How to hang a heavy bag

How to hang a heavy bag

Having a heavy bag in your home is a great way to get extra work in away from the gym.  But hanging a heavy bag is another story.

It’s not exactly as easy as putting up Christmas decorations.  You have to plan things out and do it right, otherwise, your workout might turn into you lugging lumber and drywall home from the hardware store because your two-storey house just transformed into a one-storey.

Be sure to follow these steps to make hanging your heavy bag no sweat:

Location, Location, Location

This is the most vital step when hanging your heavy bag.  This may come as a shock, but heavy bags are, well, heavy.  And you pounding on it just adds extra force.  Here’s what to look out for –

  • A good rule of thumb is that your hanging location should be able to support at least two to three times the weight of the bag so there’s lots of room to play with. Anything less and you’re playing with fire.
  • Consider the space around the bag. Remember you’re going to need room to strike but also remember that the bag is going to swing around and may damage things nearby.

 

The Set-Up

Now that you got your location nailed down let’s talk about your set-up.  Depending on your location, you’ve got some options here –

The Ceiling Set-Up

This is probably the most preferred set-up.  It allows you to set up away from the wall, which gives you 360° range of motion around the bag letting you practice your footwork more effectively.  Also, you don’t have to worry about damaging any surrounding walls.

To do this you’ll need a support beam, which may or may not be exposed depending on the style of your house –

  • Unexposed Beams – If your support beams are hidden, you’ll need to find them. You could buy a stud finder from the hardware store or simply use the knock test.  Your support beams should be spaced out evenly in your ceiling with nothing in between.  Knocking on the ceiling where it’s empty will produce a hollow sound.  This sound will noticeably change when you knock on the beam.  Continue knocking around the beam to get an idea where it starts and stops.

If you notice your support beams are close together this probably means that each one isn’t very strong by itself.  If this is the case, instead of drilling into just one beam you may want to consider installing a board across several support beams and then attaching the bag to this cross-beam for extra support.

  • Exposed Beams – If you’re useless with a screwdriver, you could just wrap a chain around the exposed beam a few times and call it a day. But if you want to do it right, you’ll need to take a few more steps.  See below –

 

The Anchor

Again you have some options here and it’ll all depend on how strong your beam is and how secure you want it.  Let’s take a look at them –

Eye-bolt
Eye-Bolt – be sure to use a full eye like this one and not a hook
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  • This is your easiest option but only if you know your beam can handle the weight. Be sure to use a bolt with a full eye; if you use a hook you run the risk on the bag slipping off while it’s swinging.  To connect the anchor you’ll need to –
    • Select an eye-bolt that is 2-3 inches longer than your beam as you’ll be connecting a washer and nut on the other side
    • Drill a hole through the middle of the beam from top to bottom. Be sure to use a drill bit equal in diameter to your eye-bolt.
    • Put your eye-bolt into the beam with the eye on the bottom side. Attach a washer then a nut to the top of the bolt sticking out of the beam.  Tighten as much as you can with your hand, then hold the nut in place with a wrench while you twist the eye with your hand.  For the last few rotations stick a screwdriver through the hole of the eye for extra torque to make sure it’s as tight as possible.  When you’re done it should be rock solid.

However, for those with unexposed ceiling beams, this will require you to either use a cross-beam or cut away a section of the ceiling to be able to attach to the sides of the beam.

Heavy bag
A Ceiling Joist Hanger will give you more support than a single eye-bolt. Check out other models on Amazon

 

Ceiling Joist Hanger
  • For those looking for a more secure option, you’ll need to spread out the weight distribution more evenly and a ceiling joist does just that. There are several different styles and the one you choose will depend on your hanging location, here’s an example of one model.  As you can see, you’ll be putting several bolts across the beam instead of straight up it with the eye-bolt.  There are many different models available for pretty much any set-up you may have.

 

However, for those with unexposed ceiling beams, this will require you to either use a cross-beam or cut away a section of the ceiling to be able to attach to the sides of the beam.

The Hang

After you got your anchor secure, you’re ready to hang the heavy bag.

  • Connect the chains to the braces on the sides of the top section of the bag. You can do this with S-hooks or spring links for more security.
  • Connect the other ends of the chains onto one spring link. Most likely these were included with your bag, but if not any hardware store should carry them.  Just make sure they are tested to the appropriate weight.  Talk to an employee if you’re not sure, they’ll be able to tell you.
  • You’ll probably need a friend for the next step. One person will need to get on a chair while the other person holds the heavy bag in position.  The person in the chair can then connect the spring link onto the anchor.  You may also need to adjust the chains to get the desired height.

 

The Hang for a heavy bag
The style will vary, but your chain setup should look something like this
The Wall Set-Up

Maybe you live in an apartment building and your upstairs neighbor wouldn’t appreciate you drilling holes up into their floor.  When the ceiling is not an option you can use a wall mount. A Wall Mount can be used when hanging the bag from the ceiling isn’t an option.

 

Wall setup for a heavy bag
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The process is very similar to the ceiling set up –

  • Find the studs in the wall. You can do this with a stud-finder or use the knock test mentioned above.

CAUTION – Some walls are simply room dividers and are not load-bearing.  These walls can be surprisingly weak.  Be sure to distribute the weight across several studs to be sure.  You can use cross-beams in the same way as the ceiling set-up to achieve this.

  • Hold the brackets into the position you would like it to be. Use a pencil to fill the insides of the holes on the brackets to mark where you should drill your holes.  Put the brackets down and then drill where you see the pencil marks.  Make sure to use a drill bit that is equal in size to the bolts you will use.

 

If your walls are brick or concrete, you’ll need special drill bits called masonry bits.

  • Use the nuts and bolts that came with your wall mount to attach it to the wall. Tighten it down as much as possible.  If it’s loose, the vibrations from the impacts will eventually destroy the holes that you drilled.

 

  • After you have the wall mount secure, you’re ready to hang the heavy bag in the same manner as above. Again if your bag did not come with the chains, you can buy them from your local hardware store, just make sure it’s able to support the weight of your bag.

Free Standing Mount

Maybe the sound of drilling into your ceilings and walls sends chills down your spine.  Or maybe your location simply won’t allow it.  Don’t worry, you still have an option: A free standing mount –

Free Stand Mount – the easiest set-up of all the options
Frree stabding heavy bag
Check out your other options on Amazon

 

The best thing about a free stand mount is that it is mobile.  You can put it anywhere you like and then move it out of the way when you’re finished and the set-up is as easy as it gets.

The mount should come with everything you need. Just follow the instructions included.

Hanging the heavy bag will be the same as the methods mentioned previously.  For extra support, put something heavy on the legs of the stand to secure it a little better.

Yo’ Adrian!

No matter which way you choose to hang your heavy bag it’s important that you follow these steps and do it the right away to avoid costly damage to your house.

Now that you’ve finished hanging your heavy bag in the comfort of your own home, you’re ready to get to work.  Feel free to blast “Eye of the Tiger” while you record your own montages.  We won’t tell anyone.

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