How To Hang A Punching Bag

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Want to improve your conditioning and fitness? Do you have martial arts or boxing aspirations? A punching bag is the go-to piece of gym equipment that’s easy to install at home and will quickly begin to improve your training.

The Different Types Of Punching Bags

Most punching bags range in weight from 40 to 150 pounds. The most popular punching bags sold are in the 70lb to 90lb range. These bags provide the correct blend of resistance and give for adults in the 140 to 170lb weight class. Lighter bags from 25lb to 60lb are appropriate for children or smaller adults. Lighter bags will increase the sway and motion for training and can improve footwork and reaction time. Consider buying the most popular brands of punching bags. Everlast, TKO, and Title are three to consider.

Where To Mount A Punching Bag

Punching bags can be attached to a metal stand, a wall, or better yet a ceiling. Ceiling mounts offer the advantage of a 360-degree workout with a full range of motion for punches and kicks. Ceiling mounts are best with 3feet of clearance around the bag. If there is not room for 360-degree installation, the punching bag can be installed out of the way near a corner, or against a wall in situations where there are tight quarters.

How To Install A Punching Bag

There are two main options for installing the punching bag. The first is purchasing a mobile stand. Steel constructed units can either be used solely for a heavy bag, or can provide multiple stations for different kinds of bags. Weighting the bottom of the stand will minimize shifting as the bag is struck and swung.

The second and most popular method is installing the bag into the ceiling by attaching the bag directly into a support beam. Purchase a simple holder or attachment, which can be securely fastened to the support beam. This method is inexpensive, but can be troublesome due to the noise heavy punching bag training creates.

Drywall is not an acceptable support. The bag mount needs to be connected to a ceiling joist (preferably two joists). The best installations will connect several joists with a 2 x 6 hardwood board attached by at least four 3-inch wood screws attached through the ceiling and connecting the ceiling joists together to distribute the load. If the support beam connects to the rest of the house, the punching bag may cause vibration and noise when struck. Garages and basements may provide better locations for installation.

Begin the installation by finding and marking the location of the ceiling studs. Measure the size of wood screws for the ceiling mount bracket and select the correct drill size for the holes. The drill size should be slightly larger than the shank of the wood screw–not the outside diameter of the threads. This allows the wood screw to engage and thread through the ceiling joist. Drill the holes needed and attach the ceiling mount to the ceiling.

The punching bag should be hung where the sweet spot is around eye level. Most manufacturers attach their label at the sweet spot. If you punch this spot the bag jumps backwards. A hit above the sweet spot causes the bag to rotate around the center of gravity and doesn’t provide the necessary resistance. A hit below the sweet spot will seem like punching a brick wall.

Attach the swivel mount and punching bag chain. Install the chain on the bag first. Then attach the chain to the ceiling mount. If the bag mounts with an “S” hook, either wrap this with tape or force the open end closed to prevent the bag from coming off the hook during use.

Test the bag to see that it swings freely and the ceiling mount is secure and without movement. The new punching bag is ready to go.

Tools Needed To Install A Punching Bag

  • Stud finder
  • Punching bag hanger or stand
  • Bag with chain and swivel
  • Drill motor
  • Pencil
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver and crescent wrench (if needed)
  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder
  • 2 x 6 x 3 ft. hardwood board (if needed)
Last Updated: July 8, 2012
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About Bill Washburn William "Bill" Washburn has a BA in advertising from the Art Center College of Design and has taught at the University of Southern California and Northrup University. Writing from a well-connected studio in the rural foothills of the west coast, he is a frequent speaker at local art associations and has published numerous articles discussing periods of art history and the fundamentals of drawing and painting. William is a master gardener who grows his own culinary herbs, organic heirloom vegetables and a variety of fruits. He writes frequently about his gardening experiences on his website Pioneer Dad. He is an accomplished advertising writer, fine art painter, and art director with more than 20 years' experience. 

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