So you’ve got a punching bag or you want to get one, and you have some questions.
You’ve come to the right place.
Here are 9 facts about punching bags you need to know.
When Were Punching Bags Invented?
The earliest recorded use of punching bags goes back to the Ancient Greeks in 688 BCE when they used Korykos for training, though it’s likely punching bags are far older than this. The modern punching bag as we know it today was patented in 1872 in the USA by Simon D. Kehoe.
Fighters have been using various forms of striking equipment for as long as we’ve been in combat.
Having a static training partner that doesn’t complain when you’re punching at 100% is an extremely valuable tool, and other fighters realized this millennia ago.
Where Were Punching Bags Invented?
It’s difficult to say exactly where punching bags were invented. However, historians have recorded various forms of striking bags used in Ancient Greece as well as in Asia, known as the makiwara from Okinawa and the mook jong from China.
Wherever you have a dominant fighting force, you’re likely to find punching bags.
Though the patent might be filed in the USA, punching bags have been around far longer.
Can You Kick Punching Bags?
Kicking a punching bag won’t do any damage to the bag itself, but you might find it difficult to train kicks on smaller punching bags. Bags meant for punching are lighter and move too much when you kick them. They’re also shorter and mounted higher for punches, making them difficult to kick.
Bag used for punching
Bag used for kicking and punching
Is Hitting A Punching Bag Bad For Your Brain?
There’s no evidence to suggest that hitting a punching bag is bad for your brain. Punching a bag is no worse for your brain than running. It’s a great way to practice striking for both fitness and self-defense without the risk of brain damage or cuts from being hit by training partners in sparring.
If you want to avoid head injuries, invest in a good punching bag.
It’s a great workout with very little downside.
Is It Okay To Hit The Heavy Bag Every Day?
Whether you’re a pro boxer or simply using a punching bag to get fit at home, hitting the heavy bag every day is absolutely fine. In fact, if you do nothing else, a punching bag is perfectly capable of giving you a really good full-body workout every day.
Let’s be honest, very few people enjoy running on a treadmill to get fit.
You’re more likely to work out if you enjoy what you’re doing, and hitting a bag is awesome.
How Often Should I Hit The Heavy Bag?
If you’re a boxer, hitting the heavy bag is just one part of your bag routine in a day. Boxers use speed bags, double end bags, uppercut bags, and heavy bags every time they train. They’re vital for perfecting combinations and building overall boxing strength and conditioning.
For the casual home exercise, including punching bags into your daily routine will give you a really good workout.
And let’s be honest, it’s a lot of fun.
How Long Should I Punch A Punching Bag?
How long you should punch a punching bag depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
For general workouts, aim to punch the bag for about 15 – 20 minutes consisting of 3-minute rounds with rest periods of 1-minute between each.
You can do this with other exercises for a more rounded workout routine.
If you simply want to hit the bag and 20-minutes isn’t doing much for you, then you can extend the rounds from 3 to 5-minutes.
And if that becomes too easy, play with your pace (go faster and slower) and extend your workout on the punching bag from 20 to 30-minutes or longer if necessary.
Sometimes you need to perfect a certain technique, like a good hook or uppercut.
In this case, it might be best to count each strike.
Practicing sets of 50 punches and taking a break between sets is a great way of drilling a technique and forming muscle memory.
Do this until you’re tired or until you want to practice a different technique.
If you’re hitting the bag for competition, then you should try to stick to your tournament format.
So if your fight is 3 rounds of 3-minutes, then you should simulate this on your punching bag.
Working combinations, footwork, and head movement the same way you would in your actual fight.
Also, include your rest periods between rounds for recovery.
Remember, a punching bag is no substitute for an actual sparring partner.
Are You Supposed To Hit A Heavy Bag Hard?
The purpose of a heavy bag is to take all kinds of punishment, including the hardest kicks and punches you’re able to throw. They’re great for simulating an actual punch in a fight because you don’t have to hold back like when you’re sparring.
Remember, you don’t always want to be punching as hard as you can.
A big part of being a good fighter is understanding energy conservation.
Only using hard punches when it strategically makes sense.
Combining light and heavy punches in your training helps to diversify your striking arsenal.
How Hard Should I Hit The Heavy Bag?
You should try to include a wide range of punching strengths in your training. Harder punches tend to build muscle, and a lot of softer punches help to develop your stamina and cardio output. So having a good balance of different strikes in your workouts will help provide a more complete exercise routine.
Training on punching bags is loads of fun.
Whether you’re looking to get into boxing or just want a good workout that also provides some self-defense training, hitting a punching should definitely be on your list.