Training with a heavy bag is an amazing form of exercise and is a reason why all boxers include it as part of their training regime. It builds amazing cardio-vascular endurance, strengthens the muscles and tendons of the body, develops hand eye coordination, and is an amazing way to release the frustrations of the day.
Installing a heavy bag can be a tricky process for some and can involved drilling holes and screwing in hanging fixtures into the structure of your home. For this reason, many individuals prefer to use a stand from which to hang their bag, such as the one below:
The problem can be that when you hit the bag with any force, it will swing wildly and will begin to act like a heavy pendulum. This can cause the stand itself to skid around the floor and in the worse case scenario, to topple over.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to keep your hanging frame stable.
How do I keep my heavy bag from moving?
Add Weights Plates
If you look at the above stand, you will see two vertical poles. This is a feature common to most hanging frames and allows you to load weight plates onto it.
These are the same plates that are added to barbells and allow you to root the stand to the floor.
Most weight pegs on heavy bag stands are 1” in diameter which will accommodate most weight plates (such as these ones on Amazon).
The weight of the heavy bag and how hard you hit it will determine the amount of weight you’ll need to use. To some extent it’s a bit of trial and error but you could start with 30kg equally distributed on the pegs of the stand. If the bag stand continues to rock around then you’ll need to add more weight.
The only problem with this approach is that the cost of buying the weight plates can soon add up. You can try and obtain second-hand weights from Craigslist or you can try and make your own. This is why I’ve suggested starting with 30kg to weigh the stand down so you don’t waste money buying unnecessary weight plates.
There are concrete mold kits (such as this one on Amazon) that can be purchased which allow you to make your own weight set. It’s a relatively simple matter of adding concrete to the mold and allowing it to set. Given that you make several weight plates using this method, this could be a economical solution to weighing down your heavy bag stand.
You could even make additional plates to create a weight set to work out with. You’d simply need to purchase a barbell and you’d have a complete home gym set up to work out with.
Use Sand Bags
Another alternative is to weigh the heavy bag frame down with sand bags. Extra strong ones (such as these on Amazon) can hold up to 50lbs.
This is a much cheaper method than purchasing iron weight plates. They are also really easy to set up. You simply need to fill the bags with sand and tie them off.
The sand bags can then be laid over the base of the heavy bag stand. You can start with one bag at each of the three points of the base and add more if needed.
Use an bag anchor
Part of the reason that bag stand is prone to rocking and jerking around when the bag is being used is that the bag swings too much.
A way to resolve this is to stop the bag swinging so much. Bag anchors are a great way to solve this problem.
These are weighted bags that attach to the base of the punch bag usually via a bungee cord. Effectively this attachment limits the degree to which the bag can swing.Many punch bags have a special loop at their base to which the bungee can be attached.
However, if your bag doesn’t have one of these, then don’t worry. There are special adaptors (such as this one on Amazon) which can attach to most heavy bags allowing you to attach an anchor bag.
Use floor mats
Another reason for the heavy bag frame skipping around when the bag is being hit is that it’s not gripping the floor.
Most heavy bag stands are used on a concrete floor which provides little friction against it moving unless it’s weighed down.
This situation can be improved by positioning the stand on rubber floor mats (such as these on Amazon). These provide a much better level of grip if your floor is particularly smooth.
Bolt it to the floor
The final method to stop your heavy bag stand moving around is somewhat of a nuclear option: bolting it to the floor.
This would involve drilling holes into the base of the stand and at corresponding points in the floor where it’s to be located.
Anchor bolts would then be used to fix the stand firmly to the floor.
This really is a last resort as it means making permanent holes in the hanging frame and your floor. It would be worth exploring all the other options that have been listed above before employing this method.
An alternative: Freestanding Punch Bag
If using a heavy bag stand is looking like too much hassle, then there are a number of alternatives.
Perhaps the most obvious one is to use a free standing punching bag (such as this one on Amazon). These don’t require any form of support and typically feature a weighted bottom allowing them to remain upright when being hit.
The other option is to simply use a punch bag which can be hung from a supporting structure. I’ve previously written a comprehensive article about the steps needed to do this which can be seen here.
Hopefully this article has outlined a number of ways in which you stop a heavy bag stand from skidding around the floor and moving when it’s being used. It may be that you have to combine a number of these methods to find a satisfactory solution. For instance, you may need to not only weigh the stand down but also use rubberised mats to provide adequate grip. It will be a matter of trial and error to find the combination that works.