Best Gym Bag for Muay Thai (Backpack Edition)

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Welcome to the 2nd edition of our gym bag recommendations for Muay Thai. If you missed out on the first one, you can read it here-> “Best Gym Bag for Muay Thai“. It lists my top ten gym bag recommendations for Muay Thai and features exclusively duffel/shoulder bags.

While the duffel bag has always been favored as a gym bag, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you have been experiencing back or shoulder pain, or other forms of discomfort from carrying your shoulder bag, it may be time to reconsider your options. A shoulder bag, especially one stuffed to the brim with your training gear, isn’t the most ergonomic bag to carry around. Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder for a prolonged period affects your natural gait and causes muscle imbalance. The asymmetric load in turn, causes muscles in the spine to compensate, which can result in muscle spasm and pain. Particularly for people who have always had back problems.

Muay Thai training by itself, creates heavy toil on the body. Intense boxing, clinching and kicking can all strain the back muscles. We need to learn to be kinder to our bodies and give them the rest they deserve, especially after training. If we lug our heavy gym bags around for hours after training, this can cause excessive stress to our back and shoulders.

Tips on Minimizing “Bag Ache”

Props to myself for coming up with the term “bag ache”. Bag ache is more common than you think, and affects men and women of all ages. Women purses, messenger bags, tote bags, sling bags, duffel bags, gym bags, all your single strap shoulder bags are common causes of bag ache. Here are some ways you can reduce the stress of a heavy gym bag on your back and shoulders:

Strengthen Your Core and Back
Having a strong core and back is half the battle won against back muscle strains. Planks, bridges, supermans, airplanes, and yoga are all great exercises for strengthening the back and core. Just spending few minutes a day doing these exercises will keep your back in good shape, help with your posture and lower the risk of back injuries. The stronger these muscles are, the heavier the load you will be able to carry without overburdening yourself.

Switch Sides
If you have always been carrying your shoulder bag on one side, it will help to switch sides every now and then. Periodically changing the side you carry lowers the stress on one side of your back and shoulder. Alternatively, the strap can be worn diagonally across the body rather than resting on the same side as the bag. If the bag has short straps, you can also carry in your hands alternately.

Go for thick straps
A thin or narrow strap resting on your shoulder can cut into the muscles and can really hurt with a heavy load. A sufficiently broad strap helps to spread the load across the shoulder, making it more comfortable to carry.

Be a minimalist
Remove unnecessary items from your bag. If you are not going to be training BJJ today, ditch the heavy Gi. Planning to skip sparring? Lose the shin guards. Leave your spare gloves at home for another occasion, you won’t be needing them all the time. And your laptop? Jeez.

Use a backpack
Backpacks are not just for school kids. They help to distribute the weight more evenly across your back than a shoulder bag, maintaining your muscle symmetry and retaining your natural gait. Just make sure to adjust the straps so the bag sits high on the back and close to the body. Doing this allows the weight of the bag to be distributed across the whole body, allowing the use of more muscles to share the load.

Best Gym Backpacks for Muay Thai MMA BJJ

Decided to go with a backpack for your daily training portage needs? Say no more. Here are my nominations for the best backpacks for training:

Fairtex Backpack BAG4

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This oversized pack has enough space for gloves, shin guards, workout attire and all the accessories you need for training. Made with heavy duty nylon, this is a sturdy and hardy bag for your regular training days. The backpack comes with a chest and hip/waist belt that is an added boon for your back health as it helps to take away some of the load off the shoulders. It’s been updated with the camo design and it now looks great. Something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to carry around town. Overall great gym bag, highly recommended for all Fairtex fans and Muay Thai practitioners.

User Feedback
– “Great styling, plenty of room for gear, separate storage compartments for change of clothes.
– “Great bagpack! Fits all of my MMA gear and it’s pretty big!

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Venum Challenger Xtreme

Venum Challenger Xtrem Backpack, Black/Neon Yellow, One Size
  • Duffle zip pleat allows the bag to be converted from a backpack to a duffle bag
  • Hidden MP3 player pocket with Headphone opening
  • Insulated side cooler pocket

Function, quality and style all rolled into one backpack. This is a fabulous looking bag with a spacious main compartment for all your training gear and attire, and side storages for your other accessories. The mesh panels are a lovely touch to keep the bag well-ventilated and fresh. Additional features include an insulated pocket for keeping your drinks cool, an upper microfleece pocket to protect your handphone, a zip pleat that allows the backpack to be expanded and converted into a larger duffel. Woah! With a hip belt, this could be perfect but that’s just nitpicking on a really wonderful gym companion.

User Feedback
– “This backpack changed my life. I no longer have to trudge to the gym with multiple bags to carry all my stuff.
– “Bought this as a present for my boyfriend over a year ago and it still looks brand new.

>> Click here to shop Venum at Amazon Now << 

Twins Special Backpack BAG-5

The Twins Special backpack has been a popular choice gym bag for many boxing and Muay Thai practitioners for a while. The sizeable bag has enough room for a pair of gloves, shin guards, training wear, and your various little accessories. You can probably squeeze in another pair of gloves if you like. A Muay Thai fan-favorite.

User Feedback
– ” Great back. Very comfortable carrying this in my back.
– “It’s big and confortable, just perfect to carry all my stuff and stay compact.

>> Click here to shop Twins Special at Amazon Now << 

Meister Vented Convertible Gym Bag

Meister Vented Convertible Duffel / Backpack Gym Bag - Ideal Carry-On - Black/Electric Green , Black w/ Electric Green, 26" x 12" x 12"
  • Carry All Your Gear - The Perfect Size for the Gym and Maximum Dimensions for an Airplane Carry-On
  • Converts from Duffel Bag to Backpack in Seconds - Shoulder Straps Tuck Away Into Hidden Pockets
  • Breathable Mesh Panels on Both Sides Allow for Air Flow Throughout the Entire Bag

Tough, breathable, and affordable, Meister bags are my personal favorites. This monster is big enough to take your boxing gloves, shin guards, all your sparring needs, and enough space for a second pair of gloves! This bag is as stylish as it is practical. With mesh panels on the side to allow your wet gear to air and dry out fast, sturdy build, handy side pockets, this bag has it all. This backpack converts into a shoulder bag with a quick zip whenever you feel like it. Dare I just say, perfection.

User Feedback
– “Wow, hands down the best bag i have ever bought. Not only for gym use but for all purpose.
– “Very well ventilated and allows my gear to air out.

>> Click here to shop Meister at Amazon Now << 

Drawstring Sack Bag Recommendations
For days when you just want to drop into the gym for some weights training, HIIT, or do some bag work on your own, a drawstring bag is all you need. A pair of gloves, a small towel and off you go. Nothing fancy, just a quick workout to clock some mileage to make up for a missed training session or just to get some sweat out. Check these out:


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Meister MMA

Meister XL Drawstring Backpack String Bag - Waterproof Gym Sackpack - Black/Reflective
  • Not your average drawstring bag. Durable waterproof poly blend construction with a reinforced bottom for a sturdy bag that will keep your gear safe and dry from rain and splashes
  • XL sized bag is large enough to comfortably carry all your essentials; fits boxing gloves, shin guards, mouth guard, wrist wraps, and a water bottle at the same time.
  • Premium extra-thick reflective cord straps make carrying comfortable

Everlast Glove Bag

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Title Boxing Gym

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You should not have to shoulder so much pain from carrying your gym bag. A good gym bag is designed to ease your burden, not make your life worse. A good gym bag will take you places, places away from a chiropractor or a spine specialist. If you shoulder bag is giving you troubles, it is time to make the switch to a backpack. Train hard, and remember to take care of your body. Sustaining a back injury due to a heavy gym bag is not as cool as an injury from a gym heavy bag. Note the difference.

Chok dee!

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