Every boxer needs to train and a free-standing punching bag is a great option! Most fighters wonder if they need traditional heavy bags or free-standing punching bags as their preferred equipment and in this post, we break it down!
What are the different types of punching bags?
Punching bags fall into a handful of categories, such as heavy bags, speed bags, wall bags, undercut bags, and free-standing bags. In this post, we cover the free-standing punching bag.
What is a free-standing heavy bag?
A free-standing bag is a punching bag mounted onto a round base, which is filled with a ballast material like sand, gravel, or water. Using a free-standing punching bag will help develop your punching, kicking, and striking skills and form, and also improve reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and footwork, providing a great cardio workout.
The advantage of this design is that it is far easier to move around whenever needed. They are ideal for small gyms, home gyms, and for use outdoors. Continue reading for a complete roundup of the top free-standing punching bags.
Free-standing punching bags can be further divided into three distinct subcategories: free-standing heavy bag, body opponent bag (“BOB” for short), and reflex bag. (detailed later in this article)
Best Free Standing Bags – Top Picks (Overview)
- Best Freestanding Punching Bags
- Best Reflex Bag: Ringside Cobra reflex bag
- Best Body Opponent Bag: Century BOB
Century Wavemaster XXL (Best Overall)
Century Wavemaster XXL is one of the most popular free-standing bags with the largest punching and kicking surface in the amrket. This XXL product is much larger than the traditional Wavemaster bags, and it is listed as holding 270 pounds of sand. Century XXL offers a very large striking surface, has a large base, is heavy and difficult to knock over. Training with a heavier bag is ideal for speed and strength development, conditioning, punching power development, and coordination.
The Century XXL measures 18 inches in diameter and stands 69 inches tall. That gives you plenty of space for martial arts practice. The striking surface of the Wavemaster XXL is high quality, made of a vinyl cover atop high density foam. The ultra stable weight distribution and the low-profile base assure that the punching bag will hold up sturdily to any martial arts routine.
- Extra large training bag at 69 inches tall
- Ultra stable weight distribution
- Large striking area
- High impact absorption
- Not a replacement for heavy punching bags
- Better with sand than water (moves with water base)
Fitven Freestanding Bag (Best for Beginners)
FITVEN freestanding punching bag can give you an incredibly intense workout. Round kicks, front kicks, side kicks, this bag will take it all. A stellar full-body workout is great for building muscles and burning calories while also improving balance, reaction time, and even focus.
Fitven punching bags stand approximately 70 inches and allow you to develop throwing strikes targeted at the entire range of the body. They are suitable for the whole family workout-adults, teens, and kids (47-73 inches tall). This is also a great gift for stress release and strength building! The Dual TPU provides a great shock absorbing system, and the 5mm thick ABS round base provides a stable floor-sucking base.
- Durable and reliable
- Profession protection
- Silencing layer provides silent workouts
- Works for everyone above 7 years
- Fill with sand for for stability
Original Wavemaster (Best Adjustable)
The Original Wavemaster bag was the first model from Century. This model was released for the first time more than a decade ago, and since then has become very popular in many gyms and martial arts clubs. The Original Century is the predecessor to the current line of Wavemasters from Century.
The Original Century punching bag is made of high-density foam and has a long-lasting cover made of vinyl. The punching bag can be set to a height between 47 and 68 inches. Because this model is smaller than others, it is recommended for children and shorter adults. The Original Wavemaster can be filled with water or sand. The entire fitness equipment weighs approximately 250 pounds. The punching bag is padded and stable and is available in black, blue and red.
- Solid base
- Easily movable
- Absorbs impact
- 7 height options makes it great for men, women and kids
- A bit small for tall adults
Versys Fight Simulator (Best Versatile)
The Century Versys Fight Simulator has a unique design that allows for both stand-up and ground training. It has more than three times the striking surface of a standard bag and combines the uses of a standard freestanding bag with those of a grappling dummy.
It provides you with the most realistic workout next to partner training and allows mixed martial artists to practice all kinds of punching and kicking techniques. The movement of the bag improves timing and reflexes when striking. The top and bottom handles allow a multitude of workouts, including dragging, knee strikes, sit-ups, leg lifts, resistance band workouts, and more.
It is approximately 18 inches in diameter, 69 inches tall, and weighs around 100lbs. The bag’s base is pre-filled (small gravel) and doesn’t require additional water or sand filling.
- Quick assembly
- Realistic workout
- Pre-filled base
- Not a replacement for heavy bag training
Ringside Cobra Reflex Bag (Best Reflex Bag)
You mimic the action in the ring for a satisfying cardio workout and increase your hits with this Ringside Punching Bag at the gym or home. The new version is revamped with improved quality and steel strength to create an indestructible punching bag. The strong industrial quality steel alloy spring enables fast action punching and can withstand the most rigorous gym use and is adjustable from 5' to 7' high. It is ideal to improve your foot speed and reflexes. Fill base tank with 140 lbs. of water or sand.
- Great for workouts
- Good for speed and reflexes
- Items are not very durable
Century B.O.B Training Dummy (Best Body Opponent Bag)
Century BOB (Body Opponent Bag) has a unique design and takes up less space than the original BOB®. The body “Skin” is constructed of high-strength plastisol. The inner cavity is filled with high-density urethane foam. The base can be filled with water or sand, and also fits on the adjustable Wavemaster™ base.
The punching bag looks like a person, and it feels like you are hitting a real body. That makes it very effective training in martial arts because you are able to better target your punches. You can practice chain punching, side kicks, elbows to the head, palm thrusts, waist and chest kicks, solar plexus strikes, and other targeted punches.
Century BOB moves around just minimally, and that helps you focus on the target by mixing up combos and other combinations without missing strikes or punches. Century BOB weighs 270 lbs and has 7 height adjustments from 60” to 78”. The unit is easy to install and doesn’t require any tools.
- Realistic training
- Adjustable height
- Works for MMA, Boxing and fitness training
- Assembly required
- Base moves on hard punches
Best Buying Guide for Free-standing heavy bags
What are the types of free-standing punching bags?
Free-standing punching bags can be further divided into three distinct subcategories: free-standing heavy bag, body opponent bag (“BOB” for short), and reflex bag.
- Free-standing heavy bag: Free-standing heavy bags are by far the most common subtype of free-standing punching bags. These bags make the heavy punching bag, which is usually hung from the ceiling, into a mobile training tool. These heavy bags are great for people who train at home or in small spaces because they can be used for a lot of different things and aren’t too hard to move around. Like all free-standing bags, these free-standing heavy punching bags can handle both quick jabs and roundhouse kicks with almost the same amount of difficulty. This, along with the design of the heavy bag and the fact that the base weight can be changed, makes free-standing heavy bags a good choice for training in all kinds of sports, from boxing to MMA.
- Body opponent bag (BOB): Want to make your training more realistic and take it to the next level? Enter the Body Opponent Bag (BOB) line of punching bags to make your training more realistic and take it to the next level. Century is the only company that makes and sells the BOB series of punching bags. These heavy bags are made to feel more like a real training partner. Even though it’s a good choice for athletes and fighters in general, the BOB is best for people who are training for combat, whether it’s real or just for fun. The vinyl cover of the bag is made to look like human skin so that each hit feels more real. Because of how the bag is shaped and how the height can be changed, you can train your muscles to hit specific areas with more accuracy.
- Reflex bag: Reflex bags are the middleweights of punching bags that stand on their own. Like their heavyweight cousins, these bags sit on a heavyweight base. However, instead of a structured, padded bag, a spring, pole, and air-filled bag are used instead. Reflex bags help you improve your reflexes without having to worry about installing a permanent speed bag in your not-so-permanent apartment. Most free-standing punching bags are made to take the full force of your blows, but the reflex bag was made to help you improve your timing, speed, and mobility. Because of this, these bags are only made for punches with LOW POWER. Save your most powerful blows for your heavy bag.
What do you use punching bags for?
- Punch/Kick – A full-length punching bag suitable for punching and kicking.
- Punch/Grapple – A punching bag designed to tip over and lead into grappling work.
- Fitness – A punching bag designed for cardio and aerobics, not necessarily heavy striking.
Key Features to select a free-standing punching bag
Free-standing punching bags are pretty straightforward affairs. With a bag mounted on top of a base, there are a few “wow”-inducing features that deserve your attention. Instead, focus on selecting a bag that executes the basics well. Features like easy adjustability, long-term durability, and a user-friendly base deserve the vast majority of your attention.
- Design & Durability– Make sure your bags have a sturdy cover, solid base, and good padding. Premium vinyl and foam padding should withstand years of use and this is a criterion you should not take lightly.
- Stability & Resistance– The bags should be able to withstand full power punches and kicks without the bags tumbling over. Some movement is normal but it should not disrupt your training.
- Adjustability– Ensure that you can adjust the height and base weight of your standing bag. Having a height-adjustable bag can do wonders for your training routine especially if you like to do more than just boxing. Except for reflex bags, one of the greatest advantages of free-standing punching bags is their versatility. A free-standing heavy bag can serve boxers, kickboxers, MMA fighters, and other combat athletes incredibly well as can Body Opponent Bags, and much of this versatility is due to the adjustability that the basic design provides.
- Portability– Is the punching bag easily moveable? Can the base fill be easily emptied? These factors make moving the bag so much easier, especially if you ever have to move one of these things up or down a flight of stairs.
- Good Warranty– Standing heavy bags cost a few hundred bucks, buying a reputable brand with a good warranty that protects you from the 90 days is common, but really good brands will many times have a 1yr limited warranty.
- User-friendly base: Hight quality free-standing punching bags use durable and capable bases that are also user-friendly. Ensure that the free-standing bag you buy has a versatile yet stable base.
- Workout Versatility: Free-standing punching bags adapt well to a wide variety of combat sports and fighting styles. Most bags will accommodate all types of boxing including muay Thai and MMA fighters with little adjustment.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Freestanding punching bags
- No Mounting Required – This is perhaps the biggest reason to buy a free-standing punching bag. Brackets, bracing, and big bolts are required to safely mount a hanging heavy bag into a ceiling. Even the most compact heavy bag stands still require you to put together a big metal support system. A free-standing bag only requires the user to fill the base with ballast-like sand for stability.
- Portability & Convenience – Because there is no mounting needed, a free-standing bag can be moved almost anywhere you want it to be on that day. You can roll it into a corner or a closet when you are done, or you can roll it outside the garage to get an outdoor workout in. Filling the base with water makes it easier to drain and move up and down flights of stairs. Sand is much heavier and harder to completely get out of the base. Keep this in mind when initially filling your punching bag base.
Are there any drawbacks?
The obvious drawback of using a free-standing heavy bag is the fact they can’t take extremely powerful blows. Strong punches will knock the bag easily which defeats the purpose of a training bag. For boxers with high power needs, we recommend getting a heavy bag.
Pricing considerations for free-standing punching bags
Heavy free-standing bags
- Avoid anything below $100
- $100 – $200: Budget product with a basic degree of quality
- $200 – $400: preferred as a long-term investment
- >$400: Not worth the investment unless you’re a professional or semi-professional athlete
- Avoid anything below $100
- $100 -$200 Good products, usually also get a good deal on
Body Opponent Bags
- $200 – $300: Buy when you think it is a deal but review features
- $300 – $400: Usually the sweet spot
Setting Up Your Punching Bag
All standing punching bags have the same basic components. There is the plastic base that sits on the floor, a core with all the padding around it, and a neck or joint piece that connects the two. The precise way they assemble varies by manufacturer, but their basic elements are the same.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on free-standing punching bags
Best Free Standing Bags – Top Picks (Summary)
- Best Freestanding Punching Bags
- Best Reflex Bag: Ringside Cobra reflex bag
- Best Body Opponent Bag: Century BOB
Do you have any Free standing punching bags? Let us know in the comments.
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