Whether you’re training in a particular boxing or martial art style or you simply want to get in an exciting cardio workout, a punching bag is a good option. However, if you’re hanging a punching bag, it’s important that you place it at the right height so that you can train effectively.
There are a few ways to make sure that your bag is hung properly and at the correct height.
Average Punching Bag Height
In general, a punching bag should be hung between 80 and 120 centimeters off the ground. This is equal to about 2.6 to 4 feet. However, if you plan to use the punching bag to train kicks, it’s better to hang it between 120 and 150 centimeters or 4 to 5 feet off the ground, since most kicks land a bit higher than the average punch.
The exact height you will need to hang the punching bag, however, depends on your own height and the bag’s design.
Finding the Ideal Height
Knowing that most punching bags are hung between 2.6 and 4 feet off the floor can give you an idea of how high to hang your bag, but it’s not an exact measurement. If you want to hang the bag at the proper height, you’ll need to take your height and the height of the bag into account.
To find the punching bag height that’s right for you, measure the full height of the bag. Then, divide this number in half. This gives you the center point of the bag. This is where you’ll hit most of your body shots. You’ll want to place most of your jabs slightly higher than this, near the top third of the bag.
You can find the best jab location by measuring the full length of the bag plus the hanging straps and then dividing that number by two.
The location where you’ll place your jabs should be at about your eye level, while your body shots should hit at about your waist level. You can hang the bag to line up with these locations.
Some people prefer to simply hang the bag at their height so that the top of the bag is even with the top of their head. This placement works for many bags, but it can also sometimes cause issues. If the punching bag is hung this low, you’ll be throwing jabs closer to the top of the bag, and this can sometimes cause the bag to kick back at the bottom when it is struck.
Each punching bag also has a location that is known as the sweet spot. This is the spot where the bag was designed to be hit. Hitting the bag here should feel similar to hitting an opponent.
Many punching bag manufacturers mark the location of the sweet spot with a decal or even a line around the bag. One of the simplest ways to make sure a punching bag is hung at the proper height is to hang the bag so that the sweet spot is right around your eye level.
Double-Checking a Punching Bag’s Height
After you have hung your punching bag, it’s always a good idea to try it out to ensure that it is at the correct height and that the majority of your punches are landing in the sweet spot.
When you punch the bag, it should move almost as a person would. A person who has been struck would sway or stumble back, and when you hit the bag, it should also be knocked back. The movement should be relatively smooth, and the entire bag should move backward.
If a bag is hung at the wrong level and the punches aren’t landing in the sweet spot, the bottom of the bag might kick back while the top moves forward. This indicates that the bag is hung too low.
If the bag feels hard or like it’s offering too much resistance, your punches might be hitting too low, which means that the bag itself has been hung too high. If the bag spins around when you hit it, the punches are most likely hitting above the sweet spot. This means that your bag has been hung too low.
Any jabs, which should land near the top third of the bag, should move the bag backward, while body shots near the middle of the bag should offer more resistance, and the bag should only move a little. If the bag moves a lot, it’s probably hung too high.
Punching Bag Weights and Structural Support
You can purchase punching bags of different weights. Most punching bags weigh a minimum of 35 kilograms or about 77 pounds. Most people should have a punching bag that weighs about half of their body weight. Experienced boxers, who can throw much harder punches, often opt for bags that weigh closer to 80% of their total body weight.
When you strike a punching bag, the force of your hit can set the bag swinging. This can put a great deal of stress on the beams the bag is hung from, and repetitive hits can weaken the beam over time.
Since these bags can often weigh 80 or even 100 pounds, it’s very important that you make sure that the beams where you plan to hang the bag are strong enough to support that weight. They also need to be strong enough to withstand the constant force of the hits and the movement of the bag.
For home gyms, freestanding punching bags are often a safer choice, as they won’t compromise the structural integrity of the beams in your ceiling. Instead of hanging, these bags have a heavy stand.
If you do choose a hanging bag, only hang it from heavy-duty beams. It’s also a good idea to reinforce the carabiners, hooks, and chains that you use to hang the bag. You can add a chain or a strong rope as a backup. Check the beam, hook, carabiner, and chain often to make sure that there isn’t any damage, and always replace any stressed or damaged pieces immediately.