Honing your techniques utilizing punching bags hanging at your gym is a quintessential part of striking skill development. Hanging bags provide a heavy-duty workout, with the bags designed to withstand powerful punches and kicks. Installing one at home gym, however, isn’t always straightforward, and may require some guidance.
Although most bags weigh 70–100 pounds, some models are designed for professionals and can be as heavy as 200 pounds. Properly hanging punch bags with a significant consideration for safety is a must.
We’ve put this article together to answer all the uncertainties you may have on punching bag hanging. From the hanging location to the equipment needed and the various set-ups, you should be confident about installing a bag in your home after reading this.
Where Should I Hang It?
Before starting drilling holes around, you might want to put some thoughts on where you’ll be installing your boxing bag. Your hanging heavy bag’s location should be strategic, taking into account:
- The right emplacement.
- Is a support beam needed or available?
- Ceiling, wall or floor?
The Right Emplacement
Space is the first element your hanging punching bag needs. The lighter your bag is, the more it’ll swing as you punch it. Taking this into account, you should prevent your bag from hitting the surrounding walls. Otherwise, unnecessary noise and vibrations will be created.
If you plan on installing it in a living area, it may even break nearby objects. Allowing a distance of 24 inches between the wall and your bag should suffice.
Ideally, a basement or garage is best to set heavy bags in. First, the temperature generally remains cool, even in the summertime. That’s less sweating, enabling you to push harder more comfortably.
When it comes to boxing, having your personal space is important. Kids interrupting your workout can make it somewhat inefficient. Your basement or garage can create your ‘bubble zone.’
Finally, these locations tend to have visible support beams, making the installation smoother.
The second factor you may want to take into account is the location of a support beam. For safety, you don’t want to drill in drywall. Look for a stud able to support at least four times your bag’s weight.
Installation is much easier when beams are visible. If yours are inside a wall, keep reading to know how to find them.
Ceiling, Wall or Floor?
As to the type of installations, there are three main ways to hang the bag. Should you hang it directly from your ceiling, use a wall mount, or get a free-standing mount?
Most boxers prefer to suspend their heavy bag from the ceiling. They’re able to rotate 360 degrees around the bag, practicing footwork and generally getting a better workout. Freestanding set-ups, however, are easier to handle and have the advantage of being movable.
Can I Hang a Bag on My Own?
Setting up a ceiling mount or beam can be easily done alone, and requires skill more than it does strength. As long as you’re handy, you shouldn’t face great difficulty.
Hanging your bag, however, can be arduous. If you lift weights regularly and can carry 100 pounds alone, then suspending your bag should be painless.
On the contrary, if you aren’t in the best shape, lifting your bag to the eye bolt will be tricky. This is where a friend comes in handy.
If you need to install your bag alone, consider using a free-standing mount — these are easy to install alone. As an alternative, a pulling system can be installed to assist you. Although you’ll still need enough strength to pull the heavy bag up, your body weight and gravity will relieve some of the weight:
What Tools Do I Need?
Before getting started, ensure that you have the following tools nearby:
- Measuring tape.
- High ladder.
- Screwdriver and pliers.
- Second pair of arms.
- Hanging chains.
- Nut and washer.
- An eye bolt at least 2 to 3 inches longer than the beam’s height.
- For heavier bags, ceiling joist hangers might be a good option. They consist of a larger mount including several eye bolts for better stability.
Nuts and bolts, washers, and chains are typically included with your heavy bag. If you’re planning on using a wall or free-standing mount, purchase these separately.
How Do I Find Support Beams?
Finding a strong beam is the critical first step to make sure you don’t run the risk of any personal/material safety issues later on. The stud doesn’t only need to carry the bag’s weight, but you must make sure it can handle the swings as you punch it.
There are a few different approaches in locating the beams:
- Apparent beams.
- Stud finder.
- The manual method.
Sometimes, joists are apparent, especially in unfinished basements. This might be the ideal case scenario as you won’t have to look for them. You might even be able to wrap the chains directly around a beam.
In most cases, however, joists are built within the walls, making them harder to spot.
Using a stud finder might be the easiest way to locate them if they aren’t seen.
This useful device is designed to measure the density inside a wall:
- Slide the tool over the wall.
- When a ‘bip’ sound is heard, you’ve found the stud.
Here’s how to use one:
The Manual Approach
If you don’t own a stud finder, we’ve got an alternative. Although you’ll have to act as a detective, it shouldn’t take you long to locate the joist:
- Gently knock on your ceiling or wall.
- When you hear a dull noise, you’ve found the joist.
- Using a pen, mark where your stud starts.
- Repeat the process to find where it ends.
Generally speaking, beams are built with either a 16 or 24-inch interval. If you locate them closer than this — 12 inches — it may mean that each stud isn’t able to carry a lot of weight. In this case, we recommend installing a crossbar over two or three studs to ensure that the bag is securely attached.
Here are a few other cues to help you find a stud:
- An electric outlet is generally attached to a stud. If you can see a plug, a beam shouldn’t be far.
- Crown moldings and baseboards are generally attached to studs.
- Return air conducts tend to be installed between joists.
Here is a good visual on how to find studs:
Punching Bag Set-Up
Typically, there are three options to hang a heavy bag.
- From the ceiling.
- On a wall.
- Using a free-standing mount.
Hanging a Heavy Bag From the Ceiling
- Once you’ve found the stud, drill a hole in the center of the beam. The hole should be of the same diameter as your eye-bolt.
- Manually place your eye-bolt inside the opening, with the washer and nut.
- Use the pliers to tighten it, then grab the loop of the bolt to get a few more rotations.
We advise avoiding hooks. They aren’t as sturdy and are more likely to slip off.
Hanging Punch Bag Using Wall Mounts
If suspending your bag to the ceiling isn’t an option, a wall bracket can be installed instead. They come within various budgets, but we recommend choosing one with the maximum points of contact. This will save you money over time, and maybe a wall as well.
They generally include all the required hardware for proper installation. Some models even add two springs to absorb impacts, noise, and reduce the hardware’s wear and tear.
Bear in mind that, if you’re setting-up your mount on a concrete wall, you might need additional tools. Lag shields and a masonry drill bit aren’t typically part of a wall mount package.
Here are the few steps involved:
- Find the studs as previously described.
- Using a pen, mark where you’ll be drilling into the beams.
- Drill holes above the markings. Don’t forget that if your walls are made of concrete, you’ll need a masonry drill bit. Ensure that the holes are large enough to fit the anchor.
- With your fingers, gently slide the anchor inside the newly formed holes.
- Drill the screws inside the anchors.
- Use the nuts and washers to secure the bracket.
This video nicely summarizes how to install a wall mount:
Hang the Bag Using Free-Standing Mounts
These mounts are ideal for anyone looking to avoid drilling holes. The best ones come with added weight towards the base, making them more stable and more resistant to powerful punches.
Free-standing mounts are the easiest to install since they typically consist of following the included instructions. This mainly involves screwing the various pieces together. Some can even attach a punching bag on one side, and a speed bag on the other.
Final Step: Hanging the Bag
Now have your hanging system in place, let’s connect it to your bag:
- Attach the chains to the four corners of your heavy bag.
- Secure the S-hook to the chains.
- With the help of a friend, hold and lift the bag. Your partner will be fixing the S-hook to the eye bolt.
- Adjust the length of the chains to your desired height.
- Give the bag a few hits. If you see screws or parts or the wall moving, start again and ensure all fittings and fixtures are tightly connected.
Out of all the punching bags, the hanging type might be the most complicated to install. Although you need to be prepared, informed and have the proper equipment, it isn’t unachievable.
First, decide where you’ll be hanging it. Will you be setting it up alone, or will you have assistance? This should help you determine whether a ceiling, wall or floor set-up is preferable.
Now you can enjoy effective bag workouts in the comfort of your home gym!
We hope this guide on how to hang a heavy bag will make the process smoother and faster. Ultimately, this should get you to start punching sooner!