History of the Punch Bag & a Buying Guide

June 21, 2023 4 min read

History of the Punch Bag & a Buying Guide

History of the Punch Bag

The history of the punching bag is a long and varied one, dating back to the ancient civilizations of China and Japan. In these early days, punching bags were made from animal skins filled with sand or grain, and were used by warriors to practice their hand-to-hand combat skills.

The first recorded use of a punching bag in Europe was in the 16th century, when it was used by Italian fencing masters to train their students. The bags were made from leather and filled with straw, and were hung from the ceiling or attached to a wall.

In the 19th century, punching bags became more widely used in boxing and other martial arts. The bags were made from canvas or leather and filled with sand, sawdust, or other materials. They were also often hung from a frame or platform, which allowed them to be moved around more easily. 

In the 20th century, punching bags became even more popular, thanks to the rise of boxing as a spectator sport. The bags were also used by athletes in other sports, such as baseball and football, to improve their hand-eye coordination and punching power.

Today, punching bags are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, as you will see from our broad range of Punch Bags. They are used by people of all ages and fitness levels, and are a popular way to improve strength, conditioning, and coordination.

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness: Punching a bag is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardiovascular fitness. It is a high-intensity workout that can help you burn calories and lose weight.

  • Increased strength and power: Punching a bag can help you build strength and power in your upper body, especially your arms, shoulders, and core. It can also help you improve your punching technique.

  • Enhanced coordination and balance: Punching a bag can help you improve your coordination and balance. This is because you need to be able to keep your balance while you are punching, and you need to be able to coordinate your punches with your footwork.

  • Reduced stress: Punching a bag can be a great way to relieve stress and tension. The physical exertion can help to release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.

  • Improved self-defense skills: If you are interested in self-defense, punching a bag can help you improve your punching technique and learn how to defend yourself against an attacker.

  • That’s why we're here to give you a run down of the amount of choice you have. We'll show you the options available, explain the differences between them, and tell you exactly who each type is most suitable for.

    That should give you all the information you need to select the perfect punch bag and take your game to the next level.

    Types of punch bags: 

    Feature Leather Canvas PU
    Durability High Low Medium
    Weight allowance High Low Medium
    Cost High Low Medium
    Ideal for All users, especially those in training for a big fight or competition Those on a tighter budget Those switching between the other grades of bag
    Tethered No No Yes


    • Leather punch bags are the most durable and can be filled to a range of different weights. They are ideal for all users, especially those in training for a big fight or competition. However, they are also the most expensive type of punching bag.

    • Canvas punch bags are less durable than leather punch bags, but they are also significantly cheaper. They are a good option for budget-minded users or those who are just starting out with boxing or martial arts.

    • PU punch bags are a good mid-range option. They are more durable than canvas punch bags, but they are not as expensive as leather punch bags. They are a good option for those who want a durable bag without breaking the bank.

    • Tethered punch bags are attached to a bracket or the ceiling by straps. They are generally much sturdier than free-standing punch bags, making them a good choice for stronger or more experienced users.

    Additional things to consider when choosing a punch bag:

    • Size: The size of the punch bag will depend on your height and reach. A taller person will need a taller bag, and a person with a longer reach will need a bag with a longer striking surface.
    • Weight: The weight of the punch bag will depend on your strength and experience level. A beginner should start with a lighter bag, and a more experienced person can use a heavier bag.
    • Location: The location of the punch bag will depend on your space and needs. If you have a lot of space, you can hang the bag from the ceiling. If you have limited space, you can use a freestanding bag.

     Punching bag fill material 

    Sand -  can be used to fill a punch bag, however this can make it incredibly hard and heavy, so is only suitable for extremely powerful punchers. However, many punch bags will feature a small amount of sand in their base, in order to make them more stable.

    Textile - This is perhaps the most common filling for a punch bag. It is cheap, provides a good weight, and has enough give that it won’t hurt your hands.

    Water/ Air - While you may occasionally find a punch bag completely filled with water, this will usually only be found on extremely cheap options, due to the obvious issues that could arise in the case of a breakage. In the case of water and air, they are usually used in conjunction with another filling. 

    Often, punch bags that allow their weight to be adjusted can have a sealed tube or canister filled with water or air inserted into the middle. This will allow them to quickly and easily have their weight altered, as and when is needed.


    Creating Your Consultation

    If you wish to contact us for any reason, our dedicated team of customer service experts are here to help.

    Please either fill in the contact form or send us a message using our online chat at the right-hand side of the screen. Our Customer Service Online Chat is available 7 days a week from 9am-8pm. If your enquiry relates to an existing order, please include your order number.