Punching Bag Filling Options: What’s the Best Choice?

Punching bags have been used for boxing and martial arts training for over 150 years, with the first patent being awarded for a training bag in 1872. As the years have gone by, manufacturers of punching bags have used different types of bag filling based on availability, price, and a variety of other reasons. Some training bag fillings have been effective, others not so much. There was a time where sand was the primary bag filling option, which was not entirely easy on the hands. 

Nowadays, you will see a large variety of synthetic filling options when shopping for heavy bags, muay thai bags, and any other variation of punching bag. Which filling is the best? Sometimes, this comes down to a matter of preference, but there are few punching bag filling options that are objectively superior to others. 

These are the types of common training bag filling options. 


Some punching bags are filled with fabrics and textiles. When people make their own bags at home, they often use old rags, clothes, towels, and other textiles. This makes the bags lighter and softer, offering less feedback on your hands. It also allows the bags to move more freely when struck. 

Sand and Sawdust

These materials are commonly used in heavy bags, giving the bags the weight that they are known for. Punching bags that are filled with these materials are dense and do not move as freely. Allowing for harder training. The bags will not warp after hard strikes because they use heavier, denser filling materials. 


Water training bags are a unique type of punching bag that allow for rigorous training. The water filling absorbs even the hardest blows and combinations. They can also be drained and stored very easily, which is a big appeal for people with limited bag training space or those who need to take the bags on the go. These bags offer very good resistance to punches and kicks while remaining easy on the joints. 

Hybrid Bag Filling Mixtures

All Zebra Heavy Bags and Muay Thai Bags are stuffed with a hybrid mixture of rubber residues and textiles. This mixture offers the best of all worlds, creating evenly stuffed punching bags that move well, absorb heavy and light strikes, and remain soft on the hands and joints of the wrist, elbows, and shoulders.  

It’s not only about the type of punching bag filling, but also how the bag is stuffed. We machine press our training bags into several even layers, creating a bag that will not sag, compress, or warp over time. The stuffing stays firm and will not settle at the bottom of the bag no matter how hard, or how often, you hit them. 

Want to learn more about our training bags? Get in touch with us today or head on over to our online store.