A free standing kickboxing bag is a fantastic and versatile piece of training equipment and a must for any home gym if you have space.
As well as general fitness training a bag is great for martial arts training. They can be used to practice strikes and kicks from all of the body’s weapons – fists, palms, elbows, knees, and feet included. As well as improving the accuracy of striking, a heavy free standing punching bag is great for developing power in your punches and blows.
There are several things to consider when you look to buy a free standing kickboxing bag –
– Does it have an adjustable height base? This allows greater flexibility and will allow people of different heights to train with the bag. Being able to adjust the height allows you to vary your training and for example punch upwards and at different angles. For martial artists this flexibility allows you to train high kicking techniques
– How heavy is the bag when the base is filled. The sand or water base is designed to give stability but if you need to move it away from training it can’t be too heavy! Ideally, around base will allow it to be rolled away quite easily
– What is the outer surface made of? I prefer synthetic coverings such as vinyl as these are resistant to damp and mold. If used properly a bag will encounter some sweat!
– What is your budget? If money is tight you may consider buying a used bag but I strongly recommend seeing it first to check for wear and damage. Patches on the surface may injure your hands and may be a sign the bag is past its best and may only be fit for the bin after a few weeks. Think about quality retailers which allow you to buy a free standing punching bag online. Ideally, see, touch and feel one then order it online to get the best price!
– What other equipment might you need? By this, I mean quality MMA gloves and wraps. I do strain bare-knuckle sometimes but for the sustained use I prefer to wear gloves. It makes sense to order all buy the equipment you’ll need for bag training at the same time.
Once you’ve bought your bag you may need to think about where to use it and how to position it. For a good free standing punching bag workout, I suggest you need a good 5 feet diameter of space around the base. You need to be able to move around and simulate a boxing or fight situation. Your opponent will not stand still! And if he ever does, you should still vary your position and move around him. In training, this gives a great all body workout and will improve your balance and core stability. This is one of the things I love about this gym equipment – it doesn’t just improve your punching ability or upper body strength and power, it really can be an all over workout.
There are other bags available and you may want to explore speedballs and other options but for me, the free standing punching bag offers far superior flexibility.
Free Standing kickboxing Bag Fitness
Free standing kickboxing bag fitness training has become the foundation of my training. In between punching and kicking, I mix in a variety of high impact cardio training such as push-ups, burpees, and star jumps. I use this in an interval training pattern – 2 minutes full power on the free standing kickboxing bag, 30 seconds rest, 30 seconds of push-ups and back to the bag… and repeat!
Free Standing kickboxing Bag – The Choices
Punching bags come in a wide range depending on your training needs, use, and goals. The mounting method is another choice. Personally, I find a free standing kickboxing bag to be the most versatile.
Bags come in various sizes and there are even tailor-made children’s punching bags. The covering comes in different types but most modern varieties have a hard wearing synthetic covering such as vinyl. As well as offering a longer lasting surface, synthetic covers resist abrasion and are less prone to build up of mildew. I keep mine in the garage which can be damp in winter and mildew can be a problem on some surfaces.
Punching Bag Options
Speed bags are smaller air-filled bags usually fixed to the top of a rebound platform parallel to the ground. Speed bags help you learn to keep your hands up and improve hand-eye coordination during practice. They also improve your skill shifting weight between feet when punching and your general balance. They are also known as Speed Ball Bags.
Swerve balls, sometimes called floor to ceiling balls, are almost the same as Speedballs with the main difference being the bag size shape and material. The securing cable system differs in that it is attached to the ceiling and a clip on the floor. As you strike the ball it reacts by swinging back towards you at speed. These are great for training with the object to swerve, punch, dodge and develop your reactions and coordination. The harder and faster they are hit – the more they rebound and react at different angles giving you a realistic simulation of an actual fight.
Double-end bags or Focus bags are light, usually spherical bags, often fixed to floor and ceiling with elastic or semi-elastic materials. These types of bags are used to practice accuracy and mobility on a moving target. I love training with these but they aren’t always practical for a home gym and this is why I stick with a free standing punching bag.
Heavy bags are larger, cylindrical bags, usually hung from chains or ropes and used practicing full power punches. These are great for martial arts training such as karate kicks. The can be used to toughen hands or other limbs such as elbows but I am not a fan of this kind of ‘old school’ training.
Pedestal bags are heavy bags mounted on a weighted pedestal rather than being suspended from above. They come in various shapes and sizes, some designed for specific purposes such as upper-cut punches.
A more recent development is body-shaped training aids such as the modern “body opponent bag” – the Bob XL punching bag being one of the most popular. They are made of hard-wearing synthetic materials and are usually mounted on a weighted pedestal rather than hanging from above. The base height is usually adjustable and this makes them a versatile training aid. Many martial arts such as Choi Kwang Do use the Bob XL punching bag for target strike training on a realistic human form. They are the modern equivalent of the wooden man apparatus used in ancient arts like Wing Chun.
Free Standing kickboxing Bag
A Free standing kickboxing bag is fixed to a heavy base, usually filled with sand to the water. I find them to be the most versatile and practical of all varieties. They can be rolled away for storage and offer a great cardio workout – an essential piece of equipment for a home gym. I also use a free standing kickboxing bag for martial arts training and they can develop technique, accuracy, core strength and stability as well as fitness.
Free Standing kickboxing Bag Safety
When using a free standing kickboxing bag safety is always a key consideration. Of course, you must be fit and healthy to train with this equipment but there are also a number of important things to remember.
A heavy free standing kickboxing bag should be just that – it should have a heavy base to reduce the chance of you knocking it over! I usually fill my base with sand but water is another option. If you do knock it over you may injure others as well as yourself.
Gloves for Free Standing Kickboxing Bags
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An important consideration is whether to use gloves or to train bare knuckle. My own choice is to use a quality pair of gloves and wraps. I tend to train for quite long periods and I have developed a good power over the years. I know some would argue I should train bare-knuckle and harden the skin and I have to a point – but I don’t think there’s any point in constantly opening wounds and scarring your hands! If you do so there’s a danger of infection.
How to Punch
Whatever your training method the question of how to punch correctly comes in. The martial art of Choi Kwang Do was specifically designed my founder Grand Master Choi to reduce the risk of injury during training. A huge amount of scientific research has gone into learning ways to punch without overextending or risking damage to joints and bones. The angle of the elbow at the point of impact is an example of this. The upper arm should be parallel to the floor. If you are hitting with an upper-cut there is a risk of injury to the shoulder joint. This can be reduced by rolling the punch from the shoulder in a natural motion.
Other than the risk of injury to joints or muscles during training, there are reports of injuries such as back problems from lifting a free standing punching bag to store it. The bags I prefer are those with a round base which greatly reduces this risk. They can simply be rolled away after use! Considering the issue of the heavy base which stops the bag from falling over when it takes a pounding you would be mad to try lifting it!
Always buy the best quality free standing punching bag you can afford. If you buy a poor quality bag it will cost you in the long run. Tears to the fabric will not only reduce its lifespan, they may cause cuts and injuries when training.
If you are going to allow your family to use the equipment you may want to look at children’s free standing punching bags. Good adult ones will have adjustable height but there are specific bags for children I would recommend you look at. Whatever decision you come to about the equipment, always supervise younger children when using a bag.
A final word about free standing punching bag safety. The temptation may be to look for a bag on eBay or buy a used bag but this can often be a poor decision. You don’t know how old the bag is or what punishment it’s taken! They don’t have to cost a lot and if you look online at sites like Amazon you can buy quality punching bags at serious discounts.