Want to get ripped? Want to develop power in your punches? We’ve already covered how punching bag workouts are a great way to do both in another post.
But let’s back up a second. How do you hang a heavy bag? It’s not like you can just put a bolt in the ceiling and call it good. The first time you hit that heavy bag harder than a fly it’ll come crashing down — along with half your ceiling! Even if you put that bolt into a beam and it manages to sustain the bag, remember that you’re going to be beating on that thing. This causes vibrations and strong jerking forces that you need to be aware of.
So what do you do? Read on to find out all the best ways to hang a heavy bag and enjoy hours of workouts without destroying your home.
Table of Contents
How Much Does Your Bag Weigh?
Before we dive into the different ways that you can hang a punching bag, let’s first talk about your bag. Heavy bags vary significantly in weight. If you have a heavier one, a solution that might be perfectly fine with a lighter bag won’t work for yours.
In general, a good boxing bag should be at least half your weight. Most home gym bags weigh between 70 and 100 pounds. However, the heavy-duty boxing bags you often see at professional gyms can weigh in at around 200 pounds.
When you’re looking at mounts, you’ll want one that is rated for at least twice the weight of your bag. The centrifugal force created by the bag swinging back and forth can easily double the weight of the bag itself. Plus, every time you hit the bag hard, you push it up a tiny bit. Then it comes crashing back down with all its weight at once — over and over again.
Where Will You Hang It?
Next, is to decide where you want to hang the bag. You can get both ceiling mounts and wall mounts for heavy bags. There is even a freestanding mount option. This method is handy because it’s portable but this option is not widely recommended. You’ll have to find a way to weigh down the stand to keep it standing firm as the bag flings around, which adds expense. And it still might fall over when it increases the risk of injury.
Plus, the stand doesn’t allow you to move freely around the bag, which is recommended. You need to be able to move around to work on footwork, kicks, dodges, and other movements. The same goes for the wall mounts, which makes hanging your boxing bag from the ceiling the best option. However, wall mounts are a viable option if hanging from the ceiling is not possible at your home.
With this in mind, look around your space. If you already have a home gym set up, that’s the first place to start. Do you have an open space large enough to hang the bag and give you space to move around it?
If your gym isn’t already set up, you can set up your punching bag wherever you want and build your gym around it. Or, since a punching bag is so versatile, it can be your entire gym by itself!
Common locations include basements and garages. If you don’t have one of those spaces you can set it up in any room with enough space. Remember that the bag will be swinging around. Make sure that it isn’t close enough to break anything or bounce off the wall and hit you.
What About Apartments?
Many people wonder how to hang a punching bag in an apartment. You could get one of those doorway punching bag things, which isn’t really a punching bag at all. Rather it’s basically a target that you can suspend with the included kit in a doorway. You’ll get a workout, but it won’t be as fun as an actual bag.
A better option might be to hang your punching bag outdoors. We’ll talk about how to hang a punching bag from a tree in a minute.
Depending on the climate where you live, training outdoors can be a very refreshing activity. However, if you plan to go this route you should get a canvas bag. This material holds up better to environmental conditions than either leather or vinyl — common bag materials. The alternative is to always bring it in when it looks like rain.
The other option is to buy a freestanding bag instead that you can use in any room or outside with no special equipment required.
How to Hang a Punching Bag from the Ceiling Joist
All right, so let’s cut to the chase here and talk about how to get your new toy hanging up. We’ll start with the ceiling set-up as it is the optimal choice for a heavy bag.
The best way to hang a heavy bag is by using the ceiling joist. The ceiling joists are the beams that hold up your ceiling. In garages or basements, the joists are often left exposed. This makes the task of hanging your boxing bag quite easy.
If the ceiling is finished, you’re going to have to find the joists with a stud finder or the knock test. Tip: ceiling beams are usually placed either 16 inches or 24 inches apart. Starting at the wall, focus your search on 16 or 24-inch increments.
If you’re not finding the beams, it’s likely you’re searching parallel to them. Try searching in the perpendicular direction instead.
Once you’ve found your beam, it’s time to put on your handyman (or woman) hat. As a quick disclaimer, if you really don’t know what you’re doing, we strongly recommend calling up a handy friend or a professional. You’ll need at least one other person around to help you lift up the bag anyway.
If you don’t hang the bag in the right spot, or the beam you choose isn’t strong enough to hold the bag, you will end up with a giant hole in your ceiling and possible injuries so BE CAREFUL!
Attaching the Bag
Now that you’ve got your location, it’s time to install the hardware. You’ll need a sturdy eyebolt, an S-hook, a power drill, a wrench, and the bag and chains.
Start by drilling a hole into the ceiling joist a little smaller than the shaft of your eyebolt. Next, screw the eyebolt into the hole, using the wrench to ensure it is firmly in place. Connect the chains on the bag to the S-hook, lift up the bag, and slip the other end of the S-hook through the eyebolt. All set!
How to Install a Heavy Bag Ceiling Mount
Instead of the eyebolt, you can choose a ceiling mount for your heavy bag. These are kits you can get that come with what you need to install the bag. You can install mounts across two or more ceiling joints, ensuring that your bag won’t bring the house down.
You’ll need to find your ceiling joists as we just described. To mount across two ceiling joints, attach a 2×6 board across the joists with wood screws. Using a power drill, create holes just a little smaller than the screws. Be sure to drill through the board and well into the ceiling joists.
Once the board is in place, it’s time to install the mount. Hold your mount up to the 2×6 and mark the spots to drill. Again, create holes just a little smaller than the screws or bolts that come with the mount.
Now, holding the mount to the ceiling, install the screws with a screwdriver or wrench. Once the mount is firmly in place, use the S-hook to attach the bag’s chains to the mount.
How to Hang a Punching Bag on a Wall
If you don’t have a good spot to hang your bag from the ceiling, you can use a heavy bag hanger to attach it to the wall. Only use this method if you have masonry walls. Attaching a heavy bag hanger to drywall will end up in a big, unwanted mess.
The mount will come with the equipment necessary to hang it. Start by holding the mount up where you want it and marking the position of each bolt. Drill into the wall at each spot with your power drill. Once ready, place the mount and install the bolts.
Again, hang the bag with the S-hook and chains.
How to Hang a Punching Bag From a Tree
If you have a yard and don’t want to put holes in your wall or ceiling, hanging your punching bag from a tree might be a viable option. It’s pretty simple, you can use chains or rope, or buy a specially-made swing strap. All you have to do is wrap it around the branch and attach your bag to the included carabiner.
Of course, you need to be sure to pick a branch that can sustain the weight. We don’t recommend standing directly under it when you first try it out.
Ready, Set, PUNCH!
The actual act of hanging a punching bag isn’t too difficult. The main thing is to choose a safe spot to hang it as well as use a sturdy enough support. Once you get it up there, you can start enjoying your punching bag workouts to the fullest.
Interested in a freestanding bag instead? These can be an excellent option for renters who can’t put holes in their ceilings or walls. Check out our list of the best free standing punching bags here to choose the best option.