Boxing with a heavy bag, a large weighted bag that you punch and kick, might not be something that women choose for exercise. However, while it takes strength and endurance, it also burns mega calories. You'll also tone your muscles and gain a silhouette you'll be proud to show off. Choose a routine tailored to your ability and weight loss goals, and talk to your doctor before starting.
General Calories Burned
It is hard to be totally sure how many calories you burn after a bout with the heavy bag, but you can estimate to a close approximation. Keeping track of how many calories you burn is important if you're using boxing to lose weight. Overestimating your burn means your progress might not move along as quickly as you expect. Underestimating might mean you need more food to fuel your boxing routine. In general, boxing with a heavy bag burns over 400 calories per hour for a 155-pound woman. Someone who weighs more will burn more calories, and lighter woman will burn fewer. For example, a woman who weighs 130 pounds burns about 300 calories in an hour and a 180-pound woman burns nearly 500 calories.
If you don't give it your all during each boxing session, you might not burn as many calories as if you go all out and get the most out of your workout. If you tend to slow down toward the end of your workout, you might think you are burning more calories than you are. Aim to keep moving by mixing bouts of sparring with kicks, punches and shadow boxing. Intervals, in which you box continuously, but alternate a moderate pace with a vigorous one, will burn more calories. The American Council on Exercise recommends keeping your heart rate within 75 percent to 85 percent of your maximum, which you can track with a heart rate monitor.
It is important to use proper technique when boxing with a punching bag. This includes keeping your eyes on the bag, staying balanced, planting your feet when you punch the bag but keeping them moving when you aren't punching, and making sure you punch the bag rather than pushing it. Proper technique reduces your risk of injury, and maximizes the calorie-burning benefits of your session. Of course, if you hurt yourself and have to take a break, you won't be burning any calories.
Despite the calorie burning benefits of boxing with a heavy bag, it isn't likely to contribute to weight loss on its own. You might notice a small drop in your weight, but combining your routine with a low-calorie diet speeds your progress and fuels your session. You might also see better results if you mix up your exercise routine, such as combining biking or swimming with boxing, to give you a well-rounded workout and challenge your muscles in different ways.
- NutriStrategy: Calories Burned During Exercise
- Expert Boxing: 10 Heavy Bag Training Tips
- Bodybuilding.com: Heavy Bag Training: Strategies and Programs
- American Council on Exercise: ACE Research Team Counts Calories, Confirms Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing
- The Fitness Diva: The 10 Best Exercises for Burning Calories
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.