3 Pages, 2 Posts
A Guide To Selecting and Using Your Punching Bag
My name is Johnathan Marshall, and I’m going to show you which punching bag you should buy based on your body weight and skill level as well as how to properly use it. But first, let me tell you a little bit about my experience.
I’ve been training in various martial arts and kickboxing for almost 6 years now. One crucial aspect to any martial art is the development of power through the use of the punching bag. In the time frame of hours, I have racked up close to 400 hours on the punching bag alone, so I know a thing or two.
Before I recommend you a punching bag, I want to discuss precisely why you need to train on the punching bag.
Here are the three main reasons a beginner(or anyone) should be training daily on the punching bag.
- For technique/power – By continuously hitting the punching bag day after day, you gradually improve your technique and arm speed. The quicker you punch, the more power you can unleash. It also helps you develop those important shoulder muscles, and helps you learn how to use your shoulders, hips, and legs in the punching motion.
- For those of you that don’t know, 75% of your punching power is generated through your hip and leg movements, so you need to practice those movements over and over(we’re talking years for perfection here)
- For developing combinations – Combination development is crucial for striking styles. You MUST have these combos drilled into your muscle memory so that you can literally do them without thought. You have to be able to do them while under fire – which is impossible to do unless you have done the combos thousands of times
- To condition your knuckles and wrists – I bolded this one because this is VERY important, OK? People don’t understand that it is very easy to break your fingers when punching someone in the face/skull. Someone who has never been in a fight, or even a couple street fights before, are extremely vulnerable to this problem. One slightly wrong hit with your knuckle, and the supporting hand bone will crumple making your hand USELESS until you get surgery on it. You have to condition for YEARS in order to ensure this does not happen.
Now that you have accepted the power of punching bag training, let’s find you a good punching bag.
For Young Kids 8 and Below
Perfect for your youngster – I recommend this because children 8 and below should NOT be hitting any sort of hard punching bag. This will do more harm than good. Get this inflatable one to keep their interest – it’s also really easy to store because you can deflate it and throw it in your closet – it’s hard to do that with a ‘real’ punching bag.
(on a side note, if you look carefully at the man in that picture his hand positions are backwards lol.)
For Ages 8+, Women Beginners
I would recommend a 40lb bag for light-weighted beginners – children and small women. This is a good starting bag for the weight class and because of the light weight, it will prevent any problems with wrist fractures or anything like that. I still recommend you start out with half power than work your way up as you feel comfortable.
Just so you know, the image of that bag on Amazon is not the correct image. The bag will be about half size.
For Adult Beginners (Male + Female)
For the beginning adult, there are multiple options for you. These are the recommended bags and here is why:
I know a lot of you macho guys out there are probably saying ‘BS I’ll be OK with a 100LB bag’. The truth is, if you have never seriously hit the bag before, you will most likely end up hurting yourself on a 100LB bag. Let me tell you a little story. I used to have these parties at my house and all the guys would see the 100lb punching bag and then begin hitting it. Mostly all of them would stop after a minute complaining of wrist pain. Know why? Because their wrists weren’t used to slugging it out on a 100lb bag. One guy even fractured a small bone in his wrist and had to go to the hospital to get it xrayed(he was a bit drunk at the time and didn’t realize it!).
I personally started out with a 80lb bag and worked my way up.
This is a great alternative to the 80lb hanging bag if you have problems with mounting a heavy bag from your ceiling, or if you want a more portable device that you can move around. One thing I like about these types of bags is that they tend to move forward around on the floor a bit when you hit it. It helps you learn proper positioning and advancing forward. Recommended if the hanging bag doesn’t work for you for whatever reason.
This is a very cool punching bag, and to be honest up until now I haven’t considered mainly because of the price. If you have the money laying around, this is a very wise investment. What I really love about this ‘bag’ is that it is shaped like a 240 pound man so it gets you used to seeing a target like that. It also gets you used to targeting certain points on the body. This is going to be my next buy even though I am way past the 80lb stage.
For Experienced Adults
As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of Everlast 😉 This is the 100LB bag I use on a daily basis. Recommended for adults with 1-5 years experience. Hit this baby every day until your fists are a solid block and your wrists no longer give. Since it weighs more than most bags, this also makes for a good kicking bag as well as it won’t ‘jerk’ too much when you slam your legs into it.
If you are professional, most likely you don’t need me to tell you what to buy. But on the small off chance, I recommend the Ringside Powerhide 150lbs punching bag. This is perfect for you heavy hitters with conditioned hands and wrists. This is my next weight upgrade coming this year (I’m outgrowing my 100LB bag power-wise).
Alright, now that you have selected your bag, let’s talk about what else you’ll need.
- A mounting bracket to mount the bag to your ceiling or rafters. You can also use a heavy bag stand which I will talk about soon. That requires a whole new article so I’ll link you to that once completed.
- You’ll need a two pairs of bag gloves. For one pair you will want a ‘thin’ glove. These are the gloves that are usually just a canvas covering that simply protect the skin on your knuckles from getting torn up. Your thin gloves should be used for conditioning only. Speaking of which, drop the macho attitude and use a freakin’ pair of bag gloves! The only thing you will get from training without them is a cut up hand which will prevent you from training more. Along with a pair of thin bag gloves, you will also want the standard ‘boxing style’ gloves in the 12oz to 16oz range. The reason for this is because using heavy gloves improves technique which helps with punching power, and as well as improve your stamina because you’ll be use to punching with weighted gloves on.
- You also need to know how to use the heavy bag. Yes, you can just start hitting it, but you are much better off knowing the proper way to stand, how to move around the bag, how to deliver maximum power, etc. I will be creating a huge article about this in the future.
And here are some tips to help you prolong the use of your new punching bag:
- Do not set up your punching bag outside – one good rain and your new exercise equipment is a 300lb water logged retched sack of mold. Trust me, do not let these things get wet!
- Wrap duct tape around the mid section of the punching bag. This will help keep your punching bag from deforming from continuous use. Yes, it will make it look ugly, but it will make your bag last a lot longer. You want to wrap it tightly enough that you see a bevel around where it has been taped. See diagram(masterful art skills):
- If your bag chain uses hooks to connect to the bag, I also recommend you duct tape the openings so that they are closed. This will keep your bag from slipping out of the hooks. This can be really annoying to fix especially when you have gloves on.
- If you are mounting your punching bag in your house from the ceiling, I highly recommend you add a coil spring. Without it, your house will feel like it’s in an earthquake every time you work out.
- Keep your bag about 5 feet away from any walls. At my training school, the sheet rock walls near the bag have been caved in from hitting the bag so hard it slams into the wall behind it.
- When hitting the bag, try to avoid making the bag swing back and forth too much – this puts a lot of strain on the mounting device and can cause it to rip out of the ceiling or rafter. This will also keep the stitching where the bag connects to the bag chain from ripping – this can ruin a punching bag.
That’s it for now!
Stay tuned, and feel free to comment below. Any questions, comments, or suggestions are very welcomed, so please do so below!
Here are my latest posts
The Complete Punching Bag Workout Guide
Alright, so I have no clue where you are in your punching bag training, so we are going to start out from the beginning – the basics. I assume you already own a bag, but if not, check out this guide for information on how to select the right size punching bag. You should also have a pair of bag gloves – don’t be a fool and try and ‘tough guy it out’ by not wearing gloves. You will only take away from your training time.
OK- Let’s get started.
Before we even begin hitting the punching bag, you need to learn the proper boxing stance.
A strong boxing stance is extremely important. There is also a kicking stance, but I won’t address that just yet. You MUST figure out your boxing stance. This is not optional. Without it, you won’t be able to move or attack efficiently. You will also expose yourself to certain attacks if you don’t stand correctly.
It’s tough to tell you how to do a boxing stance over text, so watch this quick tutorial:
Next, let’s work on the basic one-two punching combination.
This is a very simple, yet one of the most useful punching combinations, so you better master this punching combo from the start. This technique is what I consider your fall-back move. In a fight, you lose your ability to think about what technique you are going to do, so what happens is that the most simple movements are usually the ones you end up using. Simple, and can cause a lot of damage.
Watch this video tutorial on how to do this.
[The only thing I disagree with on this video is that the timing on the 2nd punching is a bit slow. Ideally you want that second punch to be there right after your jab lands.]
The Essential Training Tool: The Punching Bag
Every single boxer, martial artist, full contact fighter out there will tell you that training on the punching bag is ESSENTIAL to a develope dangerous techniques.
A lot of people out there think that training on the heavy bag involves throwing a couple punches over and over again. And while that may be true on the surface, there is so much more that can be done with it.
For example, developing automatic combos is one thing that you can hone in on with the heavy bag.
Another useful technique it helps to develop is circling. What I practice is punching and moving around in circles around the bag as I kick. The same goes for my round house training.
I’ll start in one spot and choose one leg to kick, and kick with that leg while I circle around the bag until I run out of steam. That’s a very crucial skill you must learn to position yourself correctly when transitioning into a round house.
The benefits are endless, which is why I am going to be updating this blog frequently with training methods, info on the punching bag, martial arts news, boxing news, etc.
Stay tuned, as this is going to be a huge site.
My Bob Punching Bag Review – A Must Have For Serious Martial Artists
I want to talk about a very special punching bag – the Bob Body Punching Bag. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the picture below should give you an idea as to what it is.
The reason why this bag is a very valuable tool should be obvious.
Since the bag is shaped like a human, you not only get a feel for how the human body will react, but you also learn to target specific areas on the target. For example, the neck, the solar plexus, the kidneys, the chin, the temple, the ear, the underarms, and even the collar bones.
Because of this added realism, this bag is particularly effective for martial arts like Wing Chun because you can practice your hand sets full force on a target that is accurate to real life.
Let me show you some of the cool things you can do with this punching bag:
As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
One thing I really love about this bag is that it can help students get comfortable seeing a massive target in front of them. This is great for students who are a little timid at first. By working out on this bag, it gets your brain used to seeing an opponent of large stature. Not exactly the real thing, but definitely helps a lot!
Let’s look at the pros and the cons of this bag.
- Realistic punching reflex – reacts like a human body when struck. Also helps you learn how to properly hold your first when striking strangle angles like a human face or collar bone.
- Very very durable – made of high strength plastisol lasts for a very long time so you don’t have to keep buying new ones over and over again.
- Perfect for honing in on targets – you can practice striking certain points of the human body which is very valuable training.
- Fairly expensive – it’s an expensive bag but definitely worth it considering the input you get from it
- Not heavy enough for big punchers – the weight of this bag is fine for beginners, but those with heavy hands will notice this thing moves around a lot. That can be a good thing though as it makes it just a little bit more realistic.