With the advent of time, punching bags have been an essential part of any martial arts practice.
This hefty sack can be used mainly for boxing for many types of martial or mixed martial arts.
We are sure there are no training montages complete without a punching bag scene, where the protagonist is using it with his/her overly shiny new gloves!
Catching up with the new episodes of Kobra Kai must have filled you up with the desire to punch these sturdy bags, or you simply want to learn for yourself or help out your toddler.
Whatever’s the case, this article is going to solve all your doubts.
- 1 Relationship Between Punching Bags and Martial Arts
- 2 Types of Punching Bags
- 3 Best Ways For Kids to Use Punching Bags
- 4 Conclusion
Relationship Between Punching Bags and Martial Arts
The number of people who think using a bag for personal training has no use astonishes us. A punching bag’s job is to help you practice your blows and gain upper body strength.
Working and engaging your core muscles is important in martial arts, and a punching bag enables you to do that.
One main asset of a martial arts practitioner is having good reflexes and the power to take the blow.
These punching bags can condition artists to do so. Starting with a punching bag can guarantee to boost the process. Various martial arts can require different types of punching bags according to their needs(which we will cover in some time).
The most common usage of punching bags is Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Karate, as these art forms heavily rely on kicking. Even if an art form doesn’t require kicking, it can surely benefit from punching bags.
Martial arts trainers and teachers always let their students practice their Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moves on these training bags. Even self-defense martial arts like Krav Maga and Jeet June Do require punching bags to practice their striking.
Mostly these arts use human-shaped manikin punching bags for a vague understanding of human anatomy.
So the usage of a punching bag is not at all limited to your good old boxing. Apart from martial arts, punching bags can be used in gyms for muscle training and HIIT workouts.
Individuals can use a punching bag for self-amusement or practice in their house or basement. Self-defense students and law enforcement students also use these punching bags diligently.
It’s a good habit to use punching bags as therapy for adults and children with anger issues.
Following are some of the common movements that punching bags can help cover:
- Elbow jabs
- Shovel hooks
- Knee strikes
- Hook punches
Types of Punching Bags
Freestanding Punching Bags
As the name suggests, these bags and free-standing meaning, the base of this bag allows the punching bag to stand up straight. Usually, this base is filled with heavy materials like sand and water.
Since these bags stand on their own, they can be stored away easily depending on the usage.
Bob Standing Bags
The following punching bags are recommended for MMA, Krav Maga because it takes the shape of an actual person.
Heavy Punching Bags
These punching bags are much heavier than the free-standing bags and provide lesser mobility to the bag’s movement, allowing them to be useful for strength training.
The material used for this type of bag is mainly cloth, thus giving it its ideal heavyweight.
One thing to consider while purchasing a heavy bag is the strength of your ceiling. Buy it only if your ceiling can handle such heavy equipment.
Teardrop Punching Bags
Getting its name from the teardrop shape, this heavy bag can hold quite the weight.
It is lighter than a regular heavy bag and works as an excellent alternative to a regular heavy bag. You can work on your straight shots, uppercuts, and hooks with this type of bag.
Speed Punching Bags
Bags like these are speedy and fast-moving. These punching bags are built to move and snap right back at their original place when hit. Practitioners can use these types of punching bags to increase hand-eye coordination, rhythm, and timing.
Double-End Punching Bags
A deadly combo that is connected to the floor and ceiling at the same time. Since it is affixed to the wall and ceiling, it can’t be moved or kept away. It works best to help a player understand the missing punches and how to tackle them.
They often come in varying sizes with adjustable rebound elasticity for practicing on different levels.
Best Ways For Kids to Use Punching Bags
Punching bags are universally used at all ages. Child prodigies or children who merely want to practice their boxing skills can and should use them. There are two primary goals for kids to use punching bags:
- For martial arts training
- For therapy
That said, a kid can simply start using these punching bags under adult supervision at first. If you are training your kid for martial arts, make sure you have an instructor with them.
Since they are using it for the first time, they should try to control the punching bag as much as possible.
While starting, instructors usually hold the other side of the punching bag to avoid the bag hitting the child.
When kids start their training, they are usually given a small bag as there is no way they can handle a heavy bag.
Usually, these bags come in different sizes, and companies offer a wide range of them depending on their age or training level. For toddlers, the punching bags come with fun colors that might ignite a sense of playfulness in them while working out.
These punching bags are not only helpful with martial arts but can help calm the internal anger that has been built-up in your child. Teenagers are usually aggressive.
Therefore, medical professionals and therapists usually recommend kids use a punching bag for an outlet. Below are few ways and helpful tips that can help a kid when starting his/her punching bag journey :
Fill up your punching bag with appropriate stuffing if the bag is empty. Also, fill up your knowledge of basic rules and instructions.
Use a trainer, teacher, an adult, or simply watch an instructional video that will brush you up with the basics.
Always research before buying the perfect bag. Make it a point to buy high-quality punching bags that can withstand the force you will put on them.
Materials matter, so you should buy the one that feels sturdier.
For the general fitness of kids, buy lightweight punching bags especially made for children.
If the kids are a bit old and know martial arts, then it’s time to invest in a nice heavy bag.
Glove It Up
Never try to punch a bag with bare hands. When learning to use punching bags as a beginner, it’s quintessential to wear good strong gloves.
The absence of gloves can harm your knuckles and injure you badly.
Even after rigorous training, few martial arts instructors warn their students not to practice without gloves.
Wear clothes that you might wear to the gym or during practices. Avoid clothes with ruffles, sequins, or stick-on appliques, as kids’ clothing has an abundance of those things.
If their hair is long, tie it with a rubber band. It is encouraged to wear sports shoes that have good grippers for optimum support and resilience.
You don’t want to fly away by the punching bag just because your feet aren’t correctly positioned.
Warming Up Your Body
It is advised to warm up your body before starting punching practice. If your body is cold, there are chances of getting hurt by locking yourself in joints.
You will thank this article later when there is relatively lesser body ache because of warm-up. Do nice stretch ups and move your whole body resulting in high blood flow.
Punching The Bag
Make sure you start slow and punch with your index and middle fingers knuckles. It will reduce the strain on your little and more fragile knuckles of the last two fingers.
Look at your posture, stand straight and keep a straight posture by planting your feet flat on the ground. Once you learn the magic of stance, punching bags as a beginner won’t feel stiff.
Your body will get into a rhythm and learn to control the rhythm. Always remember, you are in control!
Keep moving when not punching, jumping works too if that makes it easier for you. Try using your hands and legs to activate different parts of your body.
Don’t overdo it! You are just starting, don’t tire your body or cause excessive force to it. Be hydrated and air out your sweat.
It is always advised to sanitize your gloves and punching bag after each usage, especially if it’s a common punching bag.
All your basics are cleared here. You are now ready to hit the bag responsibly. Don’t be afraid if you don’t understand or can’t handle the bag. It takes time. With enough practice and knowledge, you will easily learn.
A small bag like this can take you to heights from a martial arts perspective in the longer run.