What can a Heavy Bag do for Me? Is it Really Worth the Investment?
While heavy bags are not a huge investment, they do take some work to hang and they occupy space in your gym on a permanent basis.
I mean, they are not exactly known for portability. So why bother with one?
I will tell you why.
If you like a good strong adrenaline rush;
If you need to beat out some stress;
If you like to fight (you know who you are);
If you are competitive and love a challenge;
If you are wound up or hyper;
Then the best heavy bag workout may be for you. Spend a few minutes beating the snot out of one, and I think you will agree, a heavy bag is indeed worth the investment.
Is a Heavy Bag right for You?
Make no mistake, a heavy bag is not only for stress relief, a punching bag gives an awesome workout too. It combines cardio and strength training in one. Just try and hit the bag at a medium pace for 10 minutes straight and let’s check your heart rate.
Punching and kicking a really heavy bag with all your fury will build muscle as long as you continue to challenge yourself.
Heavy bags are also excellent training tools for Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA, Kickboxing and all kinds of combat sports. They improve accuracy, stamina and strength, while allowing you to perfect your moves.
If you are into combat sports at all, a heavy bag would make a great addition to your home gym.
What You Should Look for when Choosing the Best Boxing Bag for Home
How Bag Weight Can Affect Your Power
One of the first things you should consider is the weight of the bag.
Heres is the deal:
The heavier the bag, the more resistance it has. In other words, it will take a really hard hit to move the thing.
Sometimes a bag that swings is annoying, but it can also be a benefit if you are practicing footwork, ducking and weaving, or aiming for a moving target.
Since a really heavy bag is harder to move, you can hit it really hard and challenge your muscles to try and move it. Doing this is what builds muscle and striking power.
If you have the room, get one lighter bag and one ultra heavy bag to mix up your training.
It’s what’s on the Outside that Counts!
The best heavy bags are made from leather. The leather is durable and lasts. Plus it just looks good, probably smells nice too, which is a rare thing to encounter at the gym.
Vinyl or canvas covered bags split and wear faster and will not last as long as leather.
But the Inside Matters too…
What is in the core of the heavy bag changes how it feels to punch the thing.
Water filled bags feel the most like hitting a real person. Same goes for the heavy bags with water filed core. Humans are, after all, mostly water.
A bag with a sand-filled center surrounded by fiber tends to spin easily because the weight is at the center of the bag.
A heavy bag with a foam liner has an even consistent feel when you punch or kick because the foam secures the lining in place and the foam itself provides a place for impact to land. The foam wards of dead spots, voids, and overly hard spots on the bags punching surface.
One filling flaw sometimes seen in sub-par quality heavy bags is a bag filled with softer material that is not stabilized in any way. This type of bag has a tendency for the fill to sink to the bottom, leaving you with an ugly pear-shaped bag that is too hard on the bottom, and an empty void on top.
Hard Fill vs Soft fill vs Water Fill
Hard fill is firm material that is shredded and placed inside a foam liner. This style keeps its shape well and will not warp, nor will the filling sink. The downside is that the bag is so hard; it may cause wear or injury to your hands and joints. Nevertheless, it is great for building strength and increasing power.
Soft Fill is softer natural and synthetic fibers that are easier on the body and have more give. These materials are lighter and can shift and sink leaving open spaces giving the bag an inconsistent punch.
Water Fill bags, like the aqua bag, are unique. They do have to give and are relatively easy on the hands, while at the same time, affording a very realistic experience, similar to sparring with a partner.
Plan Ahead to Avoid this Common Headache
There are two heavy bag headaches you want to avoid.
1. How to hang the bag.
You might be surprised to discover after you purchase the heavy bag of your dreams, that your new bundle of joy does not come with any, or the right hanging hardware.
Prepare yourself for a trip to the home depot, and consider ahead of time how you will hang it and what you need. Otherwise, when your bag is delivered, you will be disappointed when you can not start wailing on it right away.
2. Where to hang the bag
Location is always an important consideration. First, heavy bags are…heavy. Duh. You knew that.
So, you need a secure spot to hang it, preferably a ceiling stud or similar strong architectural feature, or you need a heavy bag stand. You will also need all appropriate power tools, screws, etc.
Also, consider how tall your ceiling is and how high off the floor you want the bag to hang. You may find the bag you want does not fit the space you have. Such is life.
At least you figured it out before you had to return a 150 lb bag, right?
How to Extend the Punching Enjoyment of Your Heavy Bag
Inevitably some bags will experience settling or shifting of their innards, and you will need to doctor the bag a little and perform a few adjustments.
Remove the bag from where it hangs and roll it on the floor to redistribute the insides. If it is a zipper style you can open the bag and move the stuffing around too.
Review: What’s not to love about this 100lb real leather, standard size punching bag? It’s built with a two-inch foam liner that gives each punch a consistent feel, while keeping the filler stable, no voids or other funny business.
This heavy bag is made better than the national brands and it shows in the seams, stitching and hanging straps, which are triple reinforced and meant to take a beating without tearing and dethatching from the body.
High-quality rivets on the straps, secure stitching, sewn to last.
2” foam padding makes the bag feel already worn in so you don’t destroy your hands.
Made with real leather, very nice quality and feel. Plus it looks great!
A little more expensive than the national brand.
Built to swing, sway and rebound for many years without splitting a seam.
Review: The innovative Hydrocore heavy bag by Century has a water-filled tank in the center surrounded by dense foam and delivers a consistent firm hit every time.
The bag is about 10 inches longer than a standard bag and weighs about 90 lbs when filled. This bag is sturdy and takes a lot of punishment, but the best thing about the bag is that it has the feel of hitting a real opponent, instead of a heavy bag.
Water filled center bladder provides a realistic feel, like hitting a person.
Well made and won’t rip, tear or come apart.
52-inch length makes it good for kicking and punching.
It may leak when tipped on its side.
With the extra length and realistic feeling hits this is the best MMA punching bag we reviewed.
Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!