Punching bags are among the most common training tools you can use to improve in the sport of boxing.
Whether you’re training competitively or getting into the sport for health and fitness purposes, punching bags prove to be very useful and effective in increasing strength, improving technique and boosting stamina. There are different types of bags available depending on your specific goals. These are a staple in several gyms and fitness centers around the world. Here are some beginner’s tips on the various types and uses.
Starting Out with Punching Bags
If you’re new to punching bags, you don’t have to purchase one right away. There are actually several places and gyms where you can train with these and learn the various techniques. Later on, you can have one or more set up in your own home. Having the right bag will help increase stamina, strength, speed and form. There are different types to work with, and each will have a number of features and forms as well.
It’s ideal to try a number of bags first until you can determine the right one that suits your particular style and which areas you still need to improve on. There are a number of good gyms that let you use different kinds of bags depending on your skill level and at very affordable monthly rates.
The Types of Punching Bags
The types of bags are as follows: standing bag, hanging bag, banana bag, teardrop bag, torso or body bag, angle bag, double end bag and speed bag. The hanging bag is used to practice punches, kicks and strikes. This is often used in boxing, kickboxing and MMA.
The inner part of the bag is filled with either water or sand, while the outer portion is covered with synthetic leather. The bag weighs anywhere between 240 and 270 lbs and has a height of 70 inches. These punching bags are characterized by its standing position with an extension underneath resting on a solid base, hence its name. The bag can cost around $100 to $250 depending on the brand and type.
The hanging bag is quite similar to the standing bag, but has the unique characteristic of being hung from an overhead bar or the ceiling. The inner part is usually filled with either sand or cloth while the exterior is covered with synthetic leather or vinyl. Although it generally shares the same height as the standing bag, it is lighter, weighing only around 70 to 150 lbs. The typical hanging punching bag cost around $75 to $150.
More Punching Bags
The banana bags are almost identical to hanging bags since these are also suspended from an overhead bar or ceiling. These are also filled inside with either cloth or sand. However, these are relatively smaller in circumference and are typically longer, to allow fighters to practice low kicks. The hanging bags are generally intended for boxing, while banana bags are specifically designed for mixed martial arts and kickboxing. These have a weight of about 70 to 150 lbs while the height is at least 72 to 75 inches.
The teardrop punching bags are the next type, which is characterized by its unique globular tear-drop form. The bag is also suspended from a bar or the ceiling, but is relatively shorter. The bag starts with a smaller circumference at the top where the point connects to the chain or bar and then gradually slopes down into a continuously widening circumference. These are ideal for fighters who intend to get better at knee and elbow strikes, punches, kicks and clinches.
Unique Punching Bags
The torso or body punching bags are very unique because these resemble the actual shape of the human torso or body. The setup is relatively the same as a standing bag, with the material being supported by a solid base. The torso can come in the shape of a padded bag or structured to resemble an actual human being, complete with a chest, shoulders, neck and head.
These are ideal for fighters who intend to improve their accuracy and technique. The bag can cost anywhere between $100 and $250 lbs and cost $300. The angle bag is like a combination of a body bag and hanging bag because it takes on a sloping form, thus allowing fighters to practice elbow strikes, clinches, hooks and uppercuts. The upper half of the bag has a wider circumference compared to the lower half.
For speed punching bags, there’s the double-ended punching bags and the speed bags or speed balls. These are filled with air inside and are also covered with synthetic leather on the outside. These materials are intended for speed, reflex and hand-eye coordination. The speed bags are cheaper and cost around $30 to $50.
Getting Punching Bags
If you’re still new to the sport of boxing, kickboxing or mixed martial arts, most coaches and advanced fighters will recommend that you get the standard hanging punching bags. These are intended to improve strength, power and conditioning. You can also practice a variety of techniques and strikes using this setup alone.
Later on, you can upgrade and get a speed bag or torso bag to improve your speed, conditioning, coordination and combination techniques. The advantage of punching bags is that fighters can train alone without the aid of an assisting person. Practice with different types of bags for a few months first by enrolling in a gym or club before getting your own. This way, you will know the right kind to get at the best price.
Punching Bags: Choosing Between Brands
There are also different brands available among the various types of punching bags. It’s best to read more about the background and manner of manufacturing of each to ensure that you get the right type that will last long. The typical bag will last 3 to 5 years. Also ask other individuals who have their own home setup then determine which brands are ideal depending on the type you’re planning to get. Punching bags are generally easy to set up. If you’re ordering online, determine the cost for shipping since these are relatively heavy.