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Know your fitness equipment: Punching bag

Working out with a punching bag regularly will increase your endurance and power and will give you a good cardiovascular workout.

Written by Tania Tarafdar |Updated : November 4, 2014 4:19 PM IST

Punching bags or sandbags are cylindrical equipment used for training by boxers, kick-boxers and martial artists. However, they can also be used by amateurs for exercise to increase muscle tone and mass. They come in a variety of sizes and materials. A heavier punching bag will provide more resistance where as a lighter one will provide less resistance.

Working out with a punching bag regularly delivers many amazing benefits. It will increase your endurance, timing and power and will also give you a good cardiovascular workout. Throwing heavy punches on a sandbag will help you develop your upper body strength. It will shape your body through weight loss and muscle development. Hitting a punching bag can also help you relieve stress.

How to exercise with a punching bag

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Power punching drill

Your whole body needs to be used in order to throw effective power punches. Hit the bag hard with both your hands for three minutes at a stretch. Now rest for a minute and repeat the set. Your legs, core muscles, upper body, shoulder and fists are engaged while you throw the punches.

Kicking drill

Kicking drill can be an excellent way to develop your roundhouse, front and crescent kicks. In roundhouse kick, you swing your legs in a semicircular motion while you strike with your front leg. When you perform a crescent kick, you need to lift your knee up and kick with your foot in a clockwise motion. The front kick simply involves extending your legs and kicking the target.

Start off with three right roundhouse kicks, followed by three front kicks and three crescent kicks. Repeat the same with your left leg. Now rest for a minute and repeat the three steps to develop more consistency. Make sure you deliver your kicks with power and intensity.

Tips to keep in mind

  • Make it a point to use hand wraps while throwing punches to avoid damage to the wrists and hands.
  • Always warm up with stretches or joint mobility exercises before you start punching or kicking the bag.

Image source: Getty Images

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