What Punching Bag Should I Buy For At-Home Use?
We believe that boxing is one of the most effective at-home workouts. In order to set up an at-home boxing gym, an essential piece of equipment is the punching bag. There are several free-standing punching bags and punching bags with stands to choose from.
We tested three (3) free-standing punching bags that are on the market today to decide which is the BEST punching bag for at-home boxing workouts:
- Everlast Elite Series
- FightCamp Bag
- Everlast Powercore
These heavy bags were tested by three (3) boxers:
- Flo Master (@flomaster73), Lifetime martial artist & professional dancer
- Coach PJ (@trainwithPJ), Heavyweight boxer
- Mike Rashid (@mikerashid), Heavyweight boxer
These heavy bags were evaluated on four (4) different performance factors following a one-minute intense boxing and kickboxing workout consisting of boxing punch combinations and kickboxing moves.
Bag Performance Factors
Distance Traveled - How much does the bag move when you hit it?
Noise - How much noise does it make when you hit it?
Tilt - How much does it tilt when you hit it?
Feel - How does it feel when you hit it?
Everlast Elite Series
Distance Traveled - 32”; 54”; 27”
Noise - Could hear the impacts of both punches and kicks and was fairly loud compared to some other bags; with stronger impacts, the base would lift off of the ground and slam back down
Tilt - Tilted a bit when hit and almost tipped over during a few hard punches; base lifted off of the ground as well
Feel - Did not feel very sturdy since it moved so much during testing; had significant “drop down” and fell down on its retaining pole during testing; only padded at the top making it difficult for kickboxing combinations and low kicks; cannot extend to proper training height for taller boxers
Distance Traveled - 0”; 0”; 0”
Noise - There is some impact noise when kicked and punched, but the base did not lift off of the floor during testing
Tilt - Did not appear to tilt much at all
Feel - Felt very sturdy and stable, likely due to the base ring; large amount of training surface area; great for both punching workouts and kickboxing combinations; good shock absorption and cushion which helps for injury prevention
Distance Traveled - 24”; 21”; 36”
Noise - Could hear impacts of both punches and kicks and was fairly loud compared to some other bags, however, the spring action did lesson some of the noise; with stronger impacts, the base would lift off of the ground and slam back down
Tilt - Tilted a bit when contact was made, but sprang back quickly; base of the bag would lift off of the ground
Feel - Despite the base being substantial and holding a lot of sand, the bag still moved when kicked and punched; only padded at the top and the plastic portion on the bottom makes it unsafe for kickboxing workouts; bag lock system was not effective and did not adequately secure the top to the base as Coach PJ knocked the bag off of its retaining pole performing uppercuts during testing
Is a Punching Bag Worth It?
The short answer is yes, and here is why. A punching bag allows you to practice almost every move that you would use in a traditional boxing or kickboxing match. Practicing against air can only get you so far--this is known as shadowboxing. A punching bag gives you resistance and the illusion of an opponent. This way, you can figure out your own style of fighting. That, combined with the stress relief that comes from hitting the bag for a while, makes a punching bag well worth the cost.
Is a Standing Punching Bag Better Than a Hanging Punching Bag?
This is mostly up to the individual. It depends on your training needs and the space you have available. For example, if your training needs are to simulate a real fight, a hanging bag might be more appropriate for you since the swinging motion of the bag after you hit it is more like a real fight. If your space doesn’t allow for a hanging bag to be permanently installed to the ceiling or you don’t have space for a hanging bag rack, then you might want to get a free standing heavy bag. Both hanging punching bags and free-standing punching bags have advantages and disadvantages.
Hanging Punching Bags
- More resistance
- Multiple workout variations
- Do not take up a lot of floor space
- Able to swing which simulates a real fight more than a bag that doesn’t swing. This can be helpful for training.
- Can be tricky to install
- Require a lot of room to accommodate the swinging motion
- Not portable
Free-Standing Punching Bags
- Do not take up much open space
- Offer a different level of resistance and weight
- Easy to set up, not requiring hooks or brackets for installation
- Typically not be as stable and can topple over
- Typically not as durable
- Not able to swing
When choosing a bag, make sure to evaluate what you will be using it for. This will help you when it comes to selecting and purchasing the right punching bag for you.
Purchasing Your First Bag
There are a few things to consider when buying your first bag. First--the durability and quality. You do not want a bag that will fall apart after the first training session.
Next, think about price. Consider your budget and the reviews of the bags you are looking at. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the bag fit your needs?
- Do you plan on upgrading once you become more experienced?
- Is this a good bag for beginners?
These questions and considerations will lead you down the path to getting the best bag at a good value that will suit your needs.
What Is The Best Punching Bag To Buy?
Over the years many companies have released all sorts of punching bags, some are high quality and well worth the money, while others are better left…at the store. Buying your first punching bag can be intimidating, especially if you are new to combat sports.
It can be overwhelming when trying to decide what punching bag to buy. But once you decide on your needs, your space, and the price you’re willing to pay, a punching bag will be a valuable investment for your at-home boxing space and will help you train better and more effectively.
The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years of experience training clients in boxing and fitness.