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Incorporating a punching bag into your home gym is a great way to work out and de-stress simultaneously. As Billy Blanks, Tae Bo creator and world-renowned fitness icon put it, a punching bag “unleashes the unknown warrior” inside us all.
Best of all, punching bags are generally affordable, customizable to fit personal fitness goals, and easily installed. Train like a professional in the privacy of your own home with our top picks of the best punching bags on the market. Follow along as we explore key features such as fill, size, and set up to match your skill level and space.
Keep reading for our best punching bag picks. Let the training begin!
Best Overall: FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag
FITVEN’s Freestanding Punching Bag is a durable, space-saving bag that absorbs a punch without drilling any holes in the ceiling or walls. The dual PVC shock absorbers combined with four heavy-duty, removable springs provide 360-degree shock absorption and a consistent striking experience when moving around the bag. This technology also helps reduce noise for a much quieter workout.
The ultra-stable round base features 12 suction cups that keep the punching bag in place. The suction cups require a smooth, even surface for best results, as they won’t grip on carpet or rubber mats. The FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag boasts a multilayer construction that helps distribute striking force for unmatched performance and comfort. This punching bag features a tear-resistant, synthetic leather exterior with foam and fabric buffers surrounding a stainless steel core. It also comes with a pair of synthetic leather 12-ounce boxing gloves, and with the easy setup, it allows for an almost immediate workout right out of the box.
When filled with sand, which is recommended for superior stability, the bag weighs 205 pounds or 160 pounds when filled with water. Standing nearly six feet tall, this freestanding punching bag provides a versatile workout experience—simulating sparring with a tall opponent—for adults and young athletes alike. While this bag has a slimmer profile, it’s helpful when space is limited.
Best Budget: Yueetc Unfilled Punching Bag and Kick Boxing Set
This 3.3-foot punching bag is customizable and best for beginners and young boxers. Since it comes unfilled, you choose the fill type, weight, and feel. From old clothes to sand to a combination of the two, filling it yourself saves on shipping and helps customize the experience.
This hanging punching bag has a maximum weight capacity of 40 pounds. For safe and secure mounting, the Yueetc UNFILLED Punching Bag and Kick Boxing Set come with a rustproof steel ceiling mount, carabiner, four-panel chains, and expansion bolts that have a load capacity of 900 pounds. This punching bag features a wear-resistant canvas cloth surface that's easy to clean with multilayer stitching for extra durability. The center of the bag is wrapped in synthetic leather to protect hands from abrasion. The Yueetc UNFILLED Punching Bag is offered in black and red and comes with hand, ankle, and wrist wraps.
Best Freestanding: Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag
The Century Wavemaster XXL is ideal for heavy hitters and athletes of all levels who want a professional-grade punching bag without the hassle of installing a permanent heavy bag. This freestanding bag offers more than twice the striking area as the original Wavemaster model, meaning there's plenty of room for two people to work out at once. This freestanding punching bag measures 18 x 52 inches, and when locked into its base, it maxes out at 69 inches tall.
This durable bag is designed for heavy martial arts training with a wide surface area that accommodates a range of strikes from low-line kicks, and head kicks to knee and elbow strikes. You can fill the base with sand or water. When filled, the Century Wavemaster XXL tips the scales at 270 pounds, so you know it can take a beating without tipping.
The bag's exterior is constructed of hand-sewn, tear-resistant durable vinyl over high-density foam and Century's proprietary stem stabilization system for superior striking feedback. Easily incorporate the Century Wavemaster XXL into any workout by tipping it onto its round base and rolling it to a preferred location. Blanks suggests trying to incorporate the lower and upper body together to generate the best full-body workout. "Sometimes I'll tilt the bag on the ground and use it for push-ups with feet on the bag or for sit-ups," he said. Bring the gym into your own home with one of the largest freestanding bags in the game, offered in black, red, and blue.
Best Water-Filled: Aqua Training Bag
The Aqua Training Bag is a portable, low-impact solution for athletes of all skill levels. Unlike a traditional heavy bag filled with sawdust or sand and covered in metal hardware and stitching, the Aqua Training Bag features a smooth, teardrop-shaped bag made of thick-walled vinyl with injection-molded ends that offers the sensation of hitting the human body. Even more, the water-filled bladder helps absorb impact and protect the joints.
You can use this 18-inch punching bag indoors and out as it’s waterproof, UV-resistant, and fade-resistant. The bag can stay outdoors during the summer; just remember to bring it inside in the winter, so it doesn’t freeze. This water-filled punching bag comes compressed and includes a shackle for hanging on a ceiling mount or stand, an adapter for the hose, and an extra stopper. The beauty of the Aqua Training Bag is that it can be filled or drained in just minutes.
When filled, this punching bag maxes out at 120 pounds. Athletes can adjust the fill for the desired level of resistance. The 18-inch Aqua Training Bag is offered in various whimsical, one-of-a-kind marbled patterns, including Bad Boy Blue, Black Eye, Blood Red, Fireball Orange, Global Series x Ireland, and Power Punch Pink.
Best Human-Shaped: Century BOB XL Body Opponent Bag
Meet BOB—short for "Body Opponent Bag"—your new home sparring partner. This realistic mannequin head and torso feature a rubbery synthetic vinyl skin-like exterior to simulate a live sparring partner. The freestanding human-like punching bag offers seven adjustable heights ranging from 60 to 78 inches tall so everyone can find their sweet spot. BOB's body ends around the lower torso and is ideal for punching and strikes. This punching bag has a round base which is easy to roll around for portability. When filled with sand or water, BOB weighs around 270 pounds.
Best Durable: Outslayer 100-pound Punching Bag
The Outslayer 100-Pound Heavy Bag is a professional-grade heavy bag widely known for its lasting quality and rugged build. Backed by Outslayer's 10-year warranty, this bag is tough enough for professional training and commercial gyms, so you know it's a worthwhile investment.
This 100-pound heavy bag comes pre-filled with a proprietary fabric filling. Outslayer punching bags are hand-filled with compressed fabric materials, never with sand, for an unmatched experience without hollow spots or sand sinking to the bottom. While the bag weighs 100 pounds, it has a 300-pound capacity if you wish to add additional load as you progress in your training.
The Outslayer 100-Pound Heavy Bag features a heavy-duty vinyl exterior with four-layer "No Tear" straps which are much quieter than a standard set of chains. This ultra-durable heavy bag is offered in black and black/red.
Best Portable: Quiet Punch Doorway Punch Bag
Squeeze in a workout anywhere with this portable doorway-mounted punching bag. As its name implies, Quiet Punch delivers a quiet boxing workout that won’t wake the neighbors or mark up the doorway. This 12 x 12 x 3-inch punching bag is filled with soft composite foam, so it’s easy on the joints and weighs just four pounds. The lightweight, packable system fits in most standard 28 to 36-inch doorways and packs easily in most carry-on luggage without requiring a set of boxing gloves.
Complete with two adjustable aluminum tension rods, Quiet Punch takes about a minute to set up without any tools necessary. This portable punching bag comes with hundreds of free workouts via its compatible apps: Quiet Punch A.I. and Quiet Punch Play, so you can train like a professional in the privacy of your own home.
Best Speed Bag: Meister SpeedKills Leather Speed Bag
Incorporating speed bag training is a great way for athletes to hone their defensive skills and improve hand-eye coordination. The Meister SpeedKills Leather Speed Bag features a genuine full-grain cowhide leather construction with a lightweight inner latex bladder which packs a faster, lighter punch than traditional rubber bladders. Each Meister SpeedKills Leather Speed Bag is handmade and balanced to ensure the ideal shape, symmetry, and, most importantly, predictable rebounds. For lasting quality, this speed bag is designed with reinforced seams for durability.
The Meister SeedKills Leather Speed Bag is offered in three sizes that cater to different workouts and skill levels: small for experts, measuring 7.5 x 5 inches; medium for intermediates, measuring 9.5 x 6 inches; and large for beginners, measuring 10.5 x 7 inches. Some people even order multiple sizes. For example, the small is great for experts training to build speed, while the medium provides more resistance for building strength in your punches. Beginners to experts will love the high-quality construction and feel of the Meister SeedKills Leather Speed Bag.
Best for Beginners: Everlast Powercore Free-standing Punching Bag
This freestanding indoor heavy bag can withstand high-impact punches for an intense workout. The high-density plastic base provides a stable foundation that you can easily fill with sand or water. In total, the Everlast Powercore Bag weighs 250 pounds with a water-filled base and 370 pounds with a sand-filled base.
Catering to athletes of all sizes, the Everlast Powercore Bag can be adjusted between 54 and 65 inches tall for a customized fit. For beginner boxers, the Powercore power transfer ring helps absorb impact for a safe and comfortable workout while also helping stabilize the base, so it doesn't slide across the floor when struck. The air-foam chamber construction covered with ultra-durable Everlast® Nevatear™ provides a more realistic feel. Once assembled, this freestanding Everlast punching bag measures 22 x 22 x 54 inches and provides a versatile workout from cardio and leg conditioning to hand-eye coordination and strength training without ever stepping foot in a gym.
Best Long Bag: Combat Sports Muay Thai 100-Pound Heavy Bag
Muay Thai heavy bags—also called long heavy bags or banana bags—are designed for training low kicks. This type of punching bag is longer, heavier, and harder than traditional Western-style heavy bags. Clocking in at around 6 feet or longer, this long, slim design is meant to help condition the shins and eliminate excess swing of the bag.
The Combat Sports 100-pound Muay Thai Punching Heavy Bag is made with a durable synthetic leather construction that's easy to clean and comes with a heavy-duty chain and swivel for easy hanging. This 100-pound bag comes pre-filled with recycled clothing and measures 13 x 72 inches.
Best Punching Bag Stand: Everlast Single-Station Heavy Bag Stand
For those who struggle to find a secure mounting space at home for a heavy bag workout, the Everlast Single-Station Heavy Bag Stand may be the answer. This punching bag stand is made from heavy-duty, powder-coated steel tubing and requires a space of only 47.6 inches wide, 57 inches long, and 84 inches high, making it an ideal solution for a low ceiling workout area. If you plan to use a mat underneath, take the height of the mat into account when evaluating a location for the stand.
This Everlast punching bag stand can comfortably hold up to a 100-pound heavy bag—sold separately—with three pegs that allow you to add weight plates for maximum stability and to prevent sliding upon impact. It’s easy to assemble using the included tools and hardware. The stand weighs about 55 pounds, so once the punching bag is removed, it can be moved from room to room. The Everlast Single-Station Heavy Bag Stand is offered in black and white.
From first-timers to experienced boxers purchasing a home bag, the FITVEN Freestanding Punching Bag is a solid choice. This freestanding punching bag offers stability without having to drill a mount into the ceiling or wall. Standing nearly six feet tall, this bag features a heavy-weighted base with 12 suction cups that keep it in place during workouts. This synthetic leather bag comes with a matching pair of boxing gloves so you’re ready to work out within minutes.
For experienced athletes, we recommend splurging on the Outslayer 100-Pound Heavy Bag. This brand is the gold standard of punching bags offering a 10-year warranty. This punching bag features a heavy-duty vinyl exterior with a proprietary fabric filling that eliminates hollow spots. It comes with four-layer "No Tear" straps which are much quieter than chains. While this heavy bag comes pre-filled with 100 pounds of filling, it has a 300-pound capacity to add weight as you progress in your training.
Meet the Expert
What to Look For in a Punching Bag
Hanging vs. Freestanding
You can decide whether to hang a bag from the ceiling or wall by answering two main questions: Are you comfortable locating and drilling into a joist or stud to support the bag? And do you want to have a large punching bag as a semi-permanent feature of your room? While punching bags can be emptied and refilled if they need to be moved, it is not a small job to do it regularly. If the room doubles as a family room or bedroom, a freestanding punching bag rack would allow more flexibility to move a heavy bag out of the way, especially if family or friends also use the room.
The rule of thumb is that hanging bags should be about half your body weight when filled. As your training progresses, the load can certainly increase. A bag that's too light won't provide enough stability and may swing uncontrollably. A bag that's too heavy can cause injury, especially in those who have not yet developed the proper striking technique.
When choosing a freestanding bag, heavier is also better as lighter bags can be easily knocked over or moved when hit. This style of punching bag is typically attached to a weighted base you fill with sand or water. "I prefer using water, so when I move my bag to a different spot or position, it is easy to refill," Blanks said. Sand provides more weight for those who require more stability. While it ultimately comes down to how you plan to use a freestanding bag, it's always best to go as heavy as your budget allows. If you find your bag has too much movement, this might indicate you need to step back and focus on your technique.
The choice of filling is personal, depending on your boxing skill level and a comfort factor. If you fill your bag with soft cloth or foam, the bag will be less likely to harm your hands or joints but will produce more swing with harder punches. Bags filled with sand or sawdust are very hard and recommended only for expert boxers, although they too need hand protection under their gloves to avoid injuries.
It's also quite common to use a combination of cloth or foam and sand or sawdust, thereby providing a more stable bag while still offering sufficient firmness for a more experienced puncher. Water is also common for those needing portability for their bags as it's easy to empty and refill. Gideon Akande, two-time Chicago Golden Gloves champion and NASM-CPT, says using a water-filled punching bag gives each punch the sensation of a true combat impact. "If you're a competitor, you want to simulate all aspects of what your competition may be," he said.
There are several choices for surface material, ranging from canvas to leather to synthetic. Canvas and leather are considered more old-school and appeal to those who like a certain "feel" while landing a punch. Canvas, while inexpensive, is not as durable and can be hard on the hands due to the abrasive nature of the fabric. It also tends to get dirty faster. There's no question that leather punching bags are of the highest quality. They provide durability, professional-grade performance, and comfort. On the flip side, a classic leather punching bag comes with a higher price tag. Synthetic bags are generally lighter and are an affordable alternative to leather. Additionally, synthetic materials like nylon and vinyl are better suited for humid conditions as they're more resistant to mold and mildew.
How do you hang a punching bag?
Punching bags can either be hung from the ceiling, wall, or a freestanding heavy bag stand. The first thing to remember is that punching bags are extremely heavy; commercial bags can weigh between 100-200 pounds, while home bags typically start around 70 pounds for adults.
When hanging a punching bag, the critical factors are to attach it to a ceiling joist and to locate the bag near the center of the room so you can move around it while working out. If you mount it to the wall, it must be attached to a wall stud. Otherwise, your bag will end up on the floor, and your ceiling or wall will end up with a big hole.
Masonry walls—brick or concrete—are also ideal for supporting a wall mount. Freestanding heavy bag stands are simpler and don’t require any special carpentry skills, but they generally tend to be less stable. Some models, like the Everlast Single-Station Heavy Bag Stand, feature pegs to add your own weight plates for increased stability. If you’re not comfortable locating a joist or stud yourself, it would be well worth it to phone a friend or hire a handy person.
What material do you use to fill a punching bag?
There are a variety of materials that are used to fill punching bags. Each material contributes to the bag’s overall feel and experience, including stiffness, level of feedback, weight, and how much movement or swing you’ll get with each punch or kick. Which filling is right for you depends on several factors, including your skill level, how you intend to use the bag, as well as whether you’ll want the flexibility to move the bag to different locations. Popular choices include water, sand, sawdust, foam, air, old clothes, and even a combination of materials. The fill material can change as your skill level evolves.
What is the right way to punch a punching bag?
It may look like punching a punching bag is nothing more than brute strength and speed to a novice. However, like all sports, there is a significant amount of technique associated with properly punching a punching bag. Blanks emphasizes the importance of understanding the position of your hands when throwing a punch. "Hit with the first two knuckles," he said. Akande adds, "When throwing a punch, it should be a total body effort, not just the arms. You want to punch through the target. You don't want to push the bag; you want to snap your punch by driving with force and returning quickly to your guard or start position."
Many novices underestimate the wear and tear that hands take from a punching bag workout. Blanks suggests, "Make sure you have your hands wrapped in a basic boxing wrap. For the additional cushion, feel free to use boxing gloves, too."
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Byrdie contributor Emily Stone is a health and fitness writer with experience working for lifestyle and fitness publications and activewear brands. As a fitness enthusiast and fellow shopper, she's passionate about finding reliable fitness equipment that prioritizes comfort and function for people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.