Training with a punching bag is an integral part of any martial art.
The punching bag is considered necessary for every martial art students because it helps to condition your core and also helps to strengthen the body. This is why a heavy bag is a favorite tool in the hands of every boxer or kickboxer.
In today’s world, there are lots of companies involved in making pre-filled bags, but the price tags on these bags are much costlier than what you will get when you order for an empty punching bag.
The bags are made in such a way that it allows many materials to be used to fill, including sand, sawdust, soft plastic, and even old clothes. If you like, you can combine all these materials to fill up your bag.
However, the most common material used to fill a punching bag is mostly sand and saw/wood dust.
Filling Your Heavy Bag
Step 1: Choosing the Right Bag
There are different types of pre-filled punching bags for sale in the market from different companies. To be on a safer side, purchase your bag from a reputable sporting good store or a legitimate online retailer.
The bag must be of high-quality leather, Vinyl, or canvas, that can withstand years of wear and tears.
To choose the right bag for your use, you need to consider the weight and density you want the bag to be. If you opt for a bag with higher weight and density, know that when the bag is filled up with the materials, it will be hard to move the bag around, and it will also require stronger punches to make an impact on the bag.
Even if you use a lighter punching bag that is less dense, it will sway more when you hit it, and you won’t require much energy to control the bag.
If you are just new to martial arts, it is recommended that you go for the lighter version of the bag, and as you get stronger, you can add more filling to add to its weight and density.
Generally, recommended punching bags should weigh around 0.5 pounds (0.23 kg) per 1 pound (0.45 kg) of your weight. However, if you like, you can increase or decrease the weight depending on your physical strength and your overall experience.
Step 2: Purchase your Stuffing Material
Standard heavy bags are usually made with up to 3-inches of foam padding. In this case, the volume of stuffing will determine the right padding for your convenience. If you like, you can use old clothing, or you can invest a small amount to purchase scraps from tailoring companies.
However, using ordinary clothing alone to fill your punching bag will affect the heaviness and the density of the bag. So if you want a lightweight punching bag using soft materials like clothing will do just fine.
Step 3: Add weight To Center of Bag
Add a cardboard tube or a cylinder such as a PVC tube with sand to weigh down the center of your bag. Using sawdust or sand will add more weight and density to the bag that you wouldn’t have gotten if you use just clothing. So if your choice of a punching bag is that which requires force, using sawdust or sand is your best option.
The most recommended materials to use in filling your heavy bag should include not only sawdust and sands but also some clothes and fabrics.
There are online stores and retail outlets that sell bags of sands and sawdust if you prefer to buy online.
Step 4: Use sealable bags
The rest of the bag can be filled with the stuffing of your choice, if your preferred option is clothing, add the clothes in the same layers and weighing it down with every couple of layers. The idea is to make sure the cloth is packed evenly on all sides so it will be easy to punch the bag when it’s ready.
To fill the bag:
- Cut off the buttons, zippers, and any metals from the clothes you intend to use. This way, your punching bag will last you for a longer time and will not tear easily.
- f you are using sand or sawdust, make sure they are poured into resealable bags and not poured directly into the punching bag. This way, the punching bag tends to last even longer and prevent it from damage over time. After you add the sandbags or sawdust bags, seal the bags on all opening so the sand/sawdust will not pour out
- Use the duct tape to wrap the sandbags/sawdust bags, so they don’t rip open when hit with your blows. The more duct tape you wrap around the bags, the more resilient the bags are to your blows.
- Make sure the duct tape also wraps around the sealed opening so that the bags are entirely covered with tape.
Step 5: Weigh The Bags
Weigh the bags to be sure there is enough fill to make a good punching bag. The best way to weigh your clothes or fabric you’ll be using to fill the bag is to place them in large trash bags and put them on a scale. If you’re going to be adding sand or sawdust to your punching bag, make sure you weigh the bags one at a time on a scale. Then to get the total weight of your filling, add up all the individual weight.
If after you weigh the bag and your total weight is less than what you wanted for your bag, you will need to add more filling. More sawdust or sand will do very well to make the bag denser or add more fabric or clothes to increase the weight without necessarily increasing the density.
Note that the recommended heavy bag weight is around 0.5 pounds (0.23 kg) per 1 pound (0.45 kg) you weigh. However, the bag you intend to use should ultimately depend on your experience and your fitness goals.
When your filling gets to your desired point, zip the punching bag, make sure the bag is filled to the brim to avoid empty spaces within it. However, if you are unable to close the lid or zip up the bag, you might need to take some of the stuffed materials out so it will be easy to zip up.