A Value Knock-Out: The Apartment Friendly Punching Bag Solution

Think a small living space stands between you and a literally kick-ass punching bag workout? Think again, with this smart, compact solution.

I had a huge place in college. The kind of house you could throw an epic party at, fill it with people, and still have room for a fog machine and a giant six foot tall inflatable beer. When not indulging in health destroying activities, it was also big enough to house a full-sized boxing station. I had an 80lb heavy bag with a speed-bag hooked up. You could dance around wailing on it all day. Moving across country to a much smaller abode, I bequeathed the station to a relative and was bagless for years.

Where can you put a heavy bag in your apartment? If you're lucky enough to have a balcony, the ceiling above probably can't support it. Nor will your landlord appreciate you trying to rig supports in your living room, so hanging a bag is a bad idea. Putting up a free-standing station likely isn't an option if you value space in your bedroom, don't want guests eating dinner around a sweaty canvas sack, or live with a roommate who will not put up with a bag stand in the living room.

It turns out I was thinking about this the wrong way. There is no need, or room, for an 80lb heavy bag in your apartment. Luckily there is a small boxing equipment store near my apartment, and on a whim, I went in and found a 35lb punching bag that's under three feet long. At a cost of $35, it was a steal, so I walked out of there with a bag and a plan. A quick stop over at Home Depot yielded two heavy duty clips and some canvas car straps.

You're a smart reader, so you're seeing all the signs of creating some sort of hanging punching bag, but you might be asking – where is he going to hang it from? Fear not, Primer readers, we've already given you that solution: a door jamb pull-up bar. I figure if this thing could hold my old 250lb self rocking out six pull-ups, it could definitely support a 35lb bag swinging back and forth.

Back to the creation process: all I had to do was make a loop of the canvas, attach the clips, and then hook the bag up to the pull-up bar. Yes, it sways back and forth a bit and it needs to be reset to a center, punchable position every now and then, but I really go to town on the thing five days a week. I've added boxing and bag work seamlessly into my home workouts. There is no apartment this can't fit in – it's far quieter than you might expect. I wouldn't recommend punching it at 2am or while your roommates are having a candle lit dinner, but it's not that noisy. The bag is also light and mobile, so you can move it around quickly – stash it in the closet when a date comes over, or leave it strategically out somewhere so she asks about your awesome habits.

So, sorry to say to the lazy among us, there is absolutely no reason you can't have this in your apartment. It takes up no room and the entire cost was under $60. That price includes the bag, hook-ups, and the pull-up bar. So for under sixty bucks you can do all your punching bag work outs and rock out pull-ups and chin-ups. Not bad – so what are you waiting for?

Once you have figured out how to make a punching bag with the above items, here are my three core work-outs.

1. Cardio Speed Bagging. The punch cadence is simply Left-Right as fast as possible for as long as possible, to get you going.

2. Every Punch a Knock-Out. Every punch you throw, you throw as hard as you can. Left-Right-Right Hook.

3. The Four Punch Combo. Left Jab, Right, Left Jab, Right Hook, Left Jab, Right, Left Jab, Right Upper Cut. Repeat over and over and over.

Start trying to go for 2 minute rounds, though two minutes of bag work feels like 15 minutes of sprinting, so you'll have to work you way up to it.

If you're new to bag training, I recommend checking out this great beginner's tutorial on bodybuilding.com. Much like every aspect of training, form is very important so you don't hurt yourself. Happy boxing!

Robert Fure

Robert Fure is a fitness, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in Los Angeles. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and the Creator/Editor of Fit and Furious, an online outlet dedicated to the pursuit of a fit lifestyle. His entertainment work can be viewed at Film School Rejects.