Benefits of a heavy bag workout

beginner, Cardio, improve performance, Mental health, training tips, workouts -

Benefits of a heavy bag workout

Boxing is a very popular sport for fitness enthusiasts. Whether you’re a professional fighter or just someone who wants to stay healthy training in the style of a boxer can have many benefits to your physical and mental health. One piece of equipment that is used by fighters around the world is a heavy bag or punch bag. These have great potential when it comes to getting a good workout if used effectively and we are going to be sharing a few benefits of hitting the heavy bag for a workout.

 

What is a heavy bag?

You may be wandering what a heavy bag is? Well, the clue is in the name, it’s a punch bag that is usually suspended from the ceiling so its able to swing and move around. You may have already guessed that this king of punching bag is heavier than others and this all depends on the user. Usually, the bags are available up to around 60kg and its recommended you use a bag that’s roughly half of your bodyweight and is generally used by fighters to improve their power and strength in their strikes.

A punch bag like this is used for training in a range of sports. It’s a popular piece of equipment to use when boxing but its also effective in other sports and fighting styles like martial arts or kickboxing. A standard heavy bag is a cylindrical shape, and the size can also vary as some can be 4ft and others 6ft. There are also many shapes available like angled bags and upper cut bags to help you improve your striking techniques and improve strength in these areas.

 

Cardio

Cardio is an important part of exercising and working out. Doing cardio can improve your heart and lung health, it also can help you to strengthen your joints and also has mental health benefits like improving your mood and reducing depression. Also, cardio is used as a tool by many people to lose weight as its effective at burning calories. If you didn’t already know a punchbag workout can be a good form of cardio. It helps to raise your heart rate and you will find yourself constantly moving around the bag for the whole workout.

As well as using your feet to move around your also using your hands a lot to strike the bag which also helps to improve your cardiovascular health. This is a good form of high intensity training as you often have to train at a higher intensity to mimic you fighting an opponent. A heavy bag workout has an advantage over other cardio forms and one being is that it has the potential to burn a lot more calories than other forms of cardio. On average a punch bag session can burn around 400 calories whereas the same time spent running would only burn around 200.

 

Strength and power

Improving the strength and power behind your strikes is something every fighter tries to do. If you’re not a fighter then its still beneficial to improve your striking power as you never know when you’re going to need it. One way it helps to improve your power is by improving your punching/kicking technique. As your technique improves you will be able to deliver more power in your strikes without injuring yourself. Also, you have the chance to progress to a heavier or harder bag to train yourself further and make the workout harder.

Also using a punching bag can stimulate your muscles to grow as your striking against the resistance of the bag. The muscles that are usually trained when punching a bag are your arms, shoulders, back and core and these are going to get stronger and increase in size with training. Also, your joints become stronger as they get used to the impact of hitting the bag which also means your body will be able to handle more power in your strikes without getting injured.

 

Mental health

As we have said in our articles many times before your mental health is just as important as your physical health and you need to make sure you are taking care of it. In recent years mental health has been recognised as something that is important and hitting the heavy bag can be beneficial for your head. One way it helps is by releasing endorphins like many other exercises do. These endorphins are chemicals in your brain that control your mood and make you feel good and better. This can put you at a lower risk of suffering from something like depression or anxiety as your mood and confidence will boost.

Also, when you’re doing the workout, it helps to take your mind away from the stress of everyday life or something that’s bothering you. This is because every strike requires concentration, and this clears your mind as your focusing on the workout and it requires your full concentration. Also, if you suffer from anger issues or get worked up easily then this is a good relieve of that anger as you can take it out on the bag. This is a good way to help manage your anger and aggression. Doing a bag workout will also improve your concentration in general as you train yourself to focus on one specific thing.

 

Stamina and endurance

Stamina and endurance are very important in the fitness world. This is the amount of time you can go before your performance declines, or you get tired. As you may have guessed hitting a session on the bag can make a big impact on your stamina. When you’re striking the bag you get into this fighters mentality of you have to keep going. This is the eat or be eaten mental state and drives you to keep going and don’t stop until you need to. This is also one of the reasons sportsmen like boxers would sometimes spend hours training on the heavy bag as they need to train to be able to go longer than their opponent.

Training on a heavy bag can also help to build mental stamina. Sometimes when exercising your mind gives up before your body and you believe you can’t do it before you try. Training on a bag can help to eliminate this as the training tends to be higher intensity and you may push yourself a bit more as you visualise an opponent in front of you. This can also be achieved by other forms of boxing training like shadow boxing. However, one drawback of shadow boxing is that there is no resistance against you as its just you and the air.

 

Coordination and balance

Your balance and coordination are things you need to go about daily life. Your balance keeps you on your feet and prevents you from falling over all the time. Your coordination helps you use your arms successfully and can help when multitasking or doing a job that requires your arms or legs. One way a heavy bag workout can help your balance is that you’re always moving around the bag. This foot work will improve you balance and coordination as your moving and switching your weight between your feet and trying to stay upright and stood up.

Also training on a heavy bag can help with your hand eye coordination. This is because you’re striking the bag with your hands and feet, and this can help your coordination as your controlling your limbs and making them go where you intend. Also hitting a swinging bag can improve your coordination as its harder to make contact with a moving object. This can also help your reflexes. Also, your muscles like your core help your balance, a heavy bag can help to build these muscles and make them stronger therefore improving your balance.

 

In conclusion, if you interested in training on a heavy bag then it’s a good idea as it has many benefits and is relatively easy to do. Hitting the heavy bag can be for everyone and isn’t only for fighters. Many gyms do have heavy bags available, but this is also something you can do at home as bags and equipment like gloves and wraps are relatively cheap compared to other workout equipment. So next time your training give the heavy bag a try as it has many benefits and can also leave you feeling better.