A kickboxing bag is a padded tube that is either suspended from the ceiling by a chain, or mounted on a base that can be filled with ballast to keep it stable. The bag is used as a training tool for both punching and kicking, and, when used correctly, can simulate some of the movement of a live opponent. These bags are often known as heavy bags, and can be used for almost every aspect of a kickboxing workout.
Kickboxing bags can vary from four to six feet in height, and come in different weights. The length of the kickboxing bag makes it possible to practice both punches and kicks on it, allowing the user to work on a full range of techniques. This equipment is typically covered in a durable vinyl coating, both for longevity and easy cleaning, and filled with dense fiber or foam around the central shaft. A kickboxing bag will not be plush or give way at the touch, instead it will be quite firm, and a hit from the kickboxer is intended to move the bag, rather than cause it to deform.
A floor model kickboxing bag is usually hollow and has a sealed opening to allow the base to be filled with either water or sand, so that it does not shift during the course of a workout session. If the base is drained, the entire apparatus can then be moved by rolling the bag along the bottom edge of the base. A hanging kickboxing bag typically remains in one location, but can swing freely on the chain from which it is suspended. Any hanging bag must be properly mounted on a secure hook and chain to prevent it from detaching in the middle of a training session and potentially injuring a user.
Another type of bag used in kickboxing training is the speed bag, which is a much smaller, typically leather-covered bag that is hung from above on a short chain. The kickboxer punches the bag, which causes it to rebound off the platform above it. With proper training and coordination, a fighter can cause the bag to remain in motion, which results in a rhythmic and steady sound as the bag is punched and rebounds. Also used by boxers, speed bags limit the kickboxer solely to punching, however, and are therefore not used as predominantly as heavy bags for kickboxing training.