What Do You Fill A Punching Bag With? (Best Fillers for all Bag Types)

There are three main types of punch bag fillers you can use for your punch bag, and this will be greatly impacted by the kinds of training and endurance you’ll want to do. 

What Do You Fill A Punching Bag With?

When getting your filling for a punching bag, you can choose between three main ones: sawdust, old clothes, and sand. 

Here, we’ll talk about the difference between these three fillings, why it’s important to fill your bag properly, and the right way to fill up your punch bag. 

Let’s get into it!

Why Is It Important To Use The Right Punching Bag Filling?

Whether you’re an amateur just starting out, or a seasoned pro who’s looking to change up their routine, it’s essential to have a bag that works with your style of training. 

Choosing a filling that doesn’t suit your workout style can result in a sub par training experience, no matter how much energy you are pouring into your session. 

But why is the filling in your bag so important?

  • Swing- A bag that’s not filled properly won’t swing the way that it should. 
  • Hazard- you need a bag that can take sufficient impact, or you can seriously injure your wrists and knuckles. 
  • Sinking- Even if you think you’re filling it fully, if you use the wrong sort of filler, it will inevitably sink, making your bag too soft at the top and too hard at the bottom. 
  • Resistance- It is essential to have the right amount of resistance in your bag for a good punching activity, if your filling is not the right kind you will struggle to get the right amount of resistance. 

Why Purchase An Empty Punching Bag?

Whilst we’ve now said all the things that can go wrong if you don’t fill up your bag with the right materials, wouldn’t it just be easier to go into a store and buy a ready filled punching bag? 

Well, it may be easier, but it won’t be better. There are so many advantages to buying an empty punching bag and filling it yourself.

You can adjust the whole experience to your weight class, your favorite types of activity, and the volume of the bag that suits you best. 

For example, a boxing bag with a heavier weight can make it harder for you to move and hit the bag.

Great for training if you are in a higher weight class or need extra resistance when hitting, but not so great if you’re just starting out or you are in a lower weight class. 

Conversely, when you are just starting out, you’ll want a lighter filling, but as you become more accustomed to the filling in your punch bag, you’ll want to have the option to swap out the filler for something heavier that offers you more resistance as you level up your training. 

This will help you improve upon your workout and practice without injuring yourself. 

Another obvious benefit of filling up your own bag is the cost. You can save so much money by filling up your bag yourself!

Not only when purchasing it, but when you’re getting it delivered to you as well. 

You can get a much better quality bag for your money if you invest in a good quality bag and insert it with a cheaper recycled or reused filler that suits your needs. 

As you change up your filling, you also won’t need to splash out on a new bag, and can just change out your filling as needed. 

What Do You Fill A Punching Bag With?

Filling For A Lightweight Boxing Bag

A lightweight boxing bag is good for those who want a softer and lighter density training experience.

This is great if you are training and want to expend less force on your joints and body when you strike the bag. 

THese are a few materials that work best for a lightweight bag: old t-shirts, or cotton garments, towels, light foam, strips of fabric, or cloth. 

What you want to avoid is not compacting your bag enough. This beginner error leaves you with those incredibly ugly lumpy bags.

Not only will they be an eyesore in your gym, they’ll also give you that incredibly satisfying punching experience when you hit a part of the bag that is airy and spacious. Not a nice feeling at all. 

The best way to fill a lightweight punching bag is with a tool or implement like a long broom handle.

This way you can layer up bit by bit, squeezing the foam and cloth layers together evenly, and making sure it gets into every part of the bag. 

Filling For A Heavy Boxing Bag

A heavy boxing bag is best suited to those who want to upgrade their training and really want to feel the ‘crack’ with every impact in the bag.

This is definitely not suited to those who have yet to get accustomed to using their fists. 

You can use a few different fillings for a heavy boxing bag. For a medium to heavy bag, you can use something like sawdust, rice, or another fine substrate to pack in your bag. 

For a really heavy bag that delivers an exceptional impact strike, sand is a great option for you. 

Go low and slow, filling up tiny layers at a time. Yes, it’s time consuming, but you’ll have a bag that lasts a long time of regular use if you treat it well and invest in a good bag to begin with. 

What To Avoid When Filling A Punching Bag

It is essential that you don’t overfill your punching bag. This is an easy mistake to make, especially when trying to avoid the saggy dissatisfaction of an under-filled bag. 

If you overfill your bag, you can easily split the seams of even the best quality bag, leaving a sandy mess all over your gym, and a broken bag to boot. 

Final Thoughts

Filling a punching bag is a great thing to do yourself, and allows you to personalise your training experience.

Not only can it be far more rewarding in terms of training, it’s also a great way to reuse old scrap fabric, and means you can put more money towards something else that really matters to you in your gym, be it better flooring or better gloves to spar with. 

Christopher Anderson
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