Boxing is a fantastic way to get a great workout while relieving stress. It improves your speed, strength, and agility and has a ton of relaxation and mental benefits as well. If you’re stuck at home or don’t want to spend a lot of money on a membership to a gym or boxing club, you can practice boxing at home with a free standing punching bag.
Traditional hanging punching bags can be a pain because they require intensive installation. Not everyone has the space to hang a punching bag, especially if you live in an apartment or are renting a home.
Luckily, there are plenty of high-quality free standing heavy bags on the market today. These give you all the benefits of a traditional hanging punching bag, without the messy and annoying installation. Read on for what to look for in a standalone punch bag, plus our reviews of some of the best free standing punching bags on the market.
Why Free Standing Punching Bags, and Alternative Types of Bags
A free standing punching bag is great for its convenience. You can put it wherever you want, with no complex installation or construction necessary.
In today’s climate, where you may not be able to consistently get to the gym, a free standing punching bag is a great way to keep training and/or maintain fitness at home. This is not only beneficial for fighters, but anyone who wants to get in/stay in shape. Many people (like myself) find it hard to concentrate through a traditional workout at home, so a more interactive activity (like hitting the bag) can prove a great alternative.
The negative for free-standing punching bags (compared to other types) is that they can be a little less secure. Poor quality bags may fall over, and be more hassle than good. The biggest downside is for bigger people or high-level strikers, who may struggle to find a free standing bag that can take the power they put out.
However, for the majority of fighters or fitness enthusiasts, you should be able to find a free standing punching bag that will provide all the benefits of a traditional heavy bag, with several times the convenience.
Other types of punching bag include:
- Reflex bags or “cobra bags”: another free standing option, with a small bag at the top (in the position of the head). The stand springs back and forth, allowing you to practice head movement. These are easier to move around (as they are lighter), and good for practicing speed with your punches.
- Heavy bags: traditional heavy bags are generally installed by fixing to a chain hanging from the ceiling, or bars across the ceiling. These are the most reliable punching bags, but are somewhat permanent – best for a proper gym, rather than a home setup.
- Speed bags: smaller than a heavy bag, but also needs to be hooked up to a bar or to the wall. If you don’t want to go through the installation, a reflex bag is a good alternative.
- Training partners: punching bags don’t hit back, so a training partner is generally the best way to practice, if you’re looking to perfect your overall striking game.
What To Look For When Buying A Free Standing Punching Bag
There are a few key factors to keep in mind when scouring the market for your ideal punching bag.
The single most important factor in a free standing punching bag is the stability and weight of the base. The last thing you want is a punching bag that moves around or, worse, topples over when you hit it repeatedly. To avoid that, make sure you purchase a bag whose stand can hold a minimum of 140 pounds of water—the more it can hold, the better.
We also suggest filling the base with sand instead of water since it is heavier, although sand can be challenging to use. It can be messy if the sand escapes the base too – so make sure the stand is sturdy and high quality, to avoid getting sand all over your house.
Size & Weight
Next, you’ll want to consider the size and weight of the bag itself. The size of the bag you choose will depend on your skill level and your own purposes. For instance, if you want a bag for heavy punching, look for a very heavy and dense model. If you want to practice your speed, agility, and reflexes, look for a model with a spring mechanism.
Also take into account your own size – a smaller bag might be ok for a 110 pound person, but it would prove too flimsy for a 250lbs heavyweight.
You should also consider the height of the bag. Some bags have adjustable heights, which is useful if you plan to share your bag with other people or plan on using it for both kicking and punching.
A punching bag’s materials will largely determine its lifespan and overall quality. Real leather is the most durable exterior for a punching bag, but most models nowadays are made from either synthetic leather or vinyl. Still, you can find high-quality synthetic materials that will prolong your punching bag’s life.
You’ll also want to consider the punching bag’s interior foam. A bag with low-quality foam won’t stand up to much use. Look for a bag with lots of high-quality foam with high shock absorption.
Best Free Standing Punching Bags
We took a look at five of the best free standing punching bags available. See if you can spot a favorite below.
Everlast is a classic name in gym and boxing equipment, so you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality product when you purchase from them. The Powercore punching bag features an intuitive rounded design that allows you to move around it easily. It is adjustable from 52 to 65 inches high, and its base can hold up to 270 pounds of water or 370 pounds of sand.
This punching bag has a realistic air foam interior and is available in black or silver.
- High-density base for harder packed punches
- Adjustable height for trainers of all sizes
- Rounded design to offer an in-gym feel
This Ringside punching bag is 58 inches tall and has a durable vinyl exterior that will withstand a good deal of punching. Its main draw is in its spring mechanism, which lets the bag swing back and forth instead of falling over, and lets you practice your reflexes. Its base tank can hold up to 140 pounds of water, but we recommend using sand for added stability.
- Durable vinyl exterior for a longer-lasting product
- Spring mechanism to help build reflex skills
- Tall model for more punching space
This punching bag comes with a pair of boxing gloves included, which is a nice value add. It has an impressive shock absorption system and a spring mechanism that you can remove if you want to train for strength rather than reflexes. The bag’s exterior consists of several layers of high-grade polyurethane and foam, and its base weighs 160 pounds filled with water or 205 pounds filled with sand. Its base also features suctions for added stability.
- Affordable bag to create in-home training
- Includes a pair of boxing gloves
- Removable spring mechanism to add versatility to your practice sessions
This bag has an adjustable height of 4 to 6 feet, so both adults and kids can use it. It features 360-degree shock and sound absorption and is made of high-quality materials, including stainless steel, polyurethane leather, and high-density foam. The Xsport Pro base is easy to fill with sand or water and features twelve powerful suctions for extra stability.
- High-quality materials for longer-lasting use
- Adjustable height can suit training for all ages
- Impressive shock absorption adds ease to your workouts
The RDX punching bag features an extra-wide diameter to give you plenty of punching surface. It stands six feet tall and is made of high-grade Maya Hide polyurethane leather. Its ingenious base has suction cups and extendable legs to give you maximum stability and can hold 176 pounds of water or 264 pounds of sand. It’s available in several fun colors, including blue, red, and silver, and includes a pair of matching boxing gloves.
- Extra-wide diameter for more punching surface
- Extendable base can offer variety to your training sessions
- Available in different colors with included gloves
Best Free Standing Punching Bags for 2021 – In Summary
Free standing punching bags are a wonderful option for people who want to get in shape, build up their strength, and relieve stress, but who don’t want to go through the hassle of installing a hanging bag in their home. We recommend any of the above options as a great addition to your home gym.