Punching bag workouts strengthen, tone and are a great cardiovascular workout.
Boxing can be a powerful upper-body strength workout, for those who perform the exercises correctly. If you are interested in improving the strength and tone of your upper body, consider investing in a heavy punching bag. Punching bag workouts can help to burn calories and build muscle while improving your cardiovascular capacity.
Go Fast and Varied
To start your workout, use a variety of different punches as a way of activating multiple muscles at the same time. For example, if you are doing a speed combo - including jabs, crosses, uppercuts and hooks - begin punching with light intensity as you warm up, focusing on accuracy over power. This will help improve muscle memory as you speed up. Continue the workout, speeding up as you go but with the same sequence of punch types. This will give you full activation of the muscles in your arms, shoulders and chest and make you ready for harder punches during the rest of the workout.
Punch Past the Target
Rather than aiming at the bag, aim one foot past the bag. Though it may sound counter-intuitive, aiming for a point past where you make contact with the bag's surface forces your body to better engage the muscles of your shoulders and chest. This helps you improve the power behind the punch and allows you to get as much of your own body weight into the throw as possible.
Twist it Up
The core is one of the most important muscle groups for a boxer, as the torso is responsible for stabilization and balance. This is especially important when taking a hit. When working with a punching bag, stand with your hips at a 45-degree angle, facing away from the bag, and swing across your body to hit its surface. This will cause your core muscles to twist, a movement that is made more effective due to the force from the thrown punch.
Go All Out
Finish your workout with an all-out battle with the bag. Set a timer with short intervals lasting under 20 seconds, to be repeated until fatigue. While the timer is on, your goal is to punch the bag as hard and as often as you possibly can. In between intervals, keep your heart rate up by jump roping for a few minutes, then return to another interval. The exercise may not be elegant, but it is effective. The physics of a harder punch, as any reaction is met with an equal and opposite reaction, means that your muscles are forced to engage more than they would while punching with less power.