Before you get to work, you need to decide the kind of filling for your bag. It could be rubber mulch, sawdust, or rags...or a combination of a few of these. There are some other options too. Whatever you choose, do keep in mind the use and ultimately the safety of your hands. Here are the most common fillings for heavy bags.
1 - Sawdust
2 - Rice
3 - Rubber Mulch or Shredded rubber tyres
4 - Rag/ Clothes filling
5 - Special textile fillings
Sawdust offers consistent, medium to tough feel and resistance. Make sure to mix it up with some textile filling for better performance.
Where to source? Your local hardware store or Amazon.
Rice filling is the hardest and toughest of all. It can be quite uncomfortable and harsh on the knuckles and wrists. Moreover, if it gets in contact with water, it is a disaster.
Rubber Mulch or Shredded Rubber Tyres are not easily accessible. Have to be very fine small pieces for a consistent, firm, and compressed filling.
Where to source? Google search 'Rubber Mulch' in your local area for suppliers or Amazon
Rags / Clothes filling + Small Sandbags for added weight is ideal for heavy bags. Make sure the pieces are small enough to fill into the sides evenly. Make sure to remove any buttons, zippers or any hard materials form the clothes.
Where to source? If you don't have any unwanted old clothing or rags lying about, you can purchase in bulk from Amazon or perhaps a local Salvation Army or second hand clothing store. Regarding sand, If you are close to a beach that is easy...otherwise Amazon or local hardware stores will be your best bet. Remember to NOT add the sand loose...make sure to wrap in small tight packages using zip lock bags sealed tightly with tape.
Special Textile Fillings + Small Sandbags for added weight is arguably the best option. This is usually finely shredded cotton fabrics and fibers. Made especially for the purpose, this filling is the most functional of all.
Where to source? Ask a local fabric store for any leftovers they may have. Often they will give away for free or for a small fee.
Why Is The Filling So Crucial?A filling could be too hard and harm the hands and wrists of the athlete. This can cause serious injuries. On the other hand, filling too soft can ruin the form and performance. Secondly, you need to figure out the right weight and amount of the filling according to the size of the bag. Next, the filling needs to be compressed properly. Loose filling with empty holes and air pockets can lead to serious injuries.
Recommended Weight When Filled;
- 3 Foot (90cm) @ 25 KG/55 lbs
- 4 Foot (122cm) @ 32 KG/70 lbs
- 5 Foot (150cm) @ 42 KG/92 lbs
- 6 Foot (180cm) @ 52 KG/115 lbs
How to Fill a Punching Bag?
Chose the Right Filling or Filling Combination: Special textile filling is the best choice for a heavy punching bag. It offers great resistance. At the same time, it is not too hard or harsh on the hands. This specially made filling is ideal for professionals as well as beginners. You can also use a combination of sand and fabric, or sawdust and fabric filling.
Layer it Up: Make sure to layer the filling evenly. Do not dump and press. Instead, start with even layers, carefully packing the sides. It will ensure a consistent, uniform density throughout the bag.
Compress and Compress: When you layer up the filling, carefully compress after six inches or so. This will remove any air spaces. Weigh the down bag for an even filling and smooth surface. It will help keep the shape of the bag. At the same time, it will keep the filling from sinking down with use over time.
Fill to the Top: Layer and compress. This is the only right way to fill a heavy punching bag. Pay attention to this and stop when you reach the top.
Tie it all up: Then, tie up the bag to keep the filling tightly packed in. Once you are done, just hang the bag up and you are good to go!
The textile filling is the best choice for a heavy punching bag. However, if you want a heavier bag, want to stabilize it some more, or simply want to add more resistance, you can follow these simple tips.
Use a Rubble Sack for Sawdust and Sand; Never ever, add sand and sawdust directly into the bag. Use a rubble sack or two, depending on the size of your bag. Tightly seal the mouth of the rubble sack to avoid the filling from mixing in and leaking into the bag.
Use a Combination of Fillings to Add Resistance; It is best not to use sand and sawdust fillings on their own as they easily sink down to the bottom. You can use sand as a solid base under textile fillings to weigh down the bag. Textile fillings are a great base for sawdust for light to medium resistances bag. Do not use sand on its own, it will be too hard and have the potential to break your hands.
Use a Heavy Filling as Core to Stabilize the Bag; Stabilize the bag and add resistance by adding a core. Use a PVC plastic pipe. Fill it with sand and seal at both ends tightly. Place it upright in the center of the bag. Proceed with the layer and compress the method on the sides evenly. This core will provide additional resistance and rigidity to the bag. It will stabilize the bag and reduce the swing too.
"Form is temporary, class is permanent"