Punching bags are objects that are sturdy and designed to be repeatedly punched or kicked. Their uses include stress relief, physical exercise, improving aerobic fitness, punching techniques, and physical strength. Invented centuries ago for the express purpose of enhancing martial arts training along with swordplay, they are now used by students of Karate, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai to improve their techniques. The bags are available in both hanging and standing versions.
There is a variety of fillings used in punching bags. Some will use grains, rags or sand. Usually, they are suspended from the ceiling or affixed to a stand. Other bags use air or water for fillings. These bags are constructed to handle constant physical hits without disintegrating. They are also made so they can absorb these punches or kicks and the user is not hurt.
Some of the different types of punching bags include:
* Speed Bags: These are small and use air filling. They are attached to the top of a rebound platform. These are used to improve hand to eye coordination as well as teaching a fighter to keep his hands up.
* Swerve Balls: Very similar to Speed bags, these are made from a different type of material and are larger in size.
* Focus Bags or Double-end Bags: Practicing mobility and improving accuracy when hitting a target can be achieved by working out with these bags. Round and lightweight, they are typically affixed to the ceiling or floor.
* Heavy Bags: Generally hung by chains or ropes, these cylindrically shaped bags are used for practicing hard body punches.
* Pedestal or Tower Bags: Heavy bags mounted to a pedestal rather than hung from a ceiling, these are used to practice a variety of different things.
* Maize Bags: These bags are filled with maize and not meant to be punched hard. They typically help boxers work in improving their head motion and dodging an opponent’s hit.
When you are trying to decide which bag is the best for you, consider what you are trying to achieve in the long run.
Dave Toub is a strong believer in quality punching bags. Please check out one of my favorite punching bags and see the Punching Bags Pro homepage if you are interested in other gear as well.