As long as you’re determined, whether or not you are a boxer, you can reap the benefits by working out with a punching bag. From a cost perspective, it is much cheaper to buy a punching bag than it is to attempt to setup a home gym. One could argue, a jump rope is even cheaper, but I doubt they would achieve the coordination and muscular growth a punching bag could provide. The bag is simply one of the best “overall” workouts, from a cardio and strength training perspective.
If you keep at it, you will succeed. Most people give up the 15-20 minutes of working the bag each day because it is hard work. Like anything else in life, stick with a workout and you will see results. Most who give up do so in the first few weeks. Tell yourself that you will last a month at whatever workout it is you choose before making any rash decisions.
So what are the benefits of the punching bag? Proper striking and footwork is one of the highest calorie burn intensive activities out there. Google “calorie burn activity chart” and you’ll notice that boxing is much more intensive than running and other common activities. Because of constant movement and strong punches, you would be amazed at how much anaerobic endurance increases. This is not to say that this is easy. You will still feel the soreness resulting from the lactic acid coursing through your arms and back, but with each workout, this will become less and less.
Speaking of soreness, it is best to rest for a day in between workouts to allow enough time for your body to repair itself. Working out with soar muscles can results in pulling something or even breaking a few fingers.
Returning to the benefits – All major muscle groups are exercised with proper technique; back, arms, glutes, abs, chest, etc. With 15-20 minutes a day, you will achieve increased endurance and mental focus. These benefits will stay with you in and out of the gym.
Before starting a workout, wrap your hands, wear proper gloves (pro boxing or MMA grappling/striking) and set a goal for yourself. If you just jump in and say I’ll last as long as I will last and/or feel like it, chances are, it won’t be a long time. And by “you”, I am referring to the commonplace person; it’s human nature to seek the most direct easiest way. Set a goal of 15 minutes every other day for a full month and push through the limits. Persistence is key.
Dave Toub is the owner of Punching Bags Pro and absolutely loves the sport.