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The 7 Best Punching Bags Of 2023, According To Boxing Instructors & Personal Trainers

Rachel MacPherson
Author:
July 5, 2023
Rachel MacPherson
CPT and certified nutrition coach
By Rachel MacPherson
CPT and certified nutrition coach
Rachel Macpherson is a CPT and certified nutrition coach.
the best punching bags
Image by mbg creative
July 5, 2023
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The best punching bags of 2023:

Boxing packs a mean punch when it comes to physical and mental health benefits. Don't have time to go to the gym? The best punching bags allow you to join in on this heart-pumping, longevity-boosting workout without leaving your home.

While in-person boxing or MMA classes can build a sense of community and belonging, if you want to keep your jab-cross training in your own home or support your in-person classes with some extra work, there are many excellent punching bags to choose from. Let's see what Noah Neiman, co-founder and CPT of Rumble Boxing, and Centr boxing trainer Michael Olajide Jr. have to say about finding the best punching bag for your home.

The benefits of boxing

"The best endorphin high of your life!" is how Neihman describes boxing workouts. "But if we're talking physical benefits, those include fat burning, increased metabolism and muscle and cardiovascular fitness, improved muscular endurance and hand-eye coordination, and of course, stress relief, to name a few," he adds.

Science agrees; high-intensity boxing workouts are even better than brisk walking at supporting healthy weight, can improve mental health, and boosts overall fitness levels better than traditional workouts such as shuttle runs, pushups, and situps. Plus, it's a thrilling way to beat anxiety and stress.

How to choose the best punching bag

To select the right punching bag, you must use the Goldilocks rule: not too heavy or too light. "You don't want a heavy bag that is too light; it will swing too far away when you hit it and offer no resistance," explains Olajide Jr.

You also don't want a bag that's too hard, as Olajide Jr. says a hard bag will be too traumatic on your knuckles—although you can counter a too-hard bag by using bigger gloves such as 14- or 16-oz gloves with padded knuckles. Still, he adds, you won't get the same workout quality as with a bag that's the right hardness to begin with.

Next, consider what type of workout you will do with your punching bag. Neiman says it's essential first to identify your why, then figure out which punching bag will help you achieve your goal.

According to Neiman, traditional heavy bags are great for working with various striking techniques. In contrast, water training bags (which Neiman and his team use at Rumble Boxing) are great for taking a more traditional boxer's approach to heavy bag training.

Finally, you should decide between a free-standing or hanging bag (anchored from the wall or on a stand). Olajide Jr. prefers hanging bags for the most realistic training results.

Hanging bags move and sway, allowing you to practice footwork, timing, rhythm, and defensive and offensive punching techniques in response to the movement, something free-standing bags can't quite match.

For conventional bags, stick with heavier options. Olajide Jr. says anything under 125 pounds is too light, although some more lightweight boxers or beginners may get away with 100-pound options. "Make sure it isn't sand filled, and if filled with material and not sand, make sure the material isn't compressed too densely as it hurts the knuckles," he advises.

Lastly, when learning to punch a waterbag or conventional heavy bag, the most important thing to remember is to wrap your hands.

According to Olajide Jr., (and research) it's easy to hurt your hands1, scuff the skin on the knuckles, and even break your wrist if your hands aren't wrapped appropriately. "Thick gloves will help ease the impact on the knuckles, but only the hand wrap can protect the wrist from injury," he warns.

The best punching bags of 2023:

Easiest setup: Century Bob XL Body Bag

Pros:

  • Realistic opponent shape
  • Adjustable height
  • Moves easily with rollers

Cons:

  • May move when striking
  • Need to fill with water or sand

Materials:

VinylPlasticUrethane foam

Sizes available:

One size

Suspension type:

Freestanding

The Body Opponent Bag XL adds a new dimension to solo practice. Realistic "musculature" helps target pressure points and vulnerable areas, and the XL size means it includes below-the-waist torso.

This bag's height can be adjusted over a wide range—and both the figure and base are built to last. Plus, setup is incredibly simple.

Neiman says OG gym veterans know Bob as the man-shaped punching bag. The free-standing bag looks and feels like a real body, and (per Neiman) is a long-time standard training tool for self-defense and realistic boxing training.

To make setup even simpler, the bag can be moved around your space via wheels that lock. Filling the base with water or sand will keep it steady, but Bob will move as you strike, offering opportunities to practice your footwork and timing.

Best free standing: Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Punching Bag

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Small footprint
  • Durable

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for larger or stronger individuals
  • Screws may not align correctly

Materials:

High-density plastic

Sizes available:

One size

Suspension type:

Freestanding

Everlast is one of the oldest boxing gear companies and has carved a name for itself as a quality go-to for punching bags and accessories, which is why Neiman is a big fan. With all Everlast products, Neiman believes the quality for the price point is a solid bet.

“This bag offers a fillable base that bulks its weight to 250 pounds, which is great for resistance. It's free-standing, so you don’t have to invest any more money in hanging it,” he says.

This freestanding punching bag has an air-foam chamber and absorbs impact to reduce sliding. That said, some users thought the base slid too much during use. Be sure to fill the base with sand or water to keep it steady.

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Best heavyweight bag: Title Boxing Greatest Heavy Bag Ever

Pros:

  • Comes with hanging straps
  • Pre-filled with soft, hand friendly filling
  • Commercial grade quality

Cons:

  • May take time to break in
  • Expensive

Materials:

Poly microfiberSynthetic leatherNylon

Sizes available:

One size

Suspension type:

Hanging or stand

Heavyweight bags should be heavier than 100 pounds, ideally 125 pounds and up, according to Olajide Jr. In fact, thse bags can sometimes be over 200 pounds.

The Title Boxing heavy bag is an excellent option for the middle ground, offering beginner boxers some room to level up, while still providing enough resistance for stronger, more experienced boxers.

The bag is high-quality and pre-packed with shredded and blended poly-micro fiber filling. Title uses a unique process that keeps the bag from sagging or settling, so you always have a full bag from top to bottom. Plus, it’s made from durable synthetic leather with reinforced straps.

This option is perfect for those who plan to relieve all their stress on the bag.

Best for kickboxing: Outslayer #02 Boxing MMA Heavy Bag

Pros:

  • Sand-free filling option
  • Comes with heavy-duty hanging straps
  • Can be used for boxing or MMA

Cons:

  • No bottom loop for anchoring to the floor

Materials:

Vinyl

Sizes available:

One size

Suspension type:

Not specified

Suspension type:

Not specified

Kickboxing bags need to be longer and are typically thinner to accommodate lower kicks and knees. The Outslayer MMA bag is a durable, sleek bag that’s 55 inches long and, with the straps, can be 67 inches long.

You can purchase This bag filled or unfilled, but professional sand-free filling is recommended for the best results.

I (the writer) recently purchased the Outslayer Filled Punching Bag 100 pound Heavy Bag, and I can confidently say it's one of the best investments I've made for my home gym setup.

The bag arrived promptly and was well-packaged to ensure that it was in pristine condition upon arrival and I can tell it will hold up well over time. Plus, the company has a 10-year warranty and claims to have a straightforward no questions asked replacement policy.

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Best splurge: Prolast Luxury Heavy Bag

Pros:

  • Soft shredded cotton filling
  • Durable vinyl cover

Cons:

  • Takes up a lot of space

Materials:

Rip-stop vinylShredded cotton

Sizes available:

One size

Suspension type:

Hanging

The ProLast Luxury Heavy Bag is an excellent choice for more experienced boxers who want a durable option for home. The extra wide size makes it ideal for training with others, as it can simultaneously accommodate two to three boxers.

With a high-quality cover made from rip-stop vinyl and backed with canvas, this bag will last for many years.

Olajide Jr. recommends medium or soft bags as the best choice for a home-hanging bag that keeps your joints and bones safe, and the filling on this bag is soft enough to prevent damage to your knuckles, shoulders, and wrists.

The bag includes tough straps that can handle a lot of abuse without ripping and don’t make the loud clanging noises chains do (ideal for shared homes or apartments).

Best water bag: Aqua Training Bag

Pros:

  • Water filled for comfortable punching
  • Portable and safe for outdoor use
  • Adjustable height and fill

Cons:

  • Need to fill using a hose
  • May leak if filled too much

Materials:

Vinyl

Sizes available:

9, 12, 18, 15, and 21-inch

Suspension type:

Ceiling mount or stand

If you’re boxing for fitness purposes, Olajide Jr. believes the best you can get is a water bag such as Aqua Training Bags. “They are generally shaped like a big teardrop or a wrecking ball and give you the perfect resistance, so they work your muscle and endurance without the discomfort of hurting your hands,” he explains.

Another bonus: You can punch water bags as hard as you can without dangerous repercussions to your hands and shoulders, according to Olajide Jr. Plus, you can control the bag's weight by putting in the amount of water that suits you.

Neiman is also a fan of Aqua Training Bags and uses them in Rumble Boxing studios. “We scoured and sourced to the ends of the earth for the best bag to bring to our studio experience, and we found that the Aqua Training Bag is the hands-down best for overall boxing training,” he says.

The bags have a rounded, sleek look and allow you to throw various punches safely. The plastic canvas of the bag, coupled with the water fill, helps the punch energy reverberate through the bag and not through your body, according to Neiman.

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Best with stand: Aqua Training Bag Home Gym Bundle

Pros:

  • Multiple options to build your own bundle
  • Can include several accessories
  • Discounted bundle pricing

Cons:

  • TK

Materials:

Vinyl

Sizes available:

15, 18, and 21-inch

Suspension type:

Ceiling mount or stand

Our pick for the best hanging standing bag includes the same high-quality experience as the Aqua Training Bags, but with the ability to build your own bundle. Choose to include a stand, bag, gloves, sensor, hand wraps, chain, and/or floor mat.

For under $500, you can purchase a bag, chain, and stand and be all set to punch up a storm without worrying about anchoring anything to your ceiling. It's truly the perfect solution for renters or anyone worried about damaging their ceiling.

Even better, the stand can move if needed—and you can purchase additional sized bags for more versatility.

Comparing the best punching bags

ProductPriceMaterialsWarrantyWeight (when filled)Suspension type
Century Bob XL Body Bag$420Vinyl; Plastic; Urethane foam90-day270 poundsFreestanding
Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Punching Bag$140High-density plasticNone mentioned250 pounds with water; 370 pounds with sandFreestanding
Title Boxing Greatest Heavy Bag Ever$350Poly microfiber; Synthetic leather; Nylon120-day150 poundsHanging or standing
Outslayer #02 Boxing MMA Heavy BagFrom $100Vinyl10-yearNot specifiedHanging
Prolast Luxury Heavy Bag$430Rip-stop vinyl; Shredded cottonLifetime130 poundsHanging
Aqua Training BagFrom $81Vinyl1-year35 to 195 poundsCeiling mount or stand
Aqua Training BagFrom $189Vinyl1-year75 to 195 pounds; Stand weighs 76 poundsCeiling mount or stand

How we chose the best punching bag

This list was compiled with the help of boxing experts Michael Olajide Jr., a boxing trainer with Centr, and certified personal trainer Noah Neiman, co-founder of Rumble Boxing. We also combed through listing details and customer reviews to provide extra details about purchasing, unpacking, and setup.

FAQ

Is a standing punching bag better than hanging?

A standing punching bag is not better than a hanging bag. Which one you choose depends on the type of training you want to do and your circumstances.

Hanging bags allow you to train footwork, timing, and other skills that standing bags cannot. However, standing bags are more convenient if you want to avoid anchoring a bag to your ceiling or wall or using a stand.

Do you need gloves to hit the heavy bag?

Yes, you likely need gloves to hit a heavy bag. Most importantly, you need hand wraps. Some soft-filled bags can be hit without gloves, but wraps are always necessary to protect your wrists and knuckles.

The takeaway

Home punching bags are a fun and exhilarating way to get fit, learn new skills, practice self-defense, and burn off stress. The best bag for you depends on your budget, training style, and circumstances. Hanging bags offer more versatility when learning skills such as footwork and timing, but free-standing bags are an excellent choice for those who can't anchor a bag or accommodate a stand. If you're working on your home exercise setup, check out our picks for the best gym equipment of 2023.

Meet The Experts

Rachel Macpherson is a CPT and certified nutrition coach.