Buying a heavy bag is no light matter, and the heavier they are the more costly they are to ship, which is why it's so important, if you are a boxer or any form of martial artist, to learn how to fill a heavy bag. The least expensive way to get a really high quality bag is to order the shell, leather or synthetic, and to stuff it yourself. It's easy to find a high-quality producer of bags, so if you've got a little time on your hands it's equally easy to save yourself a couple hundred bucks.
To fill a heavy bag you will need:
- a high-quality unfilled bag
- cloth and more cloth
- a packing tube for stability
- sand or rice (to add extra weight)
- a weight to pack down the cloth
- Order the bag. This is the bag you will snarl at, punch, kick and maybe even head-but for years to come. Take a moment and make sure you order a good one, because this is the beginning of a new relationship.
- Anticipate the amount of stuffing. Some bags come with an inch to three inches of foam to protect your hands. Check your bag because the amount of padding will dictate the amount of stuffing you need to fill your heavy bag. If your bag doesn't come with foam see if you can get foam to fit.
- Gather your stuffing. The best material to fill a heavy bag is shredded fabric. The dingy way of stuffing the bag is buying old clothes or blankets from used clothing stores or goodwill, but if you have a clothing manufacturer, local fashion design business or other company that uses cloth, see if they have waste cloth they will sell or give away.
- Add weight. For small fighters with a light but lightning fast punch, you will want a 40 pound bag and won't want to add weight. But bags come in various weights, all the way up to 200 pounds for the heavy hitters. To add weight as you fill your heavy bag, center a cylinder such as a cardboard movie-poster tube in the bag to fill with sand or rice. As a warning, don't add loose sand to the bag because it will settle to the bottom over time and cause uneven wear or even leakage.
- Fill your bag. To fill the heavy bag, put your foam into the bag and position it so it is flush at the bottom and top and encircles the bag on the inside perfectly. Begin with layers of fabric on the bottom of the bag, and as you add layers, compress the fabric with a weight.
- Check the density of the bag. As you stuff, check to make sure you are packing tightly, not just up and down, but also side to side. It's the sides you are going to punch, and if you fill a heavy bag to the top, then notice that it's not tight, you could be in a bit of trouble.
- Add the weight. Once you've got a good six or eight inches of packed cloth down at the bottom go ahead and add the empty tube with a plastic cap on the bottom. As you fill a heavy bag for boxing you want the tube to come in flush with the top of the bag so you can easily add or subtract weight after the bag is packed. Pack cloth around the tube until you have reached the top, then pour in the sand to meet your weight goal.
- Close the bag. Seal the sand tube with a plastic cap and lace up and tie off the top before you hang your heavy bag.
If you are into fitness, are training for your next amateur or professional fight, or practice a form of martial arts, learning how to fill a heavy bag will get you a higher quality bag for your money, and save on shipping cost and on the packing of the bag. You'll be able to make your bag personal. You put it together and now it's yours.