Boxers are amongst the fittest, leanest athletes on the planet. This is partly because of workouts like calisthenics, jump rope, and running, which fighters call road work.
However, working out with a punching bag is also a big part of their training. It would be easy to think of punch bag training as an upper-body exercise but, done right, it’s actually a full-body workout.
Everything from your calves to your core to your forearms play a role in throwing a punch, as does almost every muscle in between.
A three-minute round on a punching bag is surprisingly tiring, and as well as toning and strengthening all your major muscles, it’s also an awesome calorie burner.
Of course, to enjoy all the benefits of punch bag training, you’ll need a punching bag and some gloves to protect your hands.
A lot of punch bags need to be hung from wall mounts or ceiling hooks. That’s fine if you’ve got a garage gym, but hardly practical if you work out in your spare room.
That’s where free-standing punching bags come in. They aren’t fixed to anything, so you won’t have to make any significant modifications to your home.
In this article, we review 11 of the best free-standing punching bags around.
Best Free-Standing Punching Bags
Century Bob XL is a classic free-standing punching bag. Shaped like a man’s torso, working out with Bob is a lot of fun.
With its clearly defined shape, you can throw punches to the head or body, and Bob will keep coming back for more! Century Bob XL is a very popular free-standing bag with both boxers and martial artists.
- Height adjusts from 60” to 82”
- Simple two-part design – base and torso
- Lifelike shape
- Realistic workout
- Large, heavy base can be filled with water or sand
- 270 lbs base weight capacity
- Built to last
- Very stable
- Suitable for punching and kicking
- Price – quite expensive
- Not much rebound, so best for experienced users
The Ringside Elite is a very stable, durable free-standing punching bag that is built to last. This is a heavy-duty bag designed for regular use. It’s durable and solid and should provide many years of trouble-free workouts.
- High-quality construction
- 6’ 4” tall
- Large, stable base can be filled with sand or water
- Full-size 17” x 62” striking surface
- Spring-loaded recoil
- Adjustable recoil
- Suitable for kicks and punches
- Very hard-wearing
- The base tends to slide and needs to be placed on carpet or a mat
Century makes great boxing and martial arts equipment. Affordable but still good quality, their products are rugged and long-lasting.
This free-standing punching bag is not the heaviest on review, but if you want to work on your fitness more than punching power, it’s an excellent choice.
- Height adjustments from 53.5” to 65.5”
- 170 lbs. weight capacity
- 40” striking area
- High-density foam core covered in poly denier outer shell
- A low-profile base that can be filled with sand or water
- Quite light for heavy punchers
- Not as stable as some of the other punching bags on review
The Everlast name is synonymous with boxing. The Powercore is a heavy-duty free-standing punching bag that’s ideal for heavy hitters and serious boxing training.
If you want a bag you can hit with maximum power, this product from Everlast could be just what you need.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Triple-layer punching surface
- Large, stable base can be filled with sand or water
- Adjustable height from 54-65”
- 370 lbs weight capacity
- Recoil not adjustable
- Less suitable for kicks
This is a punching bag for people who want to focus more on speed and conditioning than full-power punching.
The striking target is no larger than a human head, so you’ll need to be accurate, and it springs back after being hit, so you’ll need to be quick on your feet, too. That said, for fitness, this type of punching bag is hard to beat.
- Lightweight design
- Durable leathering punching bag
- Height adjustable from 49-69”
- Fast recoil
- Designed to mimic the movement of an opponent
- Not suitable for kicks
- Recoil not adjustable – may be too fast for beginners
The Wavemaster XXL really lives up to its name. It’s a BIG free-standing punching bag that’s ideal for heavy kicks and punches.
This bag is very durable and should provide many years of use, even if you are an experienced fighter. If you are a big hitter or kicker, this is the punching bag for you!
- Good value for money
- 6’ 7” tall
- Wide, low profile base with 270 lbs. weight capacity
- The base can be filled with sand or water
- Very stable and hard to topple
- High-density foam striking surface
- Built to last (and last and last!)
- Suitable for punches and kicks
- No adjustable recoil
- Hard striking surface – gloves are a must
Most free-standing punching bags are designed for striking, but this one’s a little different.
While you can kick and punch it, you can also wrestle it to the ground and grapple with it and throw it too – just like an MMA opponent. At 110 lbs, it’s not the heaviest or most stable free-standing punching bag on review but, for versatility, it’s hard to beat.
- Heavy-duty, durable construction
- Pre-filled – ready to use without any set up
- Weighs 110 lbs
- Handles for throwing/grappling
- 66” tall
- Ideal for MMA training
- It can be used for strength training exercises
- Not the most stable punching bag on review. Likely to topple during use
This product is part heavy-duty and part reflex punching bag. You can unleash some heavy punches and kicks, but it will also spring back at you to simulate sparring with a real opponent.
It’s light and compact, so it’s ideal if workout space is limited. This is a great punching bag for apartment dwellers and beginners.
- Adjustable up to 67” height
- Wide, stable base that can be filled with sand or water
- Adjustable recoil
- 130 lbs weight capacity
- Compact striking area
- Ideal for beginners and lighter users
- Less suitable for kicking
- Maybe too light for strong punchers
This free-standing punching bag has a larger diameter than most, giving you lots of surface area to attack.
It’s also firmer than many of the other bags on review, making it ideal for heavy kicks and punches. Its robust construction and very stable base mean that this bag is perfect for intense workouts and regular use.
- Double thickness foam striking area
- Height adjustable from 47-68”
- 26” high striking area
- A large, low-profile base that can be filled with sand or water
- Weight capacity 270 lbs
- Easy to assemble two-piece design
- Not suitable for low kicks
- Tends to slide on smooth floors – needs to be placed on a non-slip mat
Even the heaviest, most stable free-standing punchbags can move if you hit or kick them hard. As well as disrupting your workouts, this can also damage your floor.
This product from Dripex has large suction cups on the base to ensure your punchbag remains put, even if you are a strong puncher or kicker.
- Four-layered striking surface
- Leather outer layer
- Adjustable shock-absorbing springs and recoil
- Very quiet in use
- 12 section cups on the base
- 180 lbs weight capacity
- 69” height
- Suitable for punching and kicking
- Base filler hole relatively small – not easy to fill with sand
If you want a speed/cardio workout so you can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, this is the punching bag for you.
The adjustable recoil means you can tailor your workout to suit your abilities, and there are two different-sized reflex bags, so you can improve punching accuracy.
This lightweight reflex bag is ideal for home use.
- Four recoil speed settings
- Stable base
- Stainless steel spring
- Height adjustable from 52-65”
- 55 lbs weight capacity
- Extra weight bag (supplied) can be used for sandbag exercises
- Pre-filled bags in two different sizes
- Gloves included
Don’t part with your hard-earned cash until you’ve considered the following information:
How much space do you have?
Free-standing punch bags are designed to provide you with 360-degrees of spatial access. Ideally, that means they should be positioned with plenty of room around them, so you can hit it from all available angles.
If you put your bag next to a wall to save space, it won’t rebound as it should, and you could even damage your wall. Make sure you have at least a couple of yards all around your punching bag and check that you have enough ceiling clearance.
Types of free-standing punching bags
There are two main types of punching bags – heavy-duty and reflex bags.
Heavy-duty bags are stable and can take a big punch. Their ideal for developing your power, strength, and fitness.
Reflex bags have springs and bounce back at you after you’ve hit them. They’re good for developing speed and coordination but not so good for punching power. However, they tend to be lighter and more compact.
Think about the type of workout you want to do, and make sure your punching bag suits your requirements. Some bags combine these two characteristics and may be a good option if you can’t choose between the two different designs.
Ease of setup
Free-standing punching bags are quick and easy to set up. Most have hollow bases that need to be filled with water or sand to make them stable. Filling the base is not always easy, especially if you don’t have a hose nearby.
Sand is often better because it’s heavier than water and will make your bag more stable. Make sure you read the installation instructions BEFORE buying your punching bag to make sure you can set it up properly.
A good punching bag can be expensive, especially if you go for a high-quality, heavy-duty model.
However, there are budget models available, although they tend to be less robust and probably won’t last as long.
Remember, too, that you’ll need to buy some gloves to protect your hands, so factor that into your costs, too.
Pick your budget and stick to it, and then choose the bag that best matches your requirements. Remember, too, that you probably don’t need a professional quality punching bag if you are new to boxing workouts.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Punching Bags
Consider the following before buying a punching bag…
- Full-body workout – hitting a punching bag is not just an upper-body workout. A well-thrown punch involves your whole body.
- Good for cardio – hate running? Bored of cycling? Using a punching bag is a great cardio workout.
- Good for self-defense – knowing how to punch is an important life skill. Using a punching bag means you’ll be able to practice and hone your technique.
- Stress relief – hard day at the office? Work off your stress with your punching bag!
- Fun – punching bag workouts need never be boring. If you want a varied, exciting workout, look no further than using a punching bag.
- Risk of injury – punching is a skill, and if you do it wrong, you could injure your hands, wrists, elbows, or shoulders. You’ll also need gloves to protect your hand. However, once you’ve mastered throwing punches, using a punching bag is actually a pretty safe workout.
- Space – even a free-standing punching bag is quite big. Make sure you’ve got enough space not just for the bag itself but also to move around it safely.
- Noise – hitting a punching bag is a noisy workout. If you want to work out quietly, a spin bike or resistance bands would be a better option.
It’s no coincidence that boxers are so fit, strong, and lean – they’re a product of their workouts. Using a punching bag is a big part of boxing training, and it’s clear that it’s a very beneficial workout.
While you could just shadow box, you’ll get a much better training effect if you actually hit something. Buying a punching bag means you won’t have to recruit a sparring partner and will be able to work out alone in the comfort of your own home.
Heavy bags that hang from ceilings or frames are a good option but are often impractical as they require screwing fixtures into the structure of your home.
Free-standing punching bags are a much better option because you can install them almost anywhere, move them from place to place, and won’t have to drill holes in your walls or ceiling.
There are lots of punching bags available, and some are better than others. Some models are designed for light use and develop speed and accuracy, while others are more heavy-duty and are meant to be hit with more power.
Use this guide to help you choose the best punching bag for your needs. The right punching bag will make your workouts much more enjoyable and effective.
Choosing a free-standing punching bag is too easy with our detailed reviews.