Benefits From Hitting a Punching Bag or Sand Bag
In order to become a proficient boxer, you have to learn how to punch with authority. Hitting a heavy punching bag will help you become a more effective power puncher. When you hit the heavy bag, you can't just use your arms and fists to hit your opponent. An effective power puncher uses his legs and core muscles to add power to his punches.
When you hit the heavy bag or sand bag consistently, you will develop into a more effective power puncher. The heavy bag can weigh between 60 and 90 lb., and to hit it effectively you must use your entire body. The bag is just too big and heavy to hit it hard if you are just throwing arm punches. Hitting it properly means the punch starts in your legs, travels through your core muscles and upper body before exploding through your hands and arms. In order to use your entire body, step toward the bag as you throw a punch and as you complete your step, shift your weight from one side of your body to the other as your arm moves. This will give your an explosive punch
Upper Body Strength
Throwing a heavy volume of punches at a heavy bag or sand bag will help you develop upper body strength. This is the effective kind of strength that will allow you to throw punches rapidly and absorb upper body punches without getting hurt. Hit the bag for three minutes at a time, take a one-minute break and then repeat the exercise.
When you learn how to hit opponents with power punches, you go into the ring knowing you can punish your opponent with hard punches. When you hit the heavy bag properly, the bag will move in the direction that you swing your fist. This is functional power and strength in the ring. When you can move that bag with power punches, you know that you can do the same thing to your opponent when you hit her with a power punch.
Hitting the sand bag is both a strength-building and cardiovascular exercise. Hitting the bag in rapid-fire fashion will help you burn calories at a rate of 400 per hour and develop strength at the same time. It is an effective fat-burning workout when you hit the heavy bag for three to five minutes at a time.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.