The 11 Best Punching Bags of 2021

Practice your skills at home with the right equipment for your needs

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Best Punching Bags

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Our Top Picks
An excellent pick for beginners as well as those who have used punching bags at the gym but want their own set-up at home.
Ideal for teens and those getting started with boxing or MMA, this bag gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
This heavy-duty bag made with durable, synthetic leather can handle full punches, front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and more
The extra length of the bag allows you to throw low kicks, practice your footwork, and get in a full body workout.
Known as the gold standard of heavy bags, this Outslayer bag is top-rated among boxing enthusiasts and fitness professionals.
This freestanding heavy bag has a head and torso, allowing you to practice more specific self-defense punches and kicks.
While the bag itself is light enough for beginners, the adjustable height makes it versatile for different sized teens and adults.
With a high-quality vinyl exterior and high-density foam filling, this bag provides excellent shock absorption and durability.
Not only is the bag easy to fill (with water) in minutes, but it’s also convenient to empty and move to a new location.
The smaller design of this free-standing bag is perfect for those who have limited space for workout equipment.

Hitting a punching bag requires a lot of strength and stamina, and since it’s a total-body workout, it can offer multiple benefits including core strengthening, energy expenditure, and more. Kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and similar workouts can also improve cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, balance, and hand-eye coordination. 

Whether you’re trying to take your boxing game to the next level or you’re looking for a fun way to boost your fitness, it’s important to consider the height and weight of your punching bag. Advanced trainees require a dense, heavy bag, and beginners will often need a smaller, lightweight bag.

Another important factor to take into account is the material of the punching bag—high-quality materials such as leather or vinyl make them more durable. Stability is also essential to your safety during your workout. 

Here are the best punching bags on the market.

Best Overall: Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy Bag Kit

Pros
  • Comes filled

  • Includes extra equipment

  • Adjustable height

Cons
  • Included equipment isn't very durable

With everything you need to get an effective, efficient workout, this heavy bag kit from Everlast is an excellent pick for beginners as well as those who have used punching bags at the gym but want their own set-up at home. The 70-pound bag comes filled with natural and synthetic materials, as well as sifted sand. You'll also get 108-inch hand wraps to protect your hands, boxing gloves, and a bungee cord for added resistance when you need it. Whether you choose to use it indoors or outside, you get several options for hanging it and the adjustable chain lets you customize the height to your preferences.

Weight: 70-pound bag | Height: 41 inches (bag length) | Materials: Polycanvas exterior; filled with natural and synthetic materials | Type: Hanging

Best Budget: Last Punch Heavy Duty Punching Bag

Pros
  • Durable

  • Can customize the weight and density

  • Great for teens

Cons
  • Comes unfilled

If you’d like to add a punching bag to your home gym, but don’t want to make a huge investment, this very reasonably-priced bag is a good choice. This Last Punch bag comes unfilled, but the sturdy, durable canvas material is easy to fill with sand, old clothes, towels, cotton, or whatever else you desire. You can control the weight and density of the bag with your choice of filling materials. Ideal for teens and those getting started with boxing or MMA, this bag gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Weight: Varies depending on selected filling | Height: 48 inches (bag length) | Materials: Canvas exterior

Best Free-Standing: Dripex Freestanding Punching Bag

Pros
  • Durable

  • Reduces noise

  • Base has suction cups to remain stable

Cons
  • Base does not come filled

When it’s just not feasible for you to hang a punching bag at home, a free-standing one is an excellent alternative. Constructed with high-quality, durable synthetic leather, this heavy-duty bag from Dripex can handle full punches, front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and more. The bag’s PVC shock absorbers help reduce vibration and noise, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to disturb other family members or neighbors. The total weight ranges from 137 to 182 pounds, depending on whether you fill the base with water or sand. Suction cups on the bottom of the base keep the bag stable and in place when you’re throwing punches, even if it’s set up on a smooth, slippery surface.

Weight: 182 pounds | Height: 69 inches tall | Materials: Synthetic leather exterior

Best Long: Combat Sports Muay Thai 100-Pound Heavy Bag

Combat Sports 100-pound Muay Thai Punching Heavy Bag
Pros
  • Easy to clean

  • Comes filled

  • Adjustable height

Cons
  • No warranty

If you need a versatile, high-quality bag that’s good for practicing kicks and footwork, as well as punches, you can’t go wrong with this heavy bag from Combat Sports. The extra length of the bag allows you to throw low kicks and get in a full body workout. Made of durable synthetic leather, it’s easy to clean and can withstand powerful kicks and blows. The bag is filled to 100 pounds and comes with a heavy-duty chain for hanging.

Weight: 100 pounds | Height: 72 inches (bag length) | Materials: Synthetic leather exterior

Most Durable: Outslayer 100-pound Punching Bag

Outslayer 100-Pound Heavy Bag
Pros
  • Comes filled

  • 10-year warranty

  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • Expensive

Known as the gold standard of heavy bags, the Outslayer 100-pound punching bag is top-rated among boxing enthusiasts and fitness professionals. It’s filled only with dense fabric, so you won’t experience excess settling and hard or hollow spots, which sometimes happens with sand-filled bags. Although it’s pricier than some other heavy bags, it’s a high-quality, durable bag and comes with a 10-year warranty.

Weight: 100 pounds (with capacity up to 300 pounds) | Height: 55 inches (bag length) | Materials: Filled with fabric

Best Human-Shaped: Century BOB XL Body Opponent Bag

 Century BOB XL with Base Unit
Pros
  • Durable

  • Adjustable height

  • Great for teens and adults

  • Easy to move around

Cons
  • Expensive

If you’d like to make your training more realistic, the Century BOB XL Body Opponent Bag is a great option. The freestanding heavy bag has a head and torso, allowing you to practice more specific self-defense punches and kicks that aren’t possible with a regular bag. The body is made of high-strength plastisol and filled with a urethane foam that creates a very realistic feeling when punching. With an adjustable height of 60 to 78 inches and a weight of 46.5 pounds, this bag is versatile for teens and adults of all sizes. The base can be filled with water or sand and is rounded, so it’s easy to roll to another spot.

Weight: 46.5 pounds | Height: 60 inches to 78 inches (adjustable) | Materials: Plastisol exterior; filled with urethane foam

Best for Beginners: Everlast Powercore Free-standing Punching Bag

Everlast Powercore Bag
Pros
  • Small footprint

  • Durable

  • Adjustable height

Cons
  • No warranty; must purchase separately

This free-standing punching bag from Everlast is perfect for beginners or anyone who has limited space. The bag’s rounded design allows you to move around it as you’re punching, so you can work on improving your cardio and leg conditioning as well as your hand-eye coordination. It also features an innovative transfer ring that absorbs the impact of your punches and increases the bag’s durability. The adjustable height from 54 to 65 inches makes it versatile for different sized teens and adults. While the bag itself is light enough for beginners, the whole unit weighs approximately 250 to 370 pounds, depending on whether you fill the base with water or sand.

Weight: 250 pounds to 370 pounds (varies whether filled with water or sand) | Height: 54 inches to 65 inches tall (adjustable) | Materials: NEVATEAR exterior; filled with shock-absorbing foam

Best Heavy: Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag

Century Wavemaster XXL
Pros
  • Durable

  • Comes filled

  • Comes in various colors

Cons
  • Height isn't adjustable

With a tremendous striking surface, this extra-long bag is extremely versatile for people of all sizes to practice a variety of movements—from high jabs to low kicks. Whether you prefer boxing, MMA, kickboxing, muay thai, taekwondo, or karate, the Wavemaster XXL is an excellent choice for even the toughest and most strenuous home workouts. With a high-quality vinyl exterior and high-density foam filling, this bag provides excellent shock absorption and durability. The low-profile base can be filled with sand or water and helps to keep the bag stable. This bag stands 69 inches tall and can weigh up to 270 pounds when the base is filled.

Weight: Up to 270 pounds when filled | Height: 69 inches tall | Materials: Vinyl exterior; filled with high-density foam

Best Portable: Aqua Training Bag

Aqua Training Bag
Pros
  • Comes in various colors

  • UV-resistant

  • Waterproof

Cons
  • Can be difficult to fill up

Most punching bags are filled with fabric or sand, but this Aqua Training Bag uses water for punching resistance. Not only is the bag easy to fill in minutes, but it’s also convenient to empty and move to a new location. In addition to its portability, this bag is extremely versatile since you can adjust the pressure of the bag by adding more or less water. The bag’s teardrop shape allows for all types of moves and combinations, including hooks, straight shots, and kicks.

Weight: Up to 75 pounds | Height: 15 inches (bag length) | Materials: Vinyl exterior

Best for Small Spaces: Everlast Free Standing Heavy Bag

OmniFlex Free Standing Heavy Bag
Pros
  • Small footprint

  • Durable

  • Adjustable height

Cons
  • Can be difficult to fill up base

The smaller design of this free-standing bag is perfect for those who have limited space for workout equipment. It features a flexible neck that absorbs the impact of punches and strikes, while also helping to reduce base movement. The high-grade, shock-absorbing foam construction adds to the bag’s durability and stability. The adjustable height can be set from 59 to 67 inches, and the bag’s total weight is 130 pounds when the base is filled with water and 200 pounds when filled with sand.

Weight: 130 pounds to 200 pounds (depending on whether filled with sand or water) | Height: 59 inches to 67 inches (adjustable) | Materials: Filled with soft foam

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an entry-level punching bag that will still serve your needs as your skills improve, the Everlast 70-Pound MMA Heavy-Bag Kit (view at Amazon) is a great option. In addition to a durable bag that will withstand years of punching and kicking, you’ll get hand wraps and boxing gloves so you’ll be all set to start doing calorie-blasting workouts at home. Of course, if you don’t have a lot of space or the ability to hang a bag, the Dripex Freestanding Punching Bag (view at Amazon) is another high-quality, versatile option.

What to Look for When Buying a Punching Bag

Type

The terms heavy bag, boxing bag, and punching bag are all interchangeable, and there are a variety of types on the market. There are freestanding bags that mount on a stand, hanging bags that can suspend from ceilings, aqua bags that are filled with water, wall bags that are fixated on a wall, and speed bags that are small and mounted with a short spring. It’s important to note that each category of punching bag can have multiple styles.  

Ediva Zanker, co-founder of Grit Bxng in New York City, says that the type of bag you buy should be determined by your intended use. “Speed bags are good for boxing training, heavy bags are good for cardio, and aqua bags are just fun!” she says.

Bag Height and Weight

If you’re trying to work on power, Zanker recommends using a heavy bag. She notes that lighter bags are better for movement training and that you should take into consideration what you’re trying to achieve to determine the weight of your bag. 

More advanced trainees may want heavier, denser bags, whereas beginners can use smaller, lighter bags. Beginners should opt for a shorter bag, in the 3-to-4-feet range, while more experienced trainees may want one that’s 5 feet or longer. If you’re going to be practicing a lot of kicks, in addition to punches, you may want a longer bag with a larger striking surface.

Materials

Look for bags made from heavy-duty, high-quality materials. Although they’re pricier, bags that are wrapped in real or synthetic leather or high-quality vinyl are much more durable than those made with other materials. Foam liners or fillers will offer a more consistent feel when you strike.

Zanker also recommends paying close attention to your fitness goals, because the fill material may change from one goal to the next—saying that heavy, foam-filled bags are better for power exercises and aqua bags are good for beginners or for long workouts because of their shock absorption.

Stability

“There are some stand-up boxing bags that move when you punch them,” says Zanker. “It’s inconvenient and if you’re using it at home, it can scratch up your floors.” If you’re choosing a free-standing bag, look for a very heavy base filled with water or sand so that it doesn’t move no matter how hard you punch or kick it.

FAQs

How do you hang a punching bag?

Before hanging a punching bag, you want to ensure you have enough room around the bag for it to swing. Next, you’ll need to locate a stud beam in the ceiling to attach your bag. Some hanging punching bags come with a ceiling mount and others require you to purchase one separately. Mark where the bolts will go on the ceiling with a pencil and drill holes into the marked spots. Install the mount, using a wrench to tighten the bolts. Next, you need to connect the chains to the S-hook and bag, and then hook the bag onto the ceiling mount.

If you’re worried about hanging a heavy bag from the ceiling, another option is to hang it from a load-bearing wall (not drywall) using a wall mount.

How do you fill a punching bag?

If you buy an empty punching bag, you’ll have to fill it yourself. You can choose from the most common materials used to fill punching bags, including sand, cloth, rubber mulch, rice, and sawdust. Another popular filling is old clothing since it’s easy on your joints, it keeps its shape, and it doesn’t make the bag too hard.

To fill a bag with used clothes or scraps of fabric, first cut the material into small pieces, about the size of a dollar bill. Stuff these pieces into the bag, pushing them together to get an even fill. For a tightly packed bag, you can use a broom handle to compress the fabric.

To make the bag harder, you can place sawdust or sand between the layers of fabric. However, you shouldn’t place loose sand or sawdust into the bag. Fill plastic storage bags with sawdust or sand, then wrap them in duct tape. Place the bags in between clothing when you put them in the punching bag so they won't split open.

What muscles does a punching bag workout work?

“A bag workout is a total body workout that targets the core, hips, arms, shoulders, chest, back, thighs, calves, and even the muscles that support the ankles and feet,” says Chris Gagliardi, ACE certified personal trainer. In addition to the muscular and cardiorespiratory benefits, you’ll also work on your reaction time, balance, speed, power, coordination, and agility.

What is the best weight for a punching bag?

For a traditional punching bag, the general rule is that the bag should be about half your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, you should select a bag that weighs about 75 pounds. “Consider that with a heavy bag you do not want a bag that is so light that each time you strike it begins to move around wildly,” says Gagliardi. “This would require you to stop the bag's momentum after each strike and make your workout less efficient.”

However, you also don’t want to use a bag that’s too heavy for you, since you’ll have a much higher chance of injuring your wrists and hands.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a certified personal trainer and running coach, Christine Luff understands the importance of picking the right fitness equipment. She is always researching and testing the latest fitness and outdoor gear, tools, and gadgets for her work as a fitness writer and to recommend to her clients and fellow fitness fanatics.

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