A punching bag (also known as heavy bag) is a piece of exercise equipment you can use to improve your health and fitness. In fact, it is used by well-known trainers and professionals of all ages.
Although it is physically demanding, a punching bag workout increases your strength and stamina effectively.
Heavy-bag workouts provide amazing health benefits to your physical and mental capabilities. Thus, a punching bag is a great addition to your home or commercial gym.
Ideally, you can include heavy-bag workouts as part of your fitness plan to keep yourself motivated, healthy, and energetic.
Yet, doing the same exercise with a heavy bag is not going to yield results. As much as possible, implement workout varieties to get the maximum benefits that your body needs.
1. Improves aerobic fitness
Punching workouts are aerobic exercises because it involves various movements around the equipment as you change your body positions. This workout improves your aerobic fitness, as it challenges your cardio-respiratory system.
Throwing punches for at least two minutes, while sustaining high intensity, adds to the aerobic dimension and provides a great workout.
To maximize aerobic benefits, consider increasing your punching time.
2. Strengthens core stability and coordination
Staying on your toes and carrying your weight from one foot to the other while punching the bag helps develop your core stability. Meanwhile, moving around the bag and throwing punches increases your hand-foot-eye coordination.
Excellent coordination and stability give your body a good posture, grace, and firm. Nevertheless, they provide great support to your body and help you avoid injuries from accidental falls.
Related: Injury Prevention Tips
3. Boosts muscle power and strength
Punching bags are among the excellent activities you can perform in boosting your muscle power and strength effectively.
You might be wondering what muscles are being worked when doing heavy-bag workouts. Further, the muscles that are worked on include the arms, shoulder, chest, back, and waist.
Meanwhile, the legs are involved when generating power in the upper body. You will notice this when performing hooks and uppercuts, as you are using your arms and backs while punching the bag.
All of these combined efficiently adds to your chest and shoulder strength. In case you want to develop more muscle mass, you need to have full-body workout variations.
4. Increases stamina and endurance
Since heavy-bag workouts are considered an aerobic workout, it increases your heart rate and oxygen supply—this process makes your heart and lungs strong and healthy.
And as you exercise, these organs work harder to supply enough oxygen throughout your body, which increases your body’s stamina and endurance successfully.
Related: How to Build your Home Boxing Gym
5. Helps build upper body strength
Constantly punching the bag develops your upper body strength. Plus, it allows you to throw and receive quick punches without being hurt.
6. Builds strong bones and ligaments
Heavy-bag workouts strengthen your bones and ligaments.
Further, this exercise reduces your chances of getting osteoporosis. Additionally, resisting the punching bag’s pressure makes your ligaments stronger.
7. Enhances your boxing technique
Heavy-bag workouts are an excellent workout to improve your punches, body movement, and performance. With these being said, you are likely to develop boxing skills and technique, as long as proper posture is observed.
In turn, punching bags keep everything tight.
8. Develops your self-defense skills
Some trainers see punching bag as an “opponent;” they need to do what it takes to knock the enemy down.
But the main difference here is that the bag does not hit you back. So it’s a perfect way to practice your self-defense skills through a series of punches.
Knowing that you have these defense skills can save not only your life but also others in times of trouble.
9. Builds self-esteem and confidence
Heavy-bag workouts also build your confidence and develop boxing techniques, which you can use when it is needed the most i.e. in the boxing ring or self-defense.
10. Decreases stress
Did you know that punching bag is a great way to release your body’s stress and pressure?
Ideally, heavy-bag workouts benefit you mentally since it encompasses stress-countering attributes. The fact that it is physically exhausting and aggressive exercise allows your mind to concentrate while you strike the bag.
By focusing your mind and body on the workout, you are releasing the toxins (which piled up as a result of internal stress). In turn, your body lowers the stress level and improves the immune system.
It also leads to the release of endorphins, which is the natural chemical that elevates your mood. Nonetheless, heavy-bag workouts help in counteracting depression and anxiety.
11. Helps you lose weight and tones the body
Regular aerobic exercise assists in burning calories; hence you will lose weight as you punch the bag.
For example, training for one hour helps your body burn about 500 calories. As you hit the heavy bag, you encounter resistance from it. This activity helps in strengthening and toning your body muscles. Moreover, it improves your overall lean muscle mass and reduces visceral fat.
With a reduced-fat percentage in the body, you are less likely to get health disorders, such as diabetes and heart diseases.
As you build lean muscle mass, you raise the metabolic rate and burn calories to the maximum level.
12. Improves your body shape
A heavy-bag cardio workout works on the biceps, shoulders, and back; thus, providing you with a great way of stripping body fat and revealing the underlying muscles.
This, in turn, enhances your physique as it cuts out the excess fat while shaping your body muscles.
13. Saves your money
There are several workouts you can do with a heavy bag. Some of them include jab, cross, uppercuts, and hooks. You can even try combos and upgrade your bag’s resistance level.
With the mentioned activities, you would not be needing additional equipment to sustain your fitness, unless you wanted to build your overall physique and muscles.
14. It helps you push past your limits
Punching bags do not hit you back, as opposed to a training partner. What this means is that you have a clear place to have a go at it as much as you can, pushing yourself past your limit. Focusing your every punch, kick, knee blow, and elbow swing as hard as possible would mean an increased strength in these areas and also a general increase in your body strength level and limit.
Although the punching bag will not give you much resistance as in a real boxing fight, a regular workout with it provides you with a chance to increase your strength in areas like your arm, chest, back, and body as a whole.
15. It’s a quick and easy workout
Unlike many other workout routines, the punching bag workout routine is quick and easy to undergo. First off, you do not need to go running to a local gym center to have access to a punching bag, you can easily set up one in your garage or any free space in your home.
Also, a punching bag workout routine doesn’t take much time, spending 15 minutes throwing blows and kicks daily is enough to get you sweating and exhausted.
Again, unlike common exercise workout routines like the reverse crunch, punching a heavy bag doesn’t require any special skill or supervision to do, all you need to do is throw a punch. Punching a bag is one of the fastest workout methods to burn calories and stay fit.
16. Your heart and lungs get healthier
Throwing punches at a heavy bag has an explosive effect on your body, heart, and lungs. When you throw a punch or kick at a punching bag, the rate of your heartbeat increases and the same goes for your air intake which causes your heart and lungs to stress themselves in reaching their peak condition, which ultimately makes them better and healthier.
As you continue with this routine, the oxygen circulation around your body would be better and faster, your respiratory organs like your heart and lungs would also work better.
The first sign of this development is that you would notice an increase in your endurance level and stamina, before, if you could throw a punch constantly for 15 minutes before you would get tired, you would begin to notice that you can now easily go beyond the 15-minute benchmark.
17. It exercises your abs and legs
One of the reasons why most people undergo exercise and several workout routines is to stay fit and get those rock-hard abs. Combining movements that exercise the muscles around your abdomen and cardiovascular-related exercise is the best way to achieve those rock-hard abs.
Punching a hard bag is one routine that combines both types of exercise. For instance, when you throw a left or right punch at your punching bag, the area around your lower abdomen is fully active, and with any and every turn you make, your legs are also active because they have been skipping on a spot, and this also puts further pressure on your abdomen.
At the end of a routine season, you’ll see a huge difference in your abs structure and you will certainly notice how tanned your legs have become from just punching a hard bad daily.
18. It gives you improved mental health, mood, and general well-being
When you exercise with a punching bag, not only are you increasing your cardiovascular health and toning up your body, you are also improving your mental health and a general sense of being, and this is something most people do not know about.
Studies have shown that workout routines and any other physically demanding exercise can serve as a treatment for anxiety, depression, and several mental-health-related issues. Exercises such as punching a bag trigger the release of a biochemical substance in your body called endorphin.
When released, endorphins can help you with issues relating to low motivation and will make you feel good about yourself. This biochemical substance also helps in a change in mind, reducing inflammations that are caused by stress, supporting a new neural growth, and improved all-around feeling.
19. It improves your cardiovascular health
The idea that you have to keep your cardiovascular system in check has been instilled into your mind since you were young, with talks of going running, biking, jogging, or whatever. The thing about these exercises is that after a while, you may get tired or bored.
This is where the idea of punching a bag as a cardiovascular workout comes in. If you enjoy kicking and hitting a punching bag, then this is a better alternative to the typical biking or running kind of workout.
The main reason for engaging in cardio exercises is to push your organs like the lungs and hearts beyond their limit so they become challenged to improve and be better. Either punching or kicking a punching bag constantly increases your heart rate, bolstering your cardiovascular health system.
20. Better hand-eye coordination
You may not know about the importance of hand-eye coordination and the effect it has on your health. Hand-eye coordination performs a huge role in your motor skills.
If you have good hand-eye coordination, you are bound to have a very fast reflex and reaction time, giving you a better physical condition in full. This is an important aspect of your life especially as you age and begin to lose balance.
Punching a bag is a good way to improve your hand-eye coordination. For instance, if you are asked to punch a light speed bag that is suspended by a disc and bounces at a fast pace with each punch you throw, you would be able to work on your hand-eye coordination as you can see, react, and hit the target while it’s moving and switching positions.
What is the difference between a heavy-bag and speed-bag workout?
The heavy-bag workout develops your strength and allows you to practice punches, combos, and defense skills. This workout is beneficial when you want to improve your muscles, increase punching power, and boost resistance.
Meanwhile, a speed-bag workout uses a lightweight ball hanging on a special platform. It is useful for improving your eye-hand coordination and speed.
Nevertheless, both the heavy-bag and speed-bag cardio routine are excellent workouts to burn calories, release stress, and shape your shoulders.
Since we have shown you the many benefits of using a punching bag as a workout retinue, why not try your hands on it today? We are sure you will start noticing positive results in your body and mind pretty soon.
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