Fitness boxing is a great way to build strength, endurance as well as hand-eye coordination. Get the scoop on what size speed punching bag or heavy bag is required for you to prevent injury and meet your goals. Whether you box in a class or at your own home gym, the right equipment is key.
Heavy punching bags are sized according to your weight, while speed punching bags are sized according to your skill level.
The Benefits of Fitness Boxing
Fitness boxing is a great way to spice up your exercise program while improving your overall fitness. With this type of exercise, you are hitting a heavy bag or speed punching bag instead of contact with another person.
Harvard Health says fitness boxing has many benefits, including strengthening your upper body and core, improving balance, posture, endurance and improved hand-eye coordination, without the risk of head trauma from regular boxing.
You know how punching a pillow can make you feel better? As it turns out, studies have shown that fitness boxing can actually improve your mood. A June 2014 study in the Japan Journal of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences showed that those who participated in a fitness boxing program reported feeling less anxiety, depression and anger, while having increased energy and enthusiasm.
Fitness boxing is also the ideal exercise for those with Parkinson's Disease, as an October 2017 study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences shows. After one year of boxing, people with Parkinson's showed "remarkable" improvements in strength, balance and endurance.
One word of warning from Harvard Health: Talk to your doctor before starting this fitness program, especially if you have osteoporosis or osteoarthritis of the hands. You may need to stick to shadow boxing without contact instead of using a heavy bag or speed punching bag. Even if you don't have a health condition, make sure you don't start fitness boxing without a well-padded pair of boxing gloves.
Size Guide for a Heavy Bag
If you like to imagine yourself punching a giant slab of meat like Rocky Balboa, then a heavy bag is for you. These type of bags hang from the ceiling and work well for both punching and kicking. The American Academy of Neurology says that these types of bags are perfect for building power and strength.
Many of these bags come in weights ranging from 60 to 150 pounds. According to Everlast, the best way to find a heavy bag that is right for you is to take your weight and divide it by half and pick the bag that is closest to that weight. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, then you would go with the 80 pound weight. If you are in between sizes, then round up.
If you want the strength training of a heavy bag, but aren't able to hang it from your ceiling or want the flexibility of moving it around, then get a punching bag stand or free-standing heavy bag. With these bags, you fill the base of the punching bag stand with sand or water and you can adjust the height easily.
Speed Punching Bag Size Guide
Speed punching bags improve hand-eye coordination, as well as posture, says the American Academy of Neurology. Speed bags are smaller, tear-shaped bags that range in different sizes, depending on your skill level. These type of bags are lighter and are made to bounce back to give you a good aerobic exercise, as well as strengthening your upper body and core.
Beginners should get a larger Everhide bag that is easier to hit and moves slower, suggests Everlast. As your skill improves, you move up to the intermediate leather bag that moves a little bit faster to further challenge you, and finally the smaller leather bag that moves quickly and requires more coordination to hit.
Try incorporating both heavy bags and speed punching bags into your fitness boxing routine to get a whole body workout for aerobic conditioning, strength training and improved hand-eye coordination. A free-standing punching bag stand gives you more flexibility, as you can adjust the height and it is portable. Have fun boxing your way into shape!
- Harvard Health: "Punch Up Your Exercise Routine with Fitness Boxing"
- Japan Journal of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences: "Effects of Acute Boxing-style Exercise on Affect and Mood States in Young and Middle-aged Adults"
- Journal of the Neurological Sciences: "Non-contact Boxing as a Mechanism for Treating Parkinson's Disease Symptomatology"
- American Academy of Neurology: "Exercise Programs Incorporating Boxing Skills May Help Manage Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease"
- Everlast: "Size Charts"
- Balazs Boxing; The Perfect Workout: The Heavy Bag; December 2002