Basic Boxing: The Bag


If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you know all about the benefits of a punching bag workout. So let’s get right to the advice about how to use your heavy bag.
Ceiling-mounted or free-standing

There are two considerations:

* The height of your heavybag
* The space around the bag

What you should know about heavybag height

The problem with many heavybag stands is that you can’t mount the bag high enough. Unless you’re short, you’ll be jabbing right near the top of the punching bag. This means you’ll miss the bag’s “sweet spot”, which isn’t very satisfying. Read how high should you hang a heavybag for more details.

So, if possible, mount the punching bag from a ceiling, tree branch, or other high place. This way, your bag will swing when you punch it. However, don’t mount it in your house (or any other structure you care about). Your punching bag will literally destroy your house bit by bit; it will shake your house apart and give everyone a headache. If you can’t use a garage or outbuilding, either get a heavybag stand or use a free-standing bag. Read Don’t let your heavybag shake your house apart for information and options on how to avoid excessive heavybag vibration.

The bag’s movement is a big part of why heavybag training is such a good workout. Bags that are rooted to one spot (like free-standing punching bags) won’t give you as intense a workout. When you don’t want a free-swinging bag to swing or move excessively, just connect a cord from the bottom of the bag to a weight or tie-down point. Most good heavybags have a D-ring at the bottom for this purpose.
Space around your punching bag: What you should know

The more room around your punching bag, the better. This is especially true for free-swinging heavybags.

You want a minimum of 5 feet (2.6 meters) all around your bag so you have enough room to work the bag. If you plan to kick the bag, you’ll need more room because kicks are longer-range attacks than punches.

It’s OK to mount the bag so you have less than 5 feet around one or two quadrants, but obviously it’s best to avoid that if at all possible.
How heavy should my punching bag be?

A good rule of thumb is to get a heavy bag that weighs approximately 50% of your body weight. So, a 100-pound bag should be OK if you weight 200 (or less).

If your bag doesn’t swing free on a long chain, the weight is not as important. It’s only when the bag is free-swinging that the weight has a real effect on the quality of your workout.