Does A Punching Bag Build Muscle?

Planning on taking up some activities that require a lot of arm strength, like rowing a kayak or rock climbing?

Then you might be wondering if boxing is a good way to build muscle.

The quick answer is yes, boxing build muscles.

But don’t add that new heavy bag to your home gym just yet!

Fiest, let’s look at what boxing can do for your muscle building goals.

Where Will You Build Muscle Using A Punching Bag?

As you might expect, the process of repeatedly hitting heavy bag does build muscle.

But what might surprise you is that it’s not just your arms that get the benefit of this muscle building.

Since you have to use so much force to land those punches on the punching bag, you end up building muscle in a variety of places on your body. Wondering what muscles a punching bag works?

You’ll start to see some new toned muscles appear  on your body in the following areas:

  • your back
  • your arms
  • your shoulders
  • your core
  • your quads
  • your hamstrings

I know that you’re thinking right now – legs, really? Does boxing really build muscles in your legs?

Heck yeah it does!

Think about it. When you are punching the heavy bag, you’re not just standing in one place.

Those feet of yours are shuffling around and such. That’s how your legs end up getting some new muscles, though the transformation won’t be as much as what you get with the upper body.

Since your body has to sort of twist to through those punches, and because of the jarring impact when the punch lands on the bag, your core remains engaged pretty much the whole time.

That’s how boxing strengthens your core muscles.

guy boxing heavy bag

But your shoulders are the real powerhouse here. This is where all the power comes from when you throw those punches at the bag.

Since boxing is a very demanding activity, it’s actually a great cardio workout as well.

And as you may know, combining strength building with cardio means that you see fast results due to the toning that this combo gives the body.

With boxing, you’ll notice that as you lose fat you will start to see some great muscle definition.

Before you know it, you’ll end up with a nice toned physique. So, get to work punching that bag so you can build muscle and burn fat.

How To Get The Most Muscle-Building Benefits From Using A Punching Bag

Assuming that you’re interested in putting on muscle from your efforts, let us give you some tips to maximize those results.


Though high intensity interval training (HIIT) is more common with treadmills and ellipticals, you can use it to your advantage when boxing as well.

Nate Bower has an excellent 30-minute HIIT heavy bag boxing workout routine on Youtube to get you started. You can each the first video below.

Most EFFECTIVE 30 Minute Boxing Heavy Bag HIIT Workout

Mix It Up

Just like how you wouldn’t do the same weight lifting routine every single day, you need some variety in your heavy bag workouts.

So, maybe some days you’ll do HIIT and other days you’ll do something completely different.

If you don’t have a membership at a local gym where you can work with a trainer, then YouTube is a great place to look for free boxing workout videos.

Nate Bower has a great 20-minute heavy bag workout video to get you started. You can find it below.

Ultimate 20 Minute Heavy Bag Workout (Round 1)

Adopt A Healthy Diet

Since you want to build some muscle, you need to start eating like someone who is actively building muscle.

This doesn’t mean that you need to down protein shakes all day, but you do need to cut out the junk food and focus on healthy eating habits.

Here’s what the perfect muscle building diet consists of:

  • complex carbohydrates
  • lean protein
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • lots of water throughout the day

When choosing the fruits and vegetables, focus on things with lots of fiber.

This is important because it slows down your digestion and keeps you fuller for a longer period of time.

You should also make sure that you get plenty of hours of quality sleep each night.

Sleep is essential because that is when your body works to repair itself from all the working out that you did during the day.

Aim for a good eight to nine hours of sleep each night – and avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed.

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