Punching Bag Workouts for Beginners

Fitness experts are always arguing about what workout is best for fitness and fat loss. Some will tell you that lifting weights is best, while others are all about the cardio. Some say that yoga is the best workout.

So, who’s right?

It turns out that ALL workouts can help you lose weight, burn fat, and get fit. You just need to do them often and consistently enough for them to work their magic. That means the best workout is the one that you’ll do; not just today or next week, but for the foreseeable future.

Because of this, it’s worth trying as many different workouts as you can. That way, you are more likely to find a workout you enjoy. So, don’t give up hope if you don’t like running, Zumba, or going to the gym; there are LOTS of different ways to stay in shape.

A less common but no less valuable exercise is working out with a punchbag. Hitting a punchbag works your arms, legs, and core and is good for your heart and lungs too. It’s also an excellent form of stress relief and a useful way to practice self-defense.

In this article, we reveal some of the best punching bag workouts for beginners.

Punching Bag Workouts for Beginners

Are Punching Bags A Good Workout?

girl puching bag for work outThe short answer to this question is yes! Hitting a punchbag is an excellent workout because it involves virtually every muscle in your body.

A properly thrown punch starts down at your feet and is transmitted up your leg, through your core, down your arm, and into your fist. Every muscle between your toes and your fingers is involved.

This makes training with a punchbag a full-body workout.

Hitting a punchbag for several minutes will also deliver an effective cardiovascular workout. You’ll soon feel your heart and breathing rate increase after a few minutes of “working the bag.”

Working out with a punchbag will also improve your eye-hand coordination and speed and increase your agility.

It’s no coincidence that boxers are some of the fittest athletes on the planet, and at least some of that fitness is due to punchbag workouts.

Can You Lose Weight Using A Punching Bag?

Training with a punchbag is a high-intensity activity that involves virtually every muscle in your body. As such, punch bag workouts burn a lot of calories and could definitely help you lose weight. However, there are a few caveats. To lose weight using a punchbag, you will need to:

  • Work out regularly – plan on using your punchbag at least three times a week, if not more.
  • Work out consistently – you’ll need to train with your punchbag for several weeks or even months before you see much weight loss. You’ll also need to keep at it to maintain your new, lower weight. This is not unique to punchbag workouts; it applies to all types of exercise.
  • Combine with a sensible diet – even daily punchbag workouts won’t lead to weight loss if you are still eating too much. Combine your workouts with a sensible, low-calorie diet. Like your workouts, the best diet is the one you can stick with consistently.

How Do You Punch A Punching Bag for Beginners?

Hitting a punchbag is a good workout, but there are some potential dangers too. If you hit it incorrectly, you could hurt or even break your fingers, hands, or wrist. Elbow and shoulder injuries are not uncommon, either.

Don’t let this put you off; if you take it slow and learn how to punch correctly, your risk of injury is much smaller.

Firstly, you should NEVER hit your punchbag with bare hands. At best, you’ll graze your knuckles. At worst, you could fracture your hands. To avoid injuries, always wear punchbag gloves to protect your hands.

girl with red gloves for boxingPunchbag gloves come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. You don’t need full-size boxing gloves, which can be very expensive.

Just get some lightweight bag gloves, which only have light padding on the knuckles. A lot of punchbag sets are supplied with gloves.

For extra safety, you can also wear fabric hand wraps, which provide additional support.

Wearing your gloves, the next thing you need to do is make a fist. Do NOT tuck your thumb inside your fingers.

This will cause serious injury. Instead, roll your fingers tightly shut, and place your thumb around your first two fingers.

Try to hit your punchbag with your first two knuckles. Keep your wrists straight to avoid joint injury.

Finally, start off hitting your bag lightly until you are confident you are punching with good technique. Practice getting your feet in the proper position, so you are neither too close nor too far from your target. Only hit harder when you are sure that you can do so without injury. After all, the aim of boxing is to inflict damage on the other person, and not yourself!

3 Easy Workouts for Beginners

While there is nothing to stop you from whaling on your punchbag until you are exhausted, you’ll get better results from a more structured approach. Try these tried and tested workouts to get fit and burn fat with a punchbag.

Workout 1 – 3-minute rounds

Boxers fight in three-minute rounds, broken up with 60-second rests. This workout replicates those demands. Make sure you pace yourself; three minutes will feel like a long time if you go too hard too soon. Instead, start slow and speed up toward the end of each round if you think you still have energy to burn.

Don’t just stand there hitting your punchbag with the same punches over and over. Instead, move your feet and try throwing different punches, aiming high and low. Use both hands, and also imagine you are fending off an opponent. Keep your hands up at all times to protect yourself.

Do three to five 3-minute rounds to total 15-20 minutes.

Workout 2 – punch pyramid

This is a short, sharp workout that will increase muscular endurance. Repeat it as many times as you like, resting 60 seconds between each pyramid.

Work your way through the following, moving your feet and resetting your position between each layer of the pyramid.

  • 1 punch
  • 2 punches
  • 3 punches
  • 4 punches
  • 5 punches, etc.
  • 9 punches
  • 10 punches and done!

Rest and repeat.

Workout 3 – punchbag circuit

girl kick the bag by her legPut your punchbag on the floor for this workout. Do 30 seconds of each exercise to total four minutes. Rest one minute and repeat.

Do 2-4 circuits to make 10-20 minutes. Feel free to take your gloves off after ground and pound (exercise #2).

  1. Jump rope
  2. Ground and pound – kneel astride your punchbag and hit it repeatedly
  3. Jumping jacks
  4. Crunches – feet on your punch bag
  5. Lateral jumps – put your hands on the punch bag and jump your legs from side to side
  6. Push-ups
  7. Mountain climbers – hands on your punchbag
  8. Squats – squat down and touch your punchbag with your butt

Bottom Line

There are dozens if not hundreds of different workouts you can use to get fit, lose weight, and shape up. Some people will try and tell you that some workouts are better than others, but the reality is that they all work if you train hard and consistently. Combine your chosen workout with a sensible diet, and the magic really starts to happen!

Hitting a punchbag is one of the more unusual workouts, especially if you don’t have a boxing or martial arts background. That said, even if you are a novice, hitting a punchbag can deliver an effective workout.

But, before you start beating your punchbag like it stole from you, take a moment to pull on your boxing gloves and learn to make a proper fist. Remember to keep your thumb outside of your fingers! Don’t try and hit too hard too soon; your hands are made up of lots of small bones and muscles that are easily injured. Develop your punching technique before trying to unleash your biggest knockout blows.

Once you are confident that you can throw a decent punch, you can start hitting a little harder but remember, you want your workout to last more than a few seconds, so pace yourself.

Hitting a punchbag is a great full-body workout. Is it the best? Probably not, but that’s because there is no such thing as the best workout. Does it work, and is it fun? You better believe it!


Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

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