1. It’s an intense Cardio workout
Yes! All that punching, pivoting, rotating and constant explosive movement racks your heart rate up thereby increasing your body’s cardiovascular fitness. Too rainy for your run? Too icy for your cycle? Then get your gloves on and intersperse your sprints, runs or cycles with a bag session to keep your CV fitness right up there. Mix up your bag training by using longer intervals of moderate speed and power or shorter intervals of all out speed and power and if you really want to commit to the boxers lifestyle get yourself a skipping rope and build a one minute skipping block into your bag session as an active recovery exercise between intervals.
I can’t say it enough the power of your punches does not come from your upper body strength alone. The movement of your feet, the rotation of your hips, your core transferring that power and movement up to your shoulders and into your fist! The core is worked every single time you punch. Work in some fancy footwork and/or defensive manouveures into your routine and activate your core even more.
If you are training with a partner who can hold a pair of focus mitts for you this is a great opportunity to increase your reaction time and quicken your reflexes. Use your defensive techniques to duck, slip, block your partners incoming strikes. Always start off slowly and build up speed and power as you go. If you are not partnering with someone who is trained and experienced in padwork then you are best advised to search out a local combat/boxing class where you can be taught the skills safely and under supervision. Remember anytime someone is aiming a glove or pad at your face or body there is the chance you could get hit and you may wish to take measures to protect yourself such as a mouthguard.
4. Muscle Strength
Power punching is an excellent way to build muscle in the back, arms and shoulders and by using all the punches in your arsenal, jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts and working to the body and the face you can ensure a complete upper body strength workout.
5. Bone Strength
As we get older it becomes even more important to not only think of the health of our heart and lungs but also the health of our bones in terms of their strength and density. Any exercise that helps build muscle will also help build bone density and strength meaning that power punching on the heavy bag is not only great for your heart, lungs and muscles but for your bones too.
6. Stress Release
All that punching is a great way to release any stress, frustration and upset that you may be experiencing in a safe environment and the punchbag isn’t going to mind at all. Coupled with that you’ll experience a heady rush of endorphins all meaning that by the time you finish your session you’ll be feeling energised, calm, positive and ready for the day ahead!
NB. Never punch without hand protection. Hand wraps or gel wraps should always be worn inside your boxing gloves.