April 18, 2024

So, what is in a punching bag and why does it matter?  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.

What is in a punching bag.
What is in a punching bag.


Like everything in our world, they evolve and so did punch bags. So, lets look closer at 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 them 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 handle the 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 too.

Hand conditioning – power from within.

The earlier punching bags were mostly 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.  If, not used 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 comes 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.

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.

Enjoy. UTG.


29 thoughts on “What Is In A Punching Bag

  1. although I have seen it before been used by boxers but I really don’t have an idea of what it contains, from this article I was able to learn more about punching bag, it contents and it uses.  Although I am not into boxing but this article has provided me with more details about punching bag. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my article.  The martial arts and all aspects of it is a great passion of mine. I’m always happy to help.

  2. Hello, first and foremost I would like to commend this insightful post about “what’s in a punching bag”  I know I use to be aware of what use to be inside the punching bag, which is sand but I didn’t think that has changed at all not until I came across your post. Not just that, now I also know the best ways to pick a punching bag that won’t cause damage to your health. 

    1. Hello Seyi.  I’m very happy my article as been of use to you.  I’m very big on safety and when my article gives help and guidance, it makes the whole process worth while.

  3. I have always wondered about what actually is inside a punching bag. This article really opened my eyes to what is hidden in a punch bag. But seems many boxers today grew up practising with a punching bag loaded  with sand and which in one way has caused injury to their knuckle. I agree that a bag with rags and grains reduces damage to joints and knuckles. I have learnt something important today in your article. Good job!

    1. Yes it is a fact that bags filled with sand or saw dust wasn’t very good on the joints.  Thankfully a new punching bags are filled with a joint friendly substance.

  4. Woe! Thanks for sharing this great article, I appreciate you taking time and breaking it all down for us. This is great. I don’t really know much about punching a bag but in this article you have just enlightened me more about it. This is really great. Again, thanks for building this website and investing your time. It’s a great site.

  5. Wao, this is a wonderful presentation of a deep thought. Thanks so much for this exposure. Truly I have always been looking at it from a far. The content of a punching bag can be determined by owner or user. Punching bag can only fit what you want to use it for. The punching bag helps you to be physically fit for your games or training. Best wishes.

  6. Thanks for your article on punching bags.  I never really thought about what went into them before.  It is really fascinating.

    Other than someone who boxes or practices martial arts, what types of exercises can you do with a punching bag?  It seems like an excellent way to work out one’s frustrations from work or home, but for a new person, how would you strike the bag without hurting yourself?



    1. Punching a bag is great fun and a brilliant way to release stress.  If you’re totally new to this I would suggest you just start by standing in front of the bag and punch as quick as you can for 60 seconds, try this 3 times. When it comes to safety please click here

  7. I appreciate this post. I just bought a $40 punching bag of average size because a colleague advised me that punching is a good stress reveller. 

    But, its not well stuffed and it flings around whenever I punch. I do not know what to put in it. I don’t have any shredded clothes. All I have is a carpet and I’m not sure that would be good.

    Can I fill it up with my faded carpet?

    1. Now that’s a thought?  You have just taken me back to another memory and that is saw dust.  This was also placed in punching bags, unfortunately the dust would be everywhere and also in your eyes.  A carpet would almost be the same dusty, not good for your eyes or lungs.  I don’t think carpet cuttings would sit well either.  I’m sorry to say I’d look for something else!

  8. Yeah, really, what is in a punching bag? I had my guesses, but now I know that they used to be filled with sand, presently that are filled with old rags and grains are also put in the bags. 

    I would not like to punch a sand filled punching bag, it would be too harmful to my knuckles and feet and old rags will be like punching balloons, just like you said. 

    So, are grains the best bet then? Are grain filled punching bags your recommendation? 

    1. Hi there.  If I was choosing a bag, I would be looking for a bag big enough to handle being hit but not too hard to cause me damage.  So yes I would look for a grained or bearing filled bag.  Try hitting it before you buy it. But not too hard without protection!

  9. I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me. I have been following your post always and it’s been helpful, your post has made it clear the secret behind punching bag power sap. Is there any recommended time for this punching as a newbie ? Is there any recommended punching bag for home use? 

    Thanks for the insightful and educative article like this. Best regards 

    1. Hi. I must admit writing this post was easy because I have trained with a bag on many occasions and it’s great fun.  If you have never trained on a bag before I’d suggest starting with 3 minutes and build it up slowly.  This would be my advice regardless of where you are training.  Please also insure your hands are wrapped and you’re wearing correct fitting bag gloves 

  10. Thanks to the author for this article although I have seen it before been used by boxers but I really don’t have an idea of what it contains, from this article I was able to gain more knowledge about punching bag, it’s uses and content.  Although I am not a boxer but this article has provided me with more information about a punching bag. Thanks to the author once again.

    1. I am always happy to be of service to anyone who shares the same interests as me. This is what I am here for.

      Thank you for allowing me to be of assistance 

  11. Wao, this is a wonderful presentation of a deep thought. Thanks so much for this wonderful exposure. Truly I have always been distance from where punching bags are kept. The content of a punching bag can be determined by owner or user for the purpose of training. Some are moveable and some are not depending on what the owners want. For the purpose of boxing, the punching bag is usually feed with sand to make the training physically fit for the users. I have learnt great through this Affiliate article. And I hope to learn more. Best wishes

    1. Hi.i would like to thank you for taking the time to read my post.  I know that a punching bag is a very common training tool but to use it safely you must know what you’re hitting and take adequate precautions to safe guard your hands.

  12. Hi there, 

    Superb article!

    I didn’t know that punching bags were once made of sand, it’s something new I have learned today. Thank you!

    I was looking to buy a punching bag for my son because he wants to learn kickboxing. And that’s how I found your article. 

    Since I don’t have any skill in this category, I would like to ask you. Is kickboxing martial arts? If so, what type of bag should I look for? Will you do punching bag reviews? This will be very helpful!

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    1. Hi Daniella.  Thank you for taking the time to read my post.  Kickboxing is a martial art but there’s 3 types of Kickboxing.  There’s semi contact, continuous and full contact.  Semi contact is regarded as a martial art.  Now I hadn’t given a thought to reviewing punching bags but it’s now on my list.  

  13. Thanks for writing this article on punching bag. I must commend you for a job well done for  taking your time to write this article on punching This article is informative and educative above all I find it useful in things I should know about a punching bag. But I would like to ask. How many hours is it advisable to punch a bag in order to achieve physical fitness per day?

    1. Hi.  Training on a punch bag is easy when you do it correctly.  When it comes to physical fitness training on a punch bag, I would advise you start out with minutes per day not hours and start with 4 x 3 minutes per day.  Rest for a minute in between each set take rest days when needed. Enjoy!

  14. This is a wonderful presentation of a deep thought. Thanks so much for this exposure. This your article is highly educative.. I have seen punching bag before as been used by boxers but I really don’t have an idea of what it contains, from this article I was able to learn more about punching bag, its contents and uses.  Although I am not into boxing but the information in this article has provided me with more details about punching bag. The punching bag mostly contains Sand. Although it can also be loaded with different things depending on the owners. There are those who want their punching bag to be light, while others also want it to be heavy. But they are all for training. Best wishes.

    1. Hi Sajua.  When it comes to choosing the right punching bag, it’s very important to know exactly what your needs are.  You seem to have this bit in hand.  Good luck and train safe.

  15. I read your article carefully and know you have discuss about, What Is In A Punching Bag . I had no idea about this. This article has give me idea about punching bag.There’re many types of punching bags on the market but now I can be pick a good punching bag. Thank you so much for sharing ideas.

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