Best punching bag Overall: Ringside Heritage 90-pound Genuine Leather Boxing Punching Heavy Bag
Best punching bag for Beginners: Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit
Best Budget punching bag: Last Punch Heavy Duty Punching Bag
Best freestanding punching bag: Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag
The Ringside Heritage 90-Pound Heavy Bag is definitely one of the highest-quality punching bags you can get. It’s made of thick, cowhide leather which gives it an extremely high durability. No matter how intense your workout, this bag can take anything you throw at it.
It even has a soft striking surface, so you can even punch it without boxing gloves (although i’d still recommend using gloves, especially if you’re a beginner). The bag comes with high-quality, heavy duty chains, so you won’t need to buy any additional equipment in order to mount it.
It even comes pre-filled, so you can start using it straight out of the box.
The major downside to this punching bag is the price. But when talking about premium products, you get what you paid for. And if you have the budget, this bag is definitely worth it.
- Made of genuine leather – extremely durable
- Soft striking surface – you can work on it even without gloves
- Comes pre-filled
- Very expensive
If you can’t afford a more expensive punching bag, then you can get some great value for money with the Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy Bag Kit. Made of synthetic leather, it’s very durable, and is a great choice for beginners. Like the Ringside 90-Pound Heavy Bag, it comes pre-filled, so you can start using it right away.
The only downside to it is that the gloves included in the kit aren’t the best. They come in only one size, so if you have smaller hands, you might have problems with them. Still, if you don’t have proper bag gloves, these will do nicely.
All in all, a great choice if you’re a beginner, or are on a tighter budget.
- Good value for money
- Very durable
- Great for beginners
- Comes filled, you can start using it right away
- The gloves in the kit aren’t the best
- Made of synthetic leather
If you can’t afford the Everlast 70-Pound Heavy Bag Kit, then this Last Punch Heavy Duty Punching Bag is the best option when it comes to hanging punching bags. Although it runs a bit small, it’s easy to fill, and is very durable for this price range.
The only big drawback is that it runs a bit small, but if you use a heavy enough filling material, it should still give you a good workout.
- Very affordable
- Easy to fill
- Made out of canvas. Not the most durable, compared to other materials
- The bag is a bit small. You can’t add a lot of weight to it
Like the 70-Pound MMA Heavy Bag Kit above, this Everlast 40lb Heavy Bag offers a very good value for money. It’s durable, and it comes pre-filled, and you can start using it right away.
If you’re just looking for a punching bag, this is a very good choice. The only downside is that – like the other punching bag, it’s made of synthetic leather, and won’t be as durable as a bag made of genuine leather. Still, it’s a great choice if you’re a beginner.
- Sturdy and durable
- Comes pre-filled – you can start using it right away
- Somewhat hard, make sure you use gloves
- Made of synthetic leather
If you don’t have the set-up for a hanging bag, then the Century Wavemaster Training Bag is the best choice for a freestanding punching bag. Although it’s made of synthetic leather, it’s surprisingly durable, and if you fill the base properly, it won’t move around or fall easily.
Speaking of filling, you’ll have to fill the bag yourself. Which means you’ll have to do some work before you can start using it.
- Very sturdy
- Easy to fill
- Comes unfilled. You won’t be able to use it right away
- Definitely not the cheapest option
If you’re looking for a more affordable freestanding punching bag, then this RDX Punching Bag Set is a very good choice. It’s very durable for the price, and easy to set up.
The only downside is that it tends to move around during more intense workouts. But given the price, it still offers great value for money.
- Very durable
- Stable – when filled properly, it doesn’t fall over
- Easy to set up
- Moves around when hit very hard
Benefits of a Punching Bag
Punching bags are a great tool for improving the power of your punches and kicks. After you’ve spent some time working on your form, you need to put that form to the test. Early on, the best way to do that is to work on a heavy bag.
After a couple of rounds, you’ll start to feel what part of your form needs improvement. Maybe your wrist isn’t in line with your forearm during straight punches. Maybe you aren’t putting your bodyweight into your strikes. Whatever the issue, the punching bag can be a great teacher!
A punching bag can also help you improve your endurance. The resistance it gives during striking is a great way to increase your stamina. Which is vital for any kind of combat sport.
But there are some things a heavy bag won’t help you with. Mainly – speed and accuracy. If you need a way to improve that, then you should probably get a speed bag.
Click here to see my review for the best speed bags.
What to Look For in a Punching Bag
Hanging vs freestanding punching bag
The first thing you should consider is where you want to have your punching bag. If the room has a solid ceiling made of concrete, you can use a hanging bag no problem. But if you have a joist ceiling, then you should consider going for a freestanding punching bag.
When using a hanging punching bag, it’s also a good idea to hang it about 4-5 inches from a wall. That way, when you’re punching, the bag will bounce off of the wall, and won’t swing too much. Because the more a punching bag swings about, the more stress it puts on its fixings. And the more likely it is for your fixings to break or for your bag to come off the ceiling.
With freestanding punching bags, you should consider your flooring. Even though the base of a freestander is usually filled with sand or water so it doesn’t move around, that’s still not a guarantee. So If you have a laminate floor, it’s a good idea to put a rubber mat under your punching bag, so that it doesn’t move around too much. You should use a mat even if you have some sort of carpet, because as that heavy bag moves around – even if only slightly – it could damage your carpet.
Apart from that, you should consider the various advantages and disadvantages of hangin and freestanding punching bags.
Hanging bags are usually heavier, and can give you a good amount of resistance when you punch and kick. They also can’t fall over. Which is something that can happen with freestanding bags (especially if they’re of bad quality or not filled properly).
Another advantage of hanging bags is that they’re easier to move around and transport. They’re much easier to handle if you want to move them around your gym. If you move a lot, then it’s even easier – you just empty the bag, and you can transport it no problem.
But freestanding punching bags have their advantages, too. For one, setting them up is extremely easy. You just fill in the base and bag, and you’re ready to go! No need for drilling or annoying DIY. Freestanding bags also can come in human shape, which offers a few advantages I’ll cover later in this review.
Size and Weight
The main decision regarding size is whether to get a long or short punching bag.
Short bags have the advantage of being lighter and more compact. So, if you like to put your bag away after training, getting a shorter punching bag is a good idea. Being lighter, short punching bags are also a good choice for beginners. Even if your form is bad, hitting the bag wrong is less likely to lead to an injury.
But short punching bags have some disadvantages. For one, they don’t allow for training low kicks. And if the bag is particularly short, landing mid-height kicks could also be difficult.
Even if you’re a pure boxer, and don’t train kicks, after a certain point you’ll want to train hitting something that gives you more resistance. And there is only so much resistance a light punching bag can give you.
This is where the longer punching bags come in. Not only can you train kicks on them, but you need much more power to get them moving. And you can only do that with proper form and technique.
Heavier bags also require you to have more stamina and endurance, since you need more power to get them moving. But if you’re a beginner, you need to be careful when using a heavier punching bag. If you hit it improperly, you could end up hurting yourself.
A good rule of thumb is to get a punching bag which is half your weight. Depending on your skill level, you could get a heavier or lighter one. If you’re a beginner, I’d suggest starting out with a lighter bag, and moving up from there.
The most durable punching bags are usually made of genuine leather. Made by a good brand, a leather punching bag can last for decades. The only downside to leather punching bags is their high price. But if you’re really serious about training, or you have a gym, then investing in one could save you money in the long run.
If you don’t have the budget for genuine leather, the next best thing is synthetic leather. While not as durable as real leather, it’ll usually last longer than PVC or vinyl.
If you can, avoid punching bags made of canvas. Not only does canvas tear more easily, but it’s a lot harder to clean compared to other materials.
Most punching bags have a cylinder shape, which is great for general training. They give you a wide striking surface, perfect for both punches and kicks. Their main drawback is the fact that their shape makes it hard to land uppercuts, as your punches tend to slide off the surface of the bag.
This is where ball-shaped bags come in. Their shape makes it very easy to train uppercuts. They’re generally not as tall as cylindrical bags, which makes them less than ideal for training kicks.
But if you want to train uppercuts, I wouldn’t recommend a hanging bag. This is because hitting a punching bag from below can cause it to jitter, and put some very bad strain on the bag’s hook. See, those hooks are made to withstand the swinging motion of the bag. But when you start hitting the bag from below, it can apply downward pressure on the hook, which could cause it to tear off from the ceiling.
The last major shape punching bags come in is the human shape. A perfect example of this is the B.O.B.
A big upside to this shape is that they accurately represent an actual opponent. They can help you improve your accuracy by targeting the jaw or the temples, which are knockout punches. Human-shaped punching bags are freestanding, with all of the benefits and disadvantages freestanding bags come with (which I’ve described above).
Punching bags tend to be on the high end, in terms of price. But the benefits they can provide your workout definitely can’t be understated. Even if you can’t afford one, you should at least go to a gym so you can practice your striking on a punching bag.
In terms of actual pricing, like many other things, higher prices usually mean higher quality. Still, you should always consider whether a product has a high price just because it has an overhyped brand attached to it. So always pay attention what you’re paying for – if a punching bag is made of genuine leather and comes with heavy-duty, stainless steel chains and hook, then it makes sense for it to have a higher asking price. Otherwise, you may be overpaying for an inferior product.
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