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All about punching bags and how to choose them

26 February 2012

All about punching bags and how to choose themglovesbagvinyl bagsHow to select a bag is difficult to answer. You generally get what you pay for. For instance, be weary of inexpensive leather bags as they are most likely made with cheap leather. Canvas is fine but will dirty. It is probably wiser to spend ten dollars more and get a good vinyl bag. We recommend purchasing your bags in a good martial arts store where the personnel are quite familiar with the products. As in most specialty items, it is worth going to the specialists rather than the local chain stores where the personnel knows little or nothing about the products. If you are striking with circular blows (most people do), you also need to get some good bag gloves to protect your hands. Boxers and kick boxers also tend to use hand wraps to further protect the tools of their trade. Another type of bag is the horizontal uppercut bag. As the name implies, it was conceived to practice uppercuts and is not good for much else. For this reason it is most often seen in pro boxing gyms and rarely elsewhere... As shipping bags can be very expensive, bags that are not filled are also being sold. Most of these bags are made of fine quality materials and can satisfy a very real demand in outlying areas where shipping cost make any other bag too expensive to purchase. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for individuals to successfully stuff these bags like the pre-filled ones as the latter are stuffed by machine. Some of these are also made of water resistant materials and can therefore be hung outdoors indefinitely. Water-filled bags are also relatively popular. These bags are sold empty and you simply fill them with water. They are marketed as being easier on the hands than regular bags which is true. We have not heard of any of these bags leaking which is good news because it would make quite a mess!In the past, canvas bags were popular as they were inexpensive while leather bags were for the wealthy or for pro boxing gyms.Today, 90 % of people opt for vinyl bags as they are very resistant and easy to clean. Leather bags are much less popular as they are expensive and need regular maintenance so as to stop the leather from drying out. We suggest using mink oil to rub leather bags (at least once or twice a year). Although leather bags feel great, they will most likely not last anywhere as long as the vinyl bags.Finally, striking bags with plastic support bases are also quite popular. These are in demand with people who cannot hang traditional punching bags in their homes or apartments. These bags have solid plastic bases that can be filled with water. Some people fill them with sand as the water base does not permit full power kicks from heavy hitters. This seems to work. We suggest you check if this voids the warranty. You should also remember that moving them (getting the sand out) becomes difficult compared to water filled bags. There are several types of solid base bags including childrens sizes and the popular BOB bags. Most have adjustable heights for convenient training. Their advantages are mobility and the fact that one does not need to hang them from the ceiling. Their disadvantages are high price, the fact that they cannot swing like a hanging bag (some people like to chase, dodge or stop moving bags) and finally, the fact that they may fall down if hit quite hard. There are several different types of punching bags available on the market today: Pre-filled hanging bags, horizontal bags, non-filled bags, Thai style bags, water bags and water filled plastic base bags.Hanging bags are by far the most popular punching bags sold as they are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. They normally come with support chains and swivels and occasionally with a bottom ring for those who want to tie them down to the floor. Models can be made of canvas, leather or vinyl and can come in several sizes including, 30lbs, 50lbs, 65lbs, 75lbs, 100lbs and 150lbs. Thirty and 50 lbs bags are basically for children although some practitioners of traditional Asian arts may use them to condition their hands (they train their chops and bare-knuckle strikes). Most adults will choose 65lbs or 75lbs bags as they are good enough for hand and foot strikes. Heavy hitters and kicking specialists may choose 100lbs bags whereas 150 lbs bags are often of the Thai boxing variety. These are longer than usual so as to permit the training of low kicks. They are popular but are quite expensive (At least 200-300$).

In the past, canvas bags were popular as they were inexpensive while leather bags were for the wealthy or for pro boxing gyms.Today, 90 % of people opt for vinyl bags as they are very resistant and easy to clean. Leather bags are much less popular as they are expensive and need regular maintenance so as to stop the leather from drying out. We suggest using mink oil to rub leather bags (at least once or twice a year). Although leather bags feel great, they will most likely not last anywhere as long as the vinyl bags.

Another type of bag is the horizontal uppercut bag. As the name implies, it was conceived to practice uppercuts and is not good for much else. For this reason it is most often seen in pro boxing gyms and rarely elsewhere... As shipping bags can be very expensive, bags that are not filled are also being sold. Most of these bags are made of fine quality materials and can satisfy a very real demand in outlying areas where shipping cost make any other bag too expensive to purchase. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for individuals to successfully stuff these bags like the pre-filled ones as the latter are stuffed by machine. Some of these are also made of water resistant materials and can therefore be hung outdoors indefinitely. Water-filled bags are also relatively popular. These bags are sold empty and you simply fill them with water. They are marketed as being easier on the hands than regular bags which is true. We have not heard of any of these bags leaking which is good news because it would make quite a mess!

Finally, striking bags with plastic support bases are also quite popular. These are in demand with people who cannot hang traditional punching bags in their homes or apartments. These bags have solid plastic bases that can be filled with water. Some people fill them with sand as the water base does not permit full power kicks from heavy hitters. This seems to work. We suggest you check if this voids the warranty. You should also remember that moving them (getting the sand out) becomes difficult compared to water filled bags. There are several types of solid base bags including childrens sizes and the popular BOB bags. Most have adjustable heights for convenient training. Their advantages are mobility and the fact that one does not need to hang them from the ceiling. Their disadvantages are high price, the fact that they cannot swing like a hanging bag (some people like to chase, dodge or stop moving bags) and finally, the fact that they may fall down if hit quite hard.

How to select a bag is difficult to answer. You generally get what you pay for. For instance, be weary of inexpensive leather bags as they are most likely made with cheap leather. Canvas is fine but will dirty. It is probably wiser to spend ten dollars more and get a good vinyl bag. We recommend purchasing your bags in a good martial arts store where the personnel are quite familiar with the products. As in most specialty items, it is worth going to the specialists rather than the local chain stores where the personnel knows little or nothing about the products. If you are striking with circular blows (most people do), you also need to get some good bag gloves to protect your hands. Boxers and kick boxers also tend to use hand wraps to further protect the tools of their trade.

Fun and safe training! 

Lorne Bernard

Comments

L.D.

Hello!

Enjoyed reading your blog on the various bags available and such.

Between the Versys VS1 and the Cardio Wave master -- both have very low bases suitable for kicking -- which of these, for instance, is the better less cumbersome bag for general punching and kicking?

The Versys has a base pre-filled "100lbs of sand", making it heavy to move, yet very sturdy and durable all-round, while the Cardio Wavemaster's base needs to be filled with water (or sand) "70 to 100 lbs" when filled, making it difficult to move yet it can be rolled for easy relocation. Overall, this bag is only for 'light' punchingkicking (cardio basically).

I'd go with the Versys being more versatile yet the Cardio is appealing for its moveability.

What do you think?

Thanks.
L.D.

 

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