The Benefits of a Heavy Bag Workout

If your current fitness regimen is getting stale, boxing training may be just what you need to add some fun and diversity to your program. Heavy bags are an important part of boxing and martial arts training because the bag allows you to practice striking at full force, without worrying about injury to a sparring partner. In order to take advantage of heavy bag training, you will need access to a bag, hand wraps and gloves, and most important, instruction on how to kick and punch correctly.

Cardiovascular Fitness

The repeated effort of punching the bag provides a thorough workout to your heart and lungs. Unlike steady-state cardio such as jogging and cycling, heavy bag training challenges multiple metabolic systems, giving you a more complete workout. Heavy bag can be used as a form of interval training, a cardiovascular training method recommended by the American Council on Exercise.


Punching and kicking are explosive exercises which build strength and speed. Since most resistance training is performed slowly, heavy bag training can augment your current resistance training program by building explosive power. By adding a few heavy bag workouts to your fitness regimen, you will notice improved strength and conditioning during your weight training workouts.

Core Strength

Heavy bag training is an effective workout for your abdominals, obliques and lower back. Punching and kicking require explosive rotation of the trunk. Defensive movements such as bobbing and weaving also stimulate and strengthen your core.


Boxing and martial arts training requires you to learn and perform various combinations of kicks, blocks and punches. Practicing these combinations improves hand-eye coordination, which can carry over to numerous other sports and activities. Heavy bag training also allows you to practice footwork, improving agility.


According to boxing instructor Chuck Thomas, boxing training is an effective way to build confidence. The combination of fitness and skill you gain from heavy bag training can be a significant boost to self-esteem, especially for those with body image issues. You also gain confidence by meeting and conquering a new challenge and gaining important self-defense skills.

About this Author

Based in the Greater New York area, David Benjamin is a 15-year veteran of the fitness industry. He is coauthor of “The Business and Practice of Personal Training” and has lectured to countless fitness professionals. David holds a degree in physical education from the State University of New York, Cortland.