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Heavy punching bags are the most important training equipment for boxing, kickboxing, MMA and even martial arts. They hold a significant place in cross-training and box fitness. In fact, most of the training and workout routines in combat sports and cross fitness revolve around gloves for punching bags and heavy punching bags.
Filled Vs Unfilled Heavy Punching Bags
Heavy bags come filled as well as unfilled. Moreover, some brands provide separate filings with unfilled bags while others simply offer either filled or unfilled heavy bags. The difference is that unfilled heavy bags are usually cheaper and cost-effective than their filled counterparts. So, if you want to save a few bucks, go the DIY route. Get a good quality heavy punching bag, choose a good filler and get to work. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can create a stellar bag that you can be proud of. A good training depends a lot on the bag and how you hang them. Not only the best way to hang the punching bag comes into play here, but the material is also just as important.
What to Use for Filling?
Before you get to work, you need to decide the kind of filling for your bag. It could be sand, sawdust or rags. There are some other options too. Whatever you choose, do keep in mind the use and ultimately the safety of your hands. Here are the most common fillings for heavy bags.1- Sawdust
4- Shredded rubber tyres
5- Rag/ Clothes filling
6- Special textile fillings
Sawdust offers consistent, medium to tough feel and resistance. Make sure to mix it up with some textile filling for better performance.
Sand offers a tough feel and heavy resistance. It has a tendency to sink to the bottom and become even harder. It is also quite resistant to the hands. Mix it with other fillings to create a balanced, more functional heavy bag.
Rice filling is the hardest and toughest of all. It can be quite uncomfortable and harsh on the knuckles and wrists. Moreover, if it gets in contact with water, it is a disaster.
Shredded Rubber Tyres are not easily accessible. Have to be very fine small pieces for a consistent, firm and compressed filling.
Rags/ Clothes filling is ideal for heavy bags. Make sure the pieces are small enough to fill into the sides evenly. Make sure to remove any buttons, zippers or any hard materials form the clothes.
Special Textile Fillings are the best option. This is usually finely shredded cotton fabrics and fibers. Made especially for the purpose, this filling is the most functional of all.
Why Is The Filling So Crucial?
You might question what could possibly go wrong with filling a bag that is meant to be filled. Well, there are quite a few things that can go wrong. First, you need to figure out what kind of filling to use. A filling could be too hard and harm the hands and wrists of the athlete. This can cause serious injuries. On the other hand, filling too soft can ruin the form and performance. Secondly, you need to figure out the right weight and amount of the filling according to the size of the bag. Next, the filling needs to be compressed properly. Loose filling with empty holes and air pockets can lead to serious injuries.
How to Fill a Punching Bag?
Do some essential research before carrying out the filling process. Find the right bag as well as the filling. Then, follow these simple steps to fill an unfilled heavy punching bag for the best outcome.
- Get a Good Punching Bag: First step will always be to find a good punching bag. Buy the best un-filled bag you can afford. Materials available in the market are vinyl, PU leather, genuine leather, Cordura, parachute Dymax and much more. Get a good quality bag with non-tear reinforcement. Genuine leather heavy bags are the most robust ones. They are the strongest, most reliable option to take all the abuse without much wear and tear.
- Chose the Right Filling or Filling Combination: Special textile filling is the best choice for a heavy punching bag. It offers great resistance. At the same time, it is not too hard or harsh on the hands. This specially made filling is ideal for professionals as well as beginners. You can also use a combination of sand and fabric, or sawdust and fabric filling.
- Layer it Up: Make sure to layer the filling evenly. Do not dump and press. Instead, start with even layers, carefully packing the sides. It will ensure a consistent, uniform density throughout the bag.
- Compress and Compress: When you layer up the filling, carefully compress after six inches or so. This will remove any air spaces. Weigh the down bag for an even filling and smooth surface. It will help keep the shape of the bag. At the same time, it will keep the filling from sinking down with use over time.
- Fil the Top: Layer and compress. This is the only right way to fill a heavy punching bag. Pay attention to this and stop when you reach the top.
- Zip it all up: Then, zip up the bag to keep the filling tightly packed in. Once you are done, just hang the bag up and beat the hell out of it!
The textile filling is the best choice for a heavy punching bag. However, if you want a heavier bag, want to stabilize it some more and use it with the best kickboxing gloves, or simply want to add more resistance, you can follow these simple tips.
- Use a Rubble Sack for Sawdust and Sand
Never ever, add sand and sawdust directly into the bag. Use a rubble sack or two, depending on the size of your bag. Tightly seal the mouth of the rubble sack to avoid the filling from mixing in and leaking into the bag.
- Use a Combination of Fillings to Add Resistance
It is best not to use sand and sawdust fillings on their own as they easily sink down to the bottom. You can use sand as a solid base under textile fillings to weigh down the bag. Textile fillings are a great base for sawdust for light to medium resistances bag. Do not use sand on its own, it will be too hard and have the potential to break your hands.
- Use a Heavy Filling as Core to Stabilize the Bag
Stabilize the bag and add resistance by adding a core. Use a PVC plastic pipe. Fill it with sand and seal at both ends tightly. Place it upright in the center of the bag. Proceed with the layer and compress the method on the sides evenly. This core will provide additional resistance and rigidity to the bag. It will stabilize the bag and reduce the swing too.
A poorly filled bag can be a disaster. It is an awful user experience and can cause serious injuries. For beginners, a good quality pre-filled training bag is the safest choice. However, if you are an experienced athlete, already familiar with the heavy bags, you can definitely go the DIY route. It is not difficult but definitely needs some research and attention to detail. Not only will you have a great bag of your choice, but you can also cut back quite a lot on the price too. Moreover, going the DIY route, you can easily customize any of your old punching bags into a completely new on to suit your changing needs.
Confused about how to choose the right punching bag? Read Boxing Punching Bags - A Detailed Guide to Choose the Right Type