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What Does a Punching Bag Contain?

Punctured Punching Bag Contains Sand

Have you ever wondered what’s inside a punching bag? Well, wonder no more, fellow readers. It’s sand. End of article.

Joking aside (well, partially joking), in this rather short blog post we will discuss the most common punching bag fillings, what it’s made of and covering materials.

Filling Materials

First things first, let’s talk about the filling materials. The most common options are sand, sawdust, and water. Sand is a popular choice because it’s heavy and provides a lot of resistance. But, let’s be honest, it’s not the most glamorous option. Sawdust is a less dense option, but it’s also less expensive. Now water is heavy and dense, but it’s not easy to transport and install. I mean, water can work, but usually with only small punching bags.

Other materials like rubber crumbs, recycled leather scraps and textiles or synthetic materials like foam rubber and plastic beads have also been used to fill punching bags in recent times. Each of these materials have pros and cons, but generally work the same and all of them will do the trick just fine.

What about rice? Quite a lot of people actually fill their punching bags with uncooked rice. Surprisingly, it’s a good filling choice (although somewhat a waste of food), since the thickness is pretty good for punching and in some areas, rice actually can cost less than other filling options. What a strangle little world we live in, huh?

Covering Materials

When it comes to the outer covering of a punching bag, there are a few different options available.

Real Leather

First, we have the traditional leather option. It’s strong, it’s durable, but it’s also expensive. Plus, it’s like having a pet, you have to take care of it and treat it like your own child. But who has time for that?

Okay maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but still, taking care of a real-leather covering it’s still more time and money consuming than taking care of a synthetic cover. But what are the ups and downs of that?

Synthetic Materials

So, now we have the synthetic materials options, like vinyl or canvas. They’re cheap, they’re easy to clean, and they’re durable. Plus, they come in all sorts of colors and designs.

One benefit of synthetic materials is that it can be printed with custom logo or graphics, which can be a great way to personalize a punching bag and make it more attractive. Your home gym would also look quite professional with a custom personalized punching bag, wouldn’t it?

But, let’s be honest, who cares about personalization when you’re getting your face pounded in by a bag.

Or is that just me? Never mind, then.

So, Who’s the Winner?

It’s also important to note that the covering material also affects the texture and feel of the bag, for instance, synthetic materials can be smoother and harder than natural leather. If you are unsure which material would feel best for you, I’d suggest testing them out in a boxing gym or sports store – they usually have the bags in the open for testing.

If you are interested in steps on how to fill a punching bag, you can read my article on that topic as well.


In the end, it’s up to your preferences, budget and if you feel the need to – personalization needs to choose the best covering and filling option. Good news is that you can make a punching bag out of lot of materials.

With that being said, if you want something that will resemble an actual punching bag, then you will have to opt for the most used options. As I have suggested before, go check a few punching bags in your local sports store to get the feel of various fillings and covering materials.

Peace out.

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 martial arts (karate). I've trained with one of the best trainers in my home country.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from calisthenics to weight lifting to Taekwondo and everything in between. While I do love all kinds of sports, my passion still lies in martial arts.

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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