Things You'll Need
Hammer and finishing nail or stud finder
Drill and bit
Heavy bag ceiling mount
Twine, yarn or similar item
The "sweet spot" is the area of the bag where, when punched or kicked, causes the bag to jump backward and give like you hit a real person. It corresponds to the head on an opponent. Hitting the bag above the sweet spot causes it to spin around with little resistance to your blow. Striking it lower causes it to have too little give, like encountering a brick wall. Typically, the sweet spot is beneath the label on the bag and should appear at eye level.
The risk of damage to your home should not be underestimated. If your bag is still too heavy for your house, consider distributing the weight among several ceiling supports. The best way to do this is to attach a 2-by-4 board to three or more joists or rafters, preferably above the ceiling, although you can also secure it to the room-side of the ceiling as well. Use screws to secure to each support.
Punching bags are heavy. While the lightest weigh in at 25 pounds, the heaviest offer 200 pounds of pure bulk. From exercising to boxing or even just the occasional need to imagine the image of the person who just ticked you off, these heavy bags prove useful additions to your home -- as long as you hang them properly. The lightest of the bags may tear your ceiling apart under the pressure of your workout, and the heaviest can cause it to come crashing down.
Heavy Bags Weighing up to 125 Pounds
Survey the room where you wish to install the bag, looking for an area free of windows or obstacles such as lights and furnishings. Find a wood ceiling joist or rafter, using a stud finder or tapping the ceiling to find the area that feels and sounds solid instead of hollow. Drive a small nail such as a finishing nail through the ceiling finish to verify the presence of a beam if you have any doubt.
Measure from the ceiling support you located over to any nearby walls. You should have at least 2 feet of free area surrounding your punching bag on all sides; the more space, the better, since it allows you to move around the bag freely.
Look at the eye bolt, which typically comes with the bag. Choose a drill bit attachment slightly smaller than the diameter of the eye bolt.
Drill a hole through the ceiling at the location you chose to hang your bag. Ensure the pilot hole you are drilling hits wood or you will need to re-drill the hole.
Insert the eye bolt into your pilot hole and screw clockwise to secure. Continue tightening until completely buried in the ceiling; use a screwdriver, stuck into the opening of the eye hook, to tighten if you need a little more leverage.
Attach a swivel and a spring, in that order, to one end of the single chain that will hang from the eye bolt. The swivel allows the bag to turn and move without stressing the chains and assembly, contributing to bag or ceiling damage. The spring absorbs some of the force of the blows the bag receives, protecting your house structurally.
Hook the four chains to the punching bag at the attachment points on the top of the bag on one end and to the swivel and spring assembly on the other. Hang the bag from the eye hook using the free end of the single chain, above the spring and swivel, to secure. Adjust the bag, raising or lower it, as necessary to hit the sweet spot on the bag when you use it.
Heavy Bags Over 125 Pounds
Follow the basic assembly instructions, attaching the four chain ends to the punching bag and securing a swivel to the free end of the chain. Join a spring to the end of the swivel and hook one end of the single chain, from which the bag will hang, to the spring and swivel assembly.
Line the heavy bag ceiling mount up with the rafter or joist. Drill four pilot holes through the openings on the plate and screw bolts into place, or drive the screws in without pilot holes, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Attach the eye bolt to the middle of the plate as directed. Using the mount, with four screws instead of one, places less structural stress on the ceiling.
Hang the bag, by the free end of the bag assembly, from the eye bolt mounted in the middle of the plate. Adjust the height of the bag as desired to ensure you contact the sweet spot when you punch the bag.
Locate the D-ring underneath the bag. This attachment point is present on all bags. Tie a piece of twine, yarn or similar item to the ring and allow it to hit the floor directly beneath the bag.
Drill a pilot hole through the floor covering, sinking it deeply into the plywood base directly beneath the bag as indicated by the string. Choose a drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the eye hook you used to hang the bag.
Insert an eye hook into the hole drilled in the floor. Twist it counterclockwise to tighten and secure. Hook a bungee cord to the eye hook on one end and to the d-ring underneath your punching bag to complete. This extra attachment further reduces vibrations created by using the bag, minimizing your risk of house structural damage.
- Robbins Sports Blog; Punching Bags -- How to Hang 'Em; Nishan Wilde; January 2008
- Balazs Boxing: Product FAQs
- University of Saskatoon; On Campus News; Physics Instructor Doubles as Boxing Aficionado; Brian Cross; January 2004
- Expert Boxing: 10 Heavy Bag Training Tips
- The Martial Arts Sparring Gear Site; The Punching Bag; Al Ridenhour
Karie Lapham Fay
Karie Fay earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in law from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. After growing up in construction and with more than 30 years in the field, she believes a girl can swing a hammer with the best of them. She enjoys "green" or innovative solutions and unusual construction.