What are Punching Bags Filled With? [REVEALED]

What is a Punching Bag?

What are punching bags filled with? They are athletic bags made for striking them repeatedly. They have been in use in swordplay and martial arts throughout documented history. They often have a cylindrical shape and comprise various materials and commodities to retain their weight and flexibility. 

If you’ve seen or used punching bags, you’ve probably wondered what’s inside them. Read on to understand more about punching bags.

punching boxing bag

What are Punching Bags Filled With?

If you have seen or used a punching bag, the big question should be, what do you fill a punching bag with? The material you fill with depends on the user. The most important thing is to come up with a perfect punching bag. But how? It will start with selecting the best material to fill your bach with. Here is a look at a few materials you can use to fill your punching bag:

A Lightweight Punching Bag (Fabric Filled)

The bag’s desired weight and difficulty level determine the amount of stuffing and the type of material you use in a punching bag. You can insert pieces of shredded fabric into a large number of pre-filled punching bags. 

You may achieve a similar look at home by recycling old garments or scraps of fabric lying around. Because the material alone will restrict how heavy and dense your punching bag can be, the filler is a fantastic choice if you want your punching bag to swing when you strike it.

Heavy Punching Bag (Sand or Sawdust Filled)

You won’t receive the same sense of gravity and solidity from wearing clothing alone as you will from using a punching bag that contains sand and sawdust. If you want a punching bag that requires more power from you, sand or sawdust is a straightforward and affordable option to consider.

Water Filled Bag

We promise we are not kidding; trust us. Punch bags are full of water, and you can utilize them in gyms and homes. The availability of the filler in your taps is advantageous. You will not be required to wait hours before your filler package’s delivery page. You can fill it or replenish it.

The typical design for this kind of punching bag has a bladder that stops any leaks and makes it straightforward to refill the bag with punching bag filler.

Moderate Punching Bag (Sand and Fabric Filled)

Sand and fabric are the ideal combinations for a punching bag if you are looking for something a little bit unusual and don’t want it to be too light or heavy. When you mix and place sand and fabric inside a punching bag, it provides the optimal combination and contributes to the bag’s ability to retain a moderate weight.

Polyester Filled Bags

You can also stuff punching bags with polyester, which is another type of material. On the other hand, most professionals do not use it. 

As a result of their lower weight and greater flexibility, punching bags made with polyester filling are the best suited for use by novices, young athletes who are just starting in the sport of boxing or punching, or those who are producing punching bags for children.

Rags Filled Bags

Some punching bags floating around are full of various types of rags. You should pack the rags extremely tight within the bags and ensure there is no room between the individual items. This allows the shredded cloth filler to link together to make a sturdy punching bag lightweight and able to swing. 

Because of how simple and quick it is to put together, these are perfect for usage in private settings like homes.

Air Filled Bags

You can use air in the more reflex-orientated bags, such as speed bags. Unsurprisingly, the air is pretty cheap and is excellent for martial artists who want an extra lightweight bag. When used often, these bags will deflate slightly and need inflation regularly.

woman punching a punching bag

How to Fill a Punching Bag

Because, as the old adage goes, “practice makes perfect,” investing in a high-quality bag will speed up your progression in the martial art that you already have training in. You will also be able to practice the movements you have learned whenever you want if you have your very own punching bag.

Automating the previously taught beats is an essential component of the exercise, as this helps the beats become more of a natural reflection. Your skeleton, joints, and even skin will become accustomed to the intense contact with the punching bag, ultimately resulting in increased resilience and strength in these areas. 

Your boxing bag at home will allow you to develop your practice, automate, strength, and resistance, which are the four pillars of boxing. In addition, Bruce Lee emphasized the significance of visualizing one’s opponent when working out with a punching bag, referring to this as the “emotional content” of one’s training. 

If you merely strike without any malice, though, you might be able to forget about it or become preoccupied during an actual conflict. It is typically more cost-effective to purchase an empty punching bag and do the punching bag stuffing yourself rather than to get one that is already full. 

In addition, since you are the one who will be filling the punching bag, you will have greater control over its weight as well as its density. It is not difficult to stuff a punching bag, but it is essential that you use the appropriate materials and that you organize and prepare them in advance so that both you and the punching bag remain safe. 

You can use clothes or leftover fabric to fill a punching bag if you are just starting and are looking for something that isn’t too heavy. In that case, you can try to enhance the weight of your bag and make it more resistant by adding some sand or sawdust.

Choosing a Filling

Think About How Heavy and Dense You’d Like Your Punching Bag to Be

If you increase the weight and density of the punching bag, it will be more challenging to move the bag and demand stronger strikes. Using a lighter punching bag with a lower density will wobble more when hitting it, requiring you to apply less force to your blows. 

How hefty and solid you want your punching bag to be will determine the type of filler most suited for your punching bag. If you are new to boxing, you should begin with a punching bag that is not too heavy. As your strength increases, you may want to consider adding more stuffing to be heavier and denser. 

As a general rule, your punching bag’s weight should be between 0.5 pounds (0.23 kg) and 1 pound (0.45 kg) for every pound you weigh. On the other hand, you can increase the weight or decrease it according to your experience level and physical power.

If You Want a Lightweight Punching Bag, the Only Filling You Need to Use is Old Clothes

Most pre-filled punching bags consist of smaller pieces of cloth strips. You can achieve the same look by utilizing discarded clothing or any other scraps of fabric you have lying around your house. 

Because adding only fabric to your punching bag will restrict how heavy and dense you can make it, the cloth is an excellent filling if you want your punching bag to move around when you hit it. 

If you do not have many old garments or fabric sitting around, you can purchase some from a second-hand store for a low price. It doesn’t matter what kind of fabric or garment you use.

To Make Your Punching Bag Heavier, Try Stuffing it With Sand or Sawdust in Addition to Used Clothing.

You won’t be able to get the same level of weight and density with just clothing alone, but adding sand and sawdust to your punching bag will help. Sand or sawdust is a simple and inexpensive choice for a punching bag that demands more force from the user, and you can use it if you are searching for such a bag.

You Shouldn’t Rely Just on Sand or Sawdust When Stuffing Your Punching Bag

This will make it unreasonably hefty and dense if you do this. Instead, incorporate it into the fabric or the garments themselves. You may get sand and sawdust in the form of bags online or at your neighborhood hardware or home improvement store.

Preparing the Filling

Remove All Metal Components

If you do this, you won’t have to worry about your punching bag ripping. It should not concern you accidentally rip or tear the clothing while working on it. When they are inside the bag, you won’t be able to see them anymore. 

By slicing the clothing or fabric into narrow strips, you can increase the density of your punching bag. Just bear in mind that if you do this, you will need more pieces of clothing or fabric.

Put Sand or Sawdust in Bags so That You Can Re-Seal it Back

Do not directly dump sand or sawdust into your punching bag because doing so can cause the bag to become damaged over time. Instead, pour it into plastic bags you can seal, such as sandwich bags that are one US quart (950 millimeters) in capacity. After adding the sand or sawdust, ensure that you fill the back well to avoid anything from escaping from it.

Tape Any Bags of Sand or Sawdust While Working With Them

Because the duct tape reinforces the bags, they will be less susceptible to damage from your punches. Wrap the duct tape completely around the bags. This should include the openings you have already shut to ensure that the tape encloses them.

Weigh the Filling to Determine Whether or Not You Have Enough for Your Bag

To determine the weight of articles of clothing or pieces of fabric, place the items on a scale after placing them in huge trash bags first. Using a scale to determine each bag’s weight would be best before adding sand or sawdust to your punching bag. After that, you will need to get the total weight of your filler by adding up all of the separate weights.

Prepare Additional Filling if the Total Weight of the Punching Bag is Lower Than the Weight You Want it to Be

You can enhance the density of your punching bag by adding additional sand or sawdust. Alternatively, you can add more garments or fabric to raise the total weight without significantly affecting the density. 

Keep in mind that the weight of your punching bag should be somewhere in the range of 0.5 pounds (0.23 kilograms) for every pound (0.45 kilograms) that you weigh. 

The perfect weight will ultimately depend on your skill level and the fitness goals that you want to achieve. If you weigh 200 pounds (91 kilograms), the ideal weight for a punching bag would be around 100 pounds (45 kilograms). If you’ve never boxed before, you might want to begin with a weight of 80–90 pounds (36 to 41 kilograms).

Adding the Filling to Your Bag

Do Not Forget to Unzip the Opening

Most punching bags feature a circular opening at one end of the bag that you can close with a zipper. When you get to this point, you will put the filler in. Check the instruction booklet that came with your punching bag or search it up online to learn how to open it if the bag does not have a zipper on one of the ends.

Place the Initial Portion of the Filling in the Bag’s Bottom Compartment

If you are only utilizing clothes or fabric, you should put some of it in the opening to cover the entire bottom of the bag. 

Put in one of the sand or sawdust bags first, then start piling garments on top of it to create a base layer. If you’re also using other types of bags, do the same. It is possible to prevent the sand or sawdust bags from tearing by placing clothing all around them and then surrounding them with more clothes.

You can Use a Long Object Such as a Baseball Bat to Compact the Filling

By pressing the filling down, you can reduce the amount of air trapped inside the bag and create a more consistent final result. It doesn’t matter what kind of long tool you choose; as long as it can reach the very bottom of your punching bag, you should be good to go. 

If you are using sand or sawdust bags, you should avoid pressing down directly on them to prevent the bags’ from tearing.

Keep Adding Layers of Filling and Pressing Them Down

If you’re merely going to be utilizing garments or scraps of fabric, drop some of them into the bag on top of the layer that’s already there, then pack them down with the tool. Continue to drop the sand for a punching bag or sawdust bags into the canter of your punching bag, and then encircle them with clothing or fabric. 

This is how you will use the bags for the punching bag. Please make an effort to distribute the bags down the length of your punching bag so that you space them evenly. Depending on the number of layers that you are using, it is possible that you will not need to add a bag to each one.

For instance, if you are going to add five bags of sand or sawdust to a punching bag that is five feet (1.5 meters) in length, you should add one bag for every foot (0.30 meters). If you are building your layers at a depth of 0.5 feet (0.15 meters), you should add a bag to every other layer.

Zip Up Your Punching Bag and Secure It

Once you have reached the top with the filling, zip up your punching bag and secure it.

The bag must be full of the stuff, leaving no room for air to circulate around the contents. 

On the other hand, if you find the top of the bag difficult to zip because it contains too much merchandise, you may need to reduce the amount of filling in the bag or remove the layer on top. No matter what material you make your punching bag with, it would be best if you make it a habit always to ensure that it is completely dry before using it again. 

This is especially crucial if the punching bag is from leather. If it is leather, you can rub oil into it to maintain its smoothness and keep any seams from showing. When you are not using it, protect it from the sun by draping a blanket over it if you keep it in an area that can expose it to the elements, such as a patio or yard. 

You may also protect it from the weather by covering it with a huge bag or some plastic. You are responsible for shielding the punching bag from the sun and any moisture that may come into contact with it, which is especially important if you use sand as the filling material.

The Importance of the Right Punching Bag Filling

The filling will eventually fall to the bottom of the bag and settle there. This will produce a bag with a soft top but a hard bottom as the final product. You need the correct quantity and the right sort of resistance for a punching workout to be effective. However, if you do not fill the resistance bag with the right filler, it will merely offer you the wrong kind of resistance.

The primary advantage of purchasing an empty punching bag is the ability to select and modify the punching bag’s weight, feel, and density. This gives the user the ability to personalize every aspect of their workout. For example, a boxing bag with a larger weight will make the overall shape firmer to strike and challenging to move. 

This type of bag suits stronger people and powerful hitters because of these characteristics. On the other hand, if you load a boxing bag with less fill, you will have the opposite experience; you won’t need to strike the bag with as much force to allow it to swing freely. This will help you to get more out of your workout. 

This is an excellent choice for those individuals who, rather than concentrating on hitting with power, would prefer to experience less impact on the body and include faster, more accurate boxing combinations into their training. 

As you gain more experience filling boxing bags, you’ll be able to modify the bags’ sensation and density to fit your striking requirements as you progress.

punching bag with boxing gloves


Boxing and other martial arts training are not complete without a punching bag. You can purchase large bags full of items, but it is typically more cost-effective to buy an empty bag and then load it yourself. To make a punching bag out of it, you can stuff it with anything you choose, cloth, sand, fabric, rice, or even water—and use it in any way you like.

Because of this, you can customize your punching bag if you are familiar with the materials used to make it. If you’re having trouble locating the ideal punching bag for your workout, one of the questions you should ask yourself is, “what do you fill a punching bag with?” 

This is a question that is certainly one that is an excellent one to be asking if you’re having trouble finding the ideal punching bag for your workout. You can get it filled with sand, sawdust, cloth, or even old clothes; then, you can modify it to match your requirements using the various options available, as the article has outlined clearly. 

In most cases, coming up with punching bag ideas at home is a better way to save money than purchasing one from punch bag filling suppliers.  After that, with all this information at your disposal, you’ll have your punching bags hung up in no time!

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