Saturday, March 1, 2014
Don't take a stand
There are basically two categories of punching bags, suspended or free standing. Speaking from experience and literally breaking a free standing punching bag in half, I am a supporter of the ceiling mounted or suspended heavy bags for a couple of reasons.
1. A good punching bag workout should include lots of movement around the bag otherwise known as footwork. This will help you to replicate a real fight scenario and greatly increase the cardio aspect of your workout by including all of the muscle groups in your legs. Don't forget it will improve your coordination.
2. Having said all that, such movement becomes very challenging when you have an obstacle such as a base to avoid. Practicing flying knees and superman punches are dangerous when there is a stand located in your landing area.
True story... I actually broke a toe and bruised or hyper extended all of my toes at least once before the light bulb turned on.
Never ask a lady her weight
"Rule of thumb" minimum bag weight should be no less than 40% of your body weight. So if you weigh 200 pounds your bag should weigh no less than 80 pounds. Or multiply your body weight ( be honest!) by .4 and that will give you a good starting point.
So many materials so little time
Next, which material should I choose? I prefer leather heavy bags which are more expensive but as the old saying goes "you get what you pay for". There are cheaper materials such as canvas or vinyl and even some new space age materials (polymers) which have a similar feel to leather (pleather) but I have not had the experience with these new materials so I won't comment on them further.
There are a few different filling materials to consider depending on what you want and need.
1. Fabric - sometimes compressed clothing or fiber is used as a filler and provides a consistent feel over the entire bag. The only draw back is that it is difficult to find a bag with this filling over 100 pounds.
2. Sand - Typically heavier bags will be sand filled but make sure you take it down and roll it around every couple of months to prevent the sand from settling which can cause hard spots. OUCH! I prefer a sand filled bag for the knuckle and shin conditioning aspect but you should wear wraps to support your wrists and protect your hands from the harder surface. Injury prevention is key!
3. Water - Sometimes referred to as "hydrobags" have become popular because they are more dense than fabric and fiber filled bags but absorb more of the impact. They are less expensive to ship because the skin is light weight by itself. The only risk is, if a water filled bag leaks you could have some expensive damages to repair depending the surroundings.
Remember practicing your footwork is the secret to learning how to throw any technique from any angle.
My next blog post will discuss factors to consider when choosing boxing gloves and wraps. Until then stay active! We invite you to share your comments and experiences. Visit us at www.thesilencer.net