If you've ever seen a "Rocky" montage you know how cool it looks to beat on a punching bag -- if you haven't, just imagine taking out all the frustration you've ever had on something that can't fight back or complain. Using a speed bag and punching bag provides more than just giving you a chance to look like a tough chick, it also provides benefits that can improve your health and overall well-being.
If you're devoted to a punching bag and speed bag workout, chances are good that you'll develop a pretty toned body. Punching a bag, especially a heavy bag, is like an intense version of lifting weights. Working against the resistance of the bag strengthens the muscles in your arms when you punch, legs when you kick, and core with nearly any type of strike. The repetitive movements of a punching bag and speed bag workout improve your muscular endurance. The first time you do a bag workout, your arms will probably feel like limp noodles within few minutes, but after a couple weeks you should be able to beat on the bag for much longer.
The high intensity used with a speed bag do wonders to improve your cardiovascular fitness. In fact, even hitting a punching bag for several minutes will have your heart pumping like you can't believe. If done for at least 20 minutes using either type of bag or a combination of the two, you can get all the benefits of any other cardiovascular exercise. These benefits include decreased body fat, lower blood pressure, better cholesterol, improved levels of triglycerides, and the decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Since you were little your mom might have advised you to drink your milk to keep your bones strong. Well, you can add exercise to that regimen as well. Weight-bearing exercise or exercise that puts stress on your bones, causes them to adapt and strengthen decreasing your risk of osteoporosis. Whatever part of your body you use to strike the punching bag -- your fist, arm, elbow or shin -- will benefit. If you have joint or bone issues, a punching bag is probably not the best choice for your workout.
Stress relief may be the best health benefit of using a speed bag, but especially a heavy punching bag that you can really wail on. Whether it's a deadline at work or a professor who has it out for you, using a punching bag on a regular basis can help you respond to that stress in a way your body was designed to -- fight. Plus, how else are you supposed to work out your frustration when he forgets your anniversary again.
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.