It almost doesn't matter what martial art you're into, you'll probably decide at a certain point that it's time to get a heavy bag. This is one of the best decisions you can make if you want to take your training to the next level.
Heavy bags can help you to:
- Improve your footwork and upper body movement.
- Increase your physical endurance.
- Hone your striking techniques - Power + Speed.
- Improve your cardio and stamina.
- Get better at home while others watch TV.
Quick online browsing may expose you to the huge variety and different styles of punching bags. From a selection of colors, weights & materials to different types like free standing heavy bags, traditional heavy bags, muay thai heavy bags and other specialty bags.
Different bags are designed for different drills and meant to improve different areas of your training.
The first thing you need to consider in order to choose your heavy bag is your weight:
As a general guideline, the punching bag's weight should be at least half your bodyweight. Of curse, this might change according to your needs and you might need a heavier bag.
- 50 LBS: Great for kids, youth, and adults up to 120 LBS.
- 75-100 LBS: These are the most popular, great for fighters in the weight range of 120-180 LBS.
- 150 LBS: Those are usually good for heavier or advanced fighters (140-180 LBS) trying to improve their striking force.
- 200 LBS or more: Those bags are meant for heavyweight users and are not recommended for any fighter who weighs less than 180 LBS.
Here is a great video by Russ Anber, CEO of Rival Boxing, summing up the weight issue:
The second thing you need to take in mind is the type of the bag, the most popular heavy bags for private use are:
Traditional Heavy Bags:
Probably the first thing that comes to mind when imagining heavy bags. These bags usually have a thick diameter and are great for most martial arts. provide great resistance for your striking, improving your power punching.
Banana Heavy Bags / Thai Heavy Bags:
Designed for kicking as well as punching & clinching. Essential for those who train for kickboxing or muay thai. Muay thai heavy bags are much longer than traditional heavy bags and are usually a little heavier.
Free Standing Heavy Bags:
Fits any type of martial arts training and very easy to set up and move. The weight lays at the bottom of the bag making the resistance of these bags lower than traditional heavy bags. Tho bottom part of free standing heavy bags is usually filled with water or sand in order to prevent the bag from falling during intense training.
Some other, less popular bags you might run into in a gym:
Angle Heavy Bags:
This bag main purpose is to work on your uppercuts. The bags diameter is thick on the top and thin on the bottom creating a great angle to practice uppercut combinations. Angle heavy bags considered a bit more advanced than traditional heavy bags, wrong punch to the angled part of the bag and you can easily hurt yourself.
Wall Mount Heavy Bags:
Great for any kind of pounding. those bags are mounted on a wall saving space, they don't swing at all and great for speed and combination drills. Like free standing heavy bags, Wall mount heavy bags are relatively light and provide low resistance.
Tear Drop Heavy Bags:
Another Muay Thai style heavy bag, this bag can take kicks, punches, knees, elbows and clinches. Tear drop heavy bags helping muay thai fighters practice all of the above.
Wrecking Ball Heavy Bags:
Those bags are great to practice your movement. The weight is centered relatively low making the bag swing pretty easily. Wrecking balls heavy bags are great to practice uppercuts as well.
Few more words about materials. The genuine leather used to be considered as the most durable material. This is no longer true, Today's technology provides us with many alternatives that makes materials durability pretty much the same for all, synthetic leather, vinyl and genuine leather are all great options, although genuine leather is considered premium quality.
That's all. If you have any questions make sure to write them down in the comment section below, and we'll make sure to answer each and every one of them.