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My 16yr old son wants to get into shape, so are looking for something to do as a family. Weather is VERY cold in winter, so need activity that provides aerobic & strength training, can be done indoors at home, & not completely "boring" for teenager (like treadmill).

My son is interested in punching bag & martial-arts workouts. He currently makes up his own "workout routines" using martial arts movements, but we do not have access to fitness experts. We live in the middle of NOWHERE, no personal trainers within 100 mi & ONLY gym in area is 20 miles away.

Is martial arts/heavy bag work something that we could learn & manage at home? Can it provide "complete" workout (cardio and strength) for the whole family?

We want equipment that will work for everyone, as beginners & for future. My son is 5'10, 185# (& still growing), husband 5'11, 185#, I am 5'7, 175#, and there are 3 younger children, ages 10-15, weighing from 60# to 115#. I looked at your site and many of the posts; am wondering if this standing bag is our best choice?

What weight of bag would we need? We are complete beginners, but my husband was a wrestler & I have experience with different fitness activities & competition training from highschool/college (raquetball, swimming/diving, aerobics, weightlifting, competition shotput/discus/highjump, etc.) We do manual labor for a living (farming/ranching), so my son, husband, & I are very active & physically strong; just inexperienced & out of shape.

Bag would be in workout area in garage. Do we need a particular mat to avoid joint stress or injury from working out on cement floor? Any suggestions or precautions?

Are there particular shoes, legs pads, other special equipment etc. needed for this type of workout?

My son does not want to use "enclosed" bag gloves. Is there an open palm style that would work for this? Do we need different bag gloves for the younger kids or my husband/me?

Is there anything else I am forgetting that might me important to know before proceeding?

Any insight/suggestions for a DVD system, martial arts discipline, or particular trainer/teacher that might fit our needs? I looked at the boxing DVDs you offer and some kick-boxing & mai thai stuff online, but there is so much out there; I don't know where to start. We are looking for more than just boxing, but if you sold a mai thai workout DVD , I would buy that immediately; your site gives me confidence that you know your stuff & I would trust your judgement.

Thanks so much for your time and help. Your website is awesome and very helpful.



by: Rita
5/2/2011 1:59:23 PM
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Hi Rita. Thanks a lot for choosing our site. I think I have some suggestions that will help you find the optimal setup. I also have a background in martial arts so I should be able to give you some tips there as well.

The bag you asked about, , would actually be an excellent choice. It's large surface area would make it manageable for both the adults and kids in the house, and it's hefty weight when filled would give you the desired resistance for strong srtiking. When filled, you might be able to push it over, but it's very hard to strike it over.

Right now we have one of those xxl wavemasters in stock. Just in case that runs out, or in case you'd like an alternative, check out this bag: bx-hv-41. This is a hanging Muay Thai style bag that can be attached to a ceiling beam in your garage. Depending on waht kind of beams you have, you can use one of these mounts:, or just rig up one of your own.

This muay thai bag is a nice choice because it is foam filled, which means you won't have to worry about it freezing in winter. It also has an extended surface area so it is good for martial arts technique and can still be reached by shorter users. The weight is a little more than I would normally recommend for beginners, but most of that is due to the length so I think you'll be fine. For a standard sized hanging heavy bag I would recommend around 80-90 lbs.

In regards to the floor - if you are wearing decent running shoes I doubt you'll have to worry about your joints too much. However if you have some existing joint sensitivity,or you'd like to train barefoot, I would definitely throw down some mats. Furthermore, if you go with the freestanding xxl wavemaster, they tend to shift around on concrete (low friction between the surfaces). laying some jigsaw mat can help prevent that. We are currently out of stock on jigsaw mat, but you might be able to find them at a nearby sports shop or elsewhere online.

In regards to special equipment - No special shoes are necessary. Just get ones with decent shock absorption since you'll be working on concrete. If you are doing a lot of kicking your shins might get sore, so something like this might help: That pair should stay in place during workouts and fit while still wearing shoes.

In regards to gloves - since your son wants open palm, I would recommend going in this direction: (size regular or large depending on expected growth spurt). They should provide enough padding for striking the bag while still having that 'open grapple' sensation. However, for the rest of you, I recommend true bag gloves as they are more comfortable and easier on the joints. Check these two pairs out: bx-gl-217 (size junior for the youngest child, medium for you and 15 yr old, medium/large for your husband depending on if he has big hands), or these: bx-bg-100.

You may eventually want to play around with handwraps for added wrist and knuckle protection, but I wouldn't worry about that right off the bat.

In regards to DVD - if you'd like to learn good martial arts technique via the heavy bag, I recommend this training tape by Wim Demeere - He's a good quality martial artist and you'll get good advice.

I hope this helps - feel free to follow up with any questions because I know this is a lot of info to take in!
by: TMArtist     
5/4/2011 1:06:18 PM
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