The heavy bag is such an essential tool in any muay thai, kickboxing, or MMA fighter’s training. Despite these punching bags being essential, they are still undervalued and underutilized in western training.
They’re great for getting in some extra rounds at home or in the gym. A good heavy bag is like a good sparring partner or pad holder who never gets tired. It can go as many rounds as you can, but it depends on you alone to get those rounds in.
Muay thai banana bags were designed to specifically train low kicks along with other strikes. Even within the banana bag category, there are so many different options for heavy bags that picking the best one for you can be tricky. We made this review guide to help you decide on the right bag for you.
The best muay thai banana bag is the Fairtex Banana Bag. It’s wider and more stable than the competition. This will allow you to use the bag for more than just low kicks. This heavy bag is able to take body and head kicks as well as punches. Our upgrade pick is its big brother, the Fairtex Pole Bag, our budget pick is the Contender Fight Sports Bag.
If you’re still pretty new to martial arts, I would recommend that you properly wrap your hands in hand wraps to protect your knuckles and the bones in your wrist. I would also recommend using a good pair of bag gloves.
In this Article
Why Use a Heavy Bag
Train by Yourself
One of the best things about training with a heavy bag is that you can use it by yourself. You don’t need to bug a training partner to come out to the gym, you can just hang a bag in your garage or basement and do work on your own time.
Improve Your Cardio
Working on the bag can help increase both your aerobic and anaerobic systems, depending on how hard you go. Want to increase your cardio capacity? Do long slower paced rounds. Want to increase your explosiveness? Do short rounds at high output and take longer rests.
Improve Your Coordination and Technique
Perfecting your technique comes with practice. The more high-quality, focused hours you put into your fight training, the better you’ll get. Working on the banana bag will help you with your coordination, rhythm, and body control. Just make sure you’re throwing punches and kicks with good form.
The nice thing about muay thai bags is their length. The long heavy bag allows you to throw punches, elbows, knees, and kicks including low kicks. They really help you work on all eight limbs of your arsenal.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”Bruce Lee
Doing reps will not only help improve technique, but it will make your striking stronger. You continually build up muscles and train them to fire. You’ll get faster and hit harder.
This is another top benefit. You can hit the heavy bag as much as you want as heavy as you want, and it will not hit back. Feel free to take out aggression and just let loose on the bag. Beat it up because that’s literally what it’s made for.
Muay Thai Banana Bag vs Boxing Heavy Bag
The main difference between banana bags and traditional boxing heavy bags is the length. Muay thai banana bags are 6+ ft, while standard boxing bags are only 4 ft long. Banana bags are also usually much thinner.
The length of the banana bags means that you can actually practice your low kicks on them. It also means that you’ll have to hang them a bit higher with a ceiling mount or a wall mount. In the case of pole bags, they wrap around posts.
Thai bags are also typically made of thicker material. This is so the bags can withstand the force of powerful kicks.
Best Muay Thai Banana Bag: Fairtex Banana Bag
- Thick enough for punches, body kicks
- High quality
- Light enough for practicing some movement
- Can come prefilled if you find it in stock
- Might have to fill it yourself
The 6 ft Fairtex Banana Bag is premium quality just like other Fairtex gear. It comes unfilled, but you can also get the prefilled version if it’s in stock. We recommend going with the filled version, as they do a good job of filling the bag and you can start training right away. It’s the best banana bag for most people.
If black is too boring for your home gym, Fairtex also makes prefilled bags in bright blue, lime green yellow, and red.
Fairtex is a top-tier Thai brand known for producing some of the highest quality kickboxing gear in Thailand. It’s in the same tier as other premium brands like Twins and Top King, and the gear will last you a long time.
This banana bag is made of synthetic leather, it’s stiffer, durable, low-maintenance, and easy to clean. You don’t have to condition the bag like real leather, and not to mention it’s easier on the wallet.
Unlike some other banana bags, the Fairtex bag isn’t too skinny. Skinnier bags aren’t as good for doing knees, body and head kicks, and punches. This heavy bag is 14″ in diameter which makes it better for a variety of strikes. It makes for a great all-around bag compared to narrower bags that are specifically for training low kicks.
If you opt for the pre-filled bag you’ll notice that the bottom of the bag is pretty hard. The more you kick it the more the filling goes down to the bottom.
This is great for practicing low kicks and conditioning your shins. Once you get used to it, your shins will be stronger allowing you to kick harder without fear of getting hurt. Shin conditioning will also help when you leg check to block incoming kicks.
One possible downside to the Fairtex bag is a feature of banana bags in general, they don’t swing as much as shorter bags.
This comes down to preference. If you like a using swinging bag to practice footwork, you’ll need to mount the banana bag with a longer chain and on a higher ceiling. Some fighters prefer less swing because it helps when throwing double and continuous kicks.
When mounting the banana bag we also recommend you use a heavy bag spring. You’re going to be blasting your bag with kicks, and the spring will help lessen the shock to your mounting hardware.
Upgrade Pick: Fairtex Pole Bag (Unfilled)
- Heavier (300 lb)
- Can be used around post/pole
- High quality, durable
- More expensive
- Have to fill it yourself
If you want a bigger bag then check out the 7 ft Fairtex Pole Bag. It’s the bigger brother of our best pick. The pole bag comes unfilled, so you’ll have to stuff it yourself. We recommend using sandbags, clothes/rags, and an outer layer of foam.
The pole bag can either be mounted on the ceiling or wall, or it can be mounted around a steel pole. This makes it perfect for converting unusable space into another heavy bag station at the gym. Once filled, the bag will weigh around 300 lbs, and it won’t be swinging everywhere during your sessions. If you pole-mount it, it won’t be moving at all.
It’s a real muay thai “heavy” bag that you can beat up to your heart’s content and it will last you for years.
The only downsides are that it costs a bit more than our best pick because you’ll have to buy materials to stuff it yourself. It’ll also take time to fill this bag, and although you can do it yourself, it might be easier with someone to help you out. You’ll also need stronger mounting hardware rated for 300+ lbs.
Best Budget Muay Thai Banana Bag: Contender Fight Sports 100 lb Thai Bag
- Come prefilled
- Not as heavy as self-filled bags
If you’re on a tight budget then try out the Contender banana bag. At 13″ it’s not a thick as the Fairtex bag, but it’s still a good size for the price.
At 6 ft, you’ll still have to hang it pretty high, just like the Fairtex heavy bag. Again, that’s just the nature of banana bags.
The Contender bag is also not as heavy as our top pick, but you can always add more stuffing at the top. This would make it more suitable to take punches and hard body kicks.
Best Standard Kickboxing Heavy Bag: Ringside Soft Filled 100 lb Heavy Bag
- Heavy-duty powerhide
- Soft fill
- Plastic sand cylinder
- Can be anchored with bottom D-ring
- Shipping is more expensive
- No low kicks
The Ringside soft-filled heavy bag comes in 100-200 lb variants. They come with a plastic cylinder inside that you can add more sand to if you need it to be heavier. If the bag is still moving around too much, it comes with a D-ring at the bottom that you can attach to an anchor.
Even though this is a traditional boxing heavy bag, the high-quality powerhide material and stitching can take a beating. It’s perfect for muay thai, kickboxing, and MMA training. It will last you for years of training.
The soft fill is good for protecting your hands and wrists when punching, but it’s still firm enough and feels good when hitting it.
The only thing you can’t train on it is low kicks, but you can still throw some nice knees on it. If you really want to low kick this thing I guess you can use longer chains when hanging it.
Any of our picks would make a great addition to your training at home or in the gym. It’s just a matter of picking the best bag for your training style and budget. Just remember to practice striking techniques with good form.