Not Just For Boxers
For years, boxers have built punching power and improved their overall technique by hammering away at the heavy bag. Now, heavy bag workouts have hit the mainstream and us ‘normal’ people are able to punch and kick our way to improved mental, emotional and physical fitness.
A fusion of martial arts skills, aerobics and kickboxing, cardio heavy bag fitness is one heck of a calorie burner and knocks stress on its arse. Although not a form of self-defense in and of itself, many of the techniques are similar.
Kind of Equipment:
Of course, a heavy bag is a key component. Weighing from 40 to 100 pounds and suspended from the ceiling, if done right, the heavy bag takes the brunt of this workout. High quality boxing gloves are an absolutely essential to prevent injury to hands, wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints. Once you have your bag, your gloves, and comfortable workout gear, you’re ready to roll: just you against the heavy bag.
Basic Punches and Kicks:
Heavy bag fitness routines include a lot of punching and kicking and use muscles you may have never realized you had. (Hello, forearms, lats and glutes!) These strikes and kicks can be performed in set reps or in various combinations.
- Lead punch (jab)
- Cross (reverse punch)
- Hook punch
- Forearm/elbow strikes
- Round house kick
- Front kick
- Back kick
- Knee strike
Tips for Beginners:
Cardio heavy bag fitness is a high intensity workout. Beginners and even those with good fitness levels who’ve never taken a class should:
- Minimize intensity during first few classes to build endurance
- Keep kicks low to avoid over extending
- Never lock joints when punching or kicking
- Hit the bag, don’t push it
- Don’t hold your breath
- Focus on form
- Always warm up and cool down
A good instructor will assess your fitness level and help you modify and master techniques. The goal is a healthier, stronger, leaner body, not overtraining and injury. To maximize results and avoid injury, heavy bag workouts should be limited to 2 or 3 times a week and interspersed with other types of lower intensity training.
Health Benefits Of Cardio Heavy-Bag Workouts:
Cardio heavy-bag fitness pack some heavy-duty physical and mental punches:
- Improved cardio fitness
- Increased coordination, balance and core stability
- Benefits heart and skeletal muscles
- Stress relief
- Builds self confidence
- Improves body composition and shape
- Lowers blood pressure
- Decreases risk of diabetes
Heavy bag workouts offer amazing results inside and out. You’ll burn calories, reshape your physique and improve your overall wellbeing and release serious stress.
Interested in hitting the bag? Contact Lifestyle Fitness to find out more about our heavy bag cardio classes.