The following article was submitted to Fight Quality by Kaden Smith from smartmma.com
Punching bags are no longer just for professional and amateur boxers, kickboxers, and mixed martial artists. They are for anyone wanting to get fit and build lean muscle in their upper arms, abs, chest, and neck.
When it comes to shopping for a punching bag, there are many factors to consider. These factors range anywhere from weight to size to design to warranty. It is crucial to take all of these factors into consideration. If you fail to include just one factor, it could result in getting something that does not fit your workout routine.
Tips To Choose The Best Punching Bag For You
As mentioned above, there are various factors that must be considered when shopping for a punching bag. These factors will play a major role in the decision-making process because they will determine whether or not you make the right decision the first go-round.
How Much Space Do You Have?
The first step is determining which punching bag is going to be best for you is determining just how much space you have. Do you live in an apartment or somewhere with limited space? When you figure out how much space you have you can first pick which bag design you want.
You can choose from free-standing, and hanging designs. Both of these designs are ideal for punching and kicking, with a few exceptions. The free-standing design with a small round punching bag is only suitable for punching and light kicks. This design will limit your training with a punching bag to only light jabs, kicks, and full-blown punches.
But free standing bags are typically the best option for apartments because they do not require any setup or hole drilling. You can use this guide by Smartmma.com to help you find a quality apartment punching bag if you find yourself needing some help.
Depending on your workout space, it may be best to invest in a hanging punching bag, that is, if you have enough room to hang the bag. This is the most popular design when it comes to professionals and amateurs fighters. This design allows the punching bag to hang freely from the ceiling. If you are familiar with commercial gym setups, you will know the ins and outs of a hanging punching bag.
If you have a home gym with less space, the free-standing bag will be your best option. This is especially true for those who do not have exposed elevated or vaulted ceiling beams. With the free-standing design, you must utilize water or sand as the base filler. This will help keep the punching bag upright during workouts.
What’s Your Training Style Going to Look Like?
Another important factor that you need to decide on when trying to find the perfect punching bag is just what your training is going to look like.
Based on this you will need to choose just which bag is going to be best for your training style. Some bags are better than others, some cost more, some are built differently.
Hanging Heavy Bag – Ideal For Heavy Competitors And Workouts
The heavy bag is one of the most popular punching bags for gym rats. This design allows for both cardiovascular and strength training. It can be utilized for kicking and punching. You do not need to be a professional athlete to take advantage of the heavy bag. It can be utilized as a stress relief for people working in stressful job environments, overwhelmed mothers and fathers, and anyone needing to release some tension.
You can beat the heavy bag up pretty well and not put a dent in it. It is ideal for a commercial gym but can be installed in home gyms as well. Anyone with a competitive nature wanting to get a serious workout will need a heavy bag.
Reflex Bag – Ideal For Building Speed And Reflex Precision
Professional boxers and mixed martial artists must have a good eye and hand coordination, footwork, and striking speed to be successful. Unfortunately, most of these athletes have to work very hard to achieve all of these characteristics. This is where the reflex bag comes into play.
The reflex bag is available in both the free-standing and hanging designs. This level of versatility allows for the installation of reflex bags in all apartment, home, and commercial gyms. However, the hanging reflex bag is more commonly found in commercial gyms because they are designed to endure more punishment.
The free-standing reflex bag has some limitations, depending on the base design. The base must be a specific width and weight to stay upright during heavy punches. Fortunately, most people know this, so they only utilize the reflex bag for light jabbing.
Speed Bag – Are Exactly What The Name Entails
Speed is crucial in the boxing world. As a profession or amateur boxer, you must be able to stay one step ahead of your opponent at all times. This is where the speed bag comes into play. It allows you to build speed while improving your boxing skills, building cardio, and toning up your arm, chest, and neck muscles.
These bags are also very compact and are perfect for people living in an apartment or somebody who doesn’t want their punching bag to take up a bunch of space.
How Every Bag Is Different
After doing a short comparison of different punching bag brands and models, you will see they vary in many ways. Even though two brands can have the same design it does not mean that they share all of the same features.
One of the main differences is the size. One brand maybe five feet in length while another is only four feet in length. The length will depend on your size and stature.
The best way to determine the appropriate size punching bag for your stature is to divide your weight in half. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you will need to go with an 80-pound hanging punching bag.
Another common difference is construction. Some brands are constructed from heavy-duty polyvinyl while others are constructed from canvas material. Both of these materials are durable and guaranteed to offer a long service life. However, some people just prefer canvas to polyvinyl for one reason or another, typically for striking satisfaction and feel.
Get The Correct Weight Punching Bag
If you want to buy a hanging bag, you’ll need to get one that is the right weight for you. This is going to make a big difference because lighter bags are not suitable for certain people. You need to get the bag that will match your strength and power level. If you’re a female and you’re just starting, you can opt for a lighter bag. If you’re a man who has been practicing for many years, you’ll need a heavier bag. Your strikes will be much harder so you’ll need to choose a slightly heavier bag.
For the best results, if you are trying to choose the right bag weight you should take your weight and divide it by two. If you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll want to buy a 100lb heavy bag. If you weigh 170 or so, you can buy an 80 to 90lb bag. This will help ensure that the bag is perfect for your weight.
When choosing a punching bag, you’ll have several options to choose from. For instance, you can choose a hanging or freestanding bag. Both are similar but you’ll find that one will work better for you. With a freestanding bag, it’ll come with a base that needs to be filled with water or sand. You can move the bag around easily but it may be heavy. If you don’t fill it with enough sand, the bag may slide around when hitting it. Nevertheless, you’ll always have the option of taking a freestanding bag with you.
Hanging bags are convenient but not suitable for everyone. With a hanging bag, you have to find a place to hang it. The strut needs to be very tough and durable. It must be able to support the weight of the bag. Furthermore, you’re going to put the bag through a lot of abuse. Make sure that you find a suitable place to hang the bag. Hanging bags are more popular but you should consider both options.
Be Realistic with Current Skills & Training Goals
Some people take up a new hobby only to give up a few weeks or months later. You may decide to do the same. With this in mind, you shouldn’t splurge. If you’re a beginner, you should choose a cheaper bag because you’re not positive that you’re going to keep practicing. So, you should try to choose a bag that matches your skill level. If you’re a new boxer and you have limited power, you should choose a cheaper, lighter bag. This will help you avoid overspending while ensuring that you’re able to learn the fundamentals.
If you decide to quit later, your investment won’t sting too badly. If you’ve been practicing for a long time, you’ll likely stick with it. So, you can choose a heavier and more expensive bag. Consider your current skill level when choosing a bag. Doing so will pay off in the long run.
Kaden Smith is the Founder and Main Writer at Smartmma.com. Started competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at a young and ripe 8 years of age he quickly fell in love with the sport and made it his mission to teach others what he loves most – Martial Arts. SmartMMA is where he shares his knowledge, experience, and passion for the sport of MMA in hopes to propel the Martial arts community forward.
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The views and opinions in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily representative of Fight Quality’s own views. We welcome guest posts from knowledgeable and passionate writers, but have no affiliation with the author or connected companies/products.