People who want to buy a punching bag for the home usually ask me if that kind of workout makes them stronger.
Well, firstly we have to talk about what kind of bag you have and what they are mainly used for.
Do you have a speed bag?
If you have a speed bag, it does not help to build strength since it is lightweight. Training with that bag is mainly about developing speed, hand-eye coordination, etc., skills that are important in boxing and other martial arts. It is not about hitting the bag with tremendous power, it is about rhythm and the proper technique, so you need throw light punches.
However, since you have to hold your arms up for a long time and hit the bag continuously to keep it moving, it undoubtedly strengthens your arms and shoulders. It is also good to improve your endurance.
Do you have a heavy bag?
A heavy bag is much better for improving your punching power since its resistance is more significant. But, that does not mean you have to hit it like mad with enormous power all the time. The same is true: the technique you hit the bag is more important than the power.
But, a heavy bag workout is full body training that requires all parts of your body. And, since all the muscles of your body are engaged, they have to develop both in strength and endurance.
The strength development of the muscles will be not significant, but the endurance will.
Why is that good?
Bodybuilders have huge muscles, and they can lift heavy weights, but not for a long time. If you have smaller muscle mass, but the endurance of those muscles is satisfying, you can perform much better in any sports or daily life. You cannot lift such heavy weights, but your muscles will not get tired so fast.
The punching bag workout is for you if you want to:
- develop your cardiovascular system and endurance;
- lose weight, burn fat in an exciting way (if you bored with typical cardio training)
- release stress;
- shape your muscles;
- build functional strength;
- start an exciting and challenging workout that requires continuous learning;
It is “compatible” with any other training (cardio or strength training);
And develops your defense skills and self-esteem.
To sum up
While hitting a punching bag will not make you strong as if you were lifting weights, but it has so many mental and physical benefits that it is among the most powerful ways to exercise.