sparring, shadowboxing, bagwork: alternative to running? a complete workout?


Jul 2, 2005
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running is like the most complete workout someone can do, but

is there any amount of sparring, bagwork, and shadowboxing that can make up for running? i just find them a lot easier of a way to break a sweat because i am focused on something else instead of just simply running, and it is more enjoyable.

but can any amount of it be a substitute for running?
what muscles and what areas of my body will benefit from boxing?
can i still get as complete of a workout as i do if i just ran?

what areas of my body can i get fat burned by doing it?

and when i say spar, bagwork, and shadowboxing i mean with punches only

also, can punching build muscle?

also to bring up another point, how about swimming?
I am only able to answer part of your post. For the running, no. The only thing that can substitute for running is running. Same for swimming. All are integral parts of training. Yes, punching can build muscle. But there is only so much you can do without adding resistance to your body. Will you get a great workout boxing? Of course. It does not provide the same aerobic effects and benefits as running. Cannot compare apples to oranges.
You have an limited definition of "complete workout" if running fits the bill. True, running will provide excellent CV training and muscular endurance for certain muscle groups. However, you are missing whole body resistance training for strength, muslcular endurance for everything not cover by running and flexibility. Additionally, unless your activity is running there is no mention of any activity/sport specific training.

Sparring and the like is a wonderful workout for what it is intended. You will get different benefits than from running. There is some cross over from sprint work and a boxing style workout for CV conditioning. Are the 2 interchangeable, only if you limit the discussion to an amount of calories burned. Then you have to look at a burn rate for both.

You also asked about "what areas of my body can i get fat burned by doing it?" Banish this thought from your mind. There is no such thing as spot reduction of fat without liposuction.

"Can punching build muscle?" Yes, however for size and strength you can go only so far. Your body will develop muscles to address the load it is under. There is a limit to the load you can place on yor body by slamming a bag.