What to Fill in Punching Bag: A Buyer’s Guide to Heavy Bags | CombatSportEvents.com

What to Fill in Punching Bag: A Buyers Guide


Thinking of buying a heavy bag or filling the existing one? You have either started or want to start boxing. Whether it’s just for fitness purposes or you are training yourself for a competition, choosing the right heavy bag and filler is a step in the right direction in achieving these goals.

Knowing what to look for in a heavy bag, however, is a difficult task. This article will hopefully fill you in on choosing the correct heavy bag for you, and help understand what to fill in the punching bag the best.

In this article, I answer the most asked questions that the internet has about heavy bags and fillers in order to make it easier for you to decide which type or shape of the bag to buy.

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

How to Fill a Heavy Bag?

Let’s first start by identifying what a heavy bag is. A Heavy bag, also known as a punching bag or boxing bag, is typically a leather cylindrical shape filled with materials depending on the hardness.

Used in many combat sports its main purpose is to practice striking techniques.

Punch bag filler

So, what to fill in punching bag? Depending on how hard you would like your bag to be there are several punch bag filler materials you can add to create the hardness that you wish.

Most Heavy bags have rags as a filler unless specified otherwise.

For a lighter/softer bag you typically find inside old rags and bits of carpet compressed into the shape of the bag.

For the heavier and harder effects of punch bag filler you can use sand or sawdust to fill on top of what’s already in the bag, however, do not fill your heavy bag completely with these materials as the bag would become solid and almost like punching a wall.

*You must check with the manufacturer before proceeding with a punching bag fill with materials such as sand or sawdust.

What do you fill a punch bag with?

I myself have done this quite recently with my RDX Angle bag and one thing I must say is you will need two people or more to do this. Don’t try and tackle this on your own.

RDX AR Angle Punch Bag Filled Uppercut Black/Red
  • One reason is, it can be messy. The rags are all tangled so when you try to take out one bundle of rags, most of the bundle tends to come out too. They also create a lot of mess and a lot of dust so make sure you have a brush ready and you do this either outdoors or in a garage.
  • The second reason is that it can be quite heavy to handle. I attempted to fill it first attempted while my brother was holding it. It worked staring off but we needed to allow the sand to spread and jam in corners so we had to heave it up and back down several times so the sand would filter down and we didn’t have an odd-shaped bag.
  • We ended up hanging it from the rack and filling it by standing on a chair. one of us would then hit the bag and let the sand filter through evenly.
  • This worked and we eventually after a day or two of using it, it has formed its original shape.

This video should show you what I mean by rags and clothes punch bag filling.

So why don’t I tell you what to full in puching bag in detail? Let’s get to it.

Typically speaking your bag should have a zip at the top. Open and then fill with the desired material. 

What do you fill a punch bag with?

For a softer bag 

  • Use all rags/clothes
  • Compress as tightly as possible in the bag
  • If the clothes/rags are cut up smaller the better
  • Your bag should be filled already with these materials unless specified otherwise.

For a medium hardness bag

  • Use fewer rags/clothes
  • Add Sawdust
  • Compress as tightly as possible in the bag creating 2 layers of rags/clothes and one layer of sawdust. 
  • Repeat until full
  • Use mostly rags

For a hard heavy bag

  • Use even fewer rags/clothes
  • Add Sawdust or sand
  • Compress as tightly as possible in the bag creating one 1 layer of rags/clothes and one layer of sawdust or sand.
  • Repeat until full

How much do heavy bags weigh?

Depending on the type of heavy bag, what you fill it with and the brand of heavy bag can weigh up to 100 pounds easily and much more.

How much does a punching bag cost?

A punching bag can cost anywhere from $30 to $500 depending on several factors.

Browse the RDX shop for a 5% discount.

Factors that include

  • Your goal
  • The brand
  • Type of bag
  • Contents of the bag

What types of Heavy bags are there?

When most people think of heavy bags they think of the typical cylindrical shape that fighters have been using forever, however, there are actually so many heavy bags that we couldn’t count all the shapes and sizes.

These are our favourite types of heavy bags.

Banana Bag

A longer slimmer heavy bag for the Muay Thai or MMA fighters. The design of the bag is for low kicks, knees etc.

Wrecking ball bag

It is what it sounds like, the wrecking ball heavy bag is round/spherical in shape. Great for targeting and training body shots.

Aqua bag

A very similar style and shape to the Wrecking ball I mentioned above, however, this is, in my opinion, is the very best bag you can buy for several reasons.

  • It absorbs punches very well, therefore, doesn’t move as much
  • The shape is great for practising uppercuts
  • It is easier on the hands

Angle Heavy Bag

The best all-round bag an Angle Heavy Bag has a top-heavy design with a slimmer lower end. A great training bag that allows you to train uppercuts, body shots, hooks and much more.

What size heavy bag do I need?

Here is an easy graph to understand what size of a bag you need. A rough guide is half your body weight.

Where to hang a heavy bag?

A heavy bag can be wall-mounted, hung from a ceiling or hung from a rack.

You can also buy free-standing bags although they are not as solid as the others.

How to work the heavy bag like a pro boxer?

The best way to work the heavy bag is to get lessons from a trainer. If you don’t fancy going to a gym then maybe Expert Boxing‘s classes are what you need.

You can click the link below to view offers Expert Boxing has.

Heavy bag vs Freestanding bag?

The heavy bag would trump the freestanding bag for many reasons.

Here I’ll give a few points as to the pros and cons to each.

Cons of Freestanding Bag

  • The free-standing bags are generally softer and lighter than the heavy bags
  • It can move often when hit hard
  • Your foot can hit the base depending on what size it is

Pros of Freestanding Bag

  • Transportable
  • No need to hang
  • Able to move around the bag

So there you have it on how to fill a heavy bag. I hope we also helped you in choosing which heavy bag to buy and answered any other questions you may have had on heavy bags.

To view what other Boxing gear I recommend click here.

Now that you have your heavy bag why not try Muhammad Ali or Mike Tysons Workouts here.

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