So, you want to become a great boxer?
Then you need a good punching bag, the best punching bag you can afford.
But how on earth do you find the right one? There are so many models!
If you don’t plan your purchase, you may lose money paid out for a bag that doesn’t work for you.
What’s worse, you may get injured using the wrong bag, too!
In this easy guide, I’ll explain the different types of punch bags, and the way you can choose the right one for you.
Different types of punching bags.
Each bag has a purpose and the correct one will aid you in improving your punching skills. The right one for your purposes depends on your training. Here are some different types and their training purposes.
It’s no mystery how this bag got its name – the filler used is maize. It is shaped like a teardrop and although you may find it useful in your training, it’s not an essential bag to purchase.
If you already bought a punching bag, you can add to your training with a maize bag. But if you’re only going to buy one or the other, the punching bag is more versatile.
A maize bag WILL help you improve your footwork, though, since you’ll need to bob and weave to use it. So, it’s useful, but not the most important bag.
Pros and cons
- Helps in hand to eye coordination
- Helps to improve your movement and footwork
- Can be more expensive than a punching bag
- Only has limited functionality
The best heavy bags are very versatile, and that accounts for its popularity.
It moves when you hit it, and mimics an opponent’s movement, so you’ll need to use proper positioning and footwork to get clean punches off. This is different from free standing bags that just don’t move as much and don’t require as much skill to land clean kicks or punches.
Leather is used in the best heavy bags and these last longer, as long as you take care of them correctly.
Before you choose a hanging bag like a heavy bag, be sure you have a place to hang it. You’ll find that there are a variety of ways that you can hang a heavy bag, but a heavy bag takes up a lot of room, since you move around it when you practice.
Pros and cons
- A mid-range bag is not too expensive
- It improves your movement and footwork
- It’s an effective training aid
- You need plenty of room to hang one so you can use it properly
Free-Standing Punching Bag
This bag has an attached base and does not require hanging or a stand. It is somewhat comparable to a hanging punching bag. A regular punching bag is a more popular choice, but a free-standing bag does have advantages over a hanging heavy bag.
In your house or gym, you’ll appreciate that a free-standing bag can be put away when you’re not using it, so it doesn’t take up as much room.
Also, if your training area is not as large as you’d like, you can move a free-standing bag so that you have room to train with other equipment.
You can use a free-standing bag for your groundwork, too. You can lay it on the mat or floor and practice ground fighting with it. Lots of MMA fighters use this type of bag, since it is so effective for ground work.
It’s a no brainer to set up a free-standing bag. Just fill the base so it’s weighted. Most people use water or sand for this purpose.
You’ll find free-standing bags in many different styles. Lots of fighters prefer those shaped like a human. That’s because it makes your training more realistic, since the shape is similar to what you’ll see in the ring.
You can really improve your fighting skills if you use a good free-standing bag for your workouts. You can practice punches and kicks and improve your groundwork and technique. Free-standing bags are very durable and versatile equipment types for your gym or training area.
Pros and cons
- Usable for groundwork
- Versatile piece of equipment
- When set up the first time, must be filled with water or sand
This kind of bag was designed to practice curl punches and uppercuts. Some MMA and Muay Thai Rutherglen fighters also use them for practicing their elbow strikes.
An angle bag is somewhat similar to a maize bag, and it’s not a necessity for your fighting kit, since you can practice most of the same moves on a heavy bag.
The difference in an angle bag from a heavy bag is that it protrudes at the top. The shape is wider at the top than the bottom. This makes it easier to practice uppercuts.
An angle bag is a welcome part of your gym, but some of them are overpriced and not as versatile as a free-standing or heavy bag.
Wall Mounted Pad System
This training equipment is simple and doesn’t give you a lot of value for the money you’ll pay. It is pricey and limits your training options.
A pad system uses a big padded block to practice punching, mainly hooks and jabs. The padding is on a backboard that bolts to the wall.
A pad system makes a good feature on a wall of your training area, but there isn’t a lot to recommend it beyond that. It’s expensive and requires some DIY skills in mounting it.
If you’re a renter, you may need to look for other bags, since you may not be allowed to mount it on your wall. So, renters are better off with a free-standing bag or heavy bag instead of a wall system.
Pros and cons
- Good looks
- Isn’t as versatile as other types of bags
- Must be firmly mounted on a wall
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What to Consider when Choosing the Best Punching Bag
The fill of a bag is what is contained in it. There are four main types of filler used in punch bags – fiber, foam, water and sand. Some bags have combination fillers like foam and sand together.
If you use a good filler, it will give the right resistance against punches and kicks without providing such a hard surface that it could cause injury. Some fighters do like a firm bag with not much give, though. Seasoned fighters do better with the firmer fill than newbies do.
Foam is really a good filler and it has many advantages. Foam won’t shift towards the bottom as you use the bag, so you won’t have to mess with it. The feeling is more consistent in all areas of the bag.
Many companies that make punch bags swear by foam as a filler. Companies like Everlast invest in determining the most advantageous foam technology.
Fiber is commonly used for bag fill, and it has its own good attributes. It gives a punch bag a consistent feel in all areas. Beginning boxers, Muay Thai or MMA fighters will get some mileage out of this fill, since it offers great resistance.
Punching bags filled with water? Really?
Water filled bags are much more portable than bags with other types of fill. If you’re moving to a new home or gym, or just relocating to another part of your house for your training, you can empty your bag of water, fold it up and then refill it before you set it up in the new area.
Other than portability, there’s not much notable about water filled bags, except that some boxers feel that connecting with a water filled bag offers more realism than other types of bag filler.
Sand bags offer a lot of stout resistance and they work better for seasoned fighters, not beginners. They work well in power training, although they can be a nuisance.
Bags filled with sand may clump or develop air pockets, so you’ll need to turn the bag upside down to shake the sand around again. It’s a bit of a pain, but not a deal breaker.back to menu ↑
How Can You Benefit from Owning a Punch Bag?
Owning any of these types of punching bags will help your boxing skills, as long as you use them. If you have a bag at home, you’re a lot more likely to train often. That will help you in refining your skills.
Here are some of the boxing skills that you can improve by practicing with a punch bag every day.
- Combination punches
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What Weight of Punching Bag Should You Get?
When you’re trying to decide on what bag is the best for you, it’s essential that you get one that’s the correct weight. If your bag is too lightweight, it won’t give you enough feedback to be worthwhile.
But if you buy a bag that’s too heavy, it won’t have enough give when you hit it, and you may easily sustain a wrist or hand injury.
SO, how do you know what weight of bag to get?
A punching bag should be about half of your body weight.
If you weigh 160 pounds, then your bag should weigh about 80 pounds. Bags don’t come in every possible weight, so you may have to round up or down a bit to find the size closest to your ideal weight.
When you follow this guideline, you’ll have less chance of injury when you’re training and doing bag work.
Punch Bag – Outer Materials
Punch bags are made from synthetics, canvas or leather.
Synthetic bags aren’t the best. They’re lots easier to keep clean, but the material isn’t as durable as others.
Canvas bags are pretty durable, and many of them last a long time. You have you be sure you don’t keep them in a humid area, or they can develop mold.
Most boxers think leather punch bags are the best you can get. They are durable and last a long time.
Hanging Bag versus Free Standing Bag – Which is Better?
In this match, we’ll compare these two popular but different types of bags. They both have their own advantages and benefits, so you need to determine which is best for your own training use.
A hanging bag is a good piece of boxing training equipment. It’s versatile and comes in different sizes and shapes. There are many options, from 50 pound to 100+ pound bags.
Some people think that hanging bags are a pain, since they take up lots of room and must be hung from something. If you don’t have the room, maybe a standing bag would be better for you.
If you go with a standing bag at home, be sure you use the hanging bags at the gym, since they are essential for proper boxing training.
This bag is really versatile. That’s because you can use them not only like conventional punch bags, but also used for groundwork, just by laying them on the floor.
You can move free standing bags around, so they can be stored when you’re not using them. You also won’t have to hang it from anything or drill holes in your wall. Free standing bags are good pieces of boxing gear, and they don’t have many faults.
Which is the winner?
It’s a draw.
Both types of bags have advantages and disadvantages, and you really need to choose a bag based on your training needs. I like hanging bags myself, but if I didn’t have the space to train that I do, a standing bag would work fine.
Choosing a Punching Bag
Check out this video from Rival Boxing. In includes lots of tips on choosing the best punching bag for your training needs.
How to Hang a Punch Bag – Which Way is Best? Best Punching Bag For Home
There’s more than one way to hang your punching bag. Money and space are two of the main considerations. In the perfect world, we could all have the best stands and all their attachments.
Reality intrudes. Most people can’t shell out $1200 on a heavy Punching bag stand.
The good news?
There are cheaper options.
Below you’ll find the various ways to hang your punching bag.
Once you buy a punching bag, it needs to be hung somewhere, so you can use it. The way you choose depends on a lot of variables, like what kind of property you live in and what options it gives you.
Here are the most popular ways you can hang a heavy punching bag, along with the positives and negatives of each type.
Best Punching Bag Stand
This is made with a sturdy metal frame you can use for hanging your bag.
- Very portable
- Easy to set up
- Some have extra attachments
- You need lots of space
- Very expensive
The Wall Bracket
These brackets attach with screws, allowing the punching bag to hang anywhere from 16 to 20 inches away from the wall. The length depends on the brand.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Offers sturdy support for your punch bag
- Not portable
- Needs DIY skills – a drill
Universal Punch Bag Hanger
This is a very portable option. It allows you to hang your punching bag in any place, as long as you have something you can hang it from.
- Easily used
- Very portable
- Limits on where you can hang it
Ceiling Hook Bag Hanger
This option will let you hang your punch bag from a beam, ceiling or wherever is suitable.
- Easy to move and remove
- Allows 360 degrees of movement around your punching bag
- Some DIY skills required (you have to use a drill to mount it)
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The Best Punching Bag For Kids
Did you know there are punching bags for kids?
Oh, you’ve probably seen the cheap kind, the ones that are plastic and inflatable. But these are no way to train a future champion.
We’re talking about an adult punching bag in a child’s size. They are lighter than adult models, but in a smaller size.
These punch bags often come with gloves and, for a child, they will offer protection and support. If your child turns out to show real talent, you’ll want to invest in some better gloves.
If you’re serious about your child getting into boxing or MMA training, a bag like the one in the picture is a good place to start, without breaking the bank.
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In Closing – How To Chose The Best Punching Bag…
There are many things to consider when you’re choosing the punch bag that will work the best for your purposes. We’ve covered pretty much all you need to know in order to select the right bag.
To take a look at the best in standalone punch bags and heavy punch bags, drop by our equipment page.back to menu ↑