How to hang a heavy bag, aka punch bag or kick bag, correctly is one of the most commonly asked questions I used to get asked when I was working at one of the UK’s most popular Martial Arts Retail stores. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, this issue comes up over and over again.
There are several main elements you must consider when hanging a heavy bag or kick bag:
- The height of the bag versus the available ceiling height or clearance height of the bag from the floor. This is particularly relevant to a 6 foot heavy bag but effects all bags. You need to be able to strike an area roughly your own head height. Therefore there must be enough room from the point you hang the bag, including the chains or straps, to allow for this.
- The strength of where you are attaching the bags hook or bracket to. This is a very common issue. Essentially you need something to attach either a ceiling hook or bag bracket to, unless you have a steel frame or maybe lucky enough to have a strong wooden beam. Many modern houses and garages do not have obvious anchor points, so it is crucial to identify somewhere strong enough to withstand not only the weight of the bag, but the constant shock and swinging of the bag via its fittings.
- The fixings you need to go with the bag. Take a look at the video above where REVGEAR president Paul Reavlin, describes a very common issue of metal on metal. You need to consider whether you need a ceiling hook, bag bracket or if you have a set up that works without this. When buying bracket or hook, check that you’re purchasing something that can hold the weight of your bag, otherwise you may end up with a broken bracket and holes in your wall!
- A point worth mentioning here is the bolts need to be good quality! Standard 10mm M10 bolts that open out against the wall, securely fastening are exceptionally hard to remove so if they snap, then you have a major issue! I’ve seen cheap versions of these bolts break on a gym fit requiring repositioning of a hole rack, so spend the extra couple of bucks on good bolts—it’s worth it!!
- The available space around the bag for you to be able to move forward and backwards, as well as laterally as to not inhibit your training. Ideally you want to be able to take at least one long step, in any given direction, from the bag with the exception of behind it.
- If you are using a bracket, make sure it comes far enough away from the wall itself to safely throw your shots. I’ve seen some cheap brackets offering nowhere near enough clearance, especially if you are kicking the bag.
- It’s worth considering also the noise. A sling kit or bag spring alongside swivels, will reduce noise as well as wear-and-tear on the D rings of the bag. Chains on bags are great in terms of longevity, but they are incredibly noisy. So if you have a home gym, you may consider a bag with straps, not chains. Even in modern gyms, if there’s a full rack of chained bags, the room is going to be very loud!