Heavy bags and standing bags
Free standing bags are heavy bags that have large rounded bases and rest on the floor rather than suspended from the ceiling or hung from wall mounts. Free standing bags make a great choice for anyone who will be both punching and kicking the bag, this is because the foam on free standing bags begins close to the base and provides more useable striking surface for kicks. Another good feature of free standing bags is that, even when filled, that can be easily rolled away for storage or just rolled to the corner of the room.
Standing bags can be filled with either water or sand. In most cases water is preferred; this is because water provides some energy feedback and adds a more realistic feel when hitting the bag. Sand will make the bag weigh more, but will have generate a thick, unyielding feel.
Standing bags are usually designed to weigh between 250 and 300 lbs. when filled. Hanging bags are heavy bags that are suspended from wall mounts or from the ceiling through the use of chains and hooks. Heavy bags are known to be extremely durable and provide you with an intensive, fluid workout that develops stamina, strength and overall cardiovascular fitness.
Hanging bags also provide some sway, which is good for developing coordination and improving reaction time.
Choosing the correct weight
The more weight a bag has, the less sway it will produce. Too much will make the bag hard to hit, and too little sway will make the bag feel like a rock, and fail to absorb impacts which will cause damage to bones and tendons over time. A 5'8" male with a weight of about 170 lbs. should look for a bag weighing between 60 and 70lbs.
More skilled or heavier hitters might want to look for something closer to 100lbs while those looking for a bag with more sway might want to consider something near the 40lb. mark.
Choosing the right hanging bag
The market is almost overflowing with heavy bag manufactures; however there are a few who stand out. Heavy bags from TKO are generally considered to be very high quality and are known for there durability. Their bags are sought after by gyms and boxing schools alike. Everlast, while at the high end of the price range, makes very high quality equipment and should be considered when looking for a heavy bag.
Leather bags are extremely long lasting and will have a more comfortable feel when struck. Vinyl bags can mimic the feel and look of leather while remaining more affordable. Water-core hanging bags are adjustable in weight; this adjustability is attained by under-filling the water core.
Hanging a heavy bag
Unlike free-standing bags, hanging bags need additional hardware before they can be used.
There are a variety of wall mounts and hooks that you can buy to mount your heavy bag virtually anywhere you need to. Common places to hang the bag are garages, workout rooms and basements. If you are interested in keeping the bag outside, you may want to look into a weatherproof, or indoor/outdoor heavy bag.
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Mike writes for BoxingDepot.com.
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