Martial arts can bring you a wealth of benefits, from stronger mental discipline to improved physical fitness. After two years of COVID-19 disrupting your access to your regular training spaces, it’s more important than ever to find ways to train from home.
That’s where the punching bag comes in. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned martial artist, a punching bag is a great way to stay fit and maintain your technique without leaving your house.
But in a crowded marketplace, how do you know which bag is right for you? Especially if you choose to buy a punching bag online, it can be hard to decide which bag will suit you best. If you don’t consider all the factors, you can end up with a punching bag that doesn’t suit you or your routine.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through how to choose a punching bag for your home workout routine.
Which Punching Bag is Right for You?
If you’re a beginner, or if you’re used to using whatever’s on offer at the gym, looking up the different types of punching bags can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, each type of bag caters to a different set of needs. Once you know what you’re looking for, choosing the right punching bag is a breeze!
Heavy Punching Bags
A heavy punching bag is, as the name suggests, a bag that can weigh up to 200 pounds. These bags are usually either free-standing or hanging. Which option will work best for you will depend on your routine, your level of experience, and your home gym set-up.
A hanging punching bag does what it says on the tin: it hangs from your ceiling, or from a stand you can buy to support it.
This might already present a problem if you’re a renter, as you would need to approve its installation with your landlord. Even if you opt for a stand rather than a wall or ceiling bracket, you risk the stand scratching your floors, jeopardising your rental deposit.
On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with the positives of a hanging bag. They swing with impact, giving you plenty of resistance and simulating the feel of a real fight. They’re also cost-effective, and won’t tip over if you hit or kick too hard.
How to Hang a Punching Bag
If you’re not sure how to hang a heavy bag, you should consider reaching out to a professional. They’ll locate the ceiling joist you’ll need to support the bag, whether by hanging it directly from the joist or by using a ceiling mount kit. That way, you can be confident that you won’t end up with a hole in your ceiling!
If you have a masonry wall, you can also install a wall mount to hang your heavy bag. You should never try to hang your heavy bag from drywall, as it won’t be able to take the weight and can lead to property damage.
Lastly, you can invest in a freestanding punching bag support.
A free-standing punching bag comes with its own base, usually weighed down with sand or water. It doesn’t need hanging or mounting.
This means it’s easy to move around your home, whether for storage or convenience. You don’t need to bring in a professional to install it for you – you can pick a place to work out and get started right away.
However, there are some key differences between free-standing and hanging bags that might affect your choice. Most free-standing bags can’t match the swinging motion of a hanging bag, as they’re affixed to a base. Also, while they can offer good resistance, they’re usually lighter than hanging bags.
One isn’t necessarily better than the other! It comes down to what you value in your training – and, of course, what’s practical for your set-up at home.
Heavy bags aren’t the only types of punching bags available. Depending on your needs, you may find that another type of bag suits you better!
A speed bag is small and fast-moving. It’s designed to help you improve your timing and coordination. It’s usually filled with air, and will often need to be mounted from the ceiling.
While it can be a great aerobic workout for your upper body, it’s not always useful if you need to work on kicks.
Most punching bags are made of leather or synthetic material. While this might seem like a purely aesthetic choice, it can make a real difference to your experience.
Leather bags are durable, stylish, and comfortable to use. This does mean they cost more than synthetic bags. But some bag producers have embraced synthetic leather in particular, offering the look and feel of leather without the high price.
This isn’t to say that synthetic bags are lower-quality! Materials like vinyl or nylon are resistant to mould and mildew, making them a great choice if your home gym tends to get humid. They’re also more affordable than leather, which means they can be a good starting point for a beginner.
You should also look into the material used to fill your bag. Most heavy bags will come with a mix of sand and textile filling, designed to give you a better balance of weight and shock absorption. However, water and even air fillings are increasingly popular, especially in lighter bags.
Size and Weight
As a rule of thumb, you can calculate the right size of a punching bag by dividing your own body weight in half. If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, you would need a 75-pound punching bag.
You should also take into account how long you’ve been training. If you’re just starting out, a lighter bag might be a better fit for you. If you’ve been training for a while already, a heavier bag may be more suitable.
Use your best judgement, and you’ll be training like a pro in no time!
Securing the Bag
Martial arts are for everyone. You don’t need to be a seasoned professional to invest in a home punching bag and start training. All you need is a commitment to improving your health and fitness, and a little know-how when it comes to the bags on offer.
If you’re shopping for a heavy punching bag in Canada, there’s no better place to look than Bushido’s online store. We’re here to help you choose a punching bag that will suit your needs. That way, you can take care of the rest with confidence.
What are you waiting for? Get started today!