Training with a cobra bag is a great way to get a full body workout, while practising defensive skills and sharpening your reflexes all at the same time. It's also a lot of fun!
In the video below I'll take you through the key steps to getting started. Below the video I have listed some drills you should do regularly to get good at it. In just a couple of weeks your should be able to perform fast combos and evasive body movements while always keeping your gloves up and maintaining constant eye contact with the ball without any fear of getting hit.
Note: I highly recommend wearing boxing gloves when training with a cobra bag. Aside from protecting your hands the gloves will greatly improve the rebound of the ball.
Set the Correct Cobra Bag Height for You
It's important to set the right height for your cobra bag so that you can get the best results from the training session. Remember, you're working your legs and abs as much as you're your upper body. Moving side-to-side while dodging the ball and striking while keeping low are going to be key elements in your training. For these reasons you don't want to set the height of the cobra bag too high. You want the top of the ball to come up to your chin level when you're standing up straight next to the cobra bag.
Alternating Jabs & Movement
The first drill to get comfortable with and sustaining is jabbing the cobra bag with your leading glove. Punch the bag, let it rebound once and then punch again. Alternate switching sides so that you can practice jabbing with your right as well as your left hand. Make sure to switch feet when you switch sides.
Once you can sustain jabbing continuously, begin slowly moving around the bag as you punch. This will make it more challenging to maintain the regular rhythm of the bag.
Keep working on establishing a regular rhythm while maintaining good form with your jabs. Keep your guard up (both gloves up) and don't allow your jabbing hand to fall on the way back to guard position.
Combination Punches (Combos)
Once you have established a good rhythm with your jabs, try doing a double jab every 2nd or 3rd jab. So, rather than letting the ball come all the way back to you, try stopping it with a quick second jab. Once you get comfortable with that, try doing a triple-jab.
Once you're comfortable doing a double-jab, try following the double-jab with a cross power punch. The cross punch should send the ball on a further trajectory away from you and as a result it will swing back to a greater degree. Use this opportunity to shift your body to one side, dodging the ball just like you would a punch that is coming at you. Make sure to maintain eye contact with the ball the whole time.
Once you get used to peppering the ball with combos, increase the speed by moving in closer to the bag. Don't forget to move around the bag as well, keep low and breath out with each punch.
Time Your Rounds
For maximum effect and overall improvement, split your cobra bag workout session into regular timed rounds using an interval timer. There are plenty of free timer apps - I like the ones that ring a bell after each interval just like in the boxing ring. Start with 3 or 4 rounds, 1 minute each and 20 second breaks in between. If you are at a good fitness level, go for 5 rounds at 2 minutes each and 30 second breaks.
Once you get the hang of hitting the cobra bag to the rhythm of its movement, training with it becomes fun! You can even workout with it to a music beat as long as you can find a track that roughly matches the rhythm of the bag.
The cobra bag will motivate you to continue punching. It will remind you to keep your guard up and smack you in the face when you're getting lazy or not keeping your eye on the ball. It will be your coach and sparring partner and will be ready to rumble whenever you are.