Does Hitting the Punching Bag Help You Lose Weight?

When you decide to try to lose weight, there are two things you need two do. Firstly, you need to get your diet in check by checking nutrition facts and tracking calories. It’s also crucial to incorporate exercise into your routine. Boxing workouts, such as hitting a punching bag, are popular choices, but does hitting the punching bag help you lose weight?

Yes, hitting a punching bag will help you lose weight. It is a fantastic workout for your cardiovascular system and works several muscles in your body. In fact, most boxing workouts are great for burning calories. 

When people start their weight loss journey, it takes trial and error to find an exercise routine they truly enjoy. While everyone has different strengths and passions, many people find hitting a punching bag to be a great exercise choice and a good stress reliever. 

When your goal is to lose weight, it is crucial to be consistent in your exercise and diet, or you will not see results. Here we will look at how hitting a punching bag can help you lose weight and things you can do to improve your experience with boxing workouts.

Burning Calories To Lose Weight

Losing weight can be challenging, which is why many people try but are not always successful. The number one reason people fail to lose weight is that they do not understand the root cause of losing weight. 

Diet and exercise are equally important in losing weight, but today we will focus on exercise. Losing weight comes down to burning more calories daily than you take in. 

Everyone burns a baseline number of calories from living and going about their day. Even if you lie in bed all day and sleep for 24 hours, you will burn 1200 to 1400 calories depending on your weight and body type. These calories burn from natural bodily functions like breathing.

You can increase the number of calories you burn in a day by having a more active lifestyle. Some choices you make during the day help to increase the number of calories you burn daily, such as:

  • Walking to work or during lunch
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Using a standing desk
  • Taking the long way to the restroom

Incorporating exercise into your routine will also help increase your calorie burn. Workouts involving your cardiovascular system tend to burn more calories than those focusing on muscle growth, like lifting weights. As a result, a high-cardio exercise like hitting a punching bag is a good option.

Hitting a Punching Bag To Burn Calories and Lose Weight

Hitting a punching bag will burn calories and help you lose weight. Although you might think of it as an arms-only workout, it works your whole body. Hitting a punching bag engages your torso, shoulders, legs, hips, and glutes. It also helps strengthen your cardiovascular system by increasing your heart rate.

Boxing burns more calories than typical aerobic exercises because it involves coming into contact with an object. When you punch the bag, your hand meets resistance. When your hand hits the bag, there is a spike in the number of calories burnt during the moment of contact. The heavier the bag, the more calories you will burn. 

Unfortunately, beginners will tire quickly when they start hitting a punching bag. Although it might not look as intense as other cardiovascular activities like running, hitting a punching bag can be quite exhausting. As a result, it is crucial to stay consistent in your training.

Woman punching heavy bag

How Many Calories Will You Burn Hitting a Punching Bag?

Unfortunately, there is not an easy way to answer this question for everyone. How many calories you burn hitting a punching bag depends on your weight. People who weigh more will burn calories faster than people who weigh less. The intensity of your punches will also impact the number of calories you burn, as does the bag’s weight.

However, we can estimate how many calories you can expect to burn after punching a bag for an hour. If a 155-pound person hits a punching bag for an hour, they can expect to burn around 450 calories. Another estimation is that a 200-pound person will burn 525 calories an hour by hitting a punching bag.

Unfortunately, there is no way to precisely measure how many calories you will burn without doing the workout. You can use tools like this one to get an estimation beforehand, but it is unlikely to give you exact results.

How Does Hitting a Punching Bag Compare to a Speed Bag?

Boxers and mixed martial artists have several exercises to improve their endurance, strength, and technical ability. As a result, it should not be a surprise to hear that there are several types of bags they hit. A punching bag is a large, cushioned bag that usually hangs from the ceiling. They are similar to a person’s size to simulate what it is like to be in the ring while training.

However, the punching bag is not the only tool boxers use to exercise. Punching bags have limitations, and as a result, most boxers use speed bags too. 

Speed bags are much lighter than punching bags, but they bounce back quickly, allowing boxers to practice their quick punches and jabs.

Speed bags are very useful for building, speed, rhythm, and timing, but their lower weight decreases the number of calories you burn in an hour. Conversely, punching bags are much heavier, so you need to work harder on every punch. By putting more effort into each punch, you burn more calories hitting a punching bag than a speed bag.

The Key To Losing Weight by Hitting a Punching Bag

Unfortunately, you cannot wake up in the morning, hit a punching bag a few times, and lose 20 pounds. You should know that, but you will not see results if you only exercise once a week. If you do see results, they will be slow and small. As a result, the key to losing weight by hitting a punching bag is consistency

Anyone can get up in the morning to go for a run, lift weights, or hit a punching bag. It is not challenging to exercise once, twice, or ten times. It is easy to get up in the morning to do your boxing workout when you have motivation. When you have motivation, exercising is fun and easy. 

Unfortunately, it does not last forever.

Your motivation to exercise might last a week, a month, or longer, but it will eventually fade. When your motivation fades, you need to have discipline. If you have discipline, you will continue to exercise and improve your body. 

Woman punching heavy bag with coach.

Fortunately, if you stay disciplined, you will get motivated again eventually. Remember, motivation ebbs and flows, but discipline will keep you on track.

If you have discipline in your workouts, you will stay consistent and lose weight faster. You might think consistently means you cannot miss a workout, but that is not true. You can miss a workout here and there. After all, life gets busy, and sometimes you do not have the time to exercise. 

However, it is not ok to consistently miss workouts. You need to make exercise part of your routine. If you choose to hit a punching bag as your primary workout, find a time that works for going to the boxing gym. Making it part of your schedule will help you stay consistent.

How Does Hitting a Punching Bag Compare to Running?

Hitting a punching bag is an essential aspect of boxing training. It is an amazing workout for boxers and regular people. You can use boxing workouts like hitting a punching bag to burn calories because of its cardiovascular benefits. However, when most people think about losing weight, they choose traditional exercises like running.

Running is a great way to lose weight and improve the health of your heart. All you need to run is a pair of shoes, so it is a fantastic option for people, regardless of financial status. 

If your only concern is burning calories, running is more efficient than hitting a punching bag. How many calories you burn in an hour depends on your weight, sex, and running intensity.

There are several studies that look at weight loss and running. These studies generally find that a 150-pound person can expect to burn 113 calories running a mile at 6 miles per hour at a 10-minute-per-mile pace. As a result, someone running at that pace for an hour will burn 678 calories.

Someone of similar weight will burn 450 calories an hour hitting a punching bag. However, that does not mean running is better in every way.

Running vs. Punching Bag

When wondering, “does hitting a punching bag help you lose weight?” you’re likely also comparing a punching bag to a cardiovascular exercise, such as running. If your primary concern is weight loss, running is a good option. However, hitting a punching bag provides a better full-body workout than running. Running puts a lot of strain on your legs and glutes. It can also work your shoulders a little bit, but most of the benefits will be in your legs and butt.

Conversely, while you will burn fewer calories hitting a punching bag, you will work more muscles. Not only will you work the muscles in your legs, but you will work your shoulders, arms, and abdominals. So, hitting a punching bag can be more beneficial to your health than running.

There was also a study by Forza Supplements which found that boxing as a whole burns more calories than running. So, if you incorporate different kinds of boxing exercises into your heavy bag workouts, you’ll end up burning more calories than running.

Is Hitting a Punching Bag a Good Exercise for You?

If you are new to exercise, you might not want to start with an exercise that is not traditional, and you’ll likely prefer to start with running or lifting weights. After all, those are exercises many people do and are proven commodities.

However, we encourage you to throw away your fear of boxing workouts. Boxing workouts like hitting a punching bag can be massively beneficial. It is a full-body workout, so you can focus on your overall health rather than just losing weight.

How Long Should a Punching Bag Workout Last?

There is no correct answer here. You can hit a punching bag as long as you want. The longer your workout, the more you will get out of it. However, there are diminishing returns after a certain point. Unfortunately, that point is different for everyone and difficult to pin down.

If you exercise for too long, your muscles will get very sore, so you will be unable to exercise the next day, and possibly the day after. As a result, it is crucial to put a time limit on your workouts. 

Beginners should not push themselves too hard. They should limit the length of their workouts to under 30 minutes. 30 minutes is long enough to get a good workout in but short enough that it should not negatively impact your body the next day. Plus, doctors recommend 30 minutes of exercise each day. More advanced boxers can increase the length of their workouts.

How Often Should You Hit a Punching Bag?

When you start working out, it is crucial not to overdo it. You can overdo it by working out too long, as we mentioned above. However, you can also overextend yourself by working out too often. Going from not working out to exercising every day will harm your body. 

Beginners should try to give themselves at least a day off between boxing workouts. You can do something simple on your days off like a short jog. However, it is a good idea to take at least one rest day per week where you do not exercise. Three to five exercise days per week is amazing for beginners.

More advanced boxers can hit a punching bag more often, but they should still take at least one rest day a week.

Final Thoughts

Does hitting a punching bag help you lose weight? Yes, it burns calories efficiently and builds muscle throughout your body. It is fantastic for burning calories, building muscle, improving heart health, and strengthening your body. 

If you are interested in hitting a punching bag and want to try other boxing workouts, explore our site. Do you have a favorite punching bag workout? Let us know!

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