How and What to Fill in a Heavy Bag

Purchasing an empty heavy bag is cheaper compared to buying a filled one. What is more, it provides more freedom in controlling the denseness and weight of the punching bag.

After all, you get to fill the bag yourself. It is easy and fun to fill a heavy bag. But it is vital to use the best materials and prepare them well in advance to keep you as well as heavy bag secure.

What to Fill in Heavy Bag?

When deciding on what to fill in a punching bag, first, you need to consider how dense and weighty your heavy bag to be. A heavy bag that is weighty and denser can be hard to maneuver, and it will need powerful strikes.

On the other hand, a lighter on will sway a lot when you punch it, and you would not strike it as hard. So, the appropriate filling will depend on how dense and heavy you wish your heavy bag to be.

For beginners, it is advisable, to begin with, a lightweight heavy bag. As you become stronger, you can put in more filling to make it denser and heavier.

Your heavy bag must weigh 0.23 kilograms for every one pound of your weight. But you can augment or reduce the load depending on your strength and the level of experience.


If you want your punching bag to be lightweight, you can use clothes. A lot of pre-filled heavy bags available are packed with pieces of fabric. You can use old clothes or scrap fabric. Putting in fabric solely to your heavy bag will restrict how dense and heavy you can make it.

Sand and Sawdust


If you want to make your punching bag a little bit heavier, you can add sawdust or sand. These will add density and weight to your heavy bag that cannot be obtained with clothes. If you want a heavy bag that needs more pressure and force, sawdust or sand is a cheap and easy choice.

However, it is advisable to never use sawdust or sand alone in your heavy bag. As it will make it heavier and denser, rather add it into fabric or clothes. Bag of sawdust and sand can be purchased online or at the nearest home improvement shop.


Rice can be an expensive option, and once water gets through, the game is over. Also, it can be uncomfortable on the wrists and hands to strike. However, some seasoned boxers use rice in their heavy bag.

Plastic Bags and Newspapers

These can be utilized as extra filler among other fillers. However, not perfect to put alone. Soon, you will notice saggy points in the heavy bag once utilized a couple of times.

Specialist Filler

The specialist filler is made of exceptionally finely ragged cotton fibers. This can be quite a costly option. However, it is made for a special reason and therefore considers one of the best options.

How to Fill a Heavy Bag

A heavy bag or popularly known as a punching bag is a vital tool for anyone training for martial arts, kickboxing, or boxing. There are pre-filled punching bags, but you can save a lot when you buy an empty bag.

We have mentioned the various fillers available to choose from, and now we will show the right steps in filing your heavy bag.

  1. Buy an empty bag. You can also buy online if you don’t have more time. Make sure to buy a bag made of superior materials like leather, canvas, or vinyl, and this will last for many years of using.
  2. Choose the filler you want. Usually, a punching bag comes with a 3-inch foam cushioning; the amount of cushion will determine the right stuffing or padding you will need. As mentioned, there are lots of filters available to choose from. Get one that you think will meet your requirements.
  3. Weigh down the middle of the heavy bag through filling a cylinder, like a cardboard tube, with sand, sawdust, or rice.
  4. Fill the remaining space with the fillers you want. In case you choose cloth or fabric, put them in even layers; ensure to weight it down every few layers. Also, see to it that the fabric is filled equally on both sides because that is where you’ll be punching the heavy bag.
  5. Close the tube and lace-up the heavy bag. Now, you can hand it up and try punching the bag.

Avoid using a punching bag, which is heavy and intense for you. This can lead to bruising your wrists or worse, resulting in hand fractures.


If you want more information about how to fill a heavy bag then this FAQs is for you:

Q: Is there any difference between a heavy and lighter punching bag?
A: Yes, of course. Lighter punching bags have lesser mass, so it means lower inertia, making it ideal for a newbie or weaker ones. On the other hand, heavier bags have more inertia. Thus, it’s so hard to move and ideal for seasoned and professional boxers.

Q: Can I use sand as a filler of a heavy bag?
A: Yes. But ensure to put it next to clothes or fabric as it is heavier. Also, ensure that you’re ready to clear up the mess once you accidentally break it.

Q: Is it possible to fill an empty heavy bag with a filled one?
A: Well, it depends on the size. If the filled one is smaller than the empty bag, then do it.

Q: How can I put both sawdust and sand into a heavy bag?
A: It is easy to fill the punching bag with sand and sawdust, but make sure to put the sawdust first and then followed by the sand.

Q: Can I use rags or clothes to fill my heavy bag?
A: Yes. However, ensure the fabric or cloth is cut into pieces and is a heavier type like denim.

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