Best Punching Bags for Beginners – Ultimate Beginners Guide

So, you’ve decided to get home a punching bag.

Congratulations. It’s a decision that you are not going to regret one bit.

Punching bags are incredibly versatile fitness tools that help with speed, coordination, cardiovascular exercise, strength and even hypertrophy.

They are fundamental coaching aids for anyone looking to wet their toes in boxing or MMA.

Even if you just like to stay fit or like to stick your boss’s face on it to vent some frustration, it fits the bill perfectly.

You might as the question, what type of a punching bag do you get for your home?

I went with the Ringside Elite Free Standing bag. You can check it out on amazon by clicking here.

If you take a quick glimpse into the market, you’ll come across punch bags in all sorts of shapes, sizes and configurations.

Some of them are overpriced money grabs, while others are just overkill for a beginner.

Thankfully, we are here with everything you need to make the right selection for your first punching bag.

Best Free Standing Punching Bags

Free standing punching bags are exactly that, the free standing variety. Free standing bags are similar to reflex bags in that, they simulate real life training but the difference is a reflex bag will rebound a few feet whereas a free standing bag will rebound just a few inches giving a great punching feel

They can be installed anywhere provided that you have the room around it. They are great for almost everybody whether you are a beginner, or have been punching bags for a while or even if you want your kids to get started on youth punching bags, free standing bags are a great option for you.

Certainly beats drilling holes and making renovations to hang a bag from the ceiling.

There’s some unreasonable chatter on internet messaging boards that freestanding punching bags aren’t ideal if you are looking to train hard.

That’s not true. We will touch on that and a lot more about the right type of punching bags in a bit.

For now, here are the best free standing punching bags that you can buy.

#1 – Best Overall – Ringside Elite

Best Features

  • Stands 6’4 tall
  • Base can be filled with 270 lbs. of water or sand
  • Foam layer covered with synthetic leather
  • Firm practice surface for mild to moderate training
  • Impossible to knock down unlike cheap freestanding bags

Ringside Elite Review

The Ringside Elite Free standing training bag is a beefy freestanding punch bag that stands 6’4 and can be filled with 270 lbs. of sand or water.

Try knocking this one down for kicks. No pun intended.

The Elite is a staple in MMA gyms around the world and can be used for everything from standard drills to hardcore training.

It features a shock-absorbing foam in a durable synthetic leather shell that gives you a firm, but comfortable practice surface. The faux leather is low on maintenance, but can take an absolute pounding.

Doesn’t absorb sweat or odors either, which is great.

On the base, you have a plastic tank with a largish opening which makes it pretty easy to fill.

At 270 lbs., the base stays rock steady and this gives the bag a fair bit of rebound.

But you can control the rebound by adding or removing a foam collar that ships with the bag.

Collar added = less rebound. Collar removed = more action and footwork.

Overall, the Ringside Elite is a no-brainer choice for beginners.

#2 – Wavemaster XXL – Most Popular Option

Best Features

  • Legacy design that has been around for years
  • 52” striking surface that’s 18” in diameter
  • Total height of 69”
  • High density foam wrapped in vinyl
  • Does not get scratched on torn
  • Extremely stable base

Wavemaster XXL Review

The Wavemaster XXL is one of the oldest freestanding punching bags in the market.

It is considered a legacy design and is used by a lot of professional athletes in Taekwondo, Judo and BJJ.

It gives you a capacious 52” practice area that is a whopping 18” in diameter. You can grapple, throw punches and high kicks as well since the actual height is 69” (with the height of the base included).

The surface is high density foam wrapped in vinyl, which gives you a firm feel upon contact.

Also, you can throw everything you’ve got at it. Doesn’t get scratched, nor does it fray or tear.

One of the best features of the Wavemaster XXL is the extra-large fill hole which makes it effortless to fill it with either water or sand. You can be done in minutes and get ready to practice.

While 270 lbs. might not seem like a lot of weight, the bag is extremely stable and it is very unlikely that it will get toppled over. The weight distribution is even, which gives it a steady rebound that is perfect for bob and weave as well as footwork drills.

#3 – Most Bang for Your Buck

The Versys Vs.1

Best Features

  • Fight simulator with twin handles for gripping
  • Can be used for punches, kicks, knee strikes and grappling
  • Vinyl striking surface
  • Weighs 110 lbs. when fully filled
  • Has a natural rebound.
  • Ideal for high speed and agility drills as well
  • Comes with a prefilled base

VERSYS VS.1 Review

If your idea of a punch bag is something that can take punches & kicks, as well as be thrown to the ground for grapples and groundwork drills, then there’s no better choice than the Versys.

The Versys is a lot more than an ordinary punching bag. It is a fight simulator. It has two handles, one each on top and bottom that can be gripped firmly for a variety of drills.

Knee strikes, throws, holds, you can practice everything on it.

The Versys comes with a pre-filled base and a vinyl striking surface that can be filled with water or sand. Weighs around 110 lbs. when fully filled.

As you’d notice, it is not overly heavy and this gives it a great natural rebound for speed and agility drills. Also, the light weight design is what makes it possible to topple it over for ground work.

This is not an ideal bag for high impact training mind you. This is more of a low-impact striking tool for continuous sparring and cardiovascular drills.

Best Features

  • Classic design from Century
  • 26” tall and 13” diameter striking surface
  • Height adjustable from 47” to 68”
  • 20” tall base that is 24” in diameter making it very stable
  • Slight rebound only
  • Bag doesn’t topple over or lose balance

The Original Wavemaster Review

This is the flagship from Century that took freestanding punching bags mainstream.

It is the original wavemaster punching bag and it features 7-height adjustments so that you can train both kicks and punches.

The striking surface is the classic high density foam wrapped in synthetic leather. It is a reasonable 26” tall with a 13” diameter. You can adjust the height from 47” to 68” which allows athletes of all heights to practice comfortably on it.

The base is 20” tall and 24” in diameter. The large diameter makes it one of the most stable bags in the market. It weighs 270 lbs. when filled and you can go real hard at it without worrying about losing balance or the bag toppling over.

For a beginner, the original wavemaster brings flexibility to training, with the height adjustments.

Also, it is reasonably priced as compared to some of the newer models.

Great buy, this one.

Best Features

  • Heavy bag styled striking surface with the air foam chamber
  • High density foam interior
  • Vinyl cover
  • Large, heavy base which keeps it stable
  • Power Transfer ring in the base
  • Weighs close to 370 lbs.
  • Surface is height adjustable from 54” to 65”

Everlast Power Core Review

If you want a more ‘heavy bag’ like striking surface, then you’ll love the EA Power Core.

This heavy freestanding bag features an air foam chamber that surrounds the high density foam interior. This provides you with a more realistic striking surface with even force distribution.

Club this with the power transfer ring in the base of the bag and you get a stable, wobble-free training tool that doesn’t slide around. No need to bolt it or stick it to your floor or training mat.

The base weighs 370 lbs. when filled with sand. So it’s next to impossible to kick this over no matter how hard you go at it.

The surface is height adjustable from 54” to 65” making it well suited for all round training.

Overall, the Everlast PowerCore is a great buy for beginners. But you’ll outgrow it soon as you progress in your training.

Best Features

  • Long flexible neck that gives a natural rebound to the bag
  • Height adjustable. 67” at the tallest setting
  • Neva Tear outer layer with high density foam interior
  • Great shock absorption and weight distribution
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Weighs 130 lbs. when fully filled

Everlast Omniflex Review

The Omniflex is a flexible punch bag that makes a great choice for speed and agility drills. It has a long, flexible neck attached to the striking surface that provides a decent amount of movement.

The natural flex of the neck prevents the base from moving around, even if you throw your best kick at it. This also makes it possible to athletes to practice hand eye coordination and agility.

For general fitness use, just move around the bag as you throw punches at it for a terrific cardiovascular workout.

The striking surface is height adjustable and reaches 67” at its tallest setting, which is about perfect for high and mid-level kicks. The shock absorption and weight distribution upon impact is excellent, which prevents sore knuckles and fingers.

Also, the inner foam layer covered with the Neva Tear outer layer is extremely durable. This will take an absolute pounding without as much as a fray.

At 130 lbs., the Omniflex may not be heavy enough for heavy-bag styled training. But the additional flexibility prevents it from toppling over. If you are looking for a lightweight, fast punch bag, this one fits the bill.

Best Features

  • 40” long striking surface
  • Height adjustable from 53.5” to 65.5” in four incremental settings
  • Base is 170 lbs. when fully filled
  • High density foam surface with durable outer poly shell
  • Surface is hard enough to use with gloves or arm wraps

 Century Cardio Wavemaster Review

The Cardio Wavemaster is a lightweight punch bag, that as implied by the name, is better suited for cardiovascular training. 

There’s a natural rebound to the bag, which allows you to work on footwork, speed and coordination. It's a great punching bag for women, teenagers, and beginners in general.

It is a 40” long high density foam striking surface with a durable outer poly shell.

To be honest, that striking surface is tough and there’s no reason why you can’t use this to develop arm strength along with speed.

Here’s a tip. Don’t skimp on those arm wraps or gloves and go bare knuckles on this. It will leave you sore in no time.

You can adjust the height from 53.5” to 65.5” in 4-incremental settings. So there’s ample room to practice a variety of workouts on this free standing bag.

One thing that we disliked is the opening for the base, which is pretty small if you are going to use sand to fill it. Sand can get messy and clumpy, which makes it cumbersome to fill.Easy solution, use water.

Best Features

  • Wavemaster with twice the amount of padding
  • Tough outer vinyl coating
  • 26” tall bag that is 17.5” in diameter
  • Height adjustable from 47” to 68” in 7-incremental settings
  • 270 lbs. base when filled with water or sand

Powerline Wavemaster Review

A lot of athletes who like the original Wavemaster feel that the surface is too soft for hardcore punch training.

The Powerline series was launched later to provide such athletes with a thicker, denser Wavemaster.

The striking surface has twice the amount of padding that the original Wavemaster had. It is hard, with zero give. If you are looking to develop strength or looking for a more natural striking surface for sparring, this will be a great pick.

However, if this is the first time you are using a heavy duty punch bag, you might need thicker gloves that are suited for heavy punch bags. Sparring or gloves might not cut the mustard here.

Otherwise, it’s a quintessential Wavemaster.

Tough outer vinyl coating on the striking bag that is 26” tall and 17.5” in diameter. It is height adjustable from 47” to 68” in 7-incremental height settings.

The base is approximately 270 lbs. when filled and stays as steady as a rock. That said, it is rounded which allows you to roll it around the gym if need be.

Best Hanging Heavy Bags for Beginners

Hanging bags are ideal for commercial settings, or for homes with a capacious basement or a garage.

The ceiling or beam or the joist should be strong enough to support the weight of the bag. An alternative is to drill a wall mount that can hold the bag or to buy a heavy bag stand.

In either of these situations, ensure that there is enough room to allow the bag to move 360°. Unlike freestanding bags, hanging heavy bags can move around a lot.

Nevertheless, if you have your mind set on the hanging variety, then here are the best hanging heavy bags for beginners.

#1 – Combat Sports Bag

Most Bang for Your Buck  

Best Features

  • 72” long striking surface
  • Comes prefilled with cloth that is wrapped in a foam liner
  • Comes with a heavy duty chain and clamp needed to hang it
  • Firm striking surface for a variety of drills
  • Easy to hang

Combat Heavy Bag Review

The Muay Thai banana training bag from Combat Sports has been around for more than a decade.

It is used by professional fighters and gives you a capacious 72” striking surface with a 13” diameter.

The outer layer is synthetic leather and holds up well to every day training.

It comes prefilled with cloth that is surrounded by a foam liner layer that provides shock absorption. The surface is firm, but not hard, which allows you to train with gloves as well as bare handed.

It only has a single stitch across the seam. But there have been very few complaints about it tearing or ripping.

The bag comes with a heavy duty chain and swivel mount, which takes the total height to around 84”. Add around 6-8 feet of horizontal clearance around it, to allow the bag to swing freely.

There is no D-ring at the bottom to secure it to prevent movement though. If there isn’t enough clearance, you can duct tape the bottom to prevent it from scraping the floor.

Overall, this is a great buy for beginners. It is easy to hang, comes prefilled, and is very reasonably priced.

#2 – Outslayer Muay Thai Bag

Best for MMA & Muay Thai Beginners

Best Features

  • 100 lbs. heavy duty bag
  • 44” striking surface with 12” Nylon straps
  • Prefilled with cloth and wrapped in high density foam
  • Does not sink to the bottom like sand

Outslayer Heavy Bag Review

Outslayer is one of the most reputed MMA brands in the world and this banana bag is one of their flagships.

It is a 59” bag that weighs 100 lbs. and comes pre-filled with cloth fill, wrapped around in a high density foam layer.

This gives you a firm striking surface that’s not too hard. Perfect for karate, boxing, MMA, kickboxing & Muay Thai training since it is does not impact the joints as much as sand bags do.

Also, if you find it too hard for bare hands training, you can always remove some of the fill.

Unlike sand, which tends to sink making the bottom portion harder than the upper part, the cloth fill does not shift around or settle. It stays uniform, giving you an evenly dense surface to practice on.

It comes with 12-inch nylon straps instead of a chain, which is great. But you need to buy the carabiners and the double loop to hang it from a ceiling. Oh, the D-ring has to be requested separately, in case you want to anchor this with weights.

Other than a few minor grumbles, this is an amazing heavy weight bags for both beginners as well as advanced athletes.

Best Features

  • 60” striking surface
  • Military grade Vinyl exterior cover
  • Fabric filled interior that does not settle or sink
  • Firm surface
  • Nylon straps with D-rings attached for easy hanging
  • Weighs 100 lbs.

Meister Heavy Bag Review

The Meister is a full sized heavy bag for MMA, Muay Thai and other martial arts practitioners.

Like the other heavy hanging bags that we picked, this comes prefilled with cut fabric that makes it a firm striking surface. Does not sink or settle at the bottom. Nor does it feel mushy when you practice your hits on it.

It is 60” in length, which gives you ample room for kicks, punches and knee strikes.

The outer layer is military grade vinyl which does not tear or rip. You can absolutely pulverize it and it does not even get creased, like pure leather does. Just looks as good as new.

We like that it comes with nylon straps with D-rings attached to them. No need to head to the hardware store to hang this one up. It does lack a D-ring at the bottom though.

But that’s rarely a deal breaker as this is a 100 lb heavy bag. As long as it’s suited for your bodyweight, there’s very little chance that you are going to kick this into swaying around.

An added bonus, it ships with a protective cover that can be used for storage or transport.

Best Features

  • Full sized heavy bag that’s 60” tall
  • Perfect for kicks, punches and knee drills
  • Firm surface with a blended fabric fill
  • Super durable construction with a fabric fill
  • Comes with stitched-in nylon straps for easy hanging
  • Reasonably priced

Everlast Nevatear Boxing Heavy Bag Review

Everlast’s Boxing Heavy bag comes with a blended fill of sanitized synthetic and natural fibers that improve shock absorbency. If you’ve ever found a heavy bag to be too hard on your joints, this will prevent it.

The surface is pretty firm, mind you. You still cannot go bare knuckles on it. Just that the force of impact is distributed evenly on the entire surface and the fiber blend absorbs the bulk of it.

The construction of the bag is top notch with reinforced webbing for added durability. True to the brand name, this should last a long while, even with continual everyday usage.

The 100 lbs. version is 60” tall and approximately 13.25” in diameter. That’s a sizeable striking area for both punches and kicks.

Hanging the bag is made easy with the stitched-in nylon straps and the double ended loop.

For a bag as feature rich as this, it is very reasonably priced. If you are looking for a full sized MMA bag, look no further.

#5 - RDX Punching Bag

Most Affordable

Best Features

  • Most affordable punching bag
  • RDX Zero core Maya leather outer cover
  • Available in both 4-feet and 5-feet
  • Comes unfilled. So you can fill it with any material of your choice
  • Comes with chains and a D-ring

RDX Punching Bag Review

If you are looking to wet your toes into punch bag training without spending an arm and a leg for a heavy bag, then you might want to check out the RDX punching bag.

This is hands down, the most affordable heavy bag in the market that does not cut corners in features or construction.

It is available in two sizes, 4-feet and 5-feet. Comes bundled with chains to hang them with, and a D-ring to anchor it at the base.

The outer layer is made of RDX’s proprietary Zero Impact G-Core Maya leather. This synthetic leather is extremely durable and provides you with a great surface to throw your kicks and punches on. Everything is double stitched to ensure that this lasts a while.

The only real difference in this one and the much higher priced options in this list, is that this comes unfilled. On a positive note, your options are endless. Rubber mulch is a readily available fill option.

Else, you can just dig through your closet and find old clothes that you can stuff it with.

Great beginners bag. Go for it.

Best Punching Bag Stand If Buying a Hanging Bag

Punching bag stands are much safer and less labor intensive than hanging the bag on the joist.

If you are an apartment dweller or live in a rental, then it will most likely be your only choice.

While there are stands galore, we have discovered the hard way, that not all of them can sustain the weight and movement of a heavy bag swinging around.

Irrespective of what the manufacturer wants you to believe, most stands will slide around when you start to throw those kicks on the bag.

Certainly not fun for the neighbors, we tell ya.

Here’s our favorite heavy punching bag stand for you.

Best Features

  • Reasonably compact footprint
  • Made of heavy duty steel tubing
  • 84.13” tall, which makes it ideal for bags of all sizes
  • Gives you almost 270-degrees around the bag
  • Stays rock steady even if you don’t anchor it with weights
  • Comes with weight pegs

Everlast Heavy Bag Stand Review

This stand from Everlast can accommodate heavy bags that are up to 100 lbs.

It is made of heavy duty steel tubing and stands 84.13" tall, 69" long and 48.25" wide.

That’s a reasonably compact footprint, for what it accomplishes. Also, it is perfect for bags of all sizes, right from mid-sized bags to full-sized banana bags and smaller speed bags.

It does limit your footwork a little, since you do not get 360-degree access exactly. But that’s a minor quibble. You can still get up to 270-degrees around the bag, which imho is fine.

More importantly, the stand stays rock steady even without anchoring it with weights.

That is an option that you may want to consider if you have wooden flooring though. It does come with three weight pegs that are 6” tall and 1” in diameter. Throw in some 20 lbs. plates if the stand is doing the dreaded dance.

In a nutshell, this is built like a tank.

If you live in an apartment and need a punching bag suited for apartments or you just don’t want to risk hanging a bag from the ceiling, this is a no-brainer choice. 

Best Speed Bags for Beginners

Speed bags were once considered specialized training aids used only by professional fighters. In the current fitness buzz, it has become a more generalized fitness tool that gives you one hell of a cardiovascular workout, with some added perks.

You develop speed, better hand eye coordination, upper body strength, hypertrophy. Oh yeah, it is the whole 9-yards folks.

If a speed bag is what y’all are eyeing, then here are the top picks.

Best Features

  • Premium quality speed bags from Cleto Reyes
  • Available in four sizes
  • Tough head leather with a hint of nylon
  • Smaller the bag, faster it moves
  • Comes with an additional bladder

Cleto Reyes Review

Cleto Reyes is the Lamborghini of speed bags. Made with premium head leather (the tougher part of the hide), with a hint of nylon thrown in, double stitched across the seams.

You can throw your best punches at it and it keeps coming back for more. Ages like fine wine with a natural patina.

Despite being pure leather, doesn’t take on an odor or soak sweat. A quick wipe with a rag and it’s as good as new again.

It is available in four sizes and multiple colors. The smallest size is Mini and it is just 5x8” whereas the largest one is 7 x 11”.

The smaller the bag, the faster the rebound. If you are a rank beginner, go for the medium or large sized one.

As an added bonus, Cleto Reyes throws in an additional bladder just in case, you decide to go all Rocky Balboa on the bag and bust the bladder.

Just ensure that you get the air pressure right. The recommended pressure is about 10 Lbs.

Best Features

  • Premium leather outer shell
  • Has a natural leather feel to the touch. Not plasticky.
  • Triple stitched at the seams
  • Internal gyro balance for precise rebounds
  • Butyl Rubber Pro Bladder that retains its shape for weeks

Title Gyro Balanced Speed bag Review

Title was one of the first brands to introduce gyro balancing into their speed bags. It’s been a few decades, but their bags still manage to outsell a lot of the newer, fancier competition.

That’s because these bags are the absolute bee’s knees for precise rebounds.

A lot of times, speed bags can have wayward rebounds which can throw your punches off center. The more you punch off center, the more off balance you are, which increases the wear and tear on your shoulders.

With Title’s speed bags, you know that every rebound is precisely timed. There’s no scope of going off track or off balance, which helps tremendously while working on speed and hand-eye co-ordination.

Moreover, the bags are made from top quality leather. Does not have that plasticky feel to it. It wears down a tad with regular use, but will not go flat from the punch end. Seams have triple reinforcement to prevent rips.

The package includes a butyl rubber pro bladder that holds its shape for weeks.

Available in four sizes.

Best Speed Bag Platforms

Ideally, you need a speed bag platform to mount the speed bag on the swivel.

There are possible workarounds. But all of them will lead to compromises in access, rebounds and flexibility.

Speed bag platforms are cheap and get the job done with minimal installation. So why not get one instead?

Best Features

  • Premium quality wooden drum
  • Made of 1 ¾ “ solid maple hardwood
  • Has natural grains and color variations
  • Does not puff up due to moisture
  • Super easy to clean
  • Available in both 16” and 24” sizes
  • Attaches to a solid heavy gauge steel frame
  • Stays as stable as a rock with minimal vibrations

Balazs Boxing Speed Bag Platform Review

This is an absolute beaut. It’s crafted from 1¾ inch solid maple hardwood and has a glossy finish, with distinct grains and natural color variations.

It weighs 52 pounds and is treated to resist the wear and tear that comes with everyday use in a hot and sweaty gym.

As a result, it does not puff up due to moisture, which can throw your punches off balance. Stays true to its shape and is easy to clean as well.

The drum is available in 16 and 24” sizes and it is attached to a heavy gauge steel frame that uses complete welds instead of tack welds found on cheap platforms. It is as stable as a rock and offers top notch vibration resistance.

Works with speed bags of all sizes and shapes.

As a neat bonus, Balazs throws in all the hardware you need to wall mount this.

Best Features

  • Platform allows up to 15” of height adjustment
  • 11-gauge steel mainframe
  • Built like a tank and does not even have the slightest of vibration
  • Comes with a 1 ½” solid oak drum with a furniture finish
  • Drum is 24” in diameter
  • Very easy to clean and does not absorb moisture

XMark Adjustable Speed Bag Platform XM-2811 Review

Xmark’s adjustable speed bag platform allows you up to 15” in height adjustments, so that athletes of different heights can use it comfortably.

Adjusting the height of the drum is as easy as loosening a couple of screws. If multiple people in the house use the speed bag, then this one is a better pick than the Balaz’s one.

The entire mainframe, including the wall mounts, is made of 11-gauge steel. It is built like a tank and does not even have the slightest of vibration even when you are punching away at top speed.

Coming to the part that we like the most, the drum.

We love hardwood drums on speed bag platforms and XMark’s platform is made of 1 ½” solid hardwood (oak). It comes with a furniture finish and is 24” in diameter.

Like the Balaz’s platform, this is extremely durable and very easy to clean. Does not retain odor or absorb sweat. Stays true to shape all year round.

Best Features

  • Affordable speed bag platform from Everlast
  • 24” diameter drum
  • 1” thick strike board with a spring pin lock
  • Up to 8” of height adjustments
  • Two brace boards to mount the setup included in the package
  • Great choice for beginners

Everlast Speed Bag Platform Review

If you are looking for a more affordable speed bag platform, check out this one from Everlast.

It may not be as heavy duty as the other two that we’ve picked. But it will certainly get the job done.

It features a 24” Diameter drum, that can hold speedbags of all sizes. This mounts to a 1” thick strike board with a spring pin lock that allows up to 8” of height adjustments for the drum.

Two brace boards needed to mount the setup are included in the package, along with a swivel. You need to buy the wall mount hardware separately.

Now, this is a reasonably good speed bag platform that will work well for beginners. But if you are an advanced user who likes to throw a really hard punch or two, then you’ll want to buy a better platform in no time.

This will vibrate and you’ll most likely need to make some workarounds to keep it stable.

Like we said, great for beginners. Not that great for advanced users.

The Top Punching Bag Brands

When it comes to punching bags, you’d mostly want to bet your money on the top brands only.

Recently, there has been an influx of a bunch of cheap Chinese made products that leave a lot to be desired, when it comes to quality.

Consider that the bag is going to be a one-time purchase that needs to sustain the wear and tear of everyday use and do not pinch pennies.

Here are the top brands.

#1 - Ringside

Ringside is a well-known brand when it comes to making punching bags especially the bags that suit beginners

One of the oldest brands in the business, Ringside know their boxing gear. We love their soft fill heavy bags, their amazing boxing gloves and other great fighting gear they make.

Their bags settle at the bottom and stays uniform even after months of use. Also, they are one of the only brands that still uses genuine leather outer shells.

Well, we know that leather has its pros and cons. But there’s something about pure leather that gives you a great feel upon contact, doesn’t it? Ringside’s bags are also known for their premium construction and stitching, this, of course, makes their punching bags great for kickboxing, MMA, judo or jiu jitsu to name a few.

It is very likely that one will last you for years. By the way, Ringside owns Ringside, Heritage, Contender Fight Sports and Cleto Reyes. So, you know why a lot of these brands feature in this list. You cannot go wrong with their products.

#2 – Century

Century is reputable brand when it comes to creating punching bags,they have many punching bags that are suitable for beginners

Century Martial Arts, are the founders of the original Wavemaster freestanding punch bags. Enough said. These guys also own the BOB opponent body bag that’s used by professional fighters and has been featured in multiple movies and shows. Innovation is the core philosophy that they have centered their business on.

The company is founded by martial artists and employs an R&D division called the Century Martial Arts Club, where most of their products and new prototypes are tested. They have expanded from one or two products to an ensemble of martial arts gear.

#3 – Outslayer

Outslayer is great well-known brand when it comes to creating punching bags especially the bags that suit beginners

Most martial arts gear brands offer a 90-day warranty on their products against manufacturing defects. Outslayer backs you up with a whopping 10-year warranty. This American startup is fast making its presence felt in the world of professional combat sport. T

hey have two types of heavy bags on offer, one for MMA/boxing and the other for Muay Thai/Boxing. While both varieties are available in 100 and 130 lbs. sizes, these bags have an additional weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. That’s one hell of a heavy bag for ya. 200lb heavy bags are about as heavy as I like to go. If you are willing to look beyond the mainstream brands, Outslayer is a little underrated gem.

#4 – Everlast

Everlast is a great brand known for making great punching bags, they have many punching bags that suite beginners

Last but not the least, we have a brand that needs no introduction, Everlast. It has been around for more than a century and has been sported by numerous champions over the years, including the big boy, Ali.

The very fact that they have been around since then, speaks volumes about their consistency. Their boxing bags are amongst the top rated ones in the business. It features the brand’s signature Nevatear synthetic leather outer shell that can take a pounding. The filling stays even and has the right amount of give upon contact. Many brands are guilty of making heavy bags that feel like concrete. Not EA.

Which Punching Bag Should I Get? My Recommendations

That sums up our list of recommendations.

If you are heading punch bag shopping, print this out. Carry it with you. It will save you a shit ton of time spent in research.

It is not an all exhaustive list mind you. But it is based on years of experience of using boxing and MMA gear.

In case you are still wondering which of these bags are worth it, then here’s a quick recap.

My Recommendation for Free Standing:

The Ringside Elite

My recommendation for free standing punching bags is the Ringside Elite

At 6’4” in height, the Ringside Elite towers over the rest of the competition. It is one of the only punch bags that works equally well for both, boxing as well as Muay Thai training.

It weighs 270 lbs. when fully filled and comes with a very heavy base that keeps it rock steady. If you are tired of freestanding bags that topple over, this is the bag you need.

Also features a collar that can be added or removed depending on the amount of rebound you want it to have.

Highly recommended!

Best Hanging Bag Overall:

Outslayer Muay Thai Bag

My recommendation for the best hanging bag is the Outslayer hanging bag

Outslayer’s banana bag is a treat for MMA and Muay Thai fighters. It gives you a 44” striking surface, which is compact enough for home use, yet sizeable for both kicks and punches.

It comes prefilled with a cloth fill, that is wrapped in a high density foam outer shell. This gives users a comfortable, but firm surface that they can customize to their liking. If you are training with gloves, you can always leave it as it is. For bare hands training, just remove a little bit of the fill and has a lot more give to it.

FAQ Most Beginners Have When Buying a Punching Bag

I still recall the first time we decided to get home a punching bag. We were as confused as a cow on astroturf. Had a million questions with no one to answer them.

This FAQ is a list of some of the commonest questions that potential buyers have in their minds when they go punch bag shopping.

Q. Should I Get a Free Standing or Normal Hanging Punching Bag?

A. That depends on a variety of factors, at the forefront of which is the location where you plan to install the bag. If it’s an apartment or if the place of installation doesn’t have ceiling beams or joists, then freestanding bags are way better than normal hanging bags.

Here’s why.

  • They are easier to set up. Most, come prefilled. At best, you only need to fill the base with water or sand and you are done.
  • No need to drill holes or make expensive modifications to your place. In a rental, that might void a warranty.
  • You don’t need to invest in a heavy bag stand, which alone can cost a bomb.
  • These bags might look huge. But you can easily push them down and roll them around the house, to tuck it away after use.

That said, if you are a professional fighter or are looking to train competitively, then there’s no better choice than a hanging heavy bag.

No matter how stable a freestanding bag can be, it will not be able to match the flexibility that you get with a hanging bag.

Q. What Else Do I Need to Get Started with Punch Bag Training?

A lot of beginners make the rookie mistake of going bare handed on the punch bag and realize that it is a lot harder on their knuckles and shin than they imagined.

Let Jean Claude Van Dame do that. Be smart and invest in a pair of boxing gloves.

Boxing Gloves

If you are training on a freestanding bag, look for bag gloves. These have just enough padding to keep your knuckles and fingers protected and will help you practice the most common boxing techniques. But if you are training with a heavy bag, you might need more than that. Look for sparring gloves. These have more padding than bag gloves and it’s better to have one around just in case you need some extra protection.

Arm Wraps

Arm wraps are the primary layer of protection. Gloves come later. Wraps serve many purposes. They keep your wrists from sliding around inside the gloves, they offer an additional inner layer of protection to the smaller bones on the wrists, and they protect the skin around the knuckles from scrapes and tears. The point that we are trying to drive home is that you should never work the bag without an arm wrap. There are two types of arm wraps that you can buy. Standard arm wraps or Traditional weave arm wraps are typically made of cotton. You need to ensure that these are wrapped around snugly for a tight slip-free fit. Mexican wraps on the other hand feature some type of elastic material, like spandex. This ensures that when you wrap it around the hand, it sort of adheres to it, taking the shape of the hand. A lot of beginners prefer Mexican wraps for this reason.

Heavy bag stand

You’ll only need this if you are buying a heavy hanging bag and do not have an option to hang it from the ceiling. Heavy bag stands can be bulky. But they are extremely sturdy and keep the bag stable. 

You can check out our favorite bag stands with pull up bars here.

Q. Can I Set One of These Up in an Apartment?

A. Sure. Why not? We started off with punching bag training in a rented apartment. The best part was that one of our buddies owned a gym and we could borrow a few bags and try them out, before buying one. Go for a freestanding bag. You won’t regret it. Heavy bags sound great in theory but even with a heavy bag stand, the rattle and vibration will be unavoidable. Your neighbors wont fancy hearing you whack a heavy bag that rattles the entire floor. In contrast, a freestanding bag will be reasonably quiet.

Q. I Bought an Un-Filled Punching Bag, What Do I Fill It With?

A. The cheapest option is old clothes. Raid your closet and dig up clothes that are old or unused and shred them up to fill the bags. Else, rubber mulch is a readily available and cheap filling material for punching bags. Head to your nearest Lowe’s or Home Depot and you’ll find it in conveniently-sized bags. As much as they are spoken about, sand isn’t a great choice for numerous reasons. It tends to settle down at the bottom of the bag, and the surface can be extremely hard, even for gloved training.

Q. Can I Store My Punching Bag Outdoors?

A. Most punching bags have an outer shell made of vinyl or synthetic leather, both of which are water proof and weather resistant. However, your bag will get worn out and the color will fade. It might also get frayed really bad. If you are looking at storing your punching bags outdoor, you might want to check out our outdoor punching bag guide here.

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