Almost every day I get an email with questions about boxing workouts. People would like to know which is the most suitable punching bag them and if home boxing helps them to lose weight. Or they need advice on how to improve their technique.
I’m sure if you are a beginner, or someone who just wants to start this type of workout, you have similar questions. You may have already checked out forums or social media to find the answers to your questions. However, you may have got conflicting answers.
Someone says this, and someone says that. And who knows what the truth is?
That is why I put together a list of the frequently asked questions related to home boxing workout. I try to give you the best answers and sources.
1. Do punching bags build muscle?
Hitting the bag is a total body workout. Just think about it. You have to use your legs to move around, and your arms, back, shoulders, and core to throw punches. Hence, each of these muscles of your body will develop in strength, endurance and a bit in size.
However, it is mainly cardio training, so you will not be able to build massive muscles. For that, it is better to lift weights or do bodyweight exercises.
But, that does not mean you cannot combine the two. For example, I do calisthenics to build muscles and get stronger, and boxing to develop my cardio, endurance and have fun. The two work together well.
2. What Size Punching Bag Is Right for Me?
The heavier the bag, the less it swings. Larger equipment is better to improve the power of your punches and kicks, but since it does not move so fast it harder to practice the moves for defense and offense.
Lighter bags obviously swings more when you hit them, so you will not be able to punch them with immense power. But, since they move so fast it forces your body to move around to protect yourself or to throw the next hit. Hence, you can develop your skills.
In most of the cases, the bag you want to buy is about half of your weight. So if you are about 200 like me, you need a 100-pound bag.Related reading:
3. What kind of heavy bag should I get?
There are various heavy bags, but for home training, the two most suitable are the freestanding or the heavy hanging bag.
The heavy hanging bag requires more space to use, plus you should install it. But, it provides the best user experience to develop your strength, technique skills, etc.
The freestanding models do not need installation, and you can move them around so that you can store somewhere quickly. Also, they are good for kicking. But they are not as robust, and there is a lot of problems with the cheap products.More information: Hanging Vs. Free Standing Heavy Bag | What’s the Difference?
4. Can boxing tone your arms?
This question is usually asked by ladies. And the answer is: Yes, of course, and not just your arms. As I said before, it is a full body training, but while you punch your arm, back and shoulder muscles are activated the most. So, if you want to get rid of arm fat, just do it.
5. How often can you work out on a heavy bag?
Just like any other workout, that depends on your current fitness level, and you should rest to give time for your body and mind to recover. I tried to have a boxing workout with 12×3 minutes rounds 5-6 times a week, but that was too much. Three is optimal for me. Instead, I do shadow boxing which is not as hard but useful to develop my technique.
If you are a beginner start slowly, for example, do 5×2 minutes rounds with 1-minute rest between. Then, as you get better, increase the number and the length of the rounds.
6. Is boxing a good stress reveler?
Sure. A lot of people think that hitting the heavy bag makes us aggressive or something like that. But, the truth is that it does the opposite. It helps you get rid of anger, stress, and depression. Plus, it makes you healthy and fit. It is an all one workout. And it is great for kids as well.
7. How do you increase the punching power?
Obviously, if you want to throw more powerful punches, you should be stronger. But, it is just the one side of the coin since the punching technique is as important.
To develop your strength, you should do resistance training. I prefer bodyweight exercises to lifting weight since those moves develop the functional strength better. Various push-ups are the most beneficial for strengthening your upper body particularly the clap push up which is a powerful plyometric exercise.Related reading: 13 Push Up Variations for Strength & Explosive Power
But you can be strong like Hulk if you throw the punches with bad technique. You can maximize the power of your jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts if you use the energy and the momentum of your entire body not just your arms. It needs a lot of practice, but proper technique multiplies the power of the hits.
First, there’s the generation of power in your body created to cause damage. Then comes the release of your hand which you’ll use to connect the power to your opponent. Finally, there’s the transfer of power from your body, down your arm, to your opponent.
8. How many calories do you burn punching a heavy bag?
A lot! A lot more than the typical cardio exercises like running on the treadmill or training on the rowing machine.
A 160-pound guy who hits the bag intensively for one hour can burn up to 800 calories. So, if you need a workout for burning fat which is not as dull as running, boxing is for you.
9. What are the benefits of boxing?
- Develops your bones and ligaments.
- Boosts your cardiovascular fitness.
- Burns a lot of fat.
- Tones your muscles.
- Helps to get rid of stress.
- Develops your coordination and balance.
- Makes your core strong and your tummy flat.
- Improves your self-esteem and confidence.
- Exciting and enjoyable. There is always something new to learn and practice.
- Improves your body awareness.
- Get rid of stress, depression, and anger naturally.
- Boosts your endurance and stamina.
- Enhances your functional strength.
And these are just a few.
10. Do you have to use gloves on a punching bag?
Yes, and not just gloves but hand wraps as well. When your fist lands on the surface of the bag there is a significant impact on bones and joints of your hand, wrist, arms and even shoulders, so you have to protect them. A badly-landed punch can result in serious injury. So, protect your hand.Related reading:
In sum: A boxing workout at home is an excellent type of training to get your body healthy and strong, so do not hesitate to start it. It needs time to learn the basics and get used to this type of workout, but the more you practice, the more you will enjoy it.
If you have any other question that you would like to know, feel free to ask below in the comment section.