The advantages of having a standing bag at home cannot be overstated. Heavy bags can provide an excellent workout that goes beyond standing boxing drills and shadowboxing.
A quality standing bag is an asset for stretching, conditioning, and adding variety to your workout routine. You can even jazz up your bag with household items to really make for some unique workouts. Switching up your boxing or kickboxing drills with some creative strength training exercises is a great way to increase the effectiveness of your training - and make it more fun!
Does a punching bag tone your body?
Yes, working out with a punching bag will tone your body. Consistent boxing and kickboxing training, in tandem with adopting healthier eating habits, can get you in the best shape of your life. Adding some strength training to your workouts will only help you to achieve your fitness goals faster.
What exercises can you do with a punching bag?
There are many exercises you can do with a punching bag. Punching bags are a great tool for stretching, strengthening, and of course, punching and kicking your way to better health.
Make full use of your heavy bag as a stretching aide before going all-out with your boxing/kickboxing drills.
Four (4) punching bag stretches:
1. Side Leg Swings
Leg swings are great for loosening up your hip flexors before and after a workout (especially for kickboxers).
Stand in front of your heavy bag
Place both hands on or near the top of the bag for stability
Lift your right leg straight to the side from the hip, aiming for about a 45-degree angle from your body
Bring your leg down slowly across your left leg
Continue gently ‘swinging’ your right leg for 30 seconds
Repeat with the left leg for another 30 seconds
2. Front Leg Swings
Not only are you loosening up your hips, but you’re stretching the full length of your legs from your calves to your glutes.
Stand to the right, next to your heavy bag
Place your left hand on or near the top of the bag for stability
Raise your right leg straight out in front of you aiming for a 90-degree angle from your body
Slowly bring your leg back down past your left leg and stretch it out behind you
Continue this motion for 30 seconds
Switch sides and repeat with the left leg for another 30 seconds
3. Back & Shoulder Stretch
A standing bag is the perfect tool for maximizing your stretching capabilities on training days and on off days. Use this stretch to release tension in your back and shoulders any time.
Stand about arm’s length facing your bag
Place both hands on or near the top of the bag
Bending at the hips, let your torso fall forward until you feel the stretch in your shoulders and back
Hold for 30 seconds
Slowly return to stand
4. Bicep & Shoulder Stretch
Stretching your biceps and shoulders is essential before and after crushing a heavy bag workout.
Stand slightly less than arm’s length to the right of your bag with your heels in line with the edge of the base
Lift your left arm to shoulder height with your palms facing forward
Place your left palm on the side of the bag, fingers pointing away from you
Gently rotate your torso to the right until you feel the stretch through your bicep and shoulder
Hold for 30 seconds
Switch sides and repeat with the right arm
Does a punching bag help build muscle?
Absolutely. The resistance provided by a punching bag challenges your muscles every time you make contact. Strength training is an integral part of professional fighters, and their time on the bag contributes to their muscle growth.
Four (4) punching bag strength-building exercises:
1. Straight Punches
You don’t always have to be hitting complex combos on the bag – try straight punches to really work your arms and shoulders.
Stand facing the bag directly (not in fighting stance)
Extend your right arm in front of you throwing a “punch”, hitting the bag straight on
Repeat with the left arm
Continue alternating with straight punches for 30 seconds
Advanced Move: For an added challenge, try increasing speed, power, or both!
2. Squat Punches
To work your legs and glutes at the same time, hit some straight punches from a low squat.
Stand facing the bag
Push your butt out behind you and bend your knees into a squat position
Repeat the exercise above and deliver as many straight punches to the bag as you can from the squat for 30 seconds
Variation: To give your legs a break, alternate high and low punches standing for 30 seconds, then squatting for 30 seconds.
3. Boxer Sit-Ups
Blast through a core workout with your standing bag by adding some boxer sit-ups to your routine.
Sit on the floor facing your standing bag
Straddle the base of the bag with your feet and bend your knees in a sit-up position
Lie back on the floor
Using your core, lift yourself up in a sit-up
From your seated position, deliver one strong punch to the bag
Lay back down and repeat, striking with the alternate arm
Continue with as many sit-ups as you can, alternating the punching arm each time
4. Plank Punches
The plank position is as close to perfect full-body conditioning as you can get – add in some punches and you will definitely feel the full-body burn (in a good way).
Assume a high plank position arm’s length from your standing bag
Balance your upper body on your left arm as you raise your right to punch the bag
Lower your right arm and repeat with the left
Continue alternating punches while holding the plank for 30 seconds
Trainer Tip: Light contact with the bag is perfectly fine for these, don’t knock yourself off balance by trying to deliver a knockout hit from this position.
Make Your Boxing Equipment Work For You
Having a standing bag at home can add a lot to your workout routine. Many of these stretches and conditioning exercises can be done without any boxing equipment, using just a wall or chair for balance support, but to truly reap the strength-building benefits, a high-quality punching bag will be your best bet. The usefulness of a good heavy bag goes far beyond boxing and kickboxing drills - be creative with it!
To get the most out of your heavy bag, you need to choose the right bag for your workouts. At FightCamp, we have engineered our free-standing punching bag for stability and performed side-by-side comparisons against some of the most popular bags on the market. You can find out more about our signature free-standing bag, including detailed setup instructions, on the boxing equipment section of our Blog and see heavy hitters like the legendary Mike Tyson put it to the test on our YouTube Channel.