I never imagined that I’d use an at home punching bag workout for weight loss. I hated exercise and my body shape reflected this. I wasn’t particularly happy with the extra pounds that clung to my midsection. But I convinced myself that it’s only natural to gain weight when you’re getting older, and when you’ve spent most of your life sitting on your backside. Considering my sedentary routine, and that I’d never even thrown a punch before in my life, I have come become pretty healthy and throw a mean hook!
Going to the gym scared me. I’d had a gym membership in the past, but I never went. Gyms seemed to be full of young people that were already in great shape. Being older and being overweight, the last thing I wanted was them watching me panting on a treadmill.
Speaking of treadmills, I hated running. In fact, I hated all of the cardio machines and I didn’t dare touch a dumbbell. The few times I had ever been to the gym, I always steered clear of the weights section and the muscled meatheads.
Something quite remarkable happened once I purchased a punching bag. I unexpectedly found a fun way to exercise that didn’t even feel like exercise at all. From the confines of my home and away from any prying judgmental eyes, I could workout in a way that was surprisingly satisfying. And the added bonus was that I managed to lose a lot of weight too.
WHY A HOME PUNCHING BAG WORKOUT FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Shedding body fat (and lowering your risk of cancer) is a major benefit of punching bag workouts. Who doesn’t want to be slimmer? But it can also make for a great aerobic and anaerobic workout too. With health and longevity becoming ever more important as you get older, boxing workouts don’t just build muscular strength and endurance. It also exercises your heart and cardiovascular system, meaning everyday tasks become easier and less tiring.
Exercising on an elliptical, a stationary bike, an elliptical, or a stepper is just so monotonous and boring. The minutes feel like hours. Even when I tried distracting myself by watching television as I plodded along, it still just feels so incredibly boring.
Punching bag workouts on the other hand are immensely fun. You get to be creative in the combinations of punches you throw, and your brain is constantly working to focus on maintaining the correct technique. It involves coordination and agility, as you have to keep light-footed and on your toes.
Just as if you were battling an opponent, your focus is on moving your head to avoid making yourself an easy target for oncoming punches. Slipping and rolling, bobbing and weaving, not to mention moving forward to land your punches, and immediately moving backward as if to avoid receiving punches in return. As if in a real fight, you get to focus on sidestepping too, as if to change the angles to penetrate an opponent’s guard.
I also like that I can exercise at my own pace. Depending on how I feel on the day, I can work harder by exercising for longer and taking shorter rest periods. Or I can take it easier by exercising for shorter intervals with longer breaks in between. I love the flexibility.
UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF A PUNCHING BAG WORKOUT FOR WEIGHT LOSS
A handy side effect of punching bag workouts is the confidence it has given me. This is not just because I look better since losing weight. I also feel confident because I am practicing self-defense skills. I feel prepared and ready if I ever need to protect myself in a physical altercation. Another nice benefit is that I now feel a lot less stressed. I never thought that punching away on a bag would be such a great stress outlet.
As well as feeling healthier in myself, I also find that I sleep better at night. Since exercising I also feel more motivated to eat healthier. It’s like diet and exercise go hand in hand, and I’m more driven to fuel my body for my workouts.
DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO BOX?
You absolutely don’t need to know anything about boxing to start! I had barely even watched boxing before. To begin with, I would just throw punches and do what felt natural. As I progressed, I started watching some boxing tutorials online to learn the correct stance and how to hold my guard. I then advanced further by learning the proper technique of throwing punches, different combinations, how to move your feet, and how to move your head to defend against punches.
All of this comes with time and with practice, but to get started, all you need to do is get punching! But if you are interested in learning the correct boxing technique, it helped me a lot by shadowboxing in front of the mirror. It also helped my footwork and agility a lot by jumping rope. To begin with, I couldn’t jump rope at all, but with practice I can jump rope for about 5 minutes. You can find specific Jump Rope Workouts for Boxers that will specifically help you increase your stamina and improve your footwork.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE BEFORE WEIGHT LOSS?
Remember that slow and steady wins the race! I started out by working out on the punching bag for 10 minutes every other day. I would just set a timer and hit the bag, taking as many breaks as I needed to until I was ready to go again. Over time I progressed to working out for up to an hour and training up to 5 times a week. The more I learned and studied about weight loss, the fast my journey became.
WHAT YOU NEED
You need a punching bag for home, obviously! I have a free-standing punching bag that has a base that sits on the floor. However, if you wanted to, you could opt for a hanging punching bag that attaches to the ceiling. There are a few tips and tricks when it comes to how to hang a punching bag in a basement or other room in your house.
Additionally, you’ll need a pair of boxing gloves. There are many reasons why boxers wear gloves so please don’t make the mistake of thinking you can punch the bag with just your hands! You’ll only end up injuring yourself!
I also highly recommend that you get hand wraps too. These are like bandages that you wrap around your hands and wrists before putting your boxing gloves on. They provide added protection to your joints, which when you get to my age you definitely need!
Lastly, and optional, is a jump rope. Jumping rope is a great way to warm up before hitting the bag. I know it’s not easy when you’re starting out, but I assure you all it takes is a bit of practice.
PUNCHING BAG WORKOUT FOR WEIGHT LOSS IDEAS
With punching bag workouts you will have so much fun that you won’t even realize that you’re exercising. Even if you’re older in life, and regardless of your current activity levels, punching bags offer a great way to achieve weight loss.