• Get the most from your punching bag

    Most people think of a punching bag and automatically thing of a boxing gym, or I guess nowadays even some form of MMA fighting. This makes sense; the punching bag is something primarily made to train the body for fighting. You punch it a few times, your hand and arm start to hurt a bit, and then the next time you decide to punch it your hand and arm hurt less when you punch it. Is that the whole story? Like with any form of physical exercise, I put my money on the fact there is a whole lot going on when using a punching bag for training, so let's explore some of the ways to get the most out of your punching bag.
    Right off the bat, and I feel ridiculous for even having to say this, but there are warnings on coffee saying it is hot nowadays, but you need a way to hang your punching bag first. Most do come with hooks and straps to hang from the ceiling, but most people have ceilings made of some plaster over drywall. You are going to need to find a support beam to drill into, but depending on the spacing, you probably are only going to get two places to hang your bag from. If you want good stability, then you should invest in a punching bag rack.
    It obviously goes without saying the main reason people get a punching bag is exercise, whether training for actual fighting or just training your body. When you train with a punching bag, you train the entire body. The most effective ways to train are to just go hard and fast; a set of jabs, punches, and kicks for around just half an hour can do wonders for burning fat, increasing agility and endurance, and help build lean muscles, not just the main muscle groups, but all those little used stabilizer muscles to help also increase things like posture and flexibility.
    The size of the bag you choose also can have great impact on how you train. Usually, punching bags come in light, medium, and heavy weights, which usually range in size from 50 to 100lbs. The lightweight are better for training fundamentals and building speed, while the heavy is great for a super strength building, fat burning workout. You should think of what your goals are first before investing in a bag.
    Another very important, but often overlooked, benefit of using a punching bag is mental. The physical act of exerting force on another object does wonders to the brain. Sure, you can picture the face of someone who angers you and stresses you out, and you will reduce some stress, sure, but the reinforcing thought of violence isn't good in the long run. You are better served by trying to clear your mind, since whenever you punch, your body releases certain neurotransmitting endorphins which actually help the brain form positive, feel-good thoughts. Learn to let go stress on your own, and let the punching bag have a chance to give you all those clean gains, both physical and mental.
    So these are just a few ways you can get the most out of your punching bag. You can read online countless other articles, talk to doctors and fitness experts, or even just talk to other people at the gym about how they have happier, more healthy lives just from punching a nylon bag filled with sand a few times a week.
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