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How To Fill a Grappling Dummy

When the throwing/wrestling/grappling dummy that you have ordered first arrives, odds are that it won’t be filled. As a result, many new fighters find themselves asking how to fill a grappling dummy so they can start training. This article guides you through the process and shows you the best materials to use.

How to Fill a Grappling Dummy

You have a few different options when it comes to materials to fill your grappling dummy with and, as a result, filling it isn’t as simple as it sounds.

The materials you use will depend in part on the dummy ordered and manufacturers instructions (the best grappling dummies will come with details filling and care instructions), and also on your personal preferences and training goals.

Bare in mind that if you have made your own grappling dummy you will have to use the information below to determine the best materials to fill it with.

After all, you don’t want to fill it with materials which won’t help your progress in your training.

How to Fill a Grappling Dummy

Once you know which material to fill your wrestling dummy with (which we will address below), actually filling it is usually pretty simple.

The dummy will arrive empty and you will quickly spot its filling cavity/opening.

Once you have identified the cavity, simply open it ready to place your filling material(s) in to.

Remember to close it tightly once you are done filling the dummy to prevent the material from escaping mid-training session.

What to Fill My Grappling Dummy With?

Exactly what you fill your grappling dummy with will depend on who made it (and what they suggest using), what your training goals are and your own size and strength.

Keep in mind that you should always follow the manufacturer instructions so you do not void any warranties or guarantees.

The first thing to know is that you should avoid at all costs filling the dummy with any material(s) that could damage it. This will usually be anything liquid (e.g water) or corrosive (harsh chemicals).

Some good filling options are:

  • Shredded paper
  • Newspaper
  • Towels (shredded or rolled)
  • Blankets
  • Sand
  • Old clothing
  • Polyfil

You can also use a mixture of the above materials to pad the dummy out properly.

Do not fill your dummy with only sand. Doing so will make it too heavy for effective training and it will be difficult to empty the dummy after filling it. Avoid using more than 15lbs of sand and try to position it towards the bottom of the dummy (feet and legs).

Basically any of the materials mentioned above will be a good option.

The ones you use will depend on what you have available around your house and/or if you have a personal preference for one of them.

If in doubt, ask a licensed coach at your local MMA gym or Dojo for their opinion. You might even be able to find out what they fill their wrestling dummies with and test them out to see if you have a preference.

What is the Best Material To Fill a Grappling Dummy With?

As mentioned above, the best material to fill your grappling dummy with will depend on your personal preference and what you have available. The most popular choice is a mix of paper and old clothing with a small amount of sand added to the dummies feet for added weight.

Stuffing The Grappling Dummy

Once you have your material(s) decided, you can start stuffing your dummy.

First stuff the feet, the legs and the lower half of the body. Work your way up the body keeping the dummy nicely padded.

Eventually you will reach the neck and head, with the rest of the dummy now filled, then you can close the filling cavity and start using it!

Remember, the more you fill the dummy the more realistic and heavy it will be.

Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in football (soccer) and regularly played with my friends and for my school. We had an ex England ace coaching us at one point and he really motivated me to make sports a big part of my life.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from basketball to weight lifting and everything in between. I was lucky enough to train weekly at a local tennis club who's head coach was a at one point the 9th best player in India and within the top 100 ranked players in the world.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

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