How to hang a punching bag with rope

I’ve found that using a punch bag provides an awesome workout.  After only a few minutes of striking that bag, I end up drenched in sweat and breathing heavily.  


Not only does it provide an excellent cardio vascular workout but it’s also a great stress reliever.  After a hard’s day at work, I find it really helps work out any frustrations by spending 15 or so minutes whacking the bag.

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I’ve actually set up a number of punch bags for friends and family over the years.


I thought it might be useful to outline one of my favourite methods:  how to hang a punching bag with rope


This is one of my preferred methods for a number of reasons:


  • It’s relatively inexpensive and requires few materials.  As I’ll outline below, there are very few items that you’ll need to invest in and these will last for a long time.


  • It allows you to take down and pack away the heavy bag when it’s not in use.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a huge amount of spare space.  I can’t just leave the bag hanging in place when I’m not using it.  


  •  As you’ll see, using rope also allows you to easily lift it in place without having to shoulder press it into position with one arm whilst you try and connect the chain and metal hooks with the other hand.


  • It can be a lot quieter than when using chains and metal fixings.  When using metal fixtures, the chains and hooks can grind together making a squeaking sound every time you strike the bag.   This can be a consideration if you’ve got neighbours or housemates  to think of.


Punching bag hanging kit

To complete this project you’ll need the following bits of kit.


To complete this project you’ll need the following bits of kit: 

  • A hanging bracket
  • A pulley
  • A carabiner
  • A length of rope 
  • A cleat


Punching bag pulley system

The steps below outline how I hang a punching bag with rope.


If you’re in a garage or basement, the ceiling will typically consist of a series of parallel wooden beams that are about 16 inches apart.  They may be covered with a layer of plaster board which will mean you’ll have to locate them using a stud detector, such as the one here on Amazon.    You can also try knocking the ceiling and listening to the sound made:  the less hollow sounding areas will be where the beams are located.  


It’s generally recommended that the supporting structure be capable of holding up to four times the actual weight of the punching bag itself.  This is because of the additional forces affecting the bag when it swings and is struck.  


For this reason, I sometimes get a 2 inch plank of wood and hold it perpendicular to the beams in the ceiling.  I ensure it’s long enough to go across five of the beams and then screw it firmly in place to every beam that it crosses (as shown below). 



How to hang a punch bag using rope


Heavy bag joist mount


I’ll attach the punching bag hanging fixtures to this plank and this method ensures that the forces are distributed across all five beams.


I then attach a hanging bracket (such as the one below) to the plank directly under the middle beam ensuring that the screws go both through the plank itself and into the beam above.   This one cost me about $20 but you can see the price here on Amazon.

I then attach a carabiner to the eye bolt.


It’s important to use the right carabiner.  I’ve seen all sorts of cheap versions on the market and I’ve always thought that they wouldn’t be up to the task.  I always use carabiner’s designed for climbing – they are load tested and designed to be extremely reliable. The one below cost about $20 for two but you can see the up-to-date price on Amazon here.


To the carabiner,  I attach a pulley.  Again I’ve seen lots of cheap looking pulleys on the market and always go for those designed for climbing.  Again they’re built to last and to take heavy loads.  For instance, the one below can hold 29 kilonewtons (kN), which equates to just under 6500lb / 3000 kg.  Not bad when you consider I paid $18 for one.  You can see the latest price on Amazon here.


The next step involves attaching a cleat to a side wall.  Ideally this should be located at least 2 metres away from where the bag will hang in order to allow it to swing freely.


If you have a brick wall, then you can use the appropriate screws to attach the cleat firmly to the wall.  If it consists of wooden vertical beams covered with plasterboard./ drywall then you may want to attach a plank of wood horizontally, so that it covers at least 3 beams, using screws to attach it firmly to each beam.  Then attach the cleat to the plank; this set up helps to spread the load across the beams.


I like these folding cleats for about $15 (but you can see the price on Amazon here).  Again, I’ve seen lots of cheap looking cleats out there.  I go for ones designed for boating as these are designed to be strong.


The best rope for hanging a punching bag

You now need to put this all together and that involves using rope to connect the various components.


I highly recommend climbing rope as it’s really strong and reliable.  I’ve always been impressed with the rope below, which you can see here on  Amazon.

Firstly, tie the rope to the top of the punching bag using an anchor bend (link to a knot site).


Feed the free end of the rope through the pulley.  In theory, you could dispense with the pulley and just feed the rope through the eye bolt that’s attached to the plank on the ceiling;  however, in time , because of the friction you would soon wear through your rope.


Once through the pulley, you can now start to pull on the rope to raise the punch bag off the ground.  Keep pulling until the bag is at the desired height.


Keeping the rope taut, tie the free end of the rope to the cleat using a cleat hitch (link to a knot site).


Having followed the instructions you should now have a punching bag swinging freely, and held up by rope which you’ll be able to take down and put up with ease.


Alternatives To Hanging A Bag

Some people may not want to go through all the steps I’ve outlined in order to hang a heavy bag.  Fortunately, there are other options:


Bag Stand

One option would be using a punching bag stand, such as the one here on Amazon, which is priced reasonably.    There’s a little work to assemble the stand but at least you won’t have to drill holes in the structure of your house.


Self Standing Bag

These types of bag have a weighted bottom, which can be filled with water or sand.  They’re a good alternative to hanging a bag.  Here’s a link to a great one on Amazon from a very reputable brand.


Happy training!!


Related Links:

How to hang a heavy bag from drywall ceiling

How to hang a punching bag from a high ceiling