What I learned after 4 months of punching the heavy bag

JowGaWolf

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I had to stop hitting the heavy bag hard after 4 months of hitting it without gloves. It turns how that as I got stronger I was able to penetrate the bag more which is good in a sense but bad in terms of conditioning. When I hit the bag now, it wraps around my fist instead of just landing on the knuckles that I'm striking with. The wrap around damages the other knuckles that I don't use when doing linear or hook punches.

The picture below looks good, but take note of how the bag wraps around the fist. This is brutal on the other knuckles. Eventually those knuckles would be conditioned as well but there's now real reason to have conditioned and deformed knuckles. The human body gives much more than a bag does. I still hit the heavy bag, but I don't hit it hard anymore. I also try to punch on the harder spots that are more compact. Hitting the small areas of the bag are just brutal for me when punching my hardest.
1655077394726.png


Now this training tool makes more sense to me and I find myself wanting to punch something that doesn't give as much as the bags are giving.
1655077150183.png


This is one of the strangest things I've experienced in my training.
 

Flying Crane

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I had to stop hitting the heavy bag hard after 4 months of hitting it without gloves. It turns how that as I got stronger I was able to penetrate the bag more which is good in a sense but bad in terms of conditioning. When I hit the bag now, it wraps around my fist instead of just landing on the knuckles that I'm striking with. The wrap around damages the other knuckles that I don't use when doing linear or hook punches.

The picture below looks good, but take note of how the bag wraps around the fist. This is brutal on the other knuckles. Eventually those knuckles would be conditioned as well but there's now real reason to have conditioned and deformed knuckles. The human body gives much more than a bag does. I still hit the heavy bag, but I don't hit it hard anymore. I also try to punch on the harder spots that are more compact. Hitting the small areas of the bag are just brutal for me when punching my hardest.
View attachment 28535

Now this training tool makes more sense to me and I find myself wanting to punch something that doesn't give as much as the bags are giving.
View attachment 28534

This is one of the strangest things I've experienced in my training.
How often are your sessions?
How heavy is your bag?
 
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JowGaWolf

JowGaWolf

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How often are your sessions?
How heavy is your bag?
My sessions were about 45 minutes. I'm guessing the heavy bags are close to 100lbs. It may be more, but not by much. Below is breakdown.
1. 10 minutes of soft tapping of the knuckles on the bag. This was done with various strikes, Linear punches, back fists, hooks. 1 minute for each, this is a preparation exercise. With 15 second rest between rounds

2. 10 minutes of low impact striking. With 15 second rest between rounds

3. 20 minutes of high impact striking but with fewer reps with a focus of driving power.

4. 5 minutes of heavy combos. With 1 minute rest between rounds.

#1 and #2 are done 5 days a week. I still do these or our lose my knuckle conditioning.
#3 and #4 were done every other day.

The total time of this will vary depending on how soon I bruise and the amount of rest that I take between striking. This is a picture of where I train. The heavy bags that I hit are along the wall.. I can't see them being more than 135lbs if that. I'll have to ask the gym for an accurate number. They are heavy but I smash them into the wall with front kicks so either I'm underestimating my kicking power or the bags are aren't too much more than 100 lbs. I've punched and kicked heavy bags that felt like packed sand. These aren't those types of bags.

Not me in the picture.

1655094599066.png
 
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Flying Crane

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My sessions were about 45 minutes. I'm guessing the heavy bags are close to 100lbs. It may be more, but not by much. Below is breakdown.
1. 10 minutes of soft tapping of the knuckles on the bag. This was done with various strikes, Linear punches, back fists, hooks. 1 minute for each, this is a preparation exercise. With 15 second rest between rounds

2. 10 minutes of low impact striking. With 15 second rest between rounds

3. 20 minutes of high impact striking but with fewer reps with a focus of driving power.

4. 5 minutes of heavy combos. With 1 minute rest between rounds.

#1 and #2 are done 5 days a week. I still do these or our lose my knuckle conditioning.
#3 and #4 were done every other day.

The total time of this will vary depending on how soon I bruise and the amount of rest that I take between striking. This is a picture of where I train. The heavy bags that I hit are along the wall.. I can't see them being more than 135lbs if that. I'll have to ask the gym for an accurate number. They are heavy but I smash them into the wall with front kicks so either I'm underestimating my kicking power or the bags are aren't too much more than 100 lbs. I've punched and kicked heavy bags that felt like packed sand. These aren't those types of bags.

Not me in the picture.

View attachment 28536
I wonder if you are getting injured because you are doing too much. I train in the heavy bag without gloves or wraps, but only once a week. You are training up to five times a week. Without the protection, that might just be too often. You gotta give the hands and wrists time to heal. Without wraps and gloves you cannot train with the same intensity as if you are training for a competition with wraps and gloves and nine rounds. You can still hit the bag hard but not as frequently.
 

_Simon_

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Great to hear from ya JGW, was literally wondering recently how you've been travelling.

Yes that is an odd phenomenon! I would agree with Flying Crane, it may simply be too much volume/frequency. But just a thought.

And yesss, I'd love to get a makiwara one day!
 
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JowGaWolf

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I wonder if you are getting injured because you are doing too much. I train in the heavy bag without gloves or wraps, but only once a week. You are training up to five times a week. Without the protection, that might just be too often. You gotta give the hands and wrists time to heal. Without wraps and gloves you cannot train with the same intensity as if you are training for a competition with wraps and gloves and nine rounds. You can still hit the bag hard but not as frequently.
The knuckles that I strike with arent the ones being damaged its only one knuckle and the damage is to the side of it, which I know is because of the bag wrapping around my fist. it only happens when I hit areas on the bag that give alot when I hit it hard.

The frequency wasn't always at this level. It took a little more than 4 months to get to this level.
 
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Wing Woo Gar

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I had to stop hitting the heavy bag hard after 4 months of hitting it without gloves. It turns how that as I got stronger I was able to penetrate the bag more which is good in a sense but bad in terms of conditioning. When I hit the bag now, it wraps around my fist instead of just landing on the knuckles that I'm striking with. The wrap around damages the other knuckles that I don't use when doing linear or hook punches.

The picture below looks good, but take note of how the bag wraps around the fist. This is brutal on the other knuckles. Eventually those knuckles would be conditioned as well but there's now real reason to have conditioned and deformed knuckles. The human body gives much more than a bag does. I still hit the heavy bag, but I don't hit it hard anymore. I also try to punch on the harder spots that are more compact. Hitting the small areas of the bag are just brutal for me when punching my hardest.
View attachment 28535

Now this training tool makes more sense to me and I find myself wanting to punch something that doesn't give as much as the bags are giving.
View attachment 28534

This is one of the strangest things I've experienced in my training.
Been wondering where you have been
 

Flying Crane

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The knuckles that I strike with arent the ones being damaged its only one knuckle and the damage is to the side of it, which I know is because of the bag wrapping around my fist. it only happens when I hit areas on the bag that give alot when I hit it hard.

The frequency wasn't always at this level. It took a little more than 4 months to get to this level.
What kind of damage is it? Is it abrasions that leave the skin raw? It sounds like its not an impact injury that is jamming the joints?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Training hard until I tore my calf muscle a week ago. Now I'm trying to rehab the muscle. I pushed myself too hard and paid the price.
We train MA so we won't get hurt in fighting. If we get hurt in training, that defeat the purpose of training. To train MA is important. To know how to protect yourself in training is also important.

In another thread, someone said that TKD high kick can hurt your hip joint and spine. I train high kick so my hip joint and spine can be stretched and relaxed.
 
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isshinryuronin

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That "wrap around" can rip your other knuckles (and the thin skin between them) upon hitting the soft spots on the bag. But smacking the heavy bag feels (and sounds) sooo good and is a great power and endurance developer.

The makiwara is an entirely different animal and yields its own benefits. The main difference is the amount of penetration. As can be seen in the photo JowGaWolf included, this can be four or five inches into the heavy bag, plus moving the entire bag itself. So, the muscles are pushing that compliant resistance thru space.

In contrast, penetration with the makiwara is limited to about a half inch, maybe a little more on some, resulting in the muscles' power meeting and, for a tiny fraction of a second, resisting against a practically immovable object. This, I think, builds a different kind of strength. It's a more focused kind of practice, concentrating on tensing at the moment of impact (kime), rather than driving thru the target, compared to the heavy bag. I would say it's more nuanced.

I'll also say the makiwara is more unidimensional than the heavy bag, usually working with single strikes and 0-1 steps (though a second strike or step can be done as well), as compared to the heavy bag where combos, footwork and angles are more the norm.

So, two kinds of practice, physically and mentally; both worth doing, IMO.
 
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JowGaWolf

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Not you? Good to know, cuz I think the pink gloves look really dumb.

...BTW, good to see you posting again!
Sigh... Now I have learn to "be on my toes again." lol
 
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JowGaWolf

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What kind of damage is it? Is it abrasions that leave the skin raw? It sounds like its not an impact injury that is jamming the joints?
It's abrasive but not much movement and it only happens with my hardest hits. As my fist sinks into the bag it tightens around my fist and it's bruising the side of the middle finger knuckle. The joint that is affected is the Proximal interphalangeal joint. It only happens on my right hand because my right hand hits harder than my left. I haven't hit the bag in about a month and 1 week now. I hyper extended my left thumb and I keep injuring it when I just do the daily stuff around the house. For example, I accidently put weight on it when getting out of a chair so I'm back on the injury list for that. I originally hurt my thumb doing some landscaping.
1655237168232.png



I'm satisfied with not being able to hit the bag my hardest. It's the same solution of hitting harder heavy bag. So it's no big lost. I just wish I knew ahead of time so that I could avoid the softer parts of the bag and avoid injury.
 
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JowGaWolf

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We train MA so we won't get hurt in fighting. If we get hurt in training, that defeat the purpose of training. To train MA is important. To know how to protect yourself in training is also important.
Injuries are bound to happen in training. The key is to keep them at minimal. Me breaking my wrist or fingers on a heavy bag would be a unacceptable training.

In another thread, someone said that TKD high kick can hurt your hip joint and spine. I train high kick so my hip joint and spine can be stretched and relaxed.
The MMA guy that trains around the same time I train used to train TKD. He has hip problems, he's younger than me. My biggest problem is that I forget that I'm not 20 years old. I like that problem better than hip problems. Speaking of bad hips. My hip problems from my car accident are unnoticeable now. The only time my hip bother's me is when I sit too long in certain chairs. Other than that mobility is good, not the best but there's still room for improvement and that's a good thing.
 

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It's abrasive but not much movement and it only happens with my hardest hits. As my fist sinks into the bag it tightens around my fist and it's bruising the side of the middle finger knuckle. The joint that is affected is the Proximal interphalangeal joint. It only happens on my right hand because my right hand hits harder than my left. I haven't hit the bag in about a month and 1 week now. I hyper extended my left thumb and I keep injuring it when I just do the daily stuff around the house. For example, I accidently put weight on it when getting out of a chair so I'm back on the injury list for that. I originally hurt my thumb doing some landscaping.
View attachment 28538


I'm satisfied with not being able to hit the bag my hardest. It's the same solution of hitting harder heavy bag. So it's no big lost. I just wish I knew ahead of time so that I could avoid the softer parts of the bag and avoid injury.
It sounds to me like two things happening:

1) perhaps your structure and placement of the punch could be a bit better, to keep that knuckle from coming into contact with the bag.

2) I still think this may be an issue of overtraining. I hit the bag without gloves and wraps, and I never have injuries. I hit pretty hard, too. My fist does sink in. However, I only do it once a week. In my opinion, that is plenty for my purposes. I am not interested in preparing for a full-contact competition (both because I am simply not interested, and because at age 51, that ship has kinda sailed already). At once a week, I have developed and maintained the ability to reliably hit hard, without the support of gloves and wraps, and without injury, so that if I ever need to do so on the street, I have no fear of it. If I felt more ambitious about it, I could increase the frequency to twice a week and I suspect it would not be a problem.

However, at nearly every day I bet you are accumulating little injuries and abuse of your knuckles that may be adding up. You arent giving your hands time to recover. With that frequency I think you need to be doing at least some of it with wraps and gloves to protect from those injuries, and allow your hands to recover. But really, time off is the best way to ensure that recovery. I dont want to use wraps and gloves because I want to feel confident in my ability to punch without that protection. You cant train with the same level of intensity and frequency without that protection, as you could with that protection. Its a trade-off. Train smart.
 

Alan0354

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I had to stop hitting the heavy bag hard after 4 months of hitting it without gloves. It turns how that as I got stronger I was able to penetrate the bag more which is good in a sense but bad in terms of conditioning. When I hit the bag now, it wraps around my fist instead of just landing on the knuckles that I'm striking with. The wrap around damages the other knuckles that I don't use when doing linear or hook punches.

The picture below looks good, but take note of how the bag wraps around the fist. This is brutal on the other knuckles. Eventually those knuckles would be conditioned as well but there's now real reason to have conditioned and deformed knuckles. The human body gives much more than a bag does. I still hit the heavy bag, but I don't hit it hard anymore. I also try to punch on the harder spots that are more compact. Hitting the small areas of the bag are just brutal for me when punching my hardest.
View attachment 28535

Now this training tool makes more sense to me and I find myself wanting to punch something that doesn't give as much as the bags are giving.
View attachment 28534

This is one of the strangest things I've experienced in my training.
What kind of bag are you using? Get a harder bag!!

I know there are a lot of bags that are very soft for whatever reason, I hate that kind of bags. It's like punching air, it dent in like 5 to 6".

I use EverLast, one 70lbs white canvas bag and one 100lbs leather bags. They are quite hard. I stuffed them a little more using stuffs from the old bags I broke to make it harder. So if you get a hard bag and still not hard enough, stuff it to make it harder.

Like I said before, I punch 6X6 wood poles 20times with the first 2 big knuckles and 20times with the small knuckles. I never have issue with bones and joints. In fact I just had an x-ray, my bones are perfect. I have been doing this twice a week for years and punching bare knuckles for decades.

My problem is more the skin. I have chronic scabs on my knuckles that won't heel, just starting to happen this year. Something about old age that make the skin change.

If you can make a big dent on those bags I have, maybe you should practice less and you are punching very hard, no need to practice that hard anymore!!! Remember you linked me a youtube of some guy punching, he punch quite hard. That's the 70lbs white canvas bag I have. You can see he only made like 2" dent into the bag. That's my experience. If you can make 6 to 7" into that bag, you must be a super puncher.
 
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jayoliver00

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I had to stop hitting the heavy bag hard after 4 months of hitting it without gloves. It turns how that as I got stronger I was able to penetrate the bag more which is good in a sense but bad in terms of conditioning. When I hit the bag now, it wraps around my fist instead of just landing on the knuckles that I'm striking with. The wrap around damages the other knuckles that I don't use when doing linear or hook punches.

The picture below looks good, but take note of how the bag wraps around the fist. This is brutal on the other knuckles. Eventually those knuckles would be conditioned as well but there's now real reason to have conditioned and deformed knuckles. The human body gives much more than a bag does. I still hit the heavy bag, but I don't hit it hard anymore. I also try to punch on the harder spots that are more compact. Hitting the small areas of the bag are just brutal for me when punching my hardest.
View attachment 28535

Now this training tool makes more sense to me and I find myself wanting to punch something that doesn't give as much as the bags are giving.
View attachment 28534

This is one of the strangest things I've experienced in my training.

Man, why w/o gloves? IMO, doing that is just hocus pocus MA. Yeah you get good at bare knuckles punching, but why? Good reasons for this kind of training would be (that I can think of): wanting to be a BKFC fighter, need to streetfight about once every 6 months due to living in a bad area, or about to go to prison. And it looks cool to punch a tree.

And this is coming from myself, who does all kinds of Larping, including Survivalist EOTW fantasies and prepping with guns, ammo & canned goods...that are really just, fantasies (so far).
 
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JowGaWolf

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What kind of bag are you using? Get a harder bag!!

I know there are a lot of bags that are very soft for whatever reason, I hate that kind of bags. It's like punching air, it dent in like 5 to 6".
I'm not sure, it's one that the gym got. I'm going to speak with them to see if they can prep a harder bag for me. Most of the people who use the bags don't know how to punch with correct technique. And I'm not being "kung fu arrogant" when I say this. They literally have really bad basics simply because no one has shown them how to correctly make a fist and punch.. They normally punch the bag 5 times and then walk away. My guess is that they hurt their hands in the process. Because of this these bags are what I would probably put a first time puncher on. Most use the boxing gloves and the punching becomes worse. The speed bag was like that until a few weeks ago. We tore the first speed bag up, it was soft like a sponge. Now it's packed the way that it should be and it feels much better too.

But for the heavy bags. They should have at least 2 for the experienced members. I'll put it this way. It doesn't take much for me to move the bag. I kick the bag into the wall all the time, so I have to put something in between the wall the bag. This causes me to get more feedback than I sometimes enjoy but it keeps from breaking the window and stops the bag from putting holes into the wall.
If you can make a big dent on those bags I have, maybe you should practice less and you are punching very hard, no need to practice that hard anymore!!!
Yeah I'm going to follow the advice that was given here and lower the power level of my strikes. I will still will ask the gym if they can pack one of the bags better So I can have only one row of knuckles digging into the bag per punch.
Man, why w/o gloves? IMO, doing that is just hocus pocus MA. Yeah you get good at bare knuckles punching, but why? Good reasons for this kind of training would be (that I can think of): wanting to be a BKFC fighter, need to streetfight about once every 6 months due to living in a bad area, or about to go to prison. And it looks cool to punch a tree.

And this is coming from myself, who does all kinds of Larping, including Survivalist EOTW fantasies and prepping with guns, ammo & canned goods...that are really just, fantasies (so far).
I've always punched without gloves. I just believe that it's good to condition the body for the impact that the body may take. The thing about conditioning is that it takes a long time to reach that point. I can't wait until the last minute to decide that I need conditioning.

The other thing that I like is that it really teaches a person to be selective with punches and makes a person more aware of punching structure. For example, people who hit with gloves are highly likely to swipe punches instead of punching directly into the target and returning the fist directly from the target.

I wouldn't recommend punching trees. The hardest thing I've punched is a punching bag. My accuracy is also good because I can't afford to just be swinging and hope I hit something.

There are other benefits from punching without gloves when done correctly.
 

Alan0354

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I'm not sure, it's one that the gym got. I'm going to speak with them to see if they can prep a harder bag for me. Most of the people who use the bags don't know how to punch with correct technique. And I'm not being "kung fu arrogant" when I say this. They literally have really bad basics simply because no one has shown them how to correctly make a fist and punch.. They normally punch the bag 5 times and then walk away. My guess is that they hurt their hands in the process. Because of this these bags are what I would probably put a first time puncher on. Most use the boxing gloves and the punching becomes worse. The speed bag was like that until a few weeks ago. We tore the first speed bag up, it was soft like a sponge. Now it's packed the way that it should be and it feels much better too.

But for the heavy bags. They should have at least 2 for the experienced members. I'll put it this way. It doesn't take much for me to move the bag. I kick the bag into the wall all the time, so I have to put something in between the wall the bag. This causes me to get more feedback than I sometimes enjoy but it keeps from breaking the window and stops the bag from putting holes into the wall.

Yeah I'm going to follow the advice that was given here and lower the power level of my strikes. I will still will ask the gym if they can pack one of the bags better So I can have only one row of knuckles digging into the bag per punch.

I've always punched without gloves. I just believe that it's good to condition the body for the impact that the body may take. The thing about conditioning is that it takes a long time to reach that point. I can't wait until the last minute to decide that I need conditioning.

The other thing that I like is that it really teaches a person to be selective with punches and makes a person more aware of punching structure. For example, people who hit with gloves are highly likely to swipe punches instead of punching directly into the target and returning the fist directly from the target.

I wouldn't recommend punching trees. The hardest thing I've punched is a punching bag. My accuracy is also good because I can't afford to just be swinging and hope I hit something.

There are other benefits from punching without gloves when done correctly.
Now I see, you are using the bag in the gym. EXACTLY the same in my case when I was talking about bags that are soft. It was in the gym also. Why people want soft bags? The only reason is they are for boxing where people wear huge gloves.

In my case, it's even worst, they gym hang the bag on a stand and use weights to hold it in place. The bag cannot swing freely. Can't exactly do kicking as the bag got nowhere to swing. You might really want to consider hanging bags at home and not relying on the gym. There must be people that prefer soft bags.

I am looking at the RED 80lbs Everlast. I had a chance to punch on one in my friend's house, it's hard enough and the covering seems strong enough to hold up. I never have problem with EverLast canvas and leather bags, they last about 3 years for me. Do NOT get Toughware, I bought the black color that looks like cloth/canvas, I broke two new ones within 2 weeks, I thought the first one was defective, I went and exchanged. But the second one was exactly the same. I returned both. Do NOT get vinyl cover, they don't last. I notice the gym changed quite a few bags at the time, they kept buying those vinyl or some plastic that is a little shinny. Some are even worst, they drag on the floor.

I have to buy a new bag soon, The white 70lbs got enough duck tape on it already, it's ready to go any time. I am seriously considering the red 80lbs one and take my chance. Too bad they don't sell the white canvas one anymore. Not all canvas bags are the same, the Everlast canvas is very thick and rough.

Yes, I agree totally to punch bare hands. You don't get a feel using gloves. I can literally punch without holding the fist with gloves and won't matter. Try punch bare hands without holding a fist, that won't end good. I punch bare hands for decades for the better or the worst. I like the feel of the punch.

Against conventional believes, I never hurt my hands, wrist punch bare handed. In case people question whether that will damage the hands in long run. I can tell people I am a guitarist, I can still run high speed picking after decades of punching. Only thing that really hurt my hands was the IRON PALM training that I regret even getting into. I told that story a few times here already. My problem is the skin on the knuckles that don't heal.

Good luck, hang your own bags at home. When you break the bag, do NOT dump it away, you might need those stuffings to stuff the new bag. Particularly the top part, it's always soft. The harder you stuff, the longer they last before it cracks.



EDIT: I kept talking about canvas bags ONLY because that's the one that need to be changed for me. The EverLast LEATHER bags are good too. It's just a lot more expensive. My 100lbs is leather, I have to tape it up, but no where in sad condition as my canvas one. If you don't want to tear the skin on the knuckles, go with the leather bag. It's better for the skin.
 
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