Designed as a primary means for boxers to practice punching their opponents during training, the main focus of the first punching bags was to develop power and strength, though that can be well-utilized for gaining speed and coordination.
Capable of improving overall fitness and health, anyone can benefit from developing a punching bag routine. Whereas punching bag workouts are typically thought of as an upper-body workout, when done practicing proper footwork and shadowing or in kickboxing mode, they provide a full-body workout that incorporates cardio for maximum calorie-burning benefit.
History of the Punching Bag
Boxing dates back to the ancient Olympic games before it was eventually banned by the first century AD and not reintroduced formally until the 18th century in England.
James Figg fought in the early 1700s and became the first recorded boxing champion in the country.
Though the history of boxing is well documented, the origin of the punching bag is decidedly hazier. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the punching bag was introduced into a boxers training regimen, but Simon D. Kehoe was awarded a US patent and trademark for the apparatus in 1872.
As the 1970s brought a renewed interest in fitness and health clubs began cropping up throughout the civilized world, boxing became a recognized form of fitness for amateurs as well as pros.
How to Workout with a Punching Bag
Punching bag workout possibilities are endless, but this basic 10 round workout employs a good variety of moves:
- Round 1: Warmup.
Swing the bag and start maneuvering your body around it, shadowing its movements on the balls of your feet. Step toward it as it swings away as well as side to side. Maintain shadowing of the bag throughout the entire workout.
- Round 2: Jabs. Practice singles and doubles.
- Round 3: 1-2 jab combos. Practice your punching range.
- Round 4: 2-3 punch combos. Focus on speed.
- Round 5: Interval 1-2 punch combos. 10 seconds on/10 seconds off and keep shadowing during rests.
- Round 6: Freestyle. Move and punch as you please using combos and varying punch levels.
- Round 7: Repeat round 4
- Round 8: Repeat round 6
- Round 9: Repeat round 5
- Round 10: Repeat round 6, maxing your speed and force
There are so many physical, mental, and emotional benefits to adopting a punching bag routine into your fitness regimen that it can be hard to count them all. The main benefits include:
- It increases speed and agility.
- Enhances aerobic fitness, stamina, and endurance
- Stabilizes the core
- Improves coordination
- Improves upper-body strength and power
- Strengthens bones and ligaments
- Aids in weight loss
- Enhances boxing technique and form
- Provides self-defense
- Improves self-esteem
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases confidence and well-being
There are many different types of punching bags on the market today, including:
- Heavy free-standing bags
- Heavy Hanging bags
- Kickboxing bags
- Uppercut bags
- Speed bags
- Mexican double-end bags
- Large maize bags
- Teardrop bags
Punch Your Way to Fitness
Providing one of the best ways to engage all your muscle groups for a total body workout, the punching bag builds strength while also giving you the calorie-burning perks of physically exerting cardio. This simple tool can transform your physique and elevate your fitness level all on its own.