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March 21, 2023
Whether you're a boxer, martial artist, or general fitness enthusiast, a punching bag represents excellent training equipment. Punching bag workouts burn a ton of calories while also working your upper body muscles, improving stamina, speed, coordination, and endurance.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to buying a punching bag. You must know what to look for to get the best bag to meet your training goals. This article will lay out the eight best punching bags across various categories. We've also got an in-depth look into the research-supported benefits of punching bag training and a complete punching bag buyer's guide.
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The Everlast Single Station ranks as our top overall punching bag due to its completeness, applicability to all experience levels, and portability. This freestanding unit provides you with a solid and secure stand, an anchor mechanism with a chain, a pre-filled bag, and even a pair of boxing gloves and hand wraps!
The 70 lb heavy bag arrives pre-filled, so all there is left to do is assemble the stand, attach the bag, and you're ready to train. Assembly is pretty straightforward and should take just a few minutes. I gave this bag a 3-minute workout, and it was impressively stable and secure. I like that the base of the stand had weight plate holders. Throw on a couple of 20-pound plates, and this stand won't be going anywhere!
The bag had a good amount of density and will be good for beginners and more experienced boxers alike. Unlike many heavy bags, it doesn't feel overly stiff when you first hit it, so there is no breaking-in period required here.
Priced at a little over $300, the Everlast Single Station punching bag represents very good value for money.
The Century Wavemaster XXL is our favorite freestanding punching bag due to a combination of factors, including its slim profile and sturdy base. At the height of 69 inches, this one isn't too high to rule out compact workout spaces. Unlike some freestanding setups, this one doesn't have an obstructive frame that gets in the way of your movement when working out.
This is a full-length heavy bag that allows you to practice low kicks and other moves that you cannot do on most heavy bags. The vinyl outer material provides a quality striking surface, and the high-density foam inside won't cave in when you punch it.
To support the base, you can add up to 270 lbs of either water or sand. At the point of purchase, you can choose between a blue or red punching bag,
The Outslayer Heavy Bag is a 100 lb bag that has a length of 55 inches. That is considerably longer than most heavy bags, providing you with more striking options. It's filled with fabric and covered with a vinyl outer. When you strike this bag, it won't cave in or sag the way that many bags that are filled with sand do.
You're able to choose between 7 color ranges for this heavy-duty punching bag. The bag attaches to the anchor mechanism by way of heavy-duty nylon straps. Many people prefer nylon to chains because they are quieter and less likely to get tangled up.
This heavy bag is super durable. It features quadruple stitching to take all the punishment you can throw at it. If that's not peace of mind enough, your purchase is also protected by an impressive 10-year warranty.
The Outslayer Muay Thai Bag is the best bag for practicing Muay Thai that we have yet come across. A Muay Thai bag is long and cylindrical with a tapering shape resembling a carrot, being wider at the top and thinner at the bottom. Fighters can practice kicks, knees, and other typical Muay Thai strikes using this design.
At a length of 6 feet, this hanging punching bag is longer than most punching bags. This allows fighters to practice full-body strikes, like low kicks and knee strikes. With a weight of 130 lbs, this Outslayer bag is heavier than a regular punching bag too. This extra weight enables fighters to increase the strength and force of their attacks.
Outstanding Outslayer Muay Thai Bag features are quadruple ply hanging straps, chrome plated steel d-rings, quadruple backstitching, and a bottom D-ring to secure the bottom of the bag to the floor. You are also covered by Outslayer's 10-year warranty.
The Century Bob XL Punching Bag is probably the coolest you will come across. This freestanding bag is the form of a man's torso. I've done a few rounds on this bag, and there's just something about the human form that gives you greater motivation to throw yourself into the workout. The men's figure goes from the head all the way to the knees, allowing you to strike the groin and upper leg areas.
You can adjust the bag from 60 to 82 inches so you can practice on opponents with different heights. The figure is made from high-strength plastisol. Inside is a dense urethane foam. This material won't crush when you strike or leave any indentations or hollows.
To keep the bag secure, you can fill the base with up to 270 lbs of sand or water. Your purchase comes with a 12-month warranty.
Everlast is one of the most well-known and respected names in the boxing industry, so it should be no surprise that the brand appears three times on our list of the eight best punching bags. Their speed bag is manufactured from top-quality leather and filled with air. The seams are reinforced for extra durability.
A key aspect of a speed bag is its balance and rebound. The Everlast Speed Bag gets high marks in this regard. It is well-balanced and has a consistent rebound. This helps you to better develop your hand speed and coordination without having to deal with erratic movement.
This speed bag comes in two sizes; the medium-sized bag is 9 x 6 inches, while the large bag is 10 x 7 inches. You can also choose between a black or gold speed bag.
As the name suggests, the Everlast Hydrostrike is a water-filled punching bag. It can be either hung from the ceiling or fitted into a transportable stand, which you will have to buy separately. Punching a water-filled bag is a comfortable experience, being more forgiving than other materials. You also don't have to worry about indentations being formed in the bag.
This 100 lb bag has more of a teardrop shape than traditional heavy bags. It's also not as long, so it may not be a good choice if you want to practice low kicks or groin strikes. However, the responsiveness and forgiving impact of the bag make this a good choice for beginners.
The Boxerpoint Double End punching bag is a floor-to-ceiling mounted bag that is about the size of a speed bag. It is great for practicing your speed, timing, and accuracy as its movement simulates a living, breathing opponent. The bungee cords that attach the bag to the ceiling and floor are fully adjustable, so you change the height of the bag as you desire.
Your purchase of the Boxerpoint Double End bag comes complete with an air pump, carry bag, and hand wraps. This unit is easy to assemble and completely transportable. It also takes a very little space, with a bag diameter of 7 inches, making it ideal for trainers with limited workout space available.
This double-end bag is made from durable PU leather and features double stitching for greater strength. The 41-inch cords will work with any ceiling height/
Punching bags provide a range of physical and mental health benefits. Here's an overview of the eight key benefits of working out with a punching bag.
Punching a bag demands physical exercise, which has been shown to be a highly effective stress reducer. Endorphins are naturally occurring mood enhancers that are released after physical activity that can make you feel more upbeat and calm.
Punching a punching bag is also a good way to release stress and bottled-up energy. It can help you feel more in control of your surroundings and your emotions.
One study looked at the effects of punching bag workouts on stress and aggression in young men. Thirty-six participants were randomly put in either a workout or a control group. The workout group exercised for 45 minutes, while the control group rested during that time.
After six weeks, the punching bag workout group had significantly lower stress and aggression levels than the control group. The researchers concluded that exercising on a punching bag is an effective means of stress and aggression reduction.¹
Training on a punching bag works multiple muscle groups while also challenging your aerobic system. This makes for an effective full-body workout.
Punching a bag is a high-intensity exercise that can be beneficial for the heart. It can help you burn calories, enhance endurance, and improve heart and lung health.
Upper body muscles, such as those in the arms, shoulders, chest, and back, are also worked out on a punching bag. Regular punching bag workouts can increase muscle tone, strength, and endurance.
Punching the bag also requires the activation of the core muscles to stabilize the body while moving.
Working out on a punching bag doesn't require much space. Because the bag takes up such a small footprint, it is a great option for people who don't have a lot of workout space. You should ensure that there is a six-foot diameter of space around the bag to allow for full, unrestricted movement.
Because it calls for the synchronization of numerous distinct motor skills and motions, punching a bag can be an effective way to improve coordination. To punch a bag accurately, you need to have good hand-eye coordination. You can enhance your capacity to sync your hand motions with your visual perception by spending time on a punching bag.
Effective boxing coordination requires coordination of lower and upper body movement. Practicing a range of striking combos and footwork drills on the bag can enhance your ability to coordinate your actions and maintain balance.
You need to have good timing to hit the bag at just the right moment. Punching a bag repeatedly will improve your timing and rhythm.
When punching a bag, you need to contract your core muscles to stay balanced and steady as you move around the bag. This can help in enhancing core stability and strength, both of which are necessary for proper balance.
Punching bag exercises frequently entail footwork and movement around the bag, which calls for maintaining equilibrium and coordination. Your capacity to maintain balance while moving around the bag can be enhanced by a range of footwork techniques.
Punching bag workouts call for swift motions and reactions, which can enhance your capacity to react fast and keep your balance in a variety of circumstances.
Training on a punching bag also forces you to pay attention to your body's position and movements, which can help you develop body awareness or proprioception.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at how collegiate boxers' balance and core stability were affected by a six-week boxing training regimen. Twenty male collegiate boxers who were trained for six weeks on a punching bag were participants in the study.
The study's findings demonstrated that the boxers' balance and core stability were greatly enhanced by their training regimen. The movements and demands of punching bag workouts, which call for the utilization of core muscles and balance management throughout movements, are credited by researchers with improving balance.
The researchers came to the conclusion that punching bag exercises included in boxing training regimens can help athletes with their balance and core stability.²
Muscle groups in the upper body, such as the back, shoulders, arms, and chest, must be used when punching a bag. Over time, the muscles involved in punching become more active and stronger.
The core muscles must be used during punching bag exercises to stabilize the body while moving. Punching posture and balance must be maintained by the core muscles, which include the lower back, obliques, and abs. Frequent use of a punching bag can help increase stability and core strength.
Muscular endurance, or the body's capacity to carry out work over an extended length of time, can also be improved through punching bag exercises.
The impact of punching bag exercise on the strength and endurance of collegiate women's upper body muscles was investigated in a 2017 study that appeared in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. Twenty-seven women who took part in a six-week punching bag fitness regimen were included in the study.
The study's findings demonstrated that the women's upper body muscular endurance and power were greatly increased by the punching bag exercise regimen. The special demands of punching bag exercise, which calls for the use of upper body and core muscles as well as cardiovascular endurance, were identified by the researchers as the cause of the strength gains.³
Working out on a punching bag will provide you with a vigorous cardiovascular workout that can burn a lot of calories quickly. Punching repeatedly raises the heart rate, which can help in fat burning and improves cardiovascular endurance.
Punching bag exercises work various muscle groups in the upper body, lower body, and core, providing a full-body workout. Overall muscle mass can be increased by doing this, which can lead to increased metabolism and fat burning.
Punching bag workouts can also be set up for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which alternates between rest intervals and times of high-intensity exercise. It has been demonstrated that this kind of exercise is efficient at burning fat and enhancing cardiovascular health.
Exercise using a punching bag can potentially cause EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This is when your body's increased demand for oxygen after a workout boosts the metabolism for several hours post-exercise.
One study looked at the fat-burning effects of high-intensity punching bag workouts. Ten healthy men completed a 30-minute HIIT-style punching bag workout for several weeks. The results showed significant increases in energy expenditure and fat oxidation. The researchers concluded that punching bag workouts were an effective means of fat-burning exercise.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine in 2013 examined the energy expenditure and fat-burning effects of a high-intensity punching bag workout. The study included ten healthy men who completed a 30-minute high-intensity punching bag workout.⁴
Punching bag workouts can boost people's self-esteem and confidence. They may feel more assured in their abilities and feel better about themselves as they become stronger while also improving their movement skills.
Punching drills need concentration and focus, which can enhance the mind-body connection. People can increase their awareness of their own bodies and their capacity for movement control by concentrating on the motions and techniques of boxing.
Frequent exercise, such as punching drills, can also help lessen the signs and symptoms of depression.
The impact of a 12-week boxing program on adult mental health was investigated in a study that was published in the International Journal of Sport Psychology in 2020. Forty adults who had completed a 12-week boxing course that included punching bags were a part of the study.
The study's findings demonstrated that the boxing program dramatically improved mental health outcomes, including lower levels of anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. The program's participants engaged in physical activity, engaged in social interaction, and felt a sense of success, according to the researchers, which contributed to the improvements in their mental health.
The researchers came to the conclusion that adult mental health outcomes can be improved by the use of boxing regimens, which include punching bag workouts.⁵
When you're in the market for a punching bag, there are several things to take into account to make sure you get a product that's going to do the job you want it to do. Here are seven key considerations:
There are several types of punching bags to choose from, so it's important that you think about the type of bag you'll need to meet your training goals. Here are the main types of bags and what to consider for each:
Heavy bag: These large, cylindric hanging bags are often suspended from a stand or from the ceiling. Punches, kicks, and other strikes can be practiced on a heavy bag. Think about the bag's dimensions, weight, and contents when selecting a heavy bag, as well as its construction and durability.
Freestanding bag: A bag that stands erect by itself and typically rests on a base that is filled with sand or water is referred to as a freestanding bag. It is made to be used without a ceiling or a stand to practice punches and kicks. Think about the bag's height, weight, stability, durability, and material when selecting a freestanding bag.
Speed Bag: A speed bag is a smaller, pear-shaped bag that is usually installed on a stand or platform but may also be suspended from the ceiling. It is designed to help boxers improve their hand speed, dexterity, eye-hand coordination, and punching precision. When buying a speed bag, check the shape, size, material, and durability of the bag. The most popular option is a leather speed bag.
Double-Ended Bag: This small round bag is usually suspended between two bungee cords running from the floor to the ceiling. This bag is ideal for footwork, hand accuracy, and speed work. Check the bag's size and shape, as well as the tension and durability of the bungee cord.
A punching bag's weight, density, and feel are all influenced by the fill material. These are some things to think about while choosing the fill material:
Sand: Sand is a typical filler used in heavy bags. Punches and kicks can easily land on it because it is hefty and dense. Sand, however, has a tendency to settle with time, making the bag lumpy and uneven.
Water: A common filler used in freestanding bags. Compared to other fill materials, it has a more realistic feel and can be weighted to the desired level. Yet moving and storing water-filled bags can be quite challenging.
Foam: Foam is a fill material that is lightweight and frequently used in conjunction with other materials, including sand or water. For beginners or those who have hand or joint issues, foam offers a softer target that can be helpful.
Rags or cloth: Although this material is cheap and lightweight, it has the potential to compress over time, decreasing the density of the bag.
Combination Fill: To provide a more balanced and long-lasting bag, certain punching bags may combine fill materials, including sand, water, foam, and cloth.
The bag's longevity, comfort, and maintenance can all be influenced by its material. Here are some things to think about when choosing a bag material:
Leather: High-end punching bags are frequently made of premium leather. Leather bags are prized for their durability, sturdiness, and texture. However, they are quite a bit more expensive than other options.
Synthetic leather: Synthetic leather is more affordable than real leather. It can imitate the look and feel of genuine leather and is long-lasting, requiring little maintenance. Synthetic leather bags, though, don't feel the same and might not be as sturdy as genuine leather bags.
Canvas: Heavy-duty canvas is frequently used in the construction of heavy bags. It can resist a great deal of wear and tear and is cheap. Canvas bags, however, do not have as much give as leather bags, which could affect how the bag feels.
Vinyl: Vinyl, a synthetic material, is frequently used to make inexpensive punching bags. It is lightweight, inexpensive, and simple to clean. Vinyl bags, however, may not feel as good as leather or canvas bags and might not be as strong as other materials.
The shape of a punching bag will affect your ability to practice different types of punches and kicks and will impact how the bag feels. Consider the following while choosing the bag's shape:
Cylindrical: Punching bags of this shape are the most common and are used to practice punches, kicks, and other strikes.
Teardrop: Punching bags in the shape of a teardrop are ideal for practicing body punches, hooks, and uppercuts. You can practice different types of strikes thanks to their different widths at the bottom and top.
Double-End: Double-end punching bags are used for developing footwork, accuracy, and quickness. They are suspended from the ceiling and the floor with elastic cables or bungee cords, and they are often smaller and rounder than conventional punching bags.
Speed Bag: Speed bags are small, pear-shaped devices used for honing hand dexterity, accuracy, and coordination. They can be filled with air or other materials to generate the appropriate rebound and are frequently installed on a platform or stand.
The bag's weight will influence the bag's stability, resistance, and impact. Here are some things to consider:
Your Skill Level: It is preferable to start with a lighter bag if you are a beginner in order to prevent injury and develop your technique. You can then gradually increase the weight of the bag to challenge your skills and increase resistance as you advance.
Your Workout Goals: Your training objectives and the bag's weight should line up. A lighter bag might be more appropriate for speed and agility training. A heavier bag might be more appropriate for power and endurance training.
The Kind of Strikes: Depending on the type of strike, the bag should be heavier or lighter. To practice power punches, for instance, heavy bags may need to be heavier than those used to practice speed punches.
Your Body Weight: Choosing the weight of the bag should take into account your own body weight. Generally speaking, the bag should be at least half as heavy as you are.
Filling: The sort of filling a bag contains might change how much it weighs. For instance, sand-filled bags are usually heavier than bags packed with foam.
The following factors should be taken into account when considering the size of your new punching bag:
Available Space: The punching bag's size should be appropriate for the area that is available. A smaller bag might be more practical if your space is restricted.
Ceiling Height: If you intend to hang the bag from the ceiling, be sure that the height of the ceiling will accommodate the length of the bag. As a general rule, provide at least 6 inches of space between the bag and the ground.
Training Goals: The punching bag size should correspond to your training objectives. A smaller bag would be more appropriate if you're practicing for speed and precision. A larger bag would be more appropriate if you're working on your power and endurance.
User Height: The punching bag's size needs to match the user's height. A smaller bag might be more convenient for a shorter individual, whereas a larger bag might be preferred by a taller person.
Weight: The punching bag's weight may vary depending on its size. Larger bags may weigh more, which can provide resistance and complexity to workouts.
Location: If you'll be moving the bag frequently, a smaller, lighter bag may be best for you.
To prevent damage to the floors or walls during use, make sure the bag is stable and won't topple over. Here are some stability-related considerations:
Base: The base of a freestanding punching bag should be solid enough to sustain the bag's weight and resist the impact of the blows. Also, the base needs to be non-slip and non-marking to keep it from rolling around or damaging the floors.
Hanging Mechanism: If you're buying a hanging bag. Check that the hanging mechanism is strong and stable to avoid the bag swaying or toppling over while in use.
Chain: The chain or straps used to connect the bag to the hanging mechanism must be sturdy enough to support the weight of the bag.
The best punching bag for you will depend on what your training goals are and your level of boxing experience.
A number of factors, such as the person's fitness level, workout objectives, and training expertise, will determine if a heavier punching bag is better.
Heavier punching bags can be more difficult to use, especially for novices or people with lower fitness levels. During a workout, a heavier bag may cause more exhaustion because it takes more muscle and stamina to move it.
A heavier punching bag might be more efficient if your objective is to build strength and power. However, a lighter punching bag would be better if the objective is to increase speed and technique.
Seasoned boxers may benefit from using a heavier punching bag to imitate the weight and resistance of a real opponent. Beginners, on the other hand, may be better off with a lighter bag in order to develop speed and technique.
Yes, hitting a punching bag can be a very good workout. If you do 3-minute rounds on the bag simulating a boxing match, you will burn a lot of calories while also giving your cardiovascular system an effective workout. At the same time, you'll be working the muscles of your upper body, including the chest, shoulders, and arms. Your core will also get a decent workout, and your balance and coordination will be improved.
The type of punching bag you get as a beginner will depend on what your training goals are. However, it is generally best to go with a lighter bag that will allow you to improve your speed and technique. A good starting weight for beginners is around 70 lbs.
A punching bag provides an excellent workout that improves your strength, coordination, and cardio fitness level. It's also a compact piece of training gear, making it suitable for people with minimum training space. The overall best punching bag on today's market is the Everlast Single Station bag which comes with a 70 lb heavy bag kit. Your purchase includes boxing gloves and hand wraps along with the punching bag, representing very good value for money.
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