Fitness machines come in so many forms. They cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Often, they target just a few parts of the body which means you need several machines to tone up from top to bottom. This can also mean you need to have enough space in your home gym.
Fortunately, there are a few traditional fitness tools that remain unmatched today in terms of giving you some nice whole-body workout. One is the heavy bag.
This very simple piece of equipment, which has shaped many boxing champions over the decades, is also getting its way into home gyms’ strength training.
You might be curious about how heavy bag workouts work and whether or not they offer promising results.
Let’s dig deeper into this workout and see if punching bags are a great addition to your home gym.
Is A Punching Bag A Good Workout?
The quick answer is YES.
A punching bag is a cylindrical bag made of leather or vinyl and stuffed with grains, sand, cloth, and other materials. It typically weighs between 40 and 100 pounds and is hung from the ceiling or attached to a sturdy stand.
It can be surprising how a piece of relatively simple equipment can help you burn fats and calories, and make you stronger.
Here’s the simple reason: when you are training on the bag, you are actually relying so much on your body, not the tool itself. You’re delivering powerful blows or punches, and getting strength from your entire body (upper and lower).
Needless to say, bag workouts target different parts of your body. Depending on the exercises you’re doing, you can develop a stronger physique with regular workouts.
What Are The Benefits of a Heavy Bag Workout?
Regular heavy bag training is associated with a variety of health benefits:
Fast weight loss
The reason why fitness boxing is extremely popular is that it helps you burn calories at a much higher rate than most types of exercise. You won’t burn as much body fat as you would in a short period of time than walking on a treadmill.
What’s more, you continue to burn fats even after you’re done with your workout.
Any form of physical exercise can boost your heart health. Due to the high-intensity nature of this training, improved cardio is among the well-known benefits of a heavy bag workout.
Research shows that exercising between 60% and 70% of your maximum heart rate can boost your cardiovascular health. Throwing powerful punches on the bag will make your heart jump and you’ll almost feel breathless. Getting your heart rate up helps strengthen your heart, manage your blood pressure, and lower your risk of heart disease.
Strength and endurance
A strong body is one of the major benefits of a heavy bag workout.
Heavy bag workouts are an excellent way to increase your power without hurting anyone. When you punch, you’re working the muscles in your chest, arms, and shoulders, as well as the muscles in your lower body.
Over time, your body becomes stronger as you develop leaner and stronger muscles. Additionally, heavy bag training can strengthen your bones and joints.
Losing weight is one thing. Toning up is another. Even if you already hit your weight loss goals, heavy bag training will help get you into your desired body shape by sculpting and toning your body.
Although hitting the bag isn’t as comprehensive as bodybuilding when it comes to toning, it’s undoubtedly a good way to help you get into shape.
Regular bag workouts are also tied to mental health. It works by decreasing your stress levels and stimulating the production of hormones in your brain responsible for positive emotions.
What Muscles Do Punching Bags Work Out?
The muscles in your arms, chest, shoulders, core, and legs are all engaged during heavy bag training. This is what makes it a very effective, whole-body workout.
How To Workout With a Punching Bag
Start with stretching and warm-up
Hitting the bag requires little preparation. Like most other workouts, you have to do some stretching and warm-up before you start.
Include reverse lunges, quick feet drill, scorpion push up, V-up, wall suplex, and jump rope in your pre-workout routine.
Learn basic boxing moves
To maximize your punching bag workouts, you should learn the proper stance and punching movement (jab, cross, hook, and uppercut). It’s best to work with a boxing coach to ensure you get them right.
Perfect your strikes with some shadowboxing
For an extra challenge, add weights to your drills. Shadowboxing in front of a mirror should help you determine if your stance and movements are correct.
Protect your hands
How Long Should A Punching Bag Workout Be?
Most bag sessions last for a minimum of two minutes per round. Experienced trainers and pro boxers can do up to five minutes of bag workout.
Yes, that’s super short but once you’ve gotten your knuckles on it, it will feel like this intense workout is the longest two-minute of your life!
You will notice that some bag workouts can last for 10-20 minutes. But they aren’t all-punching. These routines incorporate other drills designed to enhance your form, punching combos, and strength. There are also short rests in between exercises.
Which Punching Bag Is Good For Workouts?
Choose the traditional type of heavy bag if you’re after general fitness. It’s important, however, to choose the correct size for your needs. To do so, take your personal body weight and divide it by two. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, the ideal bag for your workouts is roughly 80 pounds.
Punching Bag Workout For Weight Loss
There’s a ton of exercises you can do using the punching bag.
Here’s an easy-to-follow routine yet super intense bag workout:
- Warm-up. Make sure your punches are light during the warm-up.
- Up your power and go full length with jabs.
- Jab, cross and repeat.
- Jab, cross, hook and repeat.
- Jab, cross, hook, and uppercut. Repeat.
Set your timer for three minutes during each round. Do two to three sets of this workout.
Heavy Bag Workout Tips For Max Fat Burn
- Hit the bag two to three times a week. Dedicate time for bag workouts to see fast results.
- Incorporate squats between boxing rounds. This will help work your legs and glutes. You can also perform push-ups if you want to focus more on your upper body.
- Increase your workout intensity. If the two-minute heavy bag session starts to become less challenging, gradually increase it. Keep challenging yourself. You can also keep your heart rate up by adding jumping jacks, burpees, and high knees to your workout routine.
- Make sure to alternate which arm you are throwing punches with. Move around the bag and perform different punching combos.
- Add variety to your workouts. Check out different exercises you can do on the bag. Variety ensures you are working your entire body and keeps the workout fun and challenging each time.
Heavy bag training is a fun and challenging way to get fit. Try it and see the magical transformation it can bring to your body!