How To Fill A Punching Bag? – All You Need to Know

Shayla Whitter

When it comes down to the world of combat sports, like boxing, MMA Muay Thai, etc, they all have one thing in common that the entire practice/training session depends upon – A Punching Bag!

Just like selecting the right shoes and suitable gloves are essential in combat sports training, having the perfect punching bag is equally important. After all, that is the one thing that will bear all your punches and kicks.

But before you start training, one crucial factor you must keep in mind– ensuring the punching bag is appropriately filled to serve its purpose effectively.

While filling up a punching bag may not seem huge, it’s more challenging than it sounds. You have to ensure that the punching bag is filled with the right material and amount– just as you wouldn’t put the wrong puzzle pieces together, you wouldn’t fill a punching bag with the wrong materials.

In this article, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide on the right materials to use and all the helpful tips and tricks to ensure your punching bag is ready for heavy workouts without any issues.


First things first, let’s talk about what you’ll need.

  • Obviously, you’ll need a punching bag. You can purchase one online or at a sporting goods store. Make sure to choose a bag that is the appropriate weight and size for your fitness level and goals.
  • You’ll also need some filling material (discussed more later). 
  • A scale to measure the weight of your filling material 
  • A funnel or something to help pour the material into the bag.

The Perfect Filler Material

When filling your punching bag, choosing the right filler material is crucial. The material you use will impact how your bag swings during your workout and the health of your knuckles and wrists.

Using the wrong material can lead to settling at the bottom and a soft top, which is definitely not what you want!

So, what are your options when it comes to filler material? There are three main types:

● Bags of Sand

● Scrap Fabric

● Sawdust Fillings

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one best suited for your training goals.

Bags of sand are popular for those looking to add weight to their punching bag. The sand helps to stabilize the bag, making it more suitable for power punches and kicks. 

However, sand can be hard on your knuckles and wrists, so it’s not recommended for beginners or those with weaker hands.

Scrap fabric is an excellent option for those looking to create a softer, more forgiving punching bag. The fabric provides a cushioned surface that’s gentler on your hands, making it an excellent choice for beginners. 

However, getting the right level of firmness with fabric can be difficult, and settling can be a problem over time.

Sawdust fillings are another option, providing a good balance between weight and cushioning. The sawdust helps stabilize the bag while providing a softer surface for your hands. 

However, sawdust can be messy and requires more effort to fill the bag evenly.

The more fill you put in a bag, the more difficult it is to move, and the more force is required with each punch. A lighter bag necessitates more agile body positioning and lighter foot movement. This will be less taxing on your joints than striking a heavy bag. Filling the boxing bag with sawdust or sand will make it firmer.

A reliable option would be a combination of sand or sawdust paired with recycled materials to give you an optimal medium between light and heavy.

How To Fill a Lightweight Punching Bag

Are you looking for a softer, lighter punching bag experience? Filling your equipment with discarded garments and rags might be the perfect solution. This provides better density control and is ideal for those just starting or seeking an easier workout routine. Taking on this task doesn’t have to feel daunting!

Here’s what to do:

  1. First, gather up all of your old clothes, bed sheets, and other suitable garments you no longer use. This is a great way to repurpose items you might otherwise have thrown away.
  1. Once you have your fabric, cut it into strips that are about 2-3 inches wide. Ensure removing any zippers or other parts that could be problematic when filling the bag.
  1. Begin packing the material into the bag, carefully layering it up and pressing down on it to keep it tightly compressed. You can use a broom or other tool to help you pack the material down.
  1. Keep filling the bag with your fabric strips until it’s full. Make sure no loose spaces are inside the bag, as this will affect how it swings during your workout.

And there you have it – a custom punching bag perfect for your needs! By filling your bag with fabric, you’ll be able to create a lighter, more forgiving surface that’s perfect for beginners or those who prefer a less intense workout. So, go ahead and give it a try – your hands will thank you.

How To Fill a Heavyweight Punching Bag

If you’re in the market for a heavy bag that can take your hardest hits, setting it up with sand or sawdust is an effective solution. However, this process can be challenging – as anyone who’s ever been covered head-to-toe in sawdust while trying to fill their punching bag will know!

But don’t worry – we’ve got some tips on ensuring your setup runs smoothly and quickly.

  1. First, you’ll need to prepare sand or sawdust for filling by putting it into zippable plastic bags. It’s important to never pour sand or sawdust directly into your punching bag, as this can weaken the bag over time and create a huge mess if the bag splits open. Instead, seal the sand or sawdust in small bags and wrap them tightly with duct tape to keep them closed.
  1. Once your sand or sawdust bags are ready, place them all in a larger bag and weigh them on a scale. If the weight doesn’t match your desired weight for the punching bag, add more bags until you get the desired weight.
  1. When you’re ready to fill the bag, unzip it and place the bags at the bottom, layer by layer, making sure to fill every space. Use a baseball bat or other tool to pack the bags tightly and ensure dense compaction. Consider asking for help from a friend to make the process easier.
  1. As you build up the height of the filling, use some fabric to fill in any gaps, but be sure to add at least one bag on every layer.
  1. Once the bag is filled to about three-quarters of the way, hang it in its permanent location and finish the fill. This will help ensure the bag is positioned correctly and the weight is evenly distributed.
  1. Finally, fill the bag to the top with layers of sand or sawdust, and then zip it completely.

There you have it – a heavy punching bag ready to take on even your toughest punches! Just be sure to keep in mind that filling your bag with sand or sawdust can be messy, so be prepared to do a little clean-up afterward.

Related Article: How To Use Battle Ropes? Benefits, Exercises, And More


Where should I fill a punching bag?

If you want to ensure your punching bag stays full, prepare for an endeavor that takes a bit of time and forethought. Figure out where it can be filled—you’ll want somewhere spacious where disruptions won’t impede progress, such as a garage or basement. Of course, always keep safety in mind when picking up this project!

How heavy should a punching bag be?

When selecting your punching bag, the weight is of utmost importance. Are you looking to smash it with all your might? Then a 30 kg (66 lbs) behemoth will work best! On the other hand, if agility and better footwork are what you’re after – opt for something lighter such as a 20kg (44lbs), rag-filled punchbag. Whatever goals motivate you in choosing your boxing companion, assess them carefully before deciding – then get ready to make sure every swing counts!

Is using a punching bag a good form of exercise? 

The punching bag is an all-in-one fitness powerhouse with just a few swings! Whether you want to tone your core and lats or build up those quads, this dynamic piece of equipment can do it all. Not only that, but its intense cardio workout will get your heart racing while elevating balance, coordination, and agility at the same time.


A punching bag has become an increasingly popular fitness tool and for a good reason! Not only does it offer a full-body workout that can help you get in shape, but it also serves as a great outlet for your stress.

Plus, with the versatility to exercise right at home without costly gym memberships or equipment – what’s not to love?


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