It is argued that the best training regimen includes (1) Sparring, (2) Shadow Boxing, (3) Heavy Bag Work, and (4) Pad Work.

And then there is the, often overlooked, most important element (5) Studying (watching fight videos, fight breakdowns, and tutorials).

I am wondering what are the benefits of (4) Pad Work when you are able to do (3) Heavy Bag Work.

Is there anything I get from doing Pad Work that I can't get from Heavy Bag Work?

I know Pad Work is fun when you do it with a friend. But what if you don't have someone like that around? I won't be going to the gym for a while, and so I am thinking if I will be losing out much from not doing Pad Work.

I used to do Pad Work once a week. I used to work on the Heavy Bag 5 days a week. When I am working on the Heavy Bag, I am not just hitting it like a robot. I am moving around, mixing up my combinations, pushing the bag around, changing levels, and always hitting hard.

I train MT/KB.

1 Answer 1


A few things that you get from pad work vs bag work (I'm proceeding from an assumption of smaller handheld pads vs a larger "kick" pad):

  1. Smaller targets - Arguably, you can designate parts of the heavy bag, and target your strikes there, but you get less immediate feedback on whether you've hit it or not (hitting just a bit off-target with a pad feels different as it tips)
  2. Dynamic movement - A partner can move the targets on you to get you to switch targets, including on the fly, and since they can move around the room, you get to practice footwork, and on how to deal with advancing, retreating, and side-stepping opponents.
  3. Different angles - Heavy bags basically have one vertical surface to hit. Pads can be angled for strikes that don't come in on the horizontal, including training attacks that come from below or above.
  4. Lighter contact - You're not always training for full power and/or follow-through, particularly with kicks, and pads allow you repeatedly throw the kick without fatiguing yourself as rapidly. It also reduces the chance of injury if, when you throw your kick, you manage to jam yourself up in a way that would hurt you on impact. Yes, you can use lighter bags, but that leads to the next point.
  5. Potentially more rapid response - Because your partner is able to move the target with the strike and then back pretty immediately, you can train several attacks in a row, unlike the potential situation with a lighter heavy bag where you may have to wait for it to stop swinging.
  • 1
    Very solid answer, said pretty much what I would've.
    – Sjana
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 22:14

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