Choosing the Right Heavy Punch Bag (or Kick Bag)
The question of which heavy bag is right for me, Is a question I get asked at least once a week at Fightstorepro. In 2017 I made a series of videos which largely answered many of the commonly asked questions about heavy bags, but in case you missed them I thought I'd do a bit of an update alongside some notes on bags particular to home use, a subject which is particularly relevant at this moment in the boxing and martial arts world.
Here's a re cap of the intro video for the series (Check out the rest of the Playlist on the Fightstorepro YouTube Channel
The different styles of heavy bag....
Largely there five types of heavy bag plus the balls; so six if you count speedballs or floor to ceiling as a punch bag, personally I would not but for completion I'll include them. Lets break down the categories of bags like this:
1. traditional hanging bags (such as a 4ft boxing heavy bag or 6ft Kick bag)
2. water filled hanging bags (Often known as Aqua Bags which is a brand name
3. Free Standing Bags - (Century Bob or Venum Freestanding)
4. Grappling bags - (Such as the Revgear Motion Master)
5. Wall Units - All Largely the same idea!
6. Balls - Floor to Ceiling, Speed balls and reflex balls
So Which Type of Heavy Bag is Going to Work For You?
You need to establish some basics first, they sound obvious but I come across these issues every single day of the week. Quite often the only experience of using a heavy bag people have is at the gym, sometimes that is occasional. Whilst this advice might be incredibly obvious to some, trust me its not obvious to less experienced people.
- What Sport are you primarily concerned with? Then the biggest sub heading becomes....
- Do you want to KICK the bag or only use for punches? IF the answer is yes, you do want to kick the bag, then that narrows things down massively...You should essentially only look at the KICK BAGS section of Fightstorepro
- What Space do I have?..For any hanging bag (including aqua style) you need between 7 and 8 feet minimum to the ceiling. Under 7 feet you will need a freestanding bag.
- How am I attaching the bag; Ceiling hooks, Beams, a bracket or to a wall. What is the wall made of? I've seen people attach wall units and brackets to dry walls....The wall will be destroyed in a matter of days. YOU NEED SOLID WALLS if you attach any bracket or heavy bag to it. If you are unsure call us!! 01914353624 during office hours and we will try to help.
- Filled or Unfilled? If you have never filled a bag before and are buying only one for your home then I'd say take the pain out of it and buy filled. IF you are buying several unfilled can be a good option. Its a process but its simple enough if a little laborious. Easiest way to get the right filling is get a hold of old or damaged heavy bags and transfer the filling over.
- Is an Aqua bag easier and better for home use? NO, I actually thought this myself. See my YouTube review on this subject here...
- Am I better off with a free standing bag? Generally no, but I do really like Century Bob. They are not good for any where other than a concrete floor and they are a technical piece. See my YouTube review.
These can be a great option if you don't have a lot of ceiling height but do have a solid wall. Excellent technical tool, my only criticism would be I think they are better off as a second bag than a primary one.
Grappling Dummies AKJA Floor Bags
This could be the subject of an entire blog in itself.
Whilst the Fairtex Maddox dummy is sought after I feel it has a lot of limitations for the price whereas the REVGEAR Throwing bag and Motion Masters are much more versatile. All are useful especially when you have no available training partner. Many instructors use them for private lessons to aid demonstration also.
Check out our old friend Pete comparing the two REVGEAR Versions
Reaction Balls, Floor to Ceiling Balls
In my opinion this is a no brainer for a home gym set up. If you are buying ANY heavy bag then get one of these too. Its a second station, its cheap and its one of the best pieces of technical training kit for any striker.
My friend and world class boxing coach Joey Rodriguez said this would be his first pic for any piece of kit for a gym! Get a Floor To ceiling ball here
So this concludes part 1, in Part 2 I will look at some of the construction, individual bags and FAQ's!