Best Punching Bags
Stress release, hand-eye coordination, stamina, or perhaps actual self-defense training, a punching bag is a must for every gym. In fact, the visual effect of just seeing a big bag for punching is enough to classify the zone as a workout area. But what makes for the best punching bag is the type of training you seek. Whether a freestanding set, the classic heavy bag, a speed bag, a wall/uppercut mount, or a double-end bag, each type has a different purpose, and there are definitely differences between the brands and models. Irrespective of the style in question, product quality and materials are among the first points to note. The second is height and weight of the unit relative to the user. Punching and kicking drills are great for athletes of any size or body type, but mounts might need adjusted, and different bag weights might be required. The value of the exercise is beyond dispute though. A classic cross-training drill, both strength and endurance will be increased while engaging the bag, with calories burning the entire time.
Best Punching Bags
A Difference in Style
Not all punching bags are created equal, but all can be equally valuable when it comes to conditioning. Whether you’re actually training for self-defense, or just need some energy release, notice that each variation of the tool provides for a different approach. For the fitness enthusiast, having a couple different bags can actually be beneficial, especially once you’ve established either a floor space, ceiling mount, or stand. For those interested in developing some for defense outside a dojo or gym, then consider that the longer bags as a rule lend themselves to more striking options, be those by kicks or hands. The smaller bags are typically used for speed drills and hand-eye coordination.
Hits, Kicks, and Speed
Both the freestanding and heavy bag units do a great job for traditional stand-up striking practice, with the option of throwing in some sweeping leg kicks as well. These bags offer power punches which translate into both strength and conditioning. From arms and shoulders to core and lower legs, these bags require substantial power for long periods, or short bursts. Longer and typically heavier, the heavy bag might require a floor tether by way of a bottom-side hook, to keep it from swinging about after the strike. The freestanding units typically have some kind of weighted base that helps with stability as well. Typically, one of the challenges with the heavy bag and freestanding units is dealing with head-level punches thrown by tall users, say over 6’4″. At the other end, smaller-framed users might find some bags too heavy, or too solid, to adequately work. Check your own measurements against the bag you’re going to use to develop some options, as most offerings come in a variety of sizes.
The speed and double-bag units are very different, but ultimately work both hand-eye coordination and stamina. Built for the rolling hands of a speed-bag drill, or the side-to-side shuffling with the double-bag, there’s no power shots involved, but rather the development of concentration. A mainstay of every boxing movie ever made, these bags can be a lot of fun and offer a number of different workout opportunities. And there’s a reason they typically come with a jump rope, as these upper body speed drills are very similar to their lower body equivalents. These items match up well with the hanging heavy bag as many rigs and stands come designed to hold both simultaneously, allowing you to switch from one to other quickly.
Meanwhile, the uppercut bag really is its own beast. Built to answer a specific need, the uppercut bag answers the enduring question of how one practices that particular punch with a heavy bag or freestanding unit. The answer is, you really can’t, hence the uppercut bag. But in addition to uppercuts, this item also affords great practice for side punches like hooks and crosses, as well as high knees and kicks. Incredibly versatile in that regard, it can also double as a slam bag, or something to throw over the shoulder for stair runs. All in all, a pretty cool item that would match up with if one already has a heavy bag or freestanding unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Kitopa Freestanding Punching Bag
Leg sweeps, flying elbows, and straight jabs are all possible with the Kibota Freestanding Punching Bag. Standing a total of 69 inches in height, the 43.3-inch long by 10.2-inch wide bag attaches to a 13-inch high by 19.6-inch wide base, fillable with either 182 pounds of sand or approximately 137 pounds of water. The manufacturer’s recommendation is that sand be used for the rounded, ABS base taken, which is engineered with 12 suction cups at the bottom to help seal it to the floor. Dual TPU absorbers and four springs help reduce some noise. The Kitopa bag is made with a premium leather cover over high-density foam and a stainless steel tube for resilience and shock absorption. The manufacturers recommend the unit best serves users anywhere from 47 inches to 73 inches in height, although taller individuals shouldn’t have much problem with kicking drills or straight-arm punches.
2. Everlast Everhide Speed Bag
For speedy hands and increased eye-hand-coordination, the Everlast Everhide Speed Bag brings a tight package to the gym. The six-piece platform bag set includes a 24-inch adjustable wooden platform with ¾-inch thick platform and powder-coated adjustable brackets, as well as a leather speed bag, swivel, one pair of bag glove, one pair of hand wraps, and a nylon jump rope with wooden handles. The bag itself if 11.3 inches x 5.8 inches x 4 inches and weighs 10.4 ounces. Main from premium synthetic leather with reinforced seams, the speed bag brings both cardio and eye-hand-coordination training to the gym, and this package comes complete with a number of extra goodies to sweeten the deal.
3. Ringside Soft-Filled Heavy Bag
Available in weight increments of 100, 130, 150, and 200 pounds, the Ringside Soft-Filled Heavy Bag comes with a chain and swivel, as well as a D-ring on the bottom to attach to grounding for reduced swing. The bag’s 48-inch length is balanced by its 16-inch diameter. Soft Shredded textile filling provides a comfortable striking surface, which is much kinder on the knuckles and hands. The bag contains an internal, plastic cylinder in the center, to prevent sagging or settling. The bag’s finished weight can customized up to 200 pounds with an easy unzipping of the top and adding sand to the inside of the cylinder. The unit does require some form of stand or mount for the included chain/swivel set.
4. Pro Impact Genuine Leather Double-End Punching Bag
Available in either the 7- or 9-inch model, this double-end punching bag comes in coloring options including black/red, black/white, and white/black. Manufactured with 100% genuine leather, the bag is double-stitched around an internal, rubber bladder to prevent air loss and leakage. Approximately 4 psi of air are required for the initial pump with a regular needle, resulting in a 1.1-pound ball. With reinforced loops and welted seams, the unit is designed to take a beating. The unit comes complete with a pair of bungee cords and S-hooks for easy mounting and suspension on both ends, ceiling to floor. The elastic cords allow the bag to swing back and forth, as well as side-to-side as its hit.
5. UFC Pro 55lb Uppercut Bag
Whether its uppercuts, high-knees, kicks, or even traditional punches, the UFC Pro 55lb Uppercut Bag brings a barrel shape target to the game. Manufactured from nearly unbreakable PVC material across an open cell foam, softer fiber filling and sand, the bag has a reinforced silent nylon strap hanging system and comes pre-filled for instant training. Shaped like a barrel with straps at each end that stretch up toward chain hooks for mounting, the 55-pound bag is 18 inches long by 8 inches wide and 36 inches high. One of the big plusses to this unit is it can be easily raised and lowered by chain to fit various users’ heights.