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Ever since organized martial arts coalesced out of a blend of spiritual disciplines, physical fitness, and self-defense techniques, experts have been using padded objects to help improve their training. A century ago, university boxing clubs began re-discovering the many benefits of using padded targets, bags and other equipment to practice punching, jabbing and other strike techniques.
Today, boxing enthusiasts and home fitness trainers can use carefully balanced punching bags that are designed to take heavy abuse while offering the perfect amount of resistance and flexibility. Advanced filler materials effectively and safely transfer energy from strikes, punches and kicks, protecting hands and feet from injury.
What is a Punching Bag?
- 1 What is a Punching Bag?
- 2 Our Punching Bag Reviews
- 2.1 The Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit – Best Cheap Punching Bag
- 2.2 The TITLE Classic Banana Heavy Bag – Best Punching Bag for the Money
- 2.3 The Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag – Best Punching Bag Overall
- 2.4 In Conclusion
While the general public often uses the term “punching bag” to broadly refer to any training bag used for boxing practice, the particular type of punching bag under review in this article is what’s known to boxing professionals and martial arts experts as a “heavy bag”. Generally speaking, this is a large tube hung vertically and filled with a resistant material to serve as a target for boxing practice and martial arts exercises. Other forms of padded objects that are used in boxing practice include sparring pads and speed bags, both of which can sometimes be referred to as a “punching bag”. This article will focus solely on the heavy bag when referring to punching bags.
More specifically said, a heavy bag is a long vertical tube resistant to punching and kicking that is used for boxing practice and other martial arts exercises. Traditionally, heavy bags were made out of leather and then filled with a variety of cheap, locally-sourced materials such as sand or dirt. Today’s punching bags use advanced formulas to fill the interior to provide the perfect balance of resistance and flexibility for thrown punches and landed kicks. A good punching bag provides enough resistance to simulate realistic tactile feedback while safely transferring and diluting the energy at impact to protect hands and feet from injuries. Generally speaking, a heavy bag is meant to represent the approximate size and volume of an adult human, as the bag is designed to simulate strikes, punches and kicks against an adversary or opponent.
What are the different types of Punching Bags?
Today’s modern punching bags offer a wide variety of features to best suit the needs of home boxing enthusiasts and students of the martial arts. Some bags are made out of resistant leather while others use modern blends of advanced synthetic materials. Some punching bags use a simple filling solution, relying on traditional materials to provide the correct amount of resistance to punches, strikes and kicks.
Other modern freestanding bags use custom blends of synthetic and natural materials to acquire different levels of resistance, flexibility and tactile feedback when punched or kicked. Many heavy bags are hung using a simple chain attachment to a ceiling hook or overhead support, while other heavy bags use highly-engineered heavy base stands to provide stability.
What are the advantages of practicing with a Punching Bag?
Unfortunately, many gyms and training centers neglect to invest in a quality punching bag, relying on small sparring pads or not even including equipment suitable for martial arts training or boxing practice. Other times, punching bags used in gyms are old and misshapen, unable to provide proper resistance to strikes and kicks. Owning your own punching bag at home instantly turns the corner of any room of your house into a dedicated center to practice and perfect kicks, strikes and other body blows.
Once installed, a punching bag is always ready, instantly available for workouts, training sessions and impromptu practices. Even amateur boxing enthusiasts can benefit from the healthy practice of punching, striking and kicking a safely padded surface, releasing tension, stress and frustration while performing health aerobic exercise.
Which models are the contenders for the Best Punching Bag?
The Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit – This elegant black heavy bag from the legendary boxing company Everlast comes pre-stuffed with a custom blend of fibers and sand. Weighing in at 70 pounds, the Everlast MMA comes with an adjustable height customization chain to allow home martial arts student and fitness trainers to get a full-body workout.
The TITLE Classic Banana Heavy Bag – This modern contender from TITLE uses a unique design to offer greater striking areas on the bag. Despite its name, the Classic Banana comes solely in a bright red leather. Using a longer, skinnier design than other manufacturers, the Classic Banana gives martial arts enthusiasts and home fitness trainers a full-sized bag with enough striking areas to get a full-body workout. With an included base plate attachment, the versatile Classic Banana is designed to withstand years of hard use while maintaining resistance and dynamic tactile feedback.
The Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag – This new model from Everlast features a custom-engineered freestanding design to allow for easy installation and use nearly anywhere. With an elegant black design and advanced Power Transfer Ring collar, the Everlast PowerCore is ruggedly built to withstand heavy abuse while maintaining optimum resistance and tactile feedback sensitivity.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Punching Bag
- Installation – It can often be quite a chore to properly hang a heavy punching bag so that it stays safely secured while enduring regular abuse.
- Weight – Heavy bags are differentiated by their weight, roughly analogous to the corresponding weight of an opponent boxer or martial arts competitor.
- Core Materials – Every punching bag relies on a different combination of filler materials to achieve the best balance of resistance, firmness and flexibility when punched or kicked.
- Additional Features – Many of today’s manufacturers offer a wide range of additional features and accessories when purchasing a punching bag.
Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit – The Everlast MMA comes with a traditional overhead assembly chain, which must be attached to a proper support. If your home gym already has an appropriate hook or support beam, installation takes five minutes or less as the MMA is shipped already assembled and ready to go. The Everlast MMA comes shipped pre-filled with material so is ready to be used immediately once hung.
TITLE Classic Banana Heavy Bag – The Classic Banana comes with a generous length of chains to attach to an overhead installation hook or support beam. The Classic Banana also comes equipped with a base plate and ring that can be attached to a floor support or hook for martial arts students wishing to increase bag resistance.
Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag – Because the Everlast PowerCore does not require overhead installation, it is super simple to move into position and begin using. The Everlast PowerCore ships empty and requires the user to fill the base with either natural or synthetic materials to serve as ballast.
Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit – The Everlast MMA weighs a total of 70 pounds, which puts it on the lighter side of professional home bags. Nonetheless, home boxers and exercises of just about any size should be able to get a full workout with the Everlast MMA.
TITLE Classic Banana Heavy Bag – The Classic Banana weighs in at an even 100 pounds, making it large enough for even huskier and heavier martial arts students and boxing trainees to use and abuse the bag with impunity. With its longer, more slender design, the Classic Banana offers a wide distribution of full-size strike zones for martial arts students and others wanting to deliver lower-body strikes and kicks.
Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag – The Everlast PowerCore ships empty at a total weight of just 20 pounds, including packing material and accessories. Once filled, the total weight of the Everlast PowerCore will depend on the material or filling used for ballast in the base, ranging from approximately 250 pounds if water is used to 370 pounds if sand is used.
Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit – The Everlast MMA comes filled with a mix of filtered and graded sand with a custom blend of synthetic and natural fibers, offering improved resistance and flexibility when being punched or kicked.
TITLE Classic Banana Heavy Bag – The Classic Banana comes pre-filled with the manufacturer’s proprietary blend of filling material, carefully mixed to provide stiff resistance for years while safely diluting and transferring energy from strikes, punches and kicks.
Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag – The ballast of the Everlast PowerCore is provided by the user, but the striking end of the bag is filled with the company’s patented tri-disc foam design to maximize energy dispersion from body strikes, punches and jabs.
Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit – When you buy this punching bag, the company will also include a bungee cord that can be used to increase tension on the bag, a pair of special punching gloves, and wraps to protect hands against friction injuries from the bag.
TITLE Classic Banana Heavy Bag – The Classic Banana includes a swivel and is usually shipped with a pair of special punching gloves and wraps designed to protect the hands from injuries caused by punching or striking the bag.
Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag – The Everlast PowerCore comes with everything necessary for quick installation and immediate use.
Our Punching Bag Reviews
Right out of the gate, the Everlast MMA is ready to be hoisted up and used, as it comes pre-filled with the company’s patented blend of sand and mixed fibers. Weighting in at 70 pounds, the Everlast MMA offers home boxers and martial arts students a full-sized punching bag that will offer durable resistance and training value for years.
The slightly lighter weight of the Everlast MMA makes it easier to transport or adjust. Using the attached bungee cord, the resistance on the Everlast MMA can be ratcheted up to simulate the effects of a much larger bag. With the included adjustable height chain, leg strikes and kicks can be drilled on just as easily as upper body punches and jabs.
If you don’t have a hook or support already installed to hang the Everlast MMA, it can be quite a bit of work to get this set up and ready to use. The Everlast MMA is a bit light and would be unsuitable for heavyweight boxers and other larger athletes.
The Classic Banana features a fresh, bright design while offering a full-body workout for martial arts students and home fitness and boxing enthusiasts. Weighing in at a full 100 pounds, this durable and rugged punching bag is designed to deliver years of reliable service.
With its unique slender design, the Classic Banana is instantly ready for absorbing strikes, punches, kicks and jabs to any zone.
The Classic Banana ships with a quality set of thick, durable chains and a pivoting swivel mechanism designed for overhead installation. The proprietary blend of interior filling works great to absorb blows with a firm resistance perfect for martial arts or boxing training. Bright red color looks fresh and vibrant in any home gym or training center.
The Classic Banana is not designed to drag against the floor, as some traditional banana bags do. The Classic Banana needs to be stabilized at its base in order to properly withstand vigorous kicks and lower body strikes from experienced martial arts experts.
The Everlast PowerCore uses a cutting edge design in stability engineering to provide a reliable freestanding punching bag that can handle full-strength abuse while maintaining reliable resistance and tactile feedback. With its compact base, the PowerCore can be set up in minutes in any home gym as no overhead hooks, support beams or hoist chains are necessary.
Filled with the desired ballast material, the Everlast is designed to withstand kicks, punches, and strikes from even the most energetic home boxers and martial arts students.
Super easy to set up and begin using, or to transport or store later. Because users can choose the ballast material, they can get the stability and resistance level they need for their workout or training regime. With an advanced interior filling material using three specially-designed foam discs, the upper portion of the Everlast PowerCore can handle and disperse the energy from even the hardest punches and strikes.
If the ballast is not carefully applied, the punching bag unit can suffer from a loss of stability. Extremely refined materials used for ballast, such as “sugar” sand, may cause minor leakage from the base unit.
Anyone looking to add a heavy bag to their workout regime or martial arts training at home should carefully consider which model to buy, as there are a wide range of options including bag size, resistance, and design. Some larger, more professional models require complicated overhead support, while other models use stabilized bases to provide greater mobility in use and installation.
Home boxers and martial arts students should carefully consider their needs when choosing the size of the bag, as well as the proprietary blend of inner materials that provide resistance and energy dispersal from landed punches, strikes and kicks.
Featuring the same high-quality punching bag experience from Everlast as their more traditional models, the advanced Everlast PowerCore offers greater installation and training options with its freestanding base and quick set-up. Shipped at an incredibly light 20 pounds, the unique base of the PowerCore can be inexpensively and quickly filled with a wide variety of available materials.
The upper portion of the Everlast PowerCore features the company’s advanced tri-disc foam system and Power Collar to help improve energy transference and tactile feedback from punches, strikes and kicks. Combining the freedom of freestanding installation with the durability and resistance of a full-size traditional bag, the Everlast PowerCore punching bag offers any home boxer, martial arts student or fitness enthusiast the best all-around workout experience.