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Updated May 17, 2022 1:10 PM

If you’re looking for a piece of equipment that can offer a full body workout, it’s hard to beat one of the best punching bags. Boxing workouts combine strength and cardio, providing a physically and mentally challenging workout that can be accomplished with a single piece of equipment. 

There are a variety of punching bags available, from simple heavy bags to full training systems intended for boxers and MMA fighters. Whether you’re a novice who’s looking for a fun, energetic way to blow off steam or a seasoned boxer, here’s how to find the best punching bag for your needs.

How We Selected The Best Punching Bags

To determine the best punching bags, we considered several key factors and weighed them against manufacturer credibility and user reviews. Among the key factors were the following: 

  • Materials: We looked at the quality of construction, materials used, and overall durability.
  • Purpose: Not all punching bags are right for everyone. We considered the advantages of versatility as compared to more specialized equipment.
  • Ease of Setup: Not everyone has an advanced home gym, or even that much space to dedicate to exercise. We considered how difficult or easy a punching bag was to set up, and how much room someone would have to have to make proper use of it.

Best Punching Bags: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: RIF6 Freestanding Punching Bag

Built for durability, this punching bag that can take some serious hits — and kicks. RIF6

Why It Made The Cut: The RIF6 has a distinct suction-cup system on its base that keeps it steady even when being pummeled and kicked during the most intense workout sessions.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 23.5 inches x 12 inches x 69 inches 
  • Product Weight: 44 pounds
  • Type: Free-standing 

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and adjust
  • Foam buffers are easier on knuckles and shins
  • Free-standing; does not need to be hung from the ceiling

Cons:

  • No included accessories 

The RIF6 is a heavy-duty punching bag meant for intense workouts. Constructed of high quality PVC leather, resilient EPE foam, with a fiber buffer around a coated, stainless steel pipe, the bag stands on a sturdy polypropylene base. 

Boasting a nice, flexible rebound after punches or kicks, the RIF6 is also relatively quiet, thanks to the base springs and gum rubber shock absorbers and can be secured in place with its suction-cup base that prevents sliding. The base can be filled with water or sand for further stability. Whether you’re a serious boxer, kickboxer or fighter, or just want to add a high-intensity workout to your routine, the RIF6 is an excellent option. 

Keep in mind that this free-standing punching bag does not come with gloves or any extra accessories, so if you’re just starting out, you’ll need to order gloves separately.

Best Value: Rorala Punching Bag

Best Value

Perfect for those who want to keep it traditional, but need state-of-the-art construction and durability. RORALA

Why It Made The Cut: Whether you’re working with a budget or still deciding if boxing is right for you, the Rorala Punching Bag lets you give it a whirl without spending a ton of money. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: ‎59 inches x 12.6 inches x 12.6 inches
  • Product Weight: 60 pounds, 70 pounds, 120 pounds
  • Type: Hanging

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Multiple weight options
  • Comes with gloves and hand wraps

Cons:

  • Installation required

Everything about the Rorala punching bag is made with one intention: To keep taking punches for as long as you can throw them. Rather than reinventing the wheel, the Rorala targets focused boxing enthusiasts by combining an old school look and feel with modern construction and top tier materials. The bags are layered with thick, durable polyurethane on the outside, and elastic pearl cotton (for that “give”), foam, and a layer of “force buffer” underneath to provide a solid strike surface without being so hard it causes injury or too soft that it disrupts the workout’s effects. 

One of the prime benefits of the Rorala is that it’s available in three different weights – 60, 70, and 100 pounds. This allows for some flexibility for those who may not have the capability of ceiling mounting a large, heavy bag. Each bag also comes with a pair of boxing gloves with integrated sponge liner and hand wraps to help absorb sweat and prolong the gloves’ lives. 

Best Upgrade: BAS UFC Body Action System

Best Upgrade

The UFC BAS is a state-of-the-art fight training companion offering unparalleled variation and customization. BAS

Why It Made The Cut: More than just a “punching bag,” the UFC Body Action System is an advanced training device that’s a cut above.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 42 inches x 20 inches x 20 inches
  • Product Weight: 60 pounds 
  • Type: Free-standing

Pros:

  • Unique design allows for focused boxing and martial arts training
  • Adjustable pads and strike points allow for extra customization
  • Works for a variety of heights

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No accessories included

Calling the BAS UFC Body Action System a “punching bag” is like calling your iPhone a “telephone.” The BAS’s unique design is intended for variable and customizable fight or self-defense-oriented training and fitness. It features six different strike points angles to maximize the cardio and muscle impact of punches and kicks, with a head pad for uppercuts and hooks, and a torso pad with targets for punches, elbows and knees. 

The pads and strike points can be moved, removed, and adjusted as you change workouts or shift focus to specific areas. They can also be raised, lowered, and shifted to ensure you have a new workout every time you step up and engage it, always with an emphasis on proper form. It is almost like a sparring partner more than a target. Although this punching bag doesn’t come with any gloves or hand wraps, it’s really intended for someone who likely already has these.

Best Design: Century BOB Original

A classic that adds a little extra flair to your typical cardio workout. Century

Why It Made The Cut: The Century BOB is iconic for its human-shaped design, which adds an element of fun to the standard punching bag.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 24 inches x 30 inches x 78 inches (adjustable height)
  • Weight: 270 pounds
  • Type: Body opponent bag

Pros:

  • Lifelike dummy enhances the sparring experience
  • Cushioning absorbs heavy impact
  • Good for self-defense training

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No extras included

The century BOB is the perfect training partner, absorbing punches, kicks, and anything else you can throw at him without calling for a time out. Providing a more human-like target helps not only in basic boxing or martial arts training, but can also be useful for self-defense courses. 

A freestanding heavy bag with a unique human torso design, the BOB is made of plastisol (a thermoplastic liquid polymer typically used to make grips for tool handles and in medical equipment) that can withstand constant, high-pressure use. The urethane foam underneath has a nice “give” when it’s hit, as well. When filled with either sand or water, the base can weigh as much as 270 pounds, so you’ll have to decide what is more important to you, being able to move it around freely or the risk of it toppling over from a well-placed kick. The torso can also be lowered to around 5 feet or raised to as high as six-and-a-half feet tall. 

Best for Kids: Goplus Punching Bag Set for Kids

Best for Kids

Simple, easy, and complete with an array of fun and engaging accessories, the Goplus is perfect for young fighters. Goplus

Why It Made The Cut: The Goplus is a basic punching bag with accessories designed to get kids thinking about fitness early.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 10 inches x 10 inches x 24 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Type: Hanging

Pros:

  • Simple setup
  • Accessories included
  • Elastic lining makes bag durable

Cons:

  • May not age up well
  • Installation required

Giving kids a healthy outlet for their energy is always a good idea, and the Goplus Punching Bag Set for Kids is designed to introduce kids to all sorts of cardio fitness. In addition to the 22–pound bag (which comes with complete ceiling mounting equipment) which is heavy enough to withstand hits but not too cumbersome for play rooms, the set comes with a pair of gloves (with loop fastener) and a skipping rope. It’s a complete home workout set meant to be fun as well as inspiring. 

The gloves are constructed with breathable mesh holes that allow for moisture-wicking, and ensure a longer life. Likewise, the sandbag is wear-resistant and constructed with an elastic lining to guard against bursting or tearing so that it can ensure long service life. In addition, the Goplus comes with a carrying sack that can easily hold all of the items for transportation or storage. 

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Punching Bags

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to add boxing, kickboxing, or mixed martial arts to your workout plan, there are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best punching bag for your needs.

Your Weight Class

Just like a flyweight would never step into the ring with a heavyweight, you don’t want to end up with a bag that’s out of your weight class. Punching bags can vary in size from 2 to 6 feet long, and weigh anywhere from 60 to over 100 pounds. Try and match up a size and weight that aligns with your own proportions (a rule of thumb is that your bag should be about half your size and weight), or allows for adjustability if the bag is to be shared. 

Your Intentions

Knowing what you want out of your punching bag experience is important in guiding you towards the right selection. If you are just looking for a little extra cardio work or something fun to throw into your fitness regime, you may be set with a standard, ceiling-mounted or free-standing heavy bag. More advanced trainers may want something with more variety and customizability. 

Your Space

Heavy bags can be the size of a large person, so you should take stock of how much space you have to dedicate to such equipment before you invest. Smaller speed bags or free-standing bags (which are more easily moved around) might be a better choice, especially if you’re worried about your ceiling supporting a heavy hanging bag. 

FAQs

Q: Is hitting a punching bag actually bad for my joints?

Like any kind of high-impact exercise, doing it too much and without proper form or protection can lead to injury or incremental damage to joints and ligaments. This is why it’s recommended (especially for beginners) to invest in good hand protection like boxing gloves or leg pads. 

Q: Does a punching bag’s material really matter all that much?

It can, yes. Leather exteriors tend to be more expensive, but they also will last a lot longer and withstand a lot more abuse. Vinyl is another durable and water-resistant option, but it is prone to tears. Canvas is the traditional material, but it’s rough and coarse and cheap, meaning it could irritate limbs and fall apart much faster. 

Q: Is a hanging bag better than a free-standing bag?

When it comes down to it, the only difference is personal preference. Those with limited space may need a free-standing bag in order to stow away when not in use, but otherwise it all comes down to your own comfort level. 

Final Thoughts

Punching bags are a fun addition to a well-rounded fitness routine, offering cardio benefits, muscle training, and much-needed stress relief. Like any athletic equipment, there is a wide range of styles and quality available depending on whether you’re a beginner or a hardcore fighter. Just remember that you’ll want something tough enough to take your hits, but not unwieldy enough to cause more pain than it absorbs.

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