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Punching Bags Expert Advice
Wondering what you need in a punching bag? This page helps to answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
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100 Questions
107 Answers
What weight heavy bag should I get?
70lb-90lb bags are the most commonly purchased bags and are appropriate for adults in the 140-170lb weight range. These bags often provide the right blend of resistance and give.
For individuals who are 170+lbs or who have developed significantly increased punching power, you may want to shop for 100+lb bags.
Lighter bags in the 25lb-60lb range are great for children or smaller adults who are just starting out in their training regiment.
When deciding what weight to get, keep in mind that getting a bag that is a bit lighter will increase the sway and motion during your training. This can be beneficial if you are looking to improve your footwork and reactions. Heavier bags have a tendency to stay in place and are better for developing penetration power.

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How do I hang up my heavy bag?
You will have two main options for hanging up your heavy bag - installing it into your ceiling or purchasing a mobile stand.
Many people who have garages or finished basements choose to install the bag directly into a support beam in their ceiling. To do this they either purchase a simple holder or attachment which can be securely fastened to the beam. This method is inexpensive, but it can also be troublesome due to the noise heavy bag training makes. If the beam the bag is attached to connects with the rest of the house, it might cause vibration and noise when struck.

The second option is purchasing a free stand. These steel constructed units can either be purposed solely for heavy bags, or involve multiple stations for different kinds of bags. It is recommended that users weight the bottom of the device to minimize shifting as the bag is struck and swung.

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What kind of hand protection should I use?
It's important to use proper hand protection during training routines, especially if you are just starting out on the heavy bag. A combination of handwrap + bag glove is your best bet.
Handwrap is an an inexpensive cloth roll that is used to protect the knuckles and skin from abrasion while securing the wrist for repeated impact. Bag gloves are designed with extra padding and firm support in order to disperse the impact of strikes and reduce the strain on your joints. Different bag gloves have different thicknesses, and the sturdier the heavy bag the more padding you might want in your gloves.

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What kind of bag exterior is best?
The main exterior types are vinyl, nylon, canvas, and leather. Other options include synthetic leather, polycanvas, and Everlast's Nevatear.
Professional gyms and locations that use heavy bags frequently choose leather bags for their superior durability and feel. Leather bags are more expensive and require that you rub moisturizer into them occasionally to prevent cracking. Vinyl, nylon, and canvas bags are less expensive and don't require maintenance, making them popular choices for at-home use. Canvas bags are durable but very abrasive against bare knuckles.

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What kind of routines can I do with the heavy bag?
Heavy bags allow for an almost unlimited variety of boxing routines as you mix up your techniques, movements, and intensity. The most commonly practiced punches on the bag include the straight jab, cross, and hook. If you are interested in kickboxing, heavy bags are also up to the task of tolerating kicks, knees, and elbows. One weakness the standard heavy bag has is its inability to accommodate upper cuts. Due to that, multiple companies have developed upper cut specific bags and even attachments to regular bags.

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Do I need to fill the bag myself? If so, with what?
Most heavy bags come prefilled, but some require construction and others give you the chance to fill them with anything you please.
Filled heavy bags are generally made out of soft foam that can take tons of abuse without becoming misshapen. Even though the foam is soft, it still provides solid resistance against strikes. An alternative to that is a liquid core bag that has a bladder mechanism and contains water. Other bags, such as the Johnny Sockitomee, will arrive disassembled, which reduces the shipping and overall cost of the product. In those cases you will have the foam available, but it will be your choice to use it.
The final variety of bag is exterior only. With these products you can create any filling you want, be it foam, stuffing, or old rags you have lying around.

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You might also need...
If you are considering purchasing a heavy bag, there are a few other things you might need. The first is a means of securing it - whether that be a simple beam bracket or an entire free stand. Although most bags come with it, be certain you have a chain assembly which actually does the hanging from the ceiling mount. Finally have your safety equipment in order, including handwraps, bag gloves, and proper shoes.

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