You rarely hear or read about people wondering about what the best free standing punching bags are. This is primarily because traditional heavy bags are the go-to piece of equipment for boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA training.
Heavy bags are designed to absorb heavier strikes and are a great tool to develop power and speed. They fit well in a boxing or martial arts gym, where most of the dedicated combat sports practitioners train for hours on end.
What if people want to bring the experience of striking a heavy bag into their homes or personal gyms? Would it be possible, given the installation and space requirements? Enter the freestanding punching bag.
A freestanding punching bag, unlike hanging heavy bags (considered to be the overall best), is a punching bag which attaches to a heavy base, typically filled with water or sand.
For those that are interested to learn more about what a freestanding punching bag is and what such a bag can offer, you should definitely continue reading!
Different Types of Free Standing Punching Bags
Although not discussed as much, it is important to talk about the general categories under freestanding punching bags. Each bag in this list serves a particular purpose, and it may even serve you well, if you have the budget, to buy each bag for your home or personal gym facility.
Standard Freestanding Punching Bag
The standard freestanding bag is one of the oldest and most common heavy punching bags in the market.
The appearance of this heavy bag resembles a large cylinder. The striking area of the bag is connected to a heavy base filled with either water or sand.
This bag is commonly used in home gym set-ups and is meant to replace the standard hanging heavy bag.
Dummy Freestanding Punching Bag
A dummy freestanding punching bag, as the name gives away, is a punching bag that assumes the shape and form of a dummy (or human being).
This bag is usually an upper body (torso) with a head attached to mimic actual fight situations.
People utilize this bag when they want to make more precise strikes and differentiate head strikes from body strikes.
Hybrid Punching Bag
The hybrid punching bag, although similar to the standard freestanding punch bag, contains certain features or aspects that are not normally seen in the latter.
For example, hybrid punching bags have top handles for fitness enthusiasts to hold to create clinch situations to land knee strikes and even elbow strikes.
There are also freestanding bags that have unique shapes in the center or even a different base or platform to provide a different striking experience.
Reflex Standing Bag
With a design and purpose that are significantly different from its family of freestanding bags, the reflex standing bag could possibly be in a category of its own.
The reflex standing bag is essentially a ball attached to any solid base, both of which are connected by a sturdy, flexible pole.
Professional boxers (ex. Ryan Garcia) use this piece of equipment to work on punches, strikes, and combinations with precision, accuracy, timing, speed, and defensive maneuvers.
If you're looking to improve on your reflexes, agility, and overall quickness, then this product is what you require.
Benefits of Free Standing Punching Bags
Unlike a heavy bag, which needs a lot of space for swinging motions and installation, a free-standing bag requires significantly less space for effective operation.
All you require would be a space that is at least twice (or thrice) the surface dimensions of the free-standing bag you get to allow you to freely move and practice your strikes, footwork, and defensive maneuvers.
Heavy bags or hanging bags are very pricey. Not only should you consider the cost of the bag, but you should also consider the shipping charge (size and weight significantly increase the fees), cost of the necessary installation tools such as the mount, the bracket, and the chain (from which you hang the heavy bag), as well as the cost of installation for anyone unable to set up the bag by themself.
A free-standing bag is much simpler. Most of these bags are packaged light (except for bags with pre-filled bases), do not take up as much space in transit (leading to cheaper costs), and can be filled up (with water or sand) and placed anywhere in your house or personal gym all on your own.
As discussed in detail in the previous section, free-standing bags come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what purpose you need the bag to fulfill.
Standard and hybrid freestanding punching bags are versatile. A dummy freestanding bag offers a more realistic striking experience. The reflex freestanding bag is a good alternative to the double-end or floor-to-ceiling bag.
Once you find a spot for your heavy bag, you will find it extremely difficult and time-consuming to relocate it should you need to.
Luckily, for a free-standing bag, the mobility and portability is top-notch. You can simply place it on a dolly, slide a slippery rug underneath, or simply move it with force all on your own (or possibly with a friend).
If this method is a bit challenging, you can simply remove the filling inside the base of the bag and then relocate the equipment.
Installation can be inexplicably gruesome for hanging heavy bags.
If you do not plan to dedicate a large space and large wall or ceiling to the heavy bag, you might as well go with the easier to use and easier to install free-standing bag.
Things and Factors to Consider Before Buying a Free Standing Punching Bag
Yes, we can all acknowledge that compared to a hanging heavy bag, the free-standing bag is more efficient with space.
However, we still have to account for the space needed by this type of bag. Ensure that you have an empty location in your residence or personal gym where you could place this piece of equipment.
Another important factor to consider is location, or more specifically, the surface underneath the bag. Try to avoid uneven and slippery surfaces such as tiled floors and waxed wooden floors.
If possible, have a mat underneath just to provide the bag with more stability to reduce incidents of slippage.
Users & Adjustability
You must also consider the kind of users of this piece of equipment.
If you're relatively tall and have other roommates or family members that are on the shorter side in terms of height, then you may have to consider purchasing a bag that has multiple height adjustment configurations.
Another important yet severely overlooked aspect is cleaning and maintenance.
When you have a piece of equipment as large and heavy as this, it is easy to ignore the signs of damage or wear and tear.
To ensure that you maintain the quality and performance of the free standing heavy bag, regularly check for damage such as holes or leaks in the base.
Durability and Materials
You must also consider the bag durability.
Sure, the manufacturer may boast about how the product will last for several years or decades, but you always have to go back to what type of material is used and how it would typically hold up against intense or frequent use.
For this factor, it is best to do your research on user reviews to find honest and accurate feedback.
Size and Height
As mentioned earlier, the size and height of the equipment is an important factor to consider, especially when there are multiple users of the product.
Another perspective to look at is how you plan to use the bag. Some bags are specifically designed for punches and elbows only, while others are long enough and wide enough to accommodate a whole variety of strikes.
Make sure to choose the right dimensions and not just focus on how heavy and stable the bag can be.
Brand, Pricing, Warranty
Like with any investment, it is always important to check the reputation of the brand, the pricing and value of the item in comparison to its competitors, and the aftersales or warranty terms and conditions of the product.
Make sure to have these three factors in your checklist, especially when it comes to orders made online. Ensure that a return or refund policy is listed and if not, check if there are nearby service centers to handle your concern with the product if there are any defects or damage.
The Best Free Standing Punching Bags in the Market
There have been a lot of candidates over the years for our list of the best free standing punching bags, but if we are talking about a bag that not only looks the part but also offers stellar performance and industry-leading durability, the following ten are our favorites.
Spoiler alert - this will not be the only time you will see this manufacture in our top ten list of the best free-standing punching bags.
First off, we offer to you the Century Wavemaster XXL. This bag is manufacturing using premium-quality durable vinyl and high-quality foam.
In the segment of free standing punching bags, this product is one of the heavy bags, weighing in at around 270 pounds when filled with sand or water. It stands at a whopping 60 inches and presents a diameter of 18 inches.
For anyone looking for a fight simulator, then this is one of the heavy bags definitely worth considering.
Overall, the Wavemaster XXL is sturdy and rigid, but is surprisingly flexible and forgiving, regardless of punching power or punching speed.
The obvious downside to this product that it's one of the heavy bags in the free-standing punching bag category, but this should not be a problem once it is installed in your residence or personal gym.
Say hello once again to Century as it presents to you the Century Versys VS1 Fight Simulator.
For those looking for a smaller equivalent of the Wavemaster XXL, this should get your attention. Weighing in at a humble 100 or so pounds, the Versys VS1 Fight Simulator is a bag that is built to outlast even the heaviest of striking barrages.
This product is built like a heavy bag, but is designed to be portable as well as being easy to install. The product comes with a pre-filled base for instant use right out of the box and simulates a natural rebound and swing that, in some ways, resembles the actual fighting experience.
If you're looking to develop your accuracy, speed, power, balance, footwork, and agility, then you can trust your development on this product.
If you need more convincing, this product also has top handles to allow martial arts users to practice their knee strikes and simulate clinch drills.
Athletes looking for a multi-purpose martial arts free-standing bag the does not need a pouring of sand or water, this is one of your best bets.
We may seem to have a bias for the brand, but you should realize by now that this company has such amazing products that come in all shapes and sizes, regardless of what field of martial arts you decide to pursue.
The Century BOB XL is what people can fondly call a "body opponent" as it comes in the form of a tough, human torso with a head for fantastic fight simulation workouts.
With this product, you can accurately simulate head strikes and body strikes right down to the actual striking surface on the bag.
When filled, it holds about 270 pounds of sand and water, which means that this big boy punching bag belongs to the heavy bag category.
If you would like to feel your leg kicks digging into the abdomen of your training equipment or simulating that wonderful jab-straight-uppercut combo you plan to finish your next opponent with, then look no further than this product right here.
Moving on from Century (but not for long), we have an amazing entry from Everlast - the Everlast Power Core Bag.
The Power Core Heavy Bag is an excellent option for fitness enthusiasts capable of chaining a barrage of heavy, powerful strikes.
Just looking at the heavy bag gives you the assurance that it can take an absolute pummeling, whether it be from jabs, straights, hooks, or uppercuts.
The product sports a sturdy frame that has a unique air-foam chamber to provide a realistic feel during training sessions.
Everlast also claims that it has a power transferring system that absorbs significant impact while minimizing the risk of slippage or movement of the base.
Weighing in at a whopping 340 pounds, for those looking for a mean, free-standing, heavy bag machine, this should be one of your stronger heavy bag candidates.
We now get back to regular programming with a tested and proven bag, the Century Aerobic Wavemaster.
Weighing in at approximately 170 pounds (when filled with sand/water), the Aerobic Wavemaster does not disappoint.
For its price point, it is deemed one of the best bags out there. For any form of martial arts, this bag is meant for medium to low-impact training to improve cardiovascular fitness, speed, timing, and accuracy.
If you would like to test out your martial arts skills on a heavy bag without breaking the bank, the Aerobic Wavemaster is one of the best options in the market today.
When talking about stability, durability, and sufficient weight to absorb the harshest of strikes, the Ringside Elite Standing Punching Heavy Bag is the perfect match.
It has a very wide and stable 32-inch by 10-inch base with a relatively low center of gravity. When filled with sand or water, it weighs in at roughly 270 pounds, like a few of the Century products, but the way the heavy bag is attached to the base is what sets it apart from its competitors.
The Elite Standing Punching Heavy Bag is equipped with a spring-loaded core that allows the heavy bag to absorb nasty blows without any slippage or movement of the base.
Standing at 6 feet and 4 inches, this product will allow you to practice strikes from different heights and angles. Many individuals consider this heavy bag to be good for practicing head kicks and simulating strikes to a taller opponent.
Our penultimate Century product is none other than the Century Powerline Wavemaster.
The Powerline Wavemaster inherits all the positive qualities of the Century Original Master and elevates the experience for martial arts practitioners.
This product features two times as much foam as its predecessor and can be adjusted to eight configurations (between and including 47 inches and 68 inches). This is perfect for a family or group of friends that are of different heights or sizes.
You can fill up the base with sand or water up to 260 pounds but you can choose to experiment with the weight, depending on how you plan to use the product.
With its amazing height versatility and durability, this product is one of the best punching bag choices for any martial arts athlete.
Coming from another well-known, reputable brand in the martial arts industry, Everlast offers the Everlast Everflex Free Standing Heavy Bag.
This bag, like a few of the previously mentioned heavy bags, is very versatile and stable. The Everflex Heavy Bag allows for three height options, providing the opportunity for adjustment depending on the athlete's or fitness enthusiasts' height or size.
It only comes in one color (black), but if you're looking for a piece of equipment to add to your personal or home gym, just unbox this product, fill the base with sand or water, and you are ready to rock!
With Century's last entry in our top 10 list of free-standing punching bags, we present you with the classic Century Original Wavemaster Freestanding Heavy Punching Bag.
The product name may be a needlessly long mouthful, but for individuals looking for a more affordable (yet durable) bag, the Original Wavemaster Heavy Punching Bag may just be the right product for you.
Made in the USA, the Original Wavemaster offers seven height configurations, can be filled with sand or water (up to approximately 250 pounds) and provides optimal resistance and quick rebounds for that exquisite training experience.
The product comes in three colors (black, blue, and red), and is considered to be the more affordable variant of the other Century candidates in this list.
With our last entry in the list, we present you with an underrated heavy bag from a lesser-known manufacturer. We offer you the Max Strength 6FT Free Standing Punch Bag.
For individuals looking for a great bargain and value for money, this product is just for you.
This product is easy to assemble and disassemble and can be utilized in personal gyms or even health and fitness clubs.
This heavy bag is relatively inexpensive, stands at roughly 6-feet, does not require any wall-mounts or hanging mechanisms, and can withstand all kinds of strikes.
Simply fill this heavy bag with sand or water and you are ready to go!
Frequently Asked Questions about the Free Standing Punching Bag
1. Are free standing punching bags any good?
Free standing punching bags (or freestanding heavy bags) are excellent for individuals looking for an easy way to install a punching bag in their homes for general cardio and training workouts. Also, if your house or place of residence is not spacious or is unable to provide a space to mount a platform to hang a heavy bag, then get a free standing punching bag (or from an alternate perspective, fight simulator body opponent).
2. How do I stop my free standing punching bag from moving?
To stop your free standing punching bag (or freestanding heavy bag) from constantly moving with every strike thrown, simply time your shots and land them accurately, and avoid pushing the bag. A common mistake that beginners also do when using the bag or standing bag is they get too aggressive and forget head movement, footwork, and not to push with the punches. Practice makes perfect in this scenario.
3. Is a standing punching bag any better than a hanging one?
A standing punching bag, also known as the free-standing bag is not better than a hanging bag in all aspects, but it does have its advantages. Standing bags are more mobile, weigh less, are easy to install and set up, and can also provide the same degree of calorie-burning activities that a standard heavy bag provides.
4. What are the best punching bags?
The best bags usually belong under the heavy bag category rather than the standing bag category, but if we are exclusively talking about standing bags, then there are a lot of candidates to take note of. Look for a heavy free-standing bag or training bag that has durable vinyl, water or sand as a base filler, and other factors that are mentioned in this article. The Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag is considered a great free standing punching bag for adults and arguably the best free standing punching bag for Muay Thai. You also have to remember that punching bags are typically seen as a fight simulator or body opponent, so it is best to choose wisely.
You would find it rather difficult to get people aboard the free-standing heavy bag train because traditionally, a hanging training bag would get the job done in all training aspects.
However, the boxing industry should acknowledge the fact that the common tendency is for people to get to know boxing from the comfort of their homes through television and no longer through physical sports retailers and live in-person boxing events.
As such, free-standing heavy bags have been a hot piece of equipment for home and personal use, especially if the space allotted for boxing and large, heavy, free-standing equipment is not that great.
Our Favorite: The Best Free Standing Punch Bag
When it comes to our favorite free-standing boxing bag, we would have to pick the Century Wavemaster XXL free-standing boxing bag as the best free standing punching bag.
This bag is extra large, allowing for a wide striking surface. The striking surface is also made of high quality durable vinyl material.
It sports a lower-profile base and offers stable weight distribution. You can choose to fill the base with either water or sand, it weighs approximately 270 pounds and also stands 69 inches tall with an 18-inch diameter.
Simply because we are talking about the best free standing punching bags, we have to congratulate Century for an amazing job for landing in our top 10 list a total of six times. If you're in the market for a heavy bag and are unsure of which to pick, you should definitely get a hold of this piece of equipment and give it a chance.