By Randy Pilares
Perhaps the only "good thing" to come out of a world pandemic in which masses of people are locked down at home, is that searches for "best Muay Thai banana bags" are WAY UP on Google!
Remember when you were still training at the gym? It was just a few weeks back but now seems ages go - an obvious effect of the lockdown that took effect everywhere.
At the time, there's a good chance you probably didn’t pay a lot of attention to the heavy back in the gym. Sure, you worked on it now and then, or when your trainer specifically instructed you to work on it. But chances are that you didn’t make it a top priority in training.
That's truly a shame, because the heavy bag offers a ton of benefits and advantages, for fight veterans and beginners to the sport equally. Let's break down everything YOU need to know before investing in a banana bag for home.
Advantages of Training with a Heavy Bag
A heavy bag is an important component of every ideal Muay Thai workout routine. And it’s also the ideal training partner at home for Muay Thai.
Why? Well, check this out:
#1: Your Heavy Bag is Always Available
You can always count on your heavy bag when you feel like training. It will always be there. That is not the case for a training partner, of course. Even if you live in the same place, they are not always going to be available or willing to train at the same time as you.
This is particularly true today. The global pandemic has required all of us to observe social distancing. No need to worry about that when you train with a heavy bag. There are tons of heavy bag drills for Muay Thai that you can do.
#2: You Will Increase Your Power
One of the main advantages of using the heavy bag for training is it will help increase your power. If you want to increase your power, then using the heavy bag is the best way for you to do it. The more you use the heavy bag, the more powerful your strikes will be.
How does the heavy bag make this possible? By helping develop muscle and tendon strength and increase bone density. Repetition will harden your striking tools, allowing you to throw them with more power than ever before.
#3: Helps Develop Your Technique
The heavy bag can help you develop your Muay Thai technique. You can strike the bag over and over again using a single technique at a time. This will help you sharpen your form and instill it into your muscle memory.
Constant and repeated drills on the heavy bag will guarantee this so that you already have the technique down by the time you spar or fight. You can reach into your bag of techniques instinctively and with little effort.
#4: Improve Your Balance
Balance is such a big deal in Muay Thai. The more balanced you are, the better you can throw your strikes and defend against your opponent. Training using a heavy bag will also help you improve your balance.
The key is to not just stand still in front of the heavy bag while you train. Move around and find different angles for your strikes. Use your footwork while putting yourself in the best position to attack and defend. Even your timing will benefit as you anticipate when the bag will swing back towards you and you need to react.
#5: Builds Up Your Cardio
You can use the heavy bag to build up your cardio and improve conditioning. There are plenty of drills that you can do on the bag to help you attain a high level of conditioning. This is made possible by the resistance of the bag due to its heavy weight and how solid it is. Go hard and intense on the heavy bag, and you will feel the difference as your cardio will gradually get better.
Focusing on The Banana Bag
Now, let’s zero in on one of the best heavy bags that you can use for training in Muay Thai: the banana bag.
Also known as the "long heavy bag," the banana bag is one of the two most common types of heavy bags in any Muay Thai gym, the other being the standard heavy bag. If you walk into any decent gym, chances are good that you are going to see this bag.
The banana is usually six feet or longer and weighs around 120 to 130 pounds. Its design allows you to train more than the usual punches, elbows, knees, body kicks, and head kicks. But what really separates it from the standard heavy bag is the fact that you can train your low kicks using this bag.
Before we move on to our review of the best Muay Thai banana bags, let’s look at its advantages and disadvantages first.
The Best Banana Bags in 2020
A banana bag is an essential part of quality Muay Thai training. If you want to get one for your home gym, then you need to know the best ones.
With so many options to choose from, you can get lost a bit and end up choosing one that does not fit what you need.
Here, then, is our essential guide for the best Muay Thai banana bags in 2020.
Fairtex is one of the best-known brands in the world of Muay Thai. Not only are they known because they are based in Thailand but because of the actual quality of their products.
The same is true for their banana bags. This one is 6 ft. in length and comes pre-filled, although buyers can also choose to get the unfilled version if they want.
This banana bag is about 14 inches in diameter. That means it is not as skinny as other banana bags, which makes it ideal for training all kinds of strikes. You can hone not just your low kicks, but your body and head kicks, knees and punches as well.
The material used for this bag is synthetic leather. It is durable, easy to clean and maintain, and not as pricey as a leather one.
Take note though that the bottom of the bag is going to get very hard and it is not going to swing much. Both are issues common to all banana bags.
Overall, the Fairtex banana bag is our most highly recommended banana bag and definitely one of the best on the market today. You cannot go wrong with this choice.
The Contender Banana bag is also a good choice. If you are a little short on budget but still want a quality bag, then this is for you.
This bag is also 6 ft. in length but only about 13 inches in diameter. It is less thick than the Fairtex banana bag but you could still practice all your strikes effectively on it.
At 100 pounds, it weighs less than the usual banana bag. But if you feel like it is too light for you, you can always add more stuffing to it. Once you feel that the weight is enough, you can proceed to practice your strikes right away.
This pick might not be the best of the bunch, but it will still be a great help for you to achieve your training goals at home.
Another top choice is the Ring to Cage Muay Thai banana bag. The item comes filled and weighs between 100 to 125 pounds.
Buyers will be delighted to know that this bag is also high quality and is capable of taking a beating. Practice all of your strikes, from your straight punches to your low kicks.
The material of the bag is heavy-duty polyester that is coated with vinyl material. The manufacturer claims that the material used is even tougher than genuine leather.
This bag can even be used for MMA training by doing ground and pound on it. But overall, it is still an excellent choice for honing your striking skills.
That’s it! That’s our list of the best Muay Thai banana bags in 2020. A banana bag might not be your first choice for training Muay Thai but it sure can help you in a ton of ways.
You only need to choose the Muay Thai heavy bag routine that best fits what you’re looking for and you can bang away.
Sharpen your Muay Thai weapons with pro fighter Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan...
Join our "Muay Thai Mondays" email newsletter for the latest updates on new videos, special events and everything Muay Thai!