Boxing is a fun sport and physical activity, but it also has many benefits. As it requires a lot of strength, your muscles will become stronger with regular practice. Boxing against someone else uses a lot of energy, so you’ll see an increase in strength with every session.
This is certainly true when you’re boxing an opponent, but what about when you’re practicing by yourself? A punching bag can be a great tool for boxing training, but does punching a bag build muscle?
In short, the answer is yes, hitting a punching bag can build muscle. We’ll get into which muscles will see the most improvement in this article, as well as how to get the most out of your punching bag at home.
What Muscles Does Using A Punching Bag Build?
When you use a punching bag, you mimic the same movements that are used in boxing. These moves use certain muscles more than others. Punching uses a lot of force, which works the muscles hard. Over time, you’ll start to see your strength increase, which is indicative of new muscle growth.
The arms are the most obvious body part used when punching a bag. Other than the arms, you also use your back, shoulders, abdominals, quads, and hamstrings.
You may not believe it at first, but the lower body is used in boxing. As you try to punch the bag (or opponent), you aren’t standing still, you’re always moving around.
Your feet are always shuffling, trying to get into new positions so you can hit different places on the bag. You’ll always use your upper body more, but your legs still do a fair bit of work.
Upper-body wise, your core is always engaged. Your torso has to turn in several directions to land strong punches, as well as take in the residual force when your punch hits the bag.
Your abdominals are working hard when you use a punching bag. With regular practice, your core muscles become larger and stronger.
Punching Bag Tips To Build The Most Muscle
Boxing uses several muscle groups, but some methods can help you build more muscle overall.
Don’t Stick To One Workout
A consistent workout program is important so that your body gets used to the demands of regular physical activity. However, sticking to one type of workout can be detrimental to your progress.
If you add other exercises to your routine, you’ll start to work on different muscle groups instead of the ones you normally train. This can help you become more flexible and avoid injuries later on.
You’ll see more benefits from adding different training styles. Continue to keep practicing hitting heavy bags, but try other activities in your routine. Lifting weights, flexibility work, and cardio can all help you become a better boxer. You’ll become stronger as a result, and should start seeing more muscle growth and definition.
High-Intensity Interval Training
As stated above, a variety of exercises is important. HIIT is one form of training that can make you an efficient athlete. HIIT is cardio that involves short intervals working at maximum effort. These intervals are then followed by rest periods.
You recover enough to begin the next interval when you start working out again. HIIT workouts can be done in just 20 minutes.
Implementing this training style can help you build a stronger heart. HIIT improves your overall fitness, so you’ll be able to work harder the next time you’re practicing on a punching bag. If you can go for longer or start hitting the bag harder, you’ll be working your muscles even more than before.
As long as your nutrition is sufficient, you’ll see your muscles continue to build.
HIIT training doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can even use your punching bag to do it. There are several HIIT boxing workout videos online to try. A simple routine involves 45 seconds of punching hard at maximum effort, then resting for 15 seconds. Repeat until 20 minutes are up.
HIIT can be very taxing on the body, so it’s best to leave two days in between each session and make sure that you get sufficient rest.
Keep A Healthy Diet
To build muscle, you need to have the correct nutrition. Training is only one part of the process, as muscle won’t grow without the right foods. You don’t need to live on a diet of protein shakes, but eating less junk food and eating more lean protein will help tremendously.
To increase the amount of muscle you have, it’s recommended that you eat between 0.5 to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This is a large range, so it depends on your size, gender, and the amount of physical activity that you do. If you do more exercise, eat more protein. If you aren’t as active, eat a bit less.
Protein is important when it comes to building muscle, but you also have to be fueled for your workouts. This involves eating enough complex carbohydrates and fiber-filled vegetables. Swap burgers and fries for oats, brown rice, or wholemeal bread.
These will give you the energy to perform well during training. If you keep a healthy diet and keep drinking enough water, your body will be in optimum conditions for muscle growth.
Get Enough Rest
While the right training and proper nutrition are necessary, several people underestimate the importance of rest. Sufficient rest is essential for keeping the body in good condition, avoiding injuries, and encouraging new muscle growth.
Exercise causes tears within the muscles that are used. When these tears repair, the muscles become larger and stronger. However, these tears can only start healing when the body is at rest. During a hard session, the body is also put under large amounts of stress.
Afterward, it needs enough time to recover for the next session. Always make sure that you schedule rest days in your routine, and make sure that you listen to your body. If you’re exhibiting signs of overtraining, like tiredness, extreme soreness, or stress, take a few days off. If you don’t, you may be at risk of injury the next time you train.
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