One of the most physically-demanding workouts going, boxing is tough to beat as a fitness all-rounder, requiring stamina, balance, coordination, aerobic endurance and muscle strength in equal measure. Going blow-for-blow with a dead weight might sound easy, but bag work – that is, drills on a punching bag – is as demanding mentally and physically draining as a round in the ring.
“The full body benefits of a bag workout are endless,” agrees Jay Revan, personal trainer at Flykick. “Your cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance and muscular strength will all benefit greatly from using a punch bag.” No body part will be spared: boxing is demanding on your upper body, lower body, and core, and the fat-sizzling HIIT nature of the workout reveals lean muscle like no other.
More to Boxing Than You Think
Finding exercise you enjoy is about more than bicep gains and washboard abs. Your brain needs a workout too. After a stressful day at work, a one-on-one with the bag can be an effective way to blow off some steam and boost your focus. “There is a huge mental aspect to the sport that a lot of people miss when discussing the benefits, whether for fun or competition,” says Reven.
Of course, boxing is about more than just delivering a powerful punch. When you’re in the ring, you need more than brute force to box effectively – technical know-how is imperative. This is where the bag comes in. “All boxers need great coordination and core stability to be able to throw punches with power but also using the correct technique,” says Reven. “Punch bags allow you to focus on getting your technique right as well as your footwork and bag control.”
For all these reasons – and more – boxing has hit the mainstream in recent years. A surge in boutique boxing classes and clubs have made the tips, techniques and training patterns favoured by professional boxers accessible to us mere mortals. Building fight-worthy fitness is a gratifying process, but it takes commitment, resilience, and, more often than not, a fair bit of cash. Which is where that spare corner in your garage comes in.