Punching Bag vs Running – Which Is a Better Workout?

Searching around on the internet trying to find out if hitting the punching bag is a better workout than running or sprinting or if it burns more calories?

Well let me tell you, you have made it to the right place. In the article below we are going to go over several things to help you better understand if you should be running or if you should be hitting the punching bag!


The things we are going to go over in the article below:

  • Is hitting the punching bag a good workout?
  • Can you lose weight hitting punching bag?
  • Is running/sprinting a good workout?
  • Which workout burns more calories, running vs hitting the punching bag
  • Is hitting the punching bag a better workout than running?


So let’s get to it!

punching bag workout vs runningIs Hitting The Punching Bag a Good Workout?

Yes! Hitting the punching bag is actually a good workout. Not only this it’s freaking fun too. You can catch me hitting on my wavemaster punching bag most days of the week. 

Related: Our Top Rated Self Standing Bags Here

But that’s besides the point. I’m here to tell you why it’s a good workout.

Let me explain this for you. 

Hitting the punching bag is a good workout to build muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and legs and also to lose weight. 

Depending on your goals, punching bag workouts can carry some variety by mixing up your strikes and other techniques.

Hitting the punching bag has both physical and mental benefits that many people underestimate or simply do not think about.

Some of the physical benefits of hitting a punching bag are, it strengthens your body and increases the oxygen level in your blood.

The mental benefits are as important as the physical benefits because it helps you to get rid of your aggression and frustration. Trust me when I tell you that hitting the punching bag is extremely stress relieving and is a wonderful way to get your built up problems out of the way.

Both the physical and mental benefits from punching bag workouts is usually easily overlooked: 

Benefits of Punching Bag Workouts:

  • Improved Self-defense Skills
  • Weight loss
  • Toned upper and lower body
  • Stamina Improvement
  • Improved Mind Set & Toughness

So now you should have clearly understood that hitting a punching bag is also a good workout because you are going to burn calories here as well.

Can you lose weight hitting punching bag?

punching bag vs running

Yes, of course. You may not feel effective when you are punching a bag, but actually, it is very effective. Because when you are kicking or punching a bag your whole body is involved in that process, so as a result there is an anabolic and metabolic effect that produces the right hormone that is used to burn fat in a short duration.

Hitting the heavy bag is not only about burning fat but it also helps in muscle toning. It tones your legs, arms, shoulders, buttocks, and your abs. As you kick the punching bag, you involve in twisting your body which eventually generates the power throughout your body.

The calorie you burn depends on your age, body weight, sex, intensity, and other genetic factors. It is roughly estimated that punching a bag can burn around 371 to 413 calories in women and 462 to 500 calories in men. Since fat burning depends on the above factors, you can track your calories burnt by just using a fitness tracker.

Here is some stats for you to give you a better idea about the amount of calories and weight that can be shed.

For men:

  • You can burn fat within fifteen minutes with the help of a heavy bag workout. Here I have given some information about burning calories at different ages. If you are in your 20’s with 168 pounds then you can burn 115 calories in 15 mins, similarly in your 30’s with 179 pounds you can lose 123 calories, and in your 40’s with 182 pounds you can burn upto 125 calories.
  • You can burn around 2.75 calories per pound in an hour. In half an hour, an average man can burn around 231 to 250 calories.
  • By 45 Minutes, men can lose an average of 347 to 375 calories. But this requires punching a heavy bag.

For women:

  • Generally, women weigh less than men, so an average woman can lose 93 to 103 calories with weight of 135 pounds in your 20’s, 143 pounds in your 30’s and 150 in your 40’s.
  • And for women, the calorie burnt is the same as men for an hour that is 2.75 calories.
  • For women, the same 30 minutes of workout is required to burn around 186 to 206 calories as men. 
  • And by punching a heavy bag for 45 min, women can even lose around 278 to 309 calories.

Is running/sprinting a good workout?

Yes, Running whether it be on your basement treadmill or outside in your neighborhood, is a good workout as it can burn more calories than throwing different boxing combinations. But throwing punches at the bag also can help you lose weight more than running when you include jumping rope and sprinting in your exercise.

Running plays a very important role in our lives. It gives you energy, if you start running and when you cover a few kilometers you will be able to feel the clear mind, positivity in your heart, muscles, and state of mind.

It is scientifically explained that running gives more positive energy. Due to which the body undergoes a lot of biochemical changes, it is nothing but a release of happiness hormones, so-called endorphins into the bloodstream.

If we start the adventure of running, then the reaction of your body is just as we mentioned above. Your body and mind experience a positive shock, and each workout brings you the above bliss.

This can be compared to the progress that you make when training or when we’ve never done anything before or for a long time. After all, if you were in poor shape and started to train, then you can notice a lot of changes in your shape and metabolism. Get to it and start running. If you need some excitement or motivation that get yourself a Zwift treadmill and start running with Zwift. It’s what I do.

Which Workout Burns More Calories, Running / Sprinting vs Punching Bag Workouts?

The fast and the best way to burn calories is running. It’s proven with the report published by “Harvard Men’s Health Watch” that a typical runner’s leg absorbs more than 100 tons of impact force while running.

The runners while running have to do a lot of hard work and this will increase their heart rate, muscle activity and it will also increase their level of oxygen production and thus burns oxygen as well. When oxygen is burned automatically it will also burn your calories. So running is one of the best workouts to burn your calories.

So below I have mentioned some of the statistics comparing both running and hitting and kicking the punching bag.

Running / Sprinting Quick Statistics:

According to Harvard, Running for 5.5 minutes a 190 pound person can burn around 1,553 calories in an hour, 1,267 calories in 155 pound person and 1,062 calories in 130 pound person. So a person can lose totally 3,500 calories on an average. And you can run 16 times a month for 5.5 minutes to lose almost 6 pounds. And running 8 minutes can burn more calories than boxing.

Hitting the Punching Bag Quick Statistics:

Punching for one hour can burn 1,035 calories for a 190-pound person, 708 calories for 130 pounds and  844 calories for 155 pounds. Punching along with running can give you greater results.

But in general if we compare running and punching without any exercise more calories are burnt while running.

Punching Bag Vs Running.. Which is a Better Workout

In my point of view, both hitting the punching bag and running are equally excellent workouts.

The thing is, you can hit away on a punching bag just about anywhere. You don’t need some heavy 100 lb bag. Grab yourself a bag like the wavemaster xxl and get started. IF you live in an apartment, no issue, free standing punching bags are compact enough that you can set them up just about anywhere you would like.

Boxers can take running and jumping as an alternative exercise for other days and Punchers can take running as every day exercise.

Hitting the heavy bag can be more fun when compared to running and it can even bring out more sweat and really get your heart rate up. There are also different types of punching bag workouts that you can engage it to keep things fun and exciting.

You can use both heavy bag workouts and running as a warm-up, which can last for 5-10 minutes. You can also use the skipping rope, which is an integral part of a typical boxing training.

Basic punching bag training involves making at least 8 series of strokes per bag. Each series should last about 45 seconds, followed by a short with 10-15 seconds of rest. This effort will make you to burn fat effectively.

Punching bag workouts and running do not have to be very strong when you are warming up. The speed and intensity is important, and not strength. This approach will help you to avoid injury, especially when this is your first contact with the punching bag.

This type of training can be a great alternative to running and interval training on a treadmill or bicycle or on some cross trainer like the Teeter FreeStep. It will also perfectly replace typical cardio workouts.

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