Boxing is a full-contact sport that can become extremely rewarding if it is practiced for the right reasons. It helps you get rid of all accumulated tension while strengthening your physique and working on your self-defense moves but, in order to practice it, you’re going to need a good boxing bag.
Assuming you won’t be having an opponent ready to train with you whenever you want to, a boxing bag is the best alternative to practice your punches and improve your fighting techniques. However, finding the most suitable one for you could prove a difficult thing, especially with so many options available on the market.
If you want to make sure you chose the right bag for your training style and needs, here are some features you should focus on.
Budget and quality
Boxing is a relatively inexpensive sport to practice if you focus on certain elements. While the training attire isn’t that important (you can work with a pair of regular shorts and a loose t-shirt), the bag on which you will be practicing your punches should be of outstanding quality.
A good bag will not only help you train faster and better but will also last you a few years from now on, no matter how hard you kick it. While we don’t always think that the quality of an item is reflected in its price tag, things are a bit more complicated when it comes to punching bags.
While most beginners will jump on the first special offer they encounter at their local sports stores, they will soon find out that they got what they paid for. Cheap boxing bags aren’t always made of the finest materials, meaning they can easily break. They also won’t offer the support or the firmness you need, so, often enough, you’ll feel like punching a toy bag.
Thus, we recommend taking your time and trying out several models before deciding on a boxing bag. Investing in a high-quality product will actually save you a lot of money in the long term as you won’t have to replace it too often. In addition, it will feel good on your hands and will even protect your wrists and knuckles from bruises, bleeding or painful sprains.
Filled or unfilled bags?
The second criterion on your agenda should be the style of the bag, meaning whether or not it comes filled. Most store-bought products come prefilled so you won’t get a saying in what materials are inside your punching bag. However, if you opt for a premium product, you’ll often receive it unfilled.
By choosing your own filling you will get a more customized product based on your punching strength, weight, and boxing style. Therefore, you will be able to reach the perfect firmness that will further impact your performances during training sessions.
As for the right filling, it really depends on what type of boxer you are, what’s your strength, and exactly how sturdy you want your product to be. Keep in mind that the filling will also impact the overall weight of the punching bag and might limit your options on the place you can hang it.
Many heavy bags are stuffed with shredded fabrics, which is literally old clothes cut into small strips and put inside. In the beginning, the bag will feel lightweight as there will be plenty of air pockets. However, as you keep on adding more clothes, you’ll notice that your punching bag gets heavier and more firm.
Polyester fillings are mainly designed for beginner boxers who didn’t build up their strength yet and are only starting to develop their punching techniques.
On the other hand, those with plenty of experience in the field might even opt for harder fillings like sand, though we wouldn’t recommend it as it will turn harder as it’s pressed, so you’ll end up with a bag that will be impossible to hit without hurting yourself.
As you chose the right type of filling for your punching bag according to your level of expertise and strength, it’s high time you also considered the materials used to manufacture the exterior of the item.
The most common materials you’ll come across include leather and faux leather, canvas, and even plastic. Each type comes with its own perks and downsides, so choose carefully.
The leather punching bags are the common option for professional boxers and those who look at the price tag of a product.
Apart from being quite expensive, leather is also known for its comfort and durability. If you’re willing to pay for a genuine leather punching bag, you will get the most out of your boxing training. The fabric feels soft on your skin and will protect your knuckles better than bags made of synthetic leather or canvas.
We only recommend purchasing a real leather bag if you can afford it or if you plan on training on a professional level. Not even professional gyms stack on leather boxing bags only, so don’t break your piggy bank unless you are willing to turn into a pro.
On the other hand, synthetic or faux leather will feel and look almost like the real one but it will cost you less. Therefore, you should really pay attention to the thickness of the faux leather if you’re opting for this kind of a punching bag. Unless the material is of high-quality, it will shred after just a couple of uses.
You should also keep in mind that your bag is constantly exposed to sweat, humidity, and even high temperatures if it’s left in a place where the sun shines throughout the day. All these factors will eventually influence the durability of the material, making it break faster.
On the other hand, there are numerous top brands and producers that prefer opting for vegan or synthetic leather in order to lower the prices of their bags or offer a sustainable option for those with ethical problems.
Canvas punching bags are the most affordable items on the market and work great for those who cannot invest too much in their boxing gear yet. Often enough they will come unfilled and won’t cost more than 30 dollars, which allows you to control the weight and the firmness of the final product.
However, not all boxers will manage to improve their punching techniques and performance if they opt for canvas bags as they simply don’t feel good on the skin. They will also break or shred faster.
Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider the weight and the size of your product. Take into consideration your own weight, strength, and height, when choosing your next boxing bag.
As a general rule, bigger bags will also be heavier, as opposed to the smaller ones that are more lightweight. If you’re looking for a good bag for children, you should probably pick one within 70 pounds, while beginners should stick to bags weighing around 85-95 pounds.
Bear in mind that lightweight bags will also swing more and it will take a few seconds until returning to their original position which could prove time-consuming in the long term.