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Why Is the Right Punching Bag Filling Material Important?
There are mainly three types of punch bag fillers that you can use to fill your punch bag, but it is majorly influenced by the type of training that you do. The three types of fillings you can use to fill your bag for punching are sawdust, old clothes, and sand.
Choosing the wrong type of filling will only result in a pathetic and fruitless training experience even if you know how to use a punching bag. The reasons?
- A bag filled with the wrong filling does not swing the way it is supposed to.
- It is also hazardous for the wrists and the knuckles of the user.
- The filling will sink and settle at the bottom of the bag. This will result in a bag with a soft top but a hard bottom.
- The right amount and kind of resistance are crucial for a fruitful punching exercise, but if it is not filled with the right kind of filling, then it will only offer you incorrect resistance.
What to Fill in a Punching Bag?
The first thing that you need to buy is an empty bag and a cover. The reason why? The key advantage of purchasing an empty bag is that it enables you to customise the whole experience, select and adjust the weight, fit, and volume of bags.
For example, a boxing punching bag with a heavier weight filling can make it harder to hit and move the bag. Filling a bag with a lighter fill, on the other hand, will provide you with the opposite experience. You will not have to hit the bag as harshly as a hard bag to make the bag swing freely. For those who want to feel less body shock and implement fast and accurate boxing combinations instead of concentrating on striking with force, this filling is the perfect choice.
Once you become more accustomed to the new filling, you can start adjusting the bag's density and feeling according to your own requirements and to suit your striking needs.
Filling for a Lightweight Boxing Bag
For a lightweight bag, materials like larger rags including foam, cloths, towels, old garments, or fabric strips are better. These kinds of materials give a softer and lighter density for training and prevent dense compaction. This means that the user experiences lesser force on his or her joints when striking the bag.
Make sure that you fill your bag layer by layer. Stuffing the bag up to its top without any compaction will result in a hideous looking boxing bag with plenty of room. And the plenty of space will provide an awkward punching experience.
The right way to effectively compact and compress the bag filling is by using a tool, for example, a thick broom or a bat. A tool with a wider end is better because it will help you push the fillings more, at once, while pushing more air out of the space, simultaneously.
Filling for a Heavy Boxing Bag
If you want a heavy boxing bag, then you need to fill it with smaller and finer fillings, for example, sawdust and sand. To make sure that the weight of the bag is not overbearing for its case, you can also stuff it with thinner fabric and garments in the middle of the boxing bag.
You can also use sand to fill the bag. Even though adding small layers of sand in the centre will take a lot of time, but it will deliver an incredible boxing experience. This setting is ideal for boxers who want to feel the crack in every punch.
For certain users, overfilling the bag entirely with filling like sand, etc. could be too firm and, due to extra weight, it may cause the bag to crack or rip.
How to Fill a Punching Bag: A Step-by-Step Guide
It's quite easy to stuff the bag, but it's imperative that you use the proper resources and prepare them appropriately in advance to keep you and your bag secure. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fill a boxing bag:
Step 1: Choose a Filling
A. Consider how dense and heavy you want the bag to be.
It will be harder to lift a boxing bag with a higher mass and density, and it will require tougher punches. When you hit a lighter bag that is less bulky, it will swing more, and you won't have to strike it as hard. Depending on how strong and dense you want the bag to be, you can choose the correct filling.
B. If you want a lightweight bag, use garments as your only filling.
Several pre-filled punch bags come stuffed with fabric cut-up strips. You can make yourself the same bag at home by using scrap fabric. Stuffing your bag with only fabric will restrict how thick and heavy you can make it. This will work in your favour if you want a bag that sways when you strike it.
C. In addition to clothing, stuff sawdust or sand to make your bag heavier.
Sand and sawdust will make your bag heavier and dense, which you will not be able to get with only fabric. Sawdust or sand is a simple, inexpensive choice if you're aiming for a bag that makes you exert more force.
Just make sure that you do not use only sawdust or sand to fill the boxing bag. Add it along with clothes or the bag will become too dense and heavy.
Step 2: Prepare the Material for Filling
A. Remove any buttons, zips, and other bits of metal from the clothes you are going to use.
This will avoid the tearing of your punching bag. Don't stress if, during the procedure, you cut the clothes into fragments. Once they are in the bag, you will not be able to see them, anyway. If you want to make your boxing bad denser, you can cut the clothes into tiny strips. Just remember that doing this will increase the amount of fabric you need for a filling.
B. If you are using sawdust or, sand, pour it into resealable bags.
Do not directly pour the sawdust or the sand in the bag, as it will weaken the bag with time. Instead, pour it all into resealable plastic containers, such as sandwich bags. Seal the bags in a way that after you pour the sawdust or the sand, nothing pours out of the bag.
C. Wrap the bags of sand or sawdust with tape so that they do not tear or rip.
The tape will make the bag stronger and help it is offering more resistance to your punches. Wrap the tape around the bags completely covering the sealed openings.
D. To ensure that you have enough punch bag filler, weigh the filling.
Place the clothes in large rubbish bags to weigh them on a scale. Weigh the individual bags on a scale if you are using sand or sawdust. Then to get the total weight of your bag's filling, sum up all the individual weights.
If the combined weight is less than the weight of your target bag, the further filling will be needed. To make your bag denser, add more sawdust or sand to the bag. Or you can also add more clothes to raise the weight of the bag without causing a significant increase in the density.
Step 3: Fill the Bag
A. Add the first layer of punch bag filling to the bottom of the punch bag.
Once you have unzipped the opening of your boxing bag, drop some fabric into the opening of the bag, if you're only using clothes or fabric, so the bottom of the bag is fully stashed. If you are also using sawdust or sand sacks, first drop one of those then add clothes to fill in the bottom layer around it. Surrounding the sawdust or sandbags with clothes will protect the bag from ripping.
B. Remove the extra space using a tool that is long and wide.
Using a long tool to stuff the filling, like a baseball bat, remove the space from the bag and make the bag more uniform. You can use any type of long tool as long as it goes to the bottom of your bag.
C. Continue adding layers as you progress.
Start adding layers after packing the previously added layer, if you are only using fabric. But if you are also using sawdust or sand, then drop them into the middle of your bag, and encircle them with clothing or fabric. Try to equally space the bags up and down the length of the boxing bag. Depending on how many bags you use, you might not have to add a bag to each layer.
D. Zip your bag closed once you are done filling the bag.
Make sure that you stuff the bag all the way up so that there is no space left. If, however, you struggle to zip the bag, you might need to pack more or remove the top layer.
A Final Word
A hallmark of every boxing or martial arts preparation is the punching bag. You can buy heavy bags that come pre-filled but buying an empty bag and filling it yourself can be much cheaper.
This way, you can stuff it with whatever you want, including cloth, sand, fabric, rice, and even make a water punching bag. So, if you know what are punching bags made of, you can customise yours without breaking a sweat.