If you are training in boxing, then one of the most important tools you need is a heavy bag. You punch at these all day long, they provide a fantastic cardiovascular workout, strengthen your hand, improve your defense abilities and give you an overall workout. Boxing bags are typically heavy, solid wooden boxes with a heavy top for you to punch on. They also come with padded head padding, hand padding and plenty of foam for your training.
There are many different types of boxing heavy bags available, including Thai boxing, European kickboxing, Wushu, Russian mixed martial arts (MMA) and other forms of fighting. But whatever your style, there is sure to be one to suit your needs. The primary thing to keep in mind when shopping for your bag is that it should be sturdy enough to withstand hours of abuse from the punching bags. The following descriptions give some examples of what types of bags are available.
The cheapest boxing heavy bags you can buy are generally found at a local discount or garage sale. They usually have been damaged in shipping and do not have the best quality foam. These are generally for home use and not something you would want to bring to the gym with you.
Many martial arts schools and fitness clubs offer affordable boxing heavy bags for students and instructors to use in training classes. These are generally gym quality products that you would find at a local discount chain such as Walmart or Target. The great thing about purchasing from these types of stores is that they usually carry many other workout and combat sports products as well.
Another type of boxing heavy bags is the thai heavy bag. Thai bags are traditionally made from durable thick gauge steel. Thai boxing bags are very popular in many countries around the world because they are an effective cardiovascular workout. The main drawback of using a thai heavy bag is that they can be quite expensive due to the sheer mass of the bag and the size of the individual bags.
Freestanding bags are the traditional style that most people think of when you mention boxing or martial arts. These are the larger, heavier type of bags you will find in most gyms. Some sparring sessions include freestanding bags because they provide a much more strenuous workout than traditional cardio kickboxing. Freestanding bags can be purchased at just about any department store selling fitness items, martial arts supplies and martial arts gear. They tend to be fairly inexpensive and are a good investment if you plan on using them regularly.
Hanging bags and push side hanging bags are the other styles of bags used in training. A hanging bag or a push side hanging bag (sometimes called a hinged mitt bag) are hanging bags that hang from the wall with either a wooden or metal rod. The props on which the hanging bags rest against the wall are adjustable and allow for different heights and widths. A popular style of this type of bag has a handle on one end and a heavy weight on the other, much like a vase. Push side hanging bags are a little more versatile in that they can be used in both the Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu styles of combat sports.
Another type of bag is the unfilled bag. An unfilled bag is basically a sparring bag that doesn't have any real content other than to provide a surface to kick at. Unfilled bags are typically made out of canvas and have a non-slip backing for added protection. Many fighters use unfilled kickboxing bags as their main training gear and they have found that they provide a quick and efficient way to prepare for their fights.