three paces back from the bag.

Step toward the bag and deliver one punch, then step back and come straight back in again, this time delivering two punches. Repeat the process, counting all the way up to 10 punches. Once you reach 10 punches, repeat the process but now count down all the way back to one punch. If you have any time left, repeat and count back up to 10 punches.

“Keep the combination speed and power,” says Evangelou. “Make sure you are breathing correctly, in through your nose, out through your mouth.”

Bag Drill 3:
10 reps of each type of punch, no time limit

Jab, rear straight punch, lead hook, rear hook, lead hook to the body, rear hook to the body.

“It’s all power and pausing in between each time I’m throwing the punch out,” says Evangelou. “So, the technique is 100% correct, and there’s power behind the punch. This is really, really, good to brush up on your technique.”

Bag Drill 4:
2- to 3-minute rounds

Throw a 1-2 to the head (jab-right cross), then two body shots (hooks or uppercuts), alternate your hands. “All punches should be delivered with a good amount of power,” says Evangelou.

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