A punching bag (also known as a heavy bag) is commonly used by Boxers, MMA and Muay Thai fighters to improve their striking technique and power. They are also excellent tool for those who want to get in shape and improve their conditioning.
Depending on your needs, you can purchase a heavy bag for the gym or home use. There are many heavy bags available to buy, so selecting the right one can be quite a daunting process. Rest assured, this detailed guide will offer you all the information you need to make the right purchase.
|Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit||$79.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Muay Thai Heavy Punching Bag Red (130 Pound)||from $9.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Combat Sports 100-pound Muay Thai Punching Heavy Bag||$181.23||Buy on Amazon|
|Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag (Black)||from $299.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Century BOB XL with Base Unit||$369.99||Buy on Amazon|
Why Do You Need The Best Punching Bag?
Some newbies may be tempted to purchase a cheap heavy bag to get started. Don't make this mistake!
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you will greatly benefit from a top quality punching bag. Poor quality construction and / or the wrong filling / stuffing inside punching bags can result in serious injury. For example, as a beginner, it's best to avoid sand filled bags - they are too firm and offer too much resistance when getting started.
Choosing The Best Punching Bag Material
Heavy bags are made using a variety of different materials, with the most popular being leather, vinyl and canvas:
Most experts prefer leather bags - they offer a natural feel and excellent striking experience, compared to other materials. They are also highly durable and tend to last longer than bags made from other materials. However, this comes at a cost - leather bags tend to be more expensive than other types.
In summary - leather bags are the premium option.
Vinyl heavy bags offer a similar feel to leather bags. While the quality isn’t as good as leather bags, vinyl bags provide a nice mix of quality and affordability.
In summary - vinyl bags represent a good mid-tier option.
Canvas heavy bags are typically much cheaper than leather or vinyl bags. However, they tend to be lower quality and more prone to wear and tear than other types of punching bags. Make sure to wear boxing gloves when striking this bag, as the canvas material will tear your knuckles.
In summary - canvas bags are an acceptable option if you're on a budget.
Filled Vs. Unfilled Bags
You can also choose between filled or unfilled punching bags. Filled bags are convenient and come ready to go, while unfilled bags require you to insert an appropriate filling / stuffing inside before use.
While most brands offer heavy bags with fillers, you can also find premium quality, unfilled versions as well. Unfilled bags are a good option for those who want to choose the stuffing themselves - this allows you to tailor the punching bag to the perfect firmness for your needs. Unfilled bags are obviously a lot lighter too, which will reduce your shipping costs.
If you opt for an unfilled bag, take time to ensure you choose the correct filler material and stuff the bag carefully. Not doing so can create air pockets inside the bag.
Firmness Of The Bag
The firmness of the heavy bag you buy primarily depends on your goals. If you are a beginner or using the punching bag primarily for cardio and conditioning, opt for a softer bag.
On the other hand, harder heavy bags are better for more experienced strikers and the greater resistance will help develop tougher arms and legs.
Choosing The Right Weight
The weight of the bag depends on your size and how experienced you are. If you are smaller and / or a beginner, you will be better suited to a lighter bag.
For more experienced boxers and those who want to condition their muscles to striking, a heavier bag will be a better choice.
While there aren't any particular rules about how much the bag should weigh, we recommend it should be at least half your weight.
Why Is Choosing The Right Weight Important?
The weight of your punching bag is very important, for 2 reasons:
1. Swing And Resistance
The weight determines how much it will swing / move when hit. A heavier bag will offer more resistance and swing less. This can help develop punching power and increase the strength of your arms.
If the bag is lighter, it will swing much more - you'll have to move around the bag if you want to hit it straight on. This will increase the intensity and speed of your workout. The movement of the bag will improve your punching accuracy, footwork and head movement.
2. Risk Of Injury
If you choose a punching bag that's too heavy for you, this can lead to painful joints and injuries to your knuckles and wrists.
Here are some specific guidelines on heavy bag weight to provide optimal resistance and avoid injuries:
Types Of Punching Bags
We'll now look at the common types of punching bags, and the pros and cons of each:
1. Hanging Punching Bags
As the name indicates, you have to suspend this type of bag. It can be hung from the ceiling via a chain, or the wall using a mounting bracket. Make sure your setup is sturdy enough to support the weight of the bag.
Generally found in gyms and an excellent option for folks who plan on regularly using a heavy bag. This type of bag will swing noticeably less when you strike it, offering a more effective punching workout.
2. Free Standing Punching Bags
A free standing punching bag (pictured) has a heavier, weighted base and does not need to be hung from the ceiling or wall. Ideal if a hanging punching bag is not suitable for your home / living space. Typically features adjustable height settings.
3. Muay Thai Heavy Bags
Typically longer and weigh more, compared to other models. These heavy bags are designed for kicking, so it provides more resistance than other heavy bags that are designed for punching.
Tips To Prevent Injuries
Here are a few key tips you should follow to prevent injuries when working out with a heavy bag.
Use Heavy Bag Gloves
Heavy bag gloves will provide much needed padding when striking the bag and protect your hands and wrists.
Wrap Your Hands
In addition to wearing boxing gloves, don't forget to wrap your hands - this provides additional support to your hands and writs, and helps prevent injury. Using your bare hands (without wraps) in gloves can be unhygienic, especially if you plan on using the same gloves regularly.
Invest in decent hand wraps, and ensure you cover each part of your hands and wrists.
Use The Right Technique
Just like any other workout, using the right technique is essential when hitting a heavy bag and will help you avoid injuries. Ask a trainer for help and shadow box in front of a mirror if you are a beginner.
The Best Hanging Punching Bag
Here is our favourite hanging punching bag on the market.
Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit
- Kit includes 70-Pound, heavy bag, heavy bag gloves, 108-Inch hand wraps
- Heavy bag stuffed with a custom filling of natural and synthetic fibers blended with sifted sand
- Heavy Bag gloves and wraps for protecting your hands against the abrasion of the bag
- Adjustable height customization chain
- Bungee cord for adding greater resistance to the bag
When it comes to making heavy bags, Everlast is certainly a brand you can trust.
This handy kit includes a 70-pound bag, hand wraps, and boxing gloves. It provides everything you need for a heavy bag workout and offers excellent value for money. Some notable features:
Best Muay Thai Heavy Bags
Here are our two top picks for those looking to buy a Muay Thai Heavy Bag:
Winner: Outslayer Muay Thai Heavy Punching Bag Red
- Muay Thai Kick Boxing Punching Bag 6ft 130lbs Filled Muay Thai Bag
- Included with this Muay Thai Bag is a 10 Year Warranty Certificate, which Protects Your Heavy Bag Against Any Damage with the Only Exclusion of damage Caused by Weather and Sharp Objects. If anything happens to your heavy bag within 10 years, just send us a picture and we will send you a brand new punching bag.
- Muay thai bag height is 6ft (72 inches) tall and another 12" are the straps with D-rings. Weight apx 130lbs. 130lbs + heavy bag weight is ideal for a muay thai bag. The heavier the punching bag the more weight resistance it creates, preventing the heavy bag from excess swinging. Due to the high material durability, you can add more weight to this muay thai bag if desired, up to 300lbs in total.
- Proudly Made in the USA out of Top Quality American vinyl with weight capacity of 300lbs. Filled Only with Fabric, so This Muay Thai Bag will stay consistent and not create hollow and hard spots. Designed with 4 layer maximum strength straps , so no additional chains required. Ships Filled and ready for use.
- Outslayer heavy bags are known to be the highest quality punching bags on the market, used in many gyms and training facilities worldwide. Don't settle for cheap imported knock offs, invest in the best and enjoy high end, top quality heavy bag for many years to come.
The Muay Thai Heavy Punching Bag Red is a high quality and durable heavy bag, designed to withstand powerful kicks and punches. Weighs 130 pounds and is 72 inches tall - some other notable features of this bag include:
Runner Up: Combat Sports Muay Thai Heavy Bag
- This long full length heavy bag is top quality and highly rated for professional and amateur boxers
- Solid bag made of durable synthetic leather construction is easy to clean and will hold up to your most powerful assault in your home or commercial gym
- Punching bag is filled to 100 pounds and measures 13-inch x 72-inch with heavy duty chain included
- Perfect heavybag for boxing, MMA, Muay Thai and contact sport athletes alike to practice kicks, footwork and punches
- Build strength, tone and condition your body with a muscle building aerobic workout, training and the right fitness equipment
Are you in search of a reasonably priced Muay Thai training heavy bag? Then, the Combat Sports Muay Thai Heavy Bag is a good choice. Here are some of its key features:
Best Freestanding Punching Bag
Interested in buying a freestanding punching bag? Here is our top pick:
The Century Wavemaster XXL
- Extra-large martial arts training bag with high-quality striking surface
- Durable vinyl cover and high-density foam fill is tough yet forgiving
- Low-profile base and ultra-stable weight distribution
- Fills with either sand or water; weighs roughly 270 pounds when filled
- Stands 69 inches tall and measures a full 18 inches in diameter
The Century Wavemaster XXL is among the highest rated free standing bags on Amazon. We recommend it for home use. Some notable features of this bag include:
Best Alternative To A Punching Bag
Perhaps you are interested in honing your striking technique with something different?
BOB XL Punching Dummy
- Freestanding heavy bag with life-like upper torso
- Creates more striking surface for head or body shot training
- High-strength plastisol body filled with urethane foam
- Polyethylene base holds up to 270 pounds of water or sand
- Rolls easily for transport; multiple height settings
The BOB Punching Dummy is an interesting option for those looking for an alternative to a traditional heavy bag. The XL model features the same muscular build as the original BOB but is larger, with an elongated torso and thighs.
We hope you liked our guide and use it to find the perfect punching bag for your needs!
If you have any comments or questions, we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below.
You might also like our guide on the best boxing gloves.