Are you tired of hearing that punching a bag is bad for your joints? Well, let me tell you, it’s time to punch those rumors in the face (pun intended). In this article, I’ll be providing a comprehensive guide on whether or not punching a bag is bad for your joints, and why you should continue to throw those punches with confidence.
I generally write for a broad audience, but if you are interested in a very detailed study about exercise and osteoarthritis, please, read on – but be advised that the terminology used in the study can give you a serious headache.
So, let’s see how we can take care of those joints.
High-Impact vs Low-Impact Exercise
First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room (or should I say the heavy bag in the gym). Punching bags fall under the category of high-impact exercises, similar to running or jumping.
But, before you start panicking and questioning your love for the heavy bag, it’s important to note that any form of exercise can put stress on the joints – even the low-impact ones like swimming or cycling. So, high-impact or not, stress on the joints is inevitable.
Proper Technique – My Thoughts
Now, let’s talk about the real issue at hand – improper technique. Yes, improper technique can lead to joint pain and injury. But, let’s be real, who wants to look like a beginner throwing punches with their wrists bent and their feet glued to the ground? With that being said, unfortunately it’s done far more often that you’d think. I guess people are watching way too many movies these days.
Proper technique includes keeping the wrists straight, using proper footwork, and not overtraining. And, let’s not forget about the importance of warming up and using proper hand wraps or gloves to protect those precious joints.
While I personally did spend many an hour hitting a punching bag, still I wouldn’t consider myself professional, so best to seek advice from a certified trainer.
The Heavy Bag vs The Speed Bag
Another factor to consider is the type of bag you’re using. A heavy bag, typically filled with sand or a similar material, is more forgiving on the joints compared to a speed bag, typically filled with air or a similar gas. So, if you’re looking to ease up on the impact, maybe opt for the heavy bag instead.
Also another thing is the size of the bag – you need bag’s heaviness appropriate to your skill, body and age – underestimating this, or in most cases, overestimating yourself can get pretty nasty for you very quickly.
Benefits for the Joints
Wait, benefits you say? It’s not all bad news. Believe it or not, punching a bag can be beneficial for your joints. The repetitive motions involved in hitting a punching bag can help you to increase the range of motion in the joints and can also help to strengthen the muscles and tendons that support the joints. So, not only are you getting a great workout, but you’re also doing your joints a favor.
In summary, punching a bag is not necessarily harmful to your joints. It’s vital to employ good technique and not overdo it when exercising, as with any workout.
It might be wise to consult a physician or physical therapist if you have concerns about the effect of punching bags on your joints. And keep in mind that you can continue to pound those bags carefree as long as you use appropriate technique, incorporate a variety of exercises into your regimen, and avoid overtraining (except for maybe your opponent in the ring).