The punching bag is one of the most important tools to make your punches and kicks stronger, faster, and your reflexes better.
Have you ever wondered what are the different punching bag types and what is best to use for your training?
Usually, every type is different in shape, weight, and size which makes it better for a certain kind of training. The main types are a heavy bag(free-standing or hanging), a speed bag, and a double-end bag. However, there are also some not so popular variations.
Today, we are going to talk just about that as well as some tips for using the different types of punching bags.
Types of Punching Bags
Hanging Heavy Bag
Of course, we are starting with the classic hanging heavy bag. This is usually what comes to mind when you hear about a “punching bag”.
This boxing bag is used widely in every martial arts gym as it is one of the most essential pieces of equipment you could have.
One of the reasons why it’s so widely spread is its versatility. However, it is best used when you need to train on your punching power and cardio.
There is nothing better than getting a punching bag for your home and then exercising when you feel like it or just letting off some steam.
This has some great benefits to your physical and mental health as well. However, the throwback usually is that you need to hang it(if you need some help with this click here). Fortunately, in this article, we are also going to talk about free-standing heavy bags that are just ready to go as you buy and fill them.
Which one is better, though?
Usually, when we are talking about free-standing punching bags then what comes off as the main advantage is its portability and that you won’t need to hang it. You can move it and you can store it anywhere you want and it will be just as easy to get it out when you need it.
However, the disadvantage is that it won’t be as stable as a regular heavy bag. This won’t be an issue if you are looking for cardio workouts.
But if you are a heavy puncher looking to improve your power then you are better off with a much heavier and stable option.
Usually, the base of the free-standing bag must be filled with water or sand which could help you regulate the weight. Overall, we recommend going with a free-standing punching bag for your home.
Speed bags(like the one in the picture) are also one of the most used types of punching bags. They are great if you want to increase your punching power, coordination, and cardio.
Usually, it is air-filled and can vary in size. The smaller the bag, the harder to hit.
For beginners we will recommend starting with a regular size bag and if you want you can make your way down to a smaller one.
It also greatly improves your focus, hand-eye coordination, and rhythm.
The thing with speed bags is that you will need a wall mount or a platform to attach it.
This makes it stationary which is obvious a minus if you want to use it in your home. However, a speed bag is an absolute must for every gym. Or a home gym for that matter.
This type of punching bag is typically a small bag hanged both from the ceiling and to the floor. Hence, the name double end bag.
Using this type of punching bag will help you improve your coordination and precision.
It can serve almost the same purpose as a speed bag. However, it has a bigger range of motion and when it swings back and forth it simulates an opponent.
Which is really great to practice some counter-strikes.
It is mounted permanently and requires some space as well so it is not the best choice if you are going to train in your home.
However, it will help you practice your dodging skills and defense which is a must for any kind of combat sports.
Body Opponent Bag
The next one on our list is the body opponent bag frequently called just BOB. These bags are similar to the free-standing punching bags. However, they are designed like an actual human opponent which is always a good thing.
Why would you hit your heavy bag at the middle or at the top when you can have a BOB and punch him directly in the face and kick him in the stomach? You get the logic.
Unfortunately, the BOB bag has all of the cons of a free-standing heavy bag.
It is easier to knock it down and it’s just not as stable as a standard hanging heavy bag.
So we recommend it if you are looking to get a good cardio workout and a fun time punching a human-like dummy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of punching bag should I get?
There’s really no correct or wrong answer to this question. The reality is that you should get a bag that fits your needs best.
So the best thing you could do to answer this question is to realize what you need. Are you looking for a punching bag for your home? If so then you could get a free-standing bag.
Are you looking to increase your punching power or speed? Then you are better off with a hanging heavy bag or a speed bag.
What weight punching bag should I get?
This strictly depends again on the purpose of your heavy bag and also your weight. A good general tip is to get a heavy bag weighing around half of your body weight.
For a more detailed answer to this question, you can check out this article.
What is a punching bag usually filled with?
Usually, the punching bags are filled with either sand(if it’s a heavy bag), water, grains or just air(speed bags, for example). Or a mixture of those materials.
Do I need gloves to punch the heavy bag?
Generally, yes. The use of boxing gloves for a heavy bag is recommended because it provides more protection for your hands. However, you can also use MMA gloves or just hand-wraps but be careful. It can strengthen your fist and knuckles but also it can hurt you.
How much is a heavy bag?
You can find a regular heavy bag in the price range of 60$ to 120$. However, some products might go higher or lower depending on the punching bag, its size, and features.