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Punching bags – Hit 'em with your best shot
If ever there was a time when the world needed to hit something, it’s now.
But you can't walk around hitting people... not even the annoying ones. You can hit a punching bag though. It’s right there in the name. And the best part? It won't hit you back.
Punching bags are one of the most popular pieces of training equipment across the globe. From martial arts and boxing to anyone wanting to boost strength and agility, a punching bag is what your training has been missing.
Can you get a good workout from punching bags?
The punching bag, also known as a heavy bag, is an incredibly hardworking piece of training equipment.
Workouts with punching bags all require hitting or kicking. With every strike, you get a full-body workout. You’ll engage your upper body muscles such as your arms, chest, back, and shoulders. Your lower body and core are also targeted as you generate force with every punch or kick.
Benefits from hitting a punching bag, heavy bag, or sandbag
It’s not only boxers that benefit from punching with authority and power. Learning how to develop and control your physical power is a vital part of any functional training program. You’ll learn how to use your entire body (core and legs included) to power every strike.
Upper body strength improves with every punch
But not average upper body strength. You’ll have functional strength that you can use for everyday life. As for boxing, striking a heavy bag will develop your ability to throw punches rapidly without getting hurt.
Full-body conditioning with every strike
Hitting and kicking a sandbag isn’t for the faint-hearted. Literally. You’ll need incredible endurance and cardiovascular strength. Heavy bag training has the potential to burn over 400 calories per hour.
The best part about conditioning with a punching bag is that you’re developing strength at the same time. It’s a fat-burning workout combined with one of the best strength training programs around.
Lower body power increases with every kick
Even if you’re not kicking the heavy bag, to throw rapid, controlled punches, your body will need to develop power from the ground up. Your arms may be throwing the punches, but your lower body is the power core that keeps them coming… and keeps them coming hard.
If you're looking for a bag that really lets you work on your legs and low kicks, go for a freestanding punching bag.
Does punching a heavy bag build muscle?
As you hit a punching bag, your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and legs are all engaged. Unless you’re walking around gently slapping and whispering sweet nothings at it… there’s no way you can’t develop muscle strength from a punching bag workout.
Can you lose weight by hitting a punching bag?
Yes. Punching bag workouts are great for weight loss.
Need a reason to hit something? How about the fact that you can burn 354 calories/hour for a 130-pound person up to 558 calories/hour if you weigh 205 pounds.
Compare that to walking on a treadmill – a 200-pound person will burn about 250 calories an hour. It’s a no-brainer. Add heavy bag workouts to your weight loss training and K.O. unwanted fat.
9 types of punching bags available
From hanging bags to freestanding ones, check out nine of our favorites here:
1. Hanging punching bags
Ideal for punching workouts, the hanging heavy bag is the type most people are familiar with – even Steve Rogers used one to improve his Captain America fighting skills.
A hanging punching bag is mounted on the wall or suspended from a ceiling. They are great for home gyms because they save floor space.
While most hanging punching bags are used for punching workouts, longer bags are available for kicking and fighting sports such as Muay Thai, Taekwondo, boxing, and karate.
2. Freestanding punching bags
This type of bag does not hang – it stands on a round base. Because it’s free-standing, it’s easy to move or slide to the corner when not in use.
Most freestanding punching bags are used in kicking workouts. For many beginners, a freestanding bag is best because, unlike a hanging punching bag, it won't move or sway when hit.
3. Angled punching bag, uppercut bag, and wrecking ball heavy bags
This type of heavy bag also hangs. It’s ideal for training uppercuts since it has an angled surface. Speaking of uppercuts. An uppercut bag or a wrecking ball heavy bag are other types of punching bags perfect for training uppercuts.
4. Grappling dummy and body opponent bags
If you’re after a realistic experience, a grappling dummy may be the punching bag for you. It’s a type of freestanding punching bag designed to look like an actual human. If realism really is your thing, check out a Body opponent bag. This type of heavy bag looks like a man’s torso and gives you the feeling of fighting a real opponent.
5. Water-filled training bags
Sticking with the realism for a minute… hitting a water-filled bag gives the feeling of actually hitting another person. The great thing about this type of bag is that you can empty it and transport it much easier than another type of bag. You can choose ones that even have a human torso shape.
6. Wall bags
Is your home gym limited on space? Meet the wall bag. This type of bag is mounted to the wall (hence the name) and doesn't rebound when you strike it. If you’re interested in working on your uppercut, a wall bag is a great option. If you want all-around boxing skills, stick to a standard hanging heavy bag.
7. Speed bags
What boxing movie doesn’t feature a leather speed bag and a killer soundtrack? Exactly. They all do. And for good reason. If you want to develop quick punches, a speed bag is your friend. You’ll work on your punching and your reaction time.
8. Teardrop punching bags
A teardrop heavy bag is great for training your accuracy, speed, and timing. Its tear shape and lighter weight let you work on close punches like uppercuts and hooks.
9. Slip bag
Should this bag make the punching bag list? We put it here because it’s a major part of training for fighting sports. It’s the only bag on our list that you don’t hit or punch. Its job is to help you train and improve head movements.
How to pick the correct size of heavy punching bag
The general rule for choosing the best size punching bag is to choose one that is half of your body weight.
That means that a 250-pound person would find a 125-pound bag ideal.
If you’re buying it as a gift or for a gym where lots of different people will use it, go for around 80 pounds. That’s a great weight that most adults can work with.
70 pounds punching bag – Great for teenagers and beginners
100 pounds – Best size for intermediate level boxers and fighters
200 pounds – Ideal bag weight for heavyweight boxers
Punching bag accessories
You can hit and kick a punching bag without gloves. But if you want to protect your knuckles and work on your fight, boxing gloves are the way to go.
There is a difference between choosing boxing gloves or sandbag gloves. The main difference is that boxing gloves are primarily intended for boxing matches and are softer than sandbag gloves.
Sandbag gloves are great for training on a sandbag. They can handle the wear and tear from hard training and many repetitions. Both boxing and sandbag gloves are safe to use on a punching bag.
If you’re punching just as part of an intense workout like HIIT, go for fingerless boxing gloves. These let your hands breathe more than gloves.
At ShapeNation, we know that you can’t buy a hanging punching bag and hope it hangs itself. We stock the chains and equipment needed to safely and securely suspend any of our punching bags.
ShapeNation – affordable pricing that packs a punch
If you think punching bags are only for boxers or MMA fighters, you’re wrong. A punching bag workout is both mentally and physically challenging. From weight loss to strength training, working on your jabs, hooks, and kicks will build strength, agility, and your cardiovascular endurance.
Buying a punching bag for your home gym is also a great way to work out and de-stress at the same time. And who couldn’t use a little de-stressing these days?
Best of all, punching bags from ShapeNation are affordable. Shop our ever-growing collection for the one that fits your personal fitness goals and train like Rocky in the privacy of your own home.
If you’re looking for pre-workout supplements that pack a punch, we’ve got those, too. From foam rollers to work on muscle cramps to kettlebells that build even more functional strength, we’re here to be your trusted exercise partner.
Are you looking for more products to take your training to the next level? Our most popular categories are dumbbells, kettlebells, exercise mats, resistance bands, protein powder, workout clothes, headphones, massage guns, foam rollers, and exercise balls. Find all the best exercise equipment on ShapeNation