We all know the importance of fitness for our physical and mental well-being. It’s talked about daily in newspapers, magazines, by celebrities etc. To quickly recap…
Being fit and healthy has many advantages, such as:
- Improved quality of life
- Stronger muscles
- Less body fat
- Enhanced cognitive functioning
- Stronger immune system
- Better able to cope with stress
- Greater quality of sleep
The above are just a few advantages.
Any activity that gets the blood pumping around your body and gets you moving can benefit both your mental and physical well-being. Activities such as:
- Weight training
- Fitness classes
- Sport – football, tennis, squash, badminton, rugby, netball, basketball, etc
All of the above can work well. It helps if you enjoy the activity, you are more likely to keep it up and fit it into your daily routine. In this post, we’re going to focus on one activity in particular… boxing pads.
I’ve been doing boxing myself to improve my cardio fitness. Before the lockdown earlier in the year, I invested in a everlast omniflex punching bag and I love to add this into my workouts 2-3x per week. Not only has my cardio gotten better but i’ve noticed more definition in my arms: shoulders, and triceps. I also use it with my clients on a 1-1 basis.
Boxing Bags And Stands
In case you didn’t know…boxing bags/stands are sacks filled with grain or sand. Punching bags are ideal for boxers, martial artists, and everyday people who want to get fit and destress.
Benefits of Working out with Boxing Bags
Doing fitness with a boxing bag/stand can be a fantastic way to:
#1 Burn Lots Of Calories
Guess how many calories you can burn per hour doing punch bag work?
That’s a lot isnt it?
Of course, not many will be able to last an hour on the punch bag, and you don’t need to do this long. Even just 15 minutes on the bag could see you burn 200 calories.
#2 Improve Upper-Body Strength
Cardio exercises such as running, cycling, and walking are great for the legs but don’t do much for the upper body. Whereas boxing does both, it improves leg strength and agility, while at the same time strengthening muscles in your upper body, such as your:
- Upper back
- Core muscles
#3 Build A Stronger Core
As punching involves lots of twisting and rotation, it’s a great way to build up your core muscles, especially your external obliques – located at the side of your core…
#4 Release Tension And Stress
It’s normal to get stressed (it happens to all of us). The daily pressures of work, relationships, family life…combined with the constant connection to technology, make it hard for us to switch off.
There will be days when you feel tired, get frustrated/angry and the best thing you can do is channel this energy into something like a punching bag.
If you want to blow off some steam, 5-15 minutes on a punching bag is an effective way to release built-up tension, while at the same time boosting your fitness.
#5 Build Your Cardio Fitness
Do you want to improve your stamina so that you have more energy throughout the day, can walk up a flight of stairs without breaking into a sweat or getting out of breath?
Boxing is one of the fastest ways to boost stamina. You won’t be able to do it for very long, but that’s the whole point. Boxing is like HIIT training (High-Intensity Interval Training) – and even 5 minutes a day will make a big difference if you do it consistently for 2-3 months.
How to Use the Boxing Bag
You may already know how to throw a good punch? If so, that’s great, but you may also be a newbie. If that’s the case, it’s best to hire a boxing coach or attend a class where you can learn the proper technique, even just 1-2 hours practice with a highly skilled coach will lead to significant improvements.
Some other tips include…
Buy A Good Quality Boxing Bag – don’t buy something because it’s cheap, often it will break very quickly, and it’s a false sense of economy. If you buy a cheap punch bag, it’s likely to burst, and you don’t want to be clearing up sand from your backyard! I’m sure you’ve got better things to do with your time?
Get Yourself Some Gloves – I remember when I first started boxing (back when I was 14 years old). I watched Rocky 3 and decided to buy a punch bag. I punched it nonstop for about 15 minutes, and then the next day, I woke up with red knuckles, blisters, and shattered wrists. Not good. I then realised I needed to learn how to punch correctly and invest in some suitable gloves to protect my hands.
Get A Good Boxing Stand – Good punch bag stands because you want something solid and won’t keep getting knocked over. With cheap stands, you have to keep picking them up every other punch. It just interrupts your workout, hurts your lower back (from all the bending), and eventually, you lose interest and stop boxing. A good stand is worth the money.
Look After Your Equipment – make sure to keep your equipment clean, wipe it down after use. Also make sure to look after it i.e. don’t store in cold, damp places, and keep an eye out for any rips and tears. Most companies will offer a 1-2 year warranty.
As you can see, boxing is a great exercise, and there are lots of benefits. If you take on board the advice given in this post, you will be on your way to greater fitness, improved body composition, and you’ll be less stressed.
Why not give it a try for the next month.
I challenge you to do 5 minutes of boxing per day for the next 28 days.
Let me know how you get on.