I'd like to punch something like this to destress:

enter image description here

I don't have one though. What general household items can I put together to allow me to do the same?

Moderator note: "Mind hacks" are off-topic here. This question is about a for a punching dummy, not about reducing stress. Please answer accordingly. Thank you!

  • Have you tried searching at all? A google search results in a bunch of instructions.
    – Alex
    Oct 19, 2015 at 20:19
  • @Alex I've seen those but they require a lot more than general household items.
    – GiantDuck
    Oct 19, 2015 at 21:48
  • 5
    To those who have voted to close as "this is a mind hack"... I do not think so. Perfectly good #lifehacks question here. +1
    Oct 20, 2015 at 1:56
  • Most commercial punching bags are simply canvas cases containing a large amount of tightly packed rags, sometimes with a bit of something heavy packed in the middle for added weight.
    – Adam
    Oct 23, 2015 at 0:46
  • 1
    You can always come at me bro
    – Just Do It
    Oct 26, 2015 at 19:52

9 Answers 9


A 50 lb bag of dog food inside a sleeping bag or large laundry bag may provide a satisfying impact without significant risk of hand injury. Failing that, a well-stuffed bag of laundry can also sub for a heavy bag. Either one can be upgraded with a printed photo or drawing of a face taped on.

  • 8
    Edit suggested to remove "If you have a dog..." I got very sad until I read you were suggesting dog food, which the OP can surely purchase whether he has a dog or not.
    – Sidney
    Oct 21, 2015 at 17:23
  • CAREFUL! I have done this and had the bag rupture, spilling dog food all over the place. And it was a well built bag too.
    – Daniel
    Oct 30, 2015 at 14:44
  • @Daniel Hence why I suggested putting the dog food inside another bag -- that will contain the mess if the bag ruptures.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 30, 2015 at 15:42
  • +1 for good answer, *facepalm* to me for not reading all of it.
    – Daniel
    Oct 30, 2015 at 19:25

Following are two different types of punching bags. To mount them onto a base, you could use a similar method as mentioned before, with a PVC pipe and an old parasol stand, or maybe you even have a small (but bigger than a gallon) water tank and could fill that one up with sand.

Probably simplest punching bag

  1. Get a rice bag.
  2. Fill it with rice if it isn't already.

Do not punch without gloves. You could still wrap it with duct tape to make it even more durable.

Using old clothes or grocery bags

  1. Get a laundry bag or (at least) two garbage bags.
  2. Fill it with (shredded) old clothes (hoodies, jeans, etc.) or stuff it with a lot of crumpled up plastic grocery bags.
  3. If you use garbage bags I recommend covering the bag with one or two layers of duct tape. To be sure, you can also wrap the laundry bag with duct tape.

To protect your wrists, also use gloves when punching this bag.

Be creative! Use this as inspiration. You can basically use any type of bag or stuffing. It's just a matter of how hard you like your punching bag, or in this case, punching dummy.


If it does not have to be human-shaped, you can just prop up your mattress against a wall. Since it's soft, you can punch it out to your heart's content. A wall also does nicely, I've found the pain of your fist crashing into hard concrete quickly relieves any frustration.

  • 2
    An ordinary mattress won't protect your fist, and punching a wall is surely prone to creating hand injuries.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 20, 2015 at 13:22
  • Or holes in the wall. ilikedogsblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/punch.jpg Oct 21, 2015 at 2:31
  • 2
    "I've found the pain of your fist crashing into hard concrete quickly relieves any frustration." So true! Oct 26, 2015 at 14:08
  • Or may increase frustration, depending on the situation! :)
    – L.B.
    Oct 26, 2015 at 22:56
  1. Roll up a carpet onto a PVC pipe (or onto a tall wooden cylinder, if you like hard center) and secure it with some duct tape.
  2. Take a lot of duct tape and cover the whole thing with duct tape to make it tighter and more durable
  3. As a base, use a big bag of sand or an old parasol stand if you have one around. Whatever you use, make sure it is well joined.

As a reference, see this YouTube Video.


I used to know a martial arts expert. He turned the newel post at the bottom of his stairs into a target by padding it heavily. He used it both for kicking and punching. He would attack it every time he went past.


A large pile of dough is perfect for this activity.

Satisfying smack, safe soft material, and then the opportunity to enjoy a meal afterwards; pizza dough would be preferable for the post-workup meal.

enter image description here


Most commercial punching bags are simply canvas cases containing a large amount of tightly packed rags, sometimes with a bit of something heavy packed in the middle for added weight. you could achieve something similar using old clothes, towels etc for filling, and a large bag/sack (e.g. hessian sack, sleeping bag) to hold them.


You could get an old camping tarp and fill it with bags of flour, or even some dirt. It will have a good weight to it, but won't be overly solid, and if you don't have the tarp, looks like you can pick one up at Wal-mart for $10 - $15 (in the US anyway).

If you go the dirt route, you would have the added benefit of the manual labor which could potentially help to de-stress as well, if you're that kind of person. The problem with dirt, however, is if you end up getting rocks in it. Might hurt to punch


Also, you can punch two pillows combined. However , it may not be useful for training. Maybe just for reducing the stress level.

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