How to Hang A Heavy Bag

Knowing how to hang a heavy bag can be one of the first challenges of starting your boxing or martial arts training. Heavy bags are bulky, awkward and, well, heavy. They concentrate a lot of weight on a single point. However, with the right tools and taken in the right order, hanging your heavy bag is no more difficult or complex than any other basic home improvement project.

Stuff you'll need:

  • Power drill
  • Long drill bit (these don't come standard with most bit sets)
  • Measuring tape
  • Eye bolt with nut and washer
  • Step ladder
  • Heavy bag 
  • Hanging chains (these come standard with most bags, but you can buy them separate at any sporting goods store)
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  1. Choose the location to hang your heavy bag. Look for a ceiling joist at least six inches square, accessible above and below. Check that you have a minimum of five feet of space on every side of where the bag will hang.
  2. Measure the height of the ceiling joist. Buy an eye bolt two to three longer than the height of the joist. Eye bolt length is measured according to the entire length of the bolt (including the eye), so this will give you a bolt that protrudes about an inch above the joist.
  3. Drill a hole through the joist, from top to bottom. Start with a 1/8 inch drill bit and work your way up to a bit of equal diameter to the eye bolt.
  4. Slide the bolt through your hole, eye side down. Slide the washer over the top and fasten the nut on by hand.
  5. Tighten the nut down with your pliers. Slide the shaft of your screwdriver through the eye of your bolt to hold the bolt steady as you tighten.
  6. Attach the hanging chains to your heavy bag by hooking each hook through the braces on the bag. Most bags have four braces.
  7. Place the stepladder beneath the eye bolt.
  8. Lift the heavy bag and set it on the first or second step of your ladder. Continue to bring it up step by step until it's high enough for the hanging chains to reach the eye bolt.
  9. Hook the top hook of the hanging chains through your eye bolt.
  10. Remove the ladder and put away your tools.

Tip: If you don't have a good joist to hang your heavy bag, you still have two options. Free-standing heavy bags are available, using a water-filled base. They work something like a bopper doll for grownups. You can also buy a heavy bag frame from most martial arts and boxing supply houses.

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