You’ve learned how to punch and practiced your form countless times by shadow boxing. Now it’s time to make contact.
A punching bag, also known as a heavy bag, is perfect to take your training to the next level. Nothing’s better than being able to know how hard your strike is, and it’s great to develop your strength and endurance. It’s a completely different experience from punching in the air.
Punching bags are a great investment if you want to train on your own at home. But since they tend to be a pricier piece of martial art equipment, you need to know what to look for when choosing one.
Leather vs. Synthetic vs. Canvas
These days, punching bags made out of synthetic materials are getting better in quality. They don’t need to be taken care of as much as genuine leather (such as moisturizing it to prevent cracking). Further, punching bags constructed out of pvc or other imitation leather typically have lesser seams because the casing can be cut to order. Leather can only be cut a specific size, and for larger bags, more pieces have to be sewn together, resulting in more seams where tears normally occur.
In any case, make sure the seams are reinforced not once or twice, but at least three times with a sturdy material. This will make all the difference!
While it is the most expensive, most people still prefer leather, since it feels nice and is still considered the most durable. Canvas is the cheapest, but make sure to wear protection because it is way more unforgiving to the knuckles than the other materials.
Filling of the Punching Bag
Punching bags can be filled with all sorts of things, including rubber bits, cloth and other fiber. In the middle of the punching bag, there may be sand to add weight. If this is the case, be aware that after prolonged use, the casing the sand is in can break. This means that the sand will eventually settle to the bottom of the punching bag, warping its shape and making it rock hard on the bottom.
When you’re choosing a punching bag, make sure to hit it a couple of times to see if you like the feel of it. The filling could be too hard or too soft for you.
The Top of the Punching Bag
At the top of the punching bag, you’ll find a three or more places where hooks are attached to a chain, so that it can be suspended. These areas should be reinforced well, as it is another area where tears often occur.