Does a punching bag build muscles?

Have you ever felt exhausted after a punching bag workout session? Did you ever experience complete body ache from your head to your toes and an insane amount of pain in the arms and shoulders?

You feel an adrenaline rush as your body gets pumped after punching a heavy bag as it builds strength and works the muscles through the entire body at the same time.

But, the main question is whether punching a boxing bag works only for cardio sessions, or do they help build muscles too? Read on to find out more on the topic.

Does a punching bag build muscles

Does punching a bag build muscle?

First, we need to understand how the muscle-building process works. To build muscle, you need to put stress on the muscles, which might cause micro-tears. These micro-tears are primarily to build muscles. Punching a bag can be very harsh on the muscles, which effectively causes these micro-tears.

Everyone wants to gain muscles and lose fat through their workout sessions. However, finding a single workout routine that caters to a full-body workout is very rare.

Therefore, punching bag workout sessions are one of the few workout routines that help target all the body’s muscles and are a great way to build the muscles. Boxing, without punching a boxing bag, is also effective, but it is better to use the bag.

What muscles does punching a bag work?

As discussed earlier, punching a bag works on several muscles of the body. Some of the muscles which are built while hitting a heavy bag are listed below.

Shoulder and arms

Packing an effective punch needs the perfect coordination of several muscles of the body, but the muscles which are worked the most while punching a heavy bag are the arms and shoulders. During jabs and crosses, the shoulder muscles are trained to their full potential. The constant flow of air punches while hitting a heavy bag trains your biceps and triceps.

Body core

The next muscle which needs to be primarily strong for any boxing session is the body core. When you are punching a bag, all the core muscles of the body, including the neck, chest, and abs, are all trained and built. Whenever you pack a power punch, the muscles of the chest are affected, then for body punches and hooks, the abs are extended to the maximum and flexed to full potential. The constant punching motions also relax and flex the neck muscles continuously. 

Heart and lungs

The rigorous body movements, footwork, and punching the heavy bag are perfect for the cardiac muscles. This helps to improve the capacity and strength of both the lungs and the heart.

Leg muscles

A great way to build muscles in the legs is by punching bag sessions. If you have a proper punching technique, the leg muscles are worked out intensively. The quads and the calves are the strongest leg muscles and are primarily for the initial generation of force during boxing.

Now, we have seen that a heavy bag training session will cater to most of the muscles in your body.

Don’t miss:

7 Ways To Hang A Punching Bag
What Gyms Have Heavy Bags
Science Based Triceps Exercises For All 3 Heads

Does a punching bag tone your body?

Heavy bag training particularly focuses on toning and building as many muscles in the body as possible. It is a great workout routine for enhancing power and building strength to tone your muscles effectively.

During heavy bag training, the muscles on the shoulders, back, arms, chest, core, and legs are involved, which helps to tone the muscles in all the parts of the body.

It is also one of the best exercises to get a lean stomach as the punching motions work out the abs. Punching the heavy bag is a combination of high intensity and fast-paced movements. Therefore, it is a superb way to burn fat, lose weight and tone your body.

Can you get ripped using a punching bag?

Professional boxers have proved that boxing can help you achieve a ripped body.

However, there are certain things that you need to do to achieve the perfect chiseled body. To achieve your dream body, you need to train hard and adapt to a routine that involves both strength training and high-intensity workouts.

If you just practice boxing, then it will help you become lean but to get ripped, you need to gain muscles. Therefore, you have to start strength training as it helps to build the muscles. The high-intensity workouts strengthen particular muscles and do not let you gain much weight. It also helps to increase stamina and promotes fluid movements.

Don’t miss:

Khabib Nurmagomedov Workout Routine
Conor McGregor Workout Routine
Manny Pacquiao Workout Routine

How to build muscles using a punching bag?

Several heavy bag exercises help you achieve certain goals regarding your body. Some of the best heavy bag drills are listed below.

Poor boy

This exercise is both intense and fun. Commonly, the exercise is carried out with a group of 3 or 4 people. During this workout, each participant gets a chance to punch the heavy bag till their breath runs out. Then, the next participant steps in and does the same. Generally, each participant performs the drill for 5 minutes and allows the next participant to do the same. However, on a competitive level, this can go on for as long as 15 minutes.


During the first 15 minutes of this exercise, you go freestyle; then, you throw your punches rapidly. Simply, it is a lot like sprinting but just with the hands. The ideal routine for this is to do 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off schedule and continue it for 3 minutes.

Power punching

This is similar to the previous but a bit different. For the first 15 minutes, you freestyle and then throw the punches as hard and as fast as you can. Also, screaming as loud as you can is an integral part of this routine. Sounds fun, right?


This exercise is fun and will charge your muscles like crazy. At first, you touch the bag at a very slow pace and move around it but never stand still. Then, when the trainer gives the green signal, you need to throw 4 to 6 body shots at the boxing bag. But the catch is that the trainer can surprise you to start at any time.

Touch & go

In this exercise, you need to touch the bag till the trainer indicates to go. Once he tells you to go, pack hard punches to the bag for 15 seconds, even if your arms are burning. Then, rest for 15 seconds and repeat the same. This routine should be repeated for 3 minutes.

Don’t miss:

Floyd Mayweather Workout Routine
Mike Tyson Workout Routine

Final word

Heavy bags are reputed to be one of your best friends if you want to train your full body. It will help you achieve your dream body and also increase your stamina. Training heavy bags also promotes agility and increases focus. All in all, they are an excellent investment to relieve stress and build overall body muscles. We hope all your doubts regarding this are cleared.