This an amazing question, one that I have wondered myself. In my case I turned up at my gym for the first time and there in front of me swinging from a wall bracket was a punching bag.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next, yes I punched it. Ouch!! Not only did I not know how to punch correctly but I also hit it near the bottom. It was hard, which brings me back to the question at hand, “What is in a punching bag“? Over the years the contents have changed this I can tell you, lets take a peak inside or if you prefer you can try to punch the stuffing out of it.
What Is In A Punching Bag?
The contents of a punching bag can vary but like I said earlier this can be a number of things. When I was just a boy it used to be sand. This was and is very hard on the hands, especially if you hit the bottom of the bag. This is due to the fact that over time sand will compress, this could be because of the constant kicking or punching it encounters on a daily basis. But this will cause your bag to be very hard and It’ll get harder, the closer you get to the bottom.
Like everything in our world, they evolve and so did punch bags. So the lets look closer, What is in a punching bag? Over the years I have had a variety of bags and I have opened up quite a few, just being nosy I guess. I have also found they can be stuffed with old rags, I found this was good in regards to punching and kicking. The risk of damage to your hands with rags is very low but I must admit I found it not weighty enough.
I’m a reasonable sized guy and when it comes to hitting a punching bag, I want to hit it! Unfortunately when a bag is filled with rags it swings all over the place. In a way I might as well have been punching a balloon. There was not enough resistance to my power.
Bags Don’t Hit Back!
Most punching bags are brought filled with their special ingredients, so the need for filling isn’t necessary. But if you wanted your punching bag to be upgraded for your needs, then choosing the right filling will not only give you a good punching bag but it will safe guard your hands.
Hand Conditioning – Power From Within.
The earlier punching bags were filled with sand. The main reason for this was solely for purpose of conditioning the hands and shins. This was a good idea and widely practised by many martial arts disciplines, unfortunately the downside was damage to knuckles and feet.
So sand punch bags were taken off the menu and replaced with a more body friendly model. Filled with rags or grain. When a bag with grain is hit it moulds to the impact zone. The weight of the bag is good and the risk of damage to joints are limited. This does still require a little forethought on the part of the user.
Hand wraps should always be used when striking a punching bag, this will minimise injury to knuckles. This can result in the spreading of knuckles and this could later on lead to arthritis.
Now you know exactly what is in a punching bag and how the changes have come around. But I feel it would be wrong for me to address your question of what is in a punching bag. And not also mention what the outside of the bag should consist of. After all you cannot have one without the other. There is also a great importance in the contents and how the contents are held by the punching bag.
Strength From Within.
The outer skin is as important as the inside and should be taken into consideration when filling a punch bag. In my experience the best type is made of leather, because it is hard wearing, smooth and will stand the test of time.
The earlier types were made of canvas which would shed the skin from your knuckles and shins. These were also filled with sand, so the damage factor to limbs was very high. These were quickly updated to bags which were covered with a synthetic leather, they were OK.
But not the best in regards to injury. These bags were filled with rags or wadding, which felt good for striking.
The conclusion to what is in a punching bag. Hit first, talk later.
There’re many types of punching bags on the market. They are shaped in many ways, with a different use in mind. But in the end they’ll have the same type of filling, which is either going to be rags or wadding. When it comes down to finding your ideal bag, first start with your needs and what you need to achieve. If your aim is purely fitness then a medium size bag will do the job but if you’re a trained martial artist then your needs will be more defined and so your choice of bag will be scrutinised.
In most cases a heavy bag will be chosen because the swing on impact will be less and it will handle your training regime without any issues. My advice is to choose the right tool for the job and keep yourself safe during your training regime.
I hope you find this article useful and you always think about your safety at all times. Please leave all your comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.