The Best Heavy Bags

(Scroll down for your choices.)

"In conjunction with a set of gloves, a heavy bag is the single most important
piece of martial arts equipment that you can own."

heavy bag buakaw A good heavy bag will enable you to build power and speed in every single striking technique available, while also building your footwork as you chase down/ run away from a swinging bag.

Think about it... what other object can you find that will give you an object to rip into with your fists, that actually mimics the relative weight of a human body.

In addition to building impressive upper body musculature and jaw shattering power, you are FORCED to move with the bag, the whole time while throwing strikes.  Now not only are you simulating a human target, you are simulating human movement.

Combine those things with a whole lot of hard work, and you will build gnarly fighting skills, and a hell of an impressive physique.  If you do enough heavy bag work, even the strikes that your opponent BLOCKS will scare the crap out of him.

Here are the bags that I recommend

(These links should lead you to the best price available.  Scroll down to read about why these choices are the absolute best ones for an aspiring fighter.)


bigbag

The Combat Sports Leather Thai Bag - $299


This bag is almost twice as expensive as the other bag that I recommend, but recently I've been training with a "fatter" thai bag, and it is just wonderful.  I know that I'm being a bit of a wuss, but the extra thickness and padding makes for a softer and far more pleasant kicking surface.  In those moments when you happen to rip your foot into the bag instead of your shin, you won't rupture the veins on top of your foot.  That said... a HARDER surface is a more REALISTIC surface, so if you're really trying to train to fight, you might actually want the extra shin conditioning.  Still, I find this style of bag to be more forgiving on my aging joints... from my fingers down to my toes.  Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, but I love my new fatter bag.
smaller-heavy-bag

Combat Sports Muay Thai Heavybag (100lbs) - $149

Now this heavy bag is not as squishy or comfortable to strike, but you will definitely be able to condition your shins using this thing... and you'll save some $$$. You need to choose between having a comfy delightful bag to kick, or a bag that's going to cause you the type of pain and nerve destruction necessary to kick things with reckless abandon.

Now HANGING your bag properly is also important...

Bungee cords slowly stretch and break.  Chains (without a spring won't absorb shock, so your whole house will shake and it's LOUD.  Here are the items you need for a perfect bag hanging:

heavy bag spring

Heavy Bag Spring - around $20

You MUST have something that stretches holding your bag, or you're likely to tear the bag out of the ceiling (if the noise doesn't drive your whole family insane). I've seen countless metal rings and clamps simply snap after several years of use, because they didn't have a spring to reduce impact and wear. To protect your bag, your home, and your hardware, you REALLY need a spring. Plus, it makes your bag and absolute pleasure to punch.

To get a spring, your best bet is to contact Jim, < ligeros@stocksprings.com > and ask him for what he has hanging around at his warehouse http://www.diamondwire.com/. I've used Ringside's heavy bag springs and they all eventually STRETCH... ruining my perfect bag hanging height. In addition to being cheaper, Jim can give you a much higher quality spring. Shoot him an email!
wood beam t swivel for heavy bag

Wood Beam T-Swivel


This gadget gives you an easy way to bolt your heavy bag into a ceiling joist and allow it to swivel and rotate. If you don't use one of these, you need to make sure that the chain on your bag has a swiveling attachment. Otherwise, your bag will twist up and un-spin uncontrollably at times, or it might just unscrew from the ceiling, depending on how you secured it.
heavy bag carabiner

Black Diamond Light D Carabiner - $7.45

You have to attach your Bag to the spring, and depending on the length of your ceiling, you might need some chain in between. This carabiner is strong while being thin enough to fit inside the links of most chain, making it a good choice.

Here are the things you really need in a heavy bag:

  1. The bag absolutely must hang from the ceiling.  If it just stands in place like the "Wave Master" or that stupid thing that looks like a torso, you don't get to build your footwork, and you end up reinforcing a FAKE idea of what fight movement actually feels like.  Then, when you actually need to move around in a fight, you're tired because your legs have no idea how to move yourself around.
  2. The bag must hang to a few inches above the ground.  Many traditional heavy bags only hang to the waste... but that doesn't help you build your LOW KICKS.  It takes months of shin conditioning to be able to throw that strike with reckless abandon, heavy bags give you that ability.  After years of clubbing on the bottom of a heavy bag, your shins become gristled and hardened weapons of individual destruction.  That's what you want.
  3. Your bag should be shipped STUFFED already.  People get confused when they see a great deal on a heavy bag, and they get a shriveled empty sack in the mail.  A flaccid heavy bag is depressing. Yes, you can stuff a bag with shredded clothes from a thrift store, but you'll probably never get around to it, and just end up with your shriveled sack sitting in a corner collecting dust.  That's no way to build your skills.
  4. Your bag should be hung properly.  A heavy bag attached directly to a joist (ceiling beam) can make it sound like your house is being torn down.  These vibrations will make your other family members hate you, and it creates an unpleasant training environment.  Plus, it's bad for your house, and it's bad for your bag.

If you'd like to share your thoughts, please feel free to do so below.