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What Are Punching Bags Filled With?

By Katherine Bostick

Punching bags come in many different sizes. The size and use of a punching bag often determines what is used to fill the punching bag. Sand, water, finely ground wood, rags and grain are popular fillers for punching bags.

Basic Structure

The earliest record of a punching bag is a patent awarded to Simon D. Kehoe in 1872. The basic structure of a punching bag has not changed much over the years. The earliest punching bags were made from kangaroo or goat skin. Leather created from goat skin is still used today for making high-end punching bags.

How the Punching Bag is Created

Punching bags are still made from paper patterns traced onto leather, canvas or vinyl. Four to six panels are used for each punching bag. The panels are then sewn together with heavy-duty string or strips of leather.


Sand, water, shredded wood clippings, grain, dried corn kernels and rags have all been used to stuff punching bags. The type of filling is determined by the use of the punching bag, and the feel desired for the punching bag.

Difference Between Fillers

Water is softer than sand and has a wave-like motion when the punching bag is punched. Sand, grain, corn, and shredded wood or sawdust provide a thick, rock-like feel when the punching bag is punched.

Types of Bags and Fillers

A training bag is commonly filled with sand or sawdust; a striking bag is a punching bag that is actually two bags in one--the inner bag is filled with air, while the outer bag is filled with sand or sawdust; homemade punching bags are made by some athletes and are filled with rags.

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