Best 10 Punching Bags
As Of June 2022
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Best Punching Bag to Spruce Up Your Home Gym
Gaining those power kicks and punches come at a price. Of course, the price is much steeper when you browse through the kickbox training sessions on your local fitness boutique. And yes, the gym you are considering signing on will probably come with a punching bag you can lay all your stress on.
But are you looking for a more private session, with no prying eyes, full-time access, and zero judgement as you work your way towards those Hulk-like punches?
If that is a yes that we hear, then our collection of the best bags is here to offer you all that. Setting up a house gym with kickboxing is quite easy and more affordable in the long run. It is as easy as choosing the perfect bag that suits your needs, matches your requirements and fits your budget.
What is a punching bag?
A punching bag is usually a heavy cylindrical bag filled with materials for the sole purpose of punching. These are the type of bags you see boxers, MMA fighters, among other fighting sports individuals use in their training.
Traditional heavy bags usually weigh about 30kgs to 70kgs, hence the name, and most of the time are filled with grains, sand or rags. This also makes them the heaviest bags you will come across, while there are lighter bags that suit different boxing and training needs too. Punching bags are mostly hung from the ceiling or affixed to a stand on the ground.
How can you benefit from owning a punching bag?
The benefits of having a punching bag in your own home gym are rather numerous. So let’s get it started:
It Is Cost-Effective
For starters, owning a punching bag is more affordable and makes it easy for you to exercise at the comfort of your home. You only need to make an initial investment of buying the bag and other items like gloves, hand wraps and shoes to start. With a gym or fitness boutique, you have to keep paying subscriptions to access the facility.
Second, punching a heavy is an excellent fitness routine. Punching the bag as you adjust your body movements and positions help activate the cardiorespiratory system. You will also improve your body’s coordination, burn calories, and build muscles. Yes! Consistent punch bag exercise can help give you that body you were always looking for.
Third, you can improve your fighting techniques without necessarily letting a trainer punch you. Wouldn’t you want to be in a position where you can defend yourself? A few heavy punches and kicks can save you from a situation you would otherwise not tackle without any self-defence skills.
Besides, it is more than just learning how to throw kicks and punches but also training yourself not to accept defeat. It builds stamina, morale and self-confidence so you can trust your physical abilities.
Building Upper-Body Strength
Owning a punching bag also helps you build upper body strength. As you get better at it, you develop more speed and the ability to hit the bag harder. In return, your bones and ligaments get stronger, reducing your risk to contract osteoporosis. So many benefits, right?
For Your Mental Health
And most importantly, punching a bag promotes mental health. It’s a great stress reliever and a safe environment for you to unwind when you feel like the whole world is crushing your down. When you are at it, all your focus will be on the bag and the punches you throw.
You will no longer have your problem at the top of your mind when you are throwing punches and kicks. This type of exercise helps release endorphins, a natural chemical our bodies release to alleviate pain and stress levels.
How to choose the top punching bag?
Not every heavy bag you see popping up on your Amazon browser will suit you. To save you the time, headache and the disappointment of buying the wrong bag, it’s good to shop around when you know what to look for.
Heavier bags require more strength, making them the best choice if you want to improve your strength when punching or kicking. But if this is not your aim, a lighter bag will do. The more lightweight the bag, the more it can swing with every punch or kick. Think of it as an “opponent” who swings with every punch you make, which also allows you to parry it off with countermoves. As you become more experienced, you can then switch from a light bag to a heavier one.
Punching bags are mostly made from genuine leather, synthetic leather, canvas, and other synthetic materials like vinyl or PVC. Pay close attention to the material as it determines the durability of the bag as well as maintenance requirements.
Genuine leather punch bags are, of course, more costly but they are the most durable ones. It is the best choice if you will have regular sessions, are willing to dig deeper into your pockets, and want an item that will last you for years. Synthetic leather is more affordable and easy to maintain, but it is less durable.
A more affordable option is a bag made from other synthetic materials like PVC but has a shorter life span.
For a punching bag with a longer lifespan than the ones with synthetic materials, but also more affordable price, consider buying one made from canvas. The only issue, though, is that these require a lot of maintenance. If you do not keep it dry, the material tends to grow mould, which will spoil the bag in no time.
What’s inside the bag - foam, fibre, water or sand? And why does it matter? The goal is to go for a bag that offers you the right amount of resistance without inflicting injuries. As you begin your punching journey, you will have a lower tolerance to harder fillings, but it will increase as you hone your skills. Therefore, it is important to have a bag that is flexible enough to adjust the filling as you progress, a feature that most of these bags offer.
That said, fibre filling is the most common filling. It is affordable and has excellent resistance. However, it keeps shifting as you punch the bag, so you have to keep readjusting it. The sand filling has the same features as the fibre filling - excellent resistance but needs constant adjustment.
Foam filling is more stable than fibre, but you cannot keep adjusting it like would with fibre filling. As such, a lot of manufacturers are nowadays combining these two fillings so you can have the best of the two worlds.
With water filling, the bag will get harder to hit depending on how much water it is carrying. The more water it has, the harder it will be. A bag that uses water filling is ideal if you live in an area with plenty of water or you keep moving. You can empty and fill the bag as you wish for portability and possibly storage issues. Unfortunately, a small tear on the bag’s outer material can lead to a leakage issue. Plus, you ‘ll have to do with the constant filling and refilling of the bag.
Choose the height of the bag based on what you want to do with it. Is your focus high kicks, or regular kicks and punches? In this case, you are better off with a shorter bag. You can hang these higher from the ground but will have to hand them lower to achieve low kicks.
A taller bag will hang low above the ground, making it ideal for both high and low kicks and punches. However, it will be heavier than a short bag and need more space. It is, therefore, paramount for you to factor storage space when choosing a bag’s height to ensure you have the perfect training space.
If a bag is 4-feet or lower, it is best for punching only, with bags taller than this being ideal for both kicking and punching. Heavy bags that are below 3-feet are the best for a beginner, and those between 4-feet and 5-feet are best for intermediate trainees. Advanced trainees are also better off with bags between 4 and 5 feet, but can also use those that are 5-feet and above. When searching for particular strike movements, bags higher than 5-feet are also ideal.
What are the different types of punching bags?
1. Freestanding Heavy
These bags include a fillable base, so it stands on its own. The base might come unfilled, filled or partly filled, depending on the manufacturer. Most manufacturers recommend filling the base with either sand, water or a combination of both. The base mostly has wheels for portability and is sturdy enough to withstand kicking. These work for both beginners and advanced trainees.
These are designed to install by hanging or mounting so the bag is suspended. It is the kind of bag you need if you have a small space and just need to focus on punching. For kicking, you will need a taller hanging bag.
Also referred to as a wall-mounted bag, it is small, angular and mounted on the wall. This is best for target punching and striking, starting from the waist level to the chin. It can be quite limiting because it is immovable and has only one hitting angle.
4. Body Opponent
Popularly known as BOB, are freestanding bags designed with a human-like upper body to resemble a real opponent. The most common one is Century BOB, although other brands have their version. BOB gives you a chance to aim, and pinch is “real” human target, like the chin rather than working with the guesswork of where the chin or ribs are when punching a bag.
This is a small airbag that is mountable on walls or ceiling. While speed bags are not heavy-duty bags like the ones discussed above, it can help you improve your hand-eye coordination. Fighters use speed bags as training bags for speed and learning how to shift their weight between their feet while still managing to throw punches.
How can I choose the right punching bag’s weight?
Experts recommend a bag that is about half your body weight. That’s because it gives you the right amount of resistance when you punch the bag while still giving you the right amount of hardness that does not injure you. You can always go for a much heavier or lighter bag, depending on why you need the bag in the first place and your experience on this sport too.
If you plan on getting a punch bag for your kid though, always make sure you follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to choose the best based on their age, weight and height. You don’t want to get your little one an ultra heavy bag causing any injury, right?
Is it safe to hang a punching bag?
Hanging these bags are mountable on walls, ceilings or stands. The safety will depend on how strong the wall or the ceiling of your home is. The safest place to hang a punching bag is on the ceiling joist, which supports the ceiling.
Ensure that you hang the bag on ceiling joists with no cracks, decays and other damages that compromise the strength of the joist. For better safety measures, get a heavy bag mount that you can connect two ceiling joists with and hang the heavy bag from there.
What is the best way to hang a punching bag?
You can choose between the below three available options to decide how you'd like to hang your punch bag with safety:
- One option is to use ceiling hook bag hangers, which make it easy to hang the bag from the ceiling, mount or beam. They are affordable, allow the bag to move around in 360-degrees and can easily be removed or moved around for perfect fitting.
- You can also hang your bag using a universal bag hanger. It is more portable and also quite affordable, but you will require a place to hang the hanger itself.
- A third option is using a wall bracket, which attaches to a wall using screws. It has better support and adjustability of the bag to suit your height. The pros of this method is that wall brackets are not portable, requiring some DIY work for you to work on the screws when fixing or unscrewing it from the wall.
Alternatively, you can get a bag stand, which is usually sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the bag and the punching. It is highly portable but requires a lot of research on your end, so you don’t end up with a stand that is not of high quality.
Hanging vs freestanding heavy bags
Hanging heavy bags are more affordable, durable and offer more resistance and swinging motion. They are also best for small space areas and even offer more workout options. The portability is, however, limited, and installing can be challenging.
On the other hand, freestanding heavy bags are highly portable, easy to install and have lower resistance that makes the bag soft on your knuckles, and best for low kicks. They are less durable, and the low resistance might not help you build the strength you want. The low resistance also makes them susceptible to tipping over, so you need a partner to hold it steady, or you will spend most of your time picking it up.
Summing it up...
While staying fit is an ultimate goal when shopping for house gym equipment, adding a punching bag to your existing (or non existing) collection does no harm. In fact, it is the perfect sports' equipment we recommend for cardiovascular exercise and enhancing your mental health.
Once you learn how to throw strong punches and kicks, you will be on your way to perfecting Muay Thai, martial arts, kickboxing and all those combat sports skills you always admire from your screen. And who knows, the next time you are in danger, you can protect yourself like the pro you have grown to be! Now, that is what we call a win-win situation. Use our guide, and you can get the best punching bag in the market.