Let’s face it, cardio can be boring. Treadmills, stair climbers, and cycling machines are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to let out some aggression and punch something. Enter: the punching bag. Not only will it give you an intense cardio workout, but it will also make you feel like a total badass.
Below I will outline several key factors why training with a boxing bag is good cardio, but also other important factors, so stay tuned.
Total Body Workout – Calorie Burner
One of the best things about using a punching bag for cardio is that it works multiple muscle groups at once. You’ll be using your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and legs to strike the bag and maintain balance. This type of full-body workout can burn more calories than traditional cardio exercises.
Plus, you’ll look like a pro boxer in no time – just look though, being an actual boxer requires far more dedication, training, and talent than just punching the bag. The good thing (or bad?) is that people are usually satisfied with the looks, not with the skill, so you don’t have to necessarily impress anyone with your punching power.
High-Impact and Stress Relief
High-Impact Workout: Let’s start with the obvious – hitting a punching bag is a great way to get in a high-impact cardio workout. Not only will it make you sweat like a pig, but it will also make you feel, well, good. Plus, it’s a great way to build bone density, so your bones won’t be as fragile as a 90-year-old’s.
Stress Relief: Now, let’s talk about the mental and emotional benefits. Hitting a punching bag is a great way to release pent-up tension and anger. It’s like therapy, but instead of talking to someone, you get to punch something. And, let’s be real, punching something feels a lot better than talking about your feelings, right?
Note: I do not recommend or advise hitting anyone for no particular reason or simply to relieve your stress – just so we are on the same page.
Hand-Eye Coordination and Reflexes: Hitting a punching bag is not only great for stress relief but also for improving hand-eye coordination and reflexes. This can be beneficial for athletes and martial arts practitioners as it will help them to be more reactive and improve their performance. Plus, it’s a great way to pretend you’re Rocky Balboa and live out your boxing fantasies.
Oh no, here goes Rocky’s theme song again…
Overall Well-being: Hitting a punching bag is a great way to improve physical health, and mental and emotional well-being. It’s a fun and challenging workout that can provide both physical and mental benefits, making it a great addition to any exercise routine. So, next time you’re feeling stressed or have pent-up anger, head to the gym and take it out on the punching bag. Your body and mind will thank you.
Hand and Shoulder Support
Punching bags can also provide support for the hands and shoulders. The repetitive motions of hitting the bag can help to strengthen the muscles and tendons in the hands and shoulders. This can be especially helpful for those who suffer from hand or shoulder pain or weakness. However, bear in mind that proper warm-up is required, otherwise you are risking an injury.
Grip Strength: Hitting a punching bag can also help to improve your grip strength, and we all know a firm grip is not just important in the gym but also in everyday life. Whether it’s shaking hands, holding a glass or carrying groceries, a strong grip makes everything easier.
Shoulder Stability: Additionally, it can also help to improve your shoulder stability, which can be beneficial for preventing injury and improving posture. Your shoulders will thank you for the workout, and you’ll be able to stand up straight like a soldier or a supermodel.
But let’s not forget, hitting a punching bag can also be a great way to work on your “power punch”. You know, that one punch you throw that makes the whole gym go silent. Or, if you’re like me, it’s the punch that makes the whole gym go “ouch, that’s gotta hurt.” Just don’t forget that life isn’t a movie and you can get seriously hurt – so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you are interested in more details regarding this topic, I’ve also written an article about the effects of punching the boxing bag on your joints, with a link to a detailed case study, so you can check that one out too.
Now that you have confirmed that training with a boxing bag can indeed be a great cardio exercise, you can try it out, use some HIIT combinations and see for yourself. Did you enjoy it? Are you feeling like you can take on the world? Good – just remember, everything should be taken in moderation. Well, maybe not everything, but you get the gist.