A popular martial art practiced by fighters all around the world, thanks to the rise in popularity of mixed martial arts and similarly influenced styles, Muay Thai continues to be heralded as one of the best martial arts to learn, be it for fitness, self defense, or competitive sport.
As its name might suggest, it found its origins in Thailand, translating to “the art of eight limbs”, but how exactly did it come about?
Here, we have put together five of our favorite Muay Thai bags on the market, so as to offer you some pointers, specifications, and choices to help you make your decision.
So without further ado, let's get into the list!
Best Muay Thai Bag
OUR TOP PICK
First on our list is the Outslayer, which is American made, boasts a rich, vinyl skin, and comes in a variety of colors, including: black, black and white, black and red, blue and gray, brown, dark green and black, orange, and yellow.
Designed for professional and gym use, the Outslayer comes unfilled, but can hold 150 lbs of sand, making it one of the heavier bags on this list.
Coming with a 10 year warranty, and not requiring the use of any chains or fastenings, this is the perfect heavy bag for amateurs and professionals alike.
- Hefty fill capacity
- Durable vinyl skin
- Range of colors
- Modest price tag
- 6 feet tall
- Comes unfilled
- Hard to fill
Next on our list is the 100lb bag from Ringside.
Lighter than others on this list, the punching bag comes filled, making it easier to immediately set up and use.
Made using resistant powerhide construction, this bag isn’t going to wear or split on you anytime soon, making it perfect for the hard training Muay Thai requires.
Designed for amateur and professional use, this bag can be utilized by boxers, kickboxers, MMA, and Muay Thai practitioners, and boasts an all round aerobic workout to those sensible enough to purchase it.
- Lighter weight
- Comes filled with 100lbs of sand
- Powerhide construction for toughness
- Versatile for other martial arts
- Good for professional or amateur use
- Poor customer service
A little different to the other products on this list, the Lekaro comes with a standing, weighted bag for easier installation into the home or gym, as well as Lekaro boxing gloves, Lekaro handwraps, and a specialized foam protector to stop injury against the springs and metal components holding up the bag.
Weighing 220 lbs, there is no chance of you kicking this bag over, making it perfect for people who have more limited space in their training area, or for people who are looking for more control.
The body is made from a four part composite structure that boasts resistance to tearing, fast rebounds, and peak elasticity.
The sturdy polypropylene base can also be filled with 80 lbs of water or sand to keep it extra rigid and secure.
What’s more, this package comes with a three month quality guarantee, allowing you to return or swap the bag and gear if they are not suited to your needs.
- Features gloves, handwraps and protector
- Doesn’t require chains or hanging
- Heavyweight and secure
- Perfect for smaller spaces
- Good value for money
- Durable, multi layered body
- 3 month guarantee
- Easy to assemble
- Perhaps too tall for some homes
The Triple Eight Gotham Water Helmet is one that doesn’t compromise between comfort and protection.
With its high-density ABS outer shell and its foam-padded three-layer water liner, with this helmet, we can assure you that you will get the best of both worlds.
Created with medium to high impact water sports in mind, this model is highly commended in the water sports market for its flexibility and adaptability.
Available in four sizes and fitted with adjustable straps, the helmet is suitable for a wide range of people.
The suction-like cushioned fit and the snug-fitting straps mean that you wouldn’t have to worry about the helmet moving around your head or coming off with the water.
The Velcro sweat-absorbing halo can be easily removed and washed which is not something that you are typically able to do with protective headwear.
Designed exclusively for water, this helmet not only meets the water sport safety standards but consists of several specific features that have the comfort and safety of surfers like you, in mind.
Overall, if comfort is something that you are particularly drawn to, we suggest you have a good look at this helmet when weighing up your options.
- Super comfy
- Reasonably priced
- Stylish, expensive look
- A removable, washable inside layer
- Sizing seems to be on the smaller side so be careful when ordering
Last on our list, but by no means least, the heavy bag by Fairtex comes in a variety of colors, boasts a durable synthetic leather composition, and comes at a price that is affordable and fair.
Using reinforced nylon weave straps to keep it in place, and possessing advanced stitching and rivets along key tension areas, what this bag boasts is durability, able to take whatever punishment you throw at it.
- Modest price
- Durable and tough
- Wide range of colors
- Synthetic leather body
- Comes unfilled
To make them fit the purposes of training, Muay Thai bags have to be firm, durable, and dense, so as to absorb the heavy blows delivered upon them.
Due to the nature of the product, and the nature of the sport for that matter, comfort is not generally an issue as far as they are concerned, however a smoother surface like leather or polyurethane will encourage a straighter, more precise attack during training.
The bags are generally filled with sand, which is a good shock absorber, and this ensures that the inner stuffing will not break down over time, like other fillings (like foam) might.
Of course, with any equipment, price is an important factor.
Many people think that price is an indicator of quality, but this isn’t always the case. There are plenty of expensive products that are poor in quality, and similarly there are plenty of cheap products out there that really go the extra mile.
This is why it is important to establish your personal needs, and weigh them up against the reviews and specifications the products claim to offer.
This way you can find common ground, and hopefully stand a better chance of finding the product that is right for you.
Tracing its roots back to the 16th century, Muay Thai was a peacetime martial art practiced by the warriors of King Narusean.
Various Muay Thai bouts were famously witnessed by French diplomat Simon de la Loubere, who wrote about them extensively in his famed works.
This led to their wider popularity, as well as their famed use throughout the Burmese Siamese war (1765-1767), where soldiers would spar for fun and fitness when not fighting.
King Rama V had deep personal interest in the sport, which maintained its popularity and practice throughout this period.
As the country was at peace during this time, Muay Thai was performed as a means of fitness, entertainment, self defense, and organized competition.
The ascension of King Rama VII in the 1902s ushered in a newfound resurgence of interest and popularity with the sport.
His personal interest in the sport saw the creation of wider, uniformed rules, as well as the construction of larger public arenas where the sport could be carried out for paying crowds.
Towards the latter end of the 20th century, the popularity of Muay Thai spread beyond its borders thanks to implementation of international martial arts events, as well as the inclusion of Thai fighters on the global stage.
As such, there are over 3,800 Muay Thai gyms overseas, as of 2020.
As Muay Thai is the art of eight limbs, every limb of the body can be utilized during a bout, and consist predominantly of kicks, knees, punches, and strikes.
Whilst sparring was less common during the early times of Muay Thai, the implementation of more in depth training practices, as well as a larger, expectant audience, led to punches, strikes, and elbow attacks being more and more a part of the sport.
As far as fouls go, fighters must refrain from striking the groin (deliberately), as well avoiding striking the gloves, forearms, feet, or shins.
Points can be won by landing a blow without the opponent blocking or guarding, and if no definite winner is established by end of the fight, a winner will be chosen on the strength of their strikes, rather than the points they have accrued.
As with most martial arts, Muay Thai has a specific uniform that was, and in many cases still is, required of combatants to wear.
The Mongkhon, or Mongkol is a headband which was first introduced during the Siam war, when young men would tear off some cloth from the clothes of a significant other (or mother) and wear it as a means of providing good luck, as well as to ward off evil spirits.
In modern times this remains as a piece of entry clothing, where fighters wear it into the ring as either a good luck charm, or as a tribute to their ancestors, or their family’s gyms.
There are five main principles in modern Muay Thai, referred to as chok, sok, te, ti khao and teep.
Chok refers to the act of punching, techniques which, as I previously said, were quite limited in the early days of the sport.
Cross-fertilization with western forms of boxing are predominantly to thank for the inclusion of fist techniques, and now most forms are accepted and widely used.
The various punching techniques are: jabs, crosses/straight punches, hooks/swings, overhands/haymakers, back fists, spinning backfists, uppercuts, Superman punches, and cobra punches.
Sok refers to elbow attacks, and they are used in several ways during combat as a prominent striking weapon.
Perhaps most commonly, elbow striking (especially from the side) can be used as a finishing move to knock down an opponent, or as a means of blinding them by splitting an eyebrow and causing blood to cover their face.
Widely used elbow techniques include: elbow slash, horizontal elbow, uppercut elbow, forward elbow thrust, reverse horizontal elbow, spinning elbow, double elbow chop, mid air elbow strike, and jump elbow chop.
Te refers to the act of kicking, and in Muay Thai there are two commonly used kicking styles: thip, or “foot jab”, and te chiang, which refers to a triangular kicking motion that catches the opponent under the ribs or arm.
Other commonly used kicking techniques include: straight kicks, roundhouse kicks, diagonal kicks, half shin/half knee kicks, reverse roundhouse kicks, down roundhouse kicks, ax heel kicks, jump kicks, and step up kicks.
This refers to knee attacks, which are almost as widely used in Muay Thai as kicking.
Kneeing techniques widely used in Muay Thai include: straight knee strikes, diagonal knee strikes, curving knee strikes, horizontal knee strikes, knee slaps, knee bombs, flying knees, and the step up knee strike.
Teep refers to a foot thrust, and is also a common addition to kicking and kneeing attacks. These are used quickly, and as a means to knock opponents off balance to gain the advantage.
In Muay Thai, the most common techniques are: straight foot thrusts, sideways foot thrusts, reverse foot thrusts, slapping foot thrusts, and jumping foot thrusts.
Additional Fighting Techniques
As well as the above techniques, other actions are also implemented during professional combat.
The main example is chap ko, or clinch and neck wrestling.
Unlike western boxing, Muay Thai fighters are not separated when they grapple one another, or clinch. It is during this clinch when elbow and knee attacks are mainly used, and in general clinches come in the following forms:
- Arm clinch - to control the inside of the defender’s arms in preparation for a knee strike or throw.
- Side clinch - this involves one arm passing around the front of the defender, the attacker’s shoulder in their armpit, and their other around the defender’s back, allowing them to use knee attacks on their back or stomach.
- Low clinch - both of the attacker’s arms pass under the defender’s arms, and is generally used by shorter combatants.
- Swan neck - this involves one of the attacker’s hands grasping around the defender’s neck in order to quickly clinch them before an attack.
Of course, if a combatant wishes to stop their opponent from losing points, various defensive techniques need to be employed.
Muay Thai defensive techniques come in six categories, and include:
- Blocking - preventing a strike from landing.
- Parrying - changing the direction of an opponent’s strike.
- Avoidance - moving out of the way of a coming strike.
- Evasion - moving out of the way, so an opponent has to approach to counterattack.
- Disruption - pre-empting an attack, and thus interfering with its undertaking.
- Anticipation - defender catches a strike on approach.
As with all martial arts, training and body conditioning are widely used to improve the fitness, skills, and formidability of a fighter.
Many techniques are used during training, such as running, shadow boxing, rope jumping, bodyweight resistance exercises, medicine ball exercises, abdominal training, and weight training.
As kicking is a primary function in the sport, heavy bags are also used as a means of strengthening leg bones through a process called “cortical remodeling”.
As such, the right punching bag is important when trying to train the body to adapt to the rigorous training regimes of Muay Thai, which is where the next part of this article comes in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Weight Important?
A heavier bag allows for both the honing of control, as well as the cortical remodeling needed to strengthen the bones for Muay Thai.
Is A Hung or Standing Bag Better?
Both are useful in different scenarios.
A standing bag is more suited to home use, as it requires less space, whereas a hanging bag is better suited to professional and gym use.
And there we have it, everything you might need to find the perfect Muay Thai punching bag.
Of course, if you are still struggling, the best person to ask for advice might be a coach or trainer, as they are more experienced and will know the best equipment to suit your specific needs.