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A punching bag is one of the best ways for someone to improve their boxing or striking game, especially a heavy bag, however, due to the current climate, more and more people have resorted to home workouts.
Having a free-standing punching bag at home allows you to practice technique, develop power, work on your timing, speed and your footwork.
What is a free-standing punching bag?
Freestanding punching bags are one of the best ways for someone to get additional training in between their gym sessions.
A free-standing punching bag is normally a heavy bag that a person can strike with ease and it has a base attached to the bottom of the bag to stop it from moving. This is perfect for people who cannot attach things to their walls, such as home renters,
It is also ideal for people who want or need to move their bag around, meaning their great for indoor and outdoor use or small gyms that require it to be tucked away when not being used.
The base of a freestanding heavy bag is normally filled with sand, gravel, water or any other ballast to make it heavy enough to strike.
Advantages of a Free-standing Punch Bag
As mentioned before, portability is one of the biggest advantages of having a free-standing bag. Because you don’t need to mount your bag, your ability to store it is far easier. Have a blast on the bag and once you’re done, roll it into the corner or into your closest for easy storage.
Having a free-standing punching bag also means that you don’t have to find an area in the house or your garage where you will need to mount it.
Heavy bag wall mounts can be big, heavy and if not fitted correctly, dangerous. If you fit the bag into the ceiling, there is a good chance that you’re not going to screw your bag into a joist and that you could tear down your ceiling, which would never be a good idea.
Disadvantages of a Free-standing Punch Bag
One of the most obvious disadvantages of owning a freestanding heavy bag is that they simply aren’t robust or substantial enough, especially when you compare it to a normal heavy bag.
A trained striker, or someone who is strong, will have no problem moving it about, and possibly knocking the bag and the base over.
This is the main limitation to a free-standing punching bag, so it’s good to recognise if your abilities will outhit the bag.
However for many people that simply won’t be the case, and these standing punching
The Best Free-Standing punching Bags Reviewed
Below we’ve collated a list of what we consider to be some of the best free-standing punching bags available on the market today.
From our research we have collated that there are three types of free-standing bags available on the market, these are.
- Punching & Kicking heavy bag – This is a full-length free-standing bag that has been designed exclusively for strikes.
- MMA heavy bag – This bag has been designed for elements of both striking and grappling. This normally includes a base that rocks.
- Fitness – These heavy bags don’t have the same durability as the previous two bags and are more designed for aerobic cardio work.
Below are some of the best freestanding heavy bags available on the market
Editor's Choice - Century Wavemaster (Original)
The original Century Wavemaster was one of the first freestanding heavy bags available on the market and it still holds up today against its competitors.
This is the perfect bag for anyone looking to get their first free-standing heavy bag, thanks to its durability and size. Like its newer counterpart the Powerline Wavemaster, the original Wavemaster is built with high-density foam and comes with a heavy rounded base designed for excellent feedback.
This is the ideal piece of equipment for home or garage workouts and can be filled with Water or Sand to stop it from moving.
This bag comes in at 13 inches in diameter and 26 inches tall and just like its predecessor the Powerline Wavemaster, it has an adjustable height making it perfect for various forms of striking.
The original Century Wavemaster features a Year’s Warranty.
Most Realistic - Century BOB and BOB XL Punching Bag
BOB or the “Body Opponent Bag” is one of the best punching bags for pure martial artists and MMA practitioners.
Both the BOB and the Century BOB XL feature a realistic torso-shaped punching bag that’s made from a durable plastisol material.
There’s a reason why the Century BOB XL is featured in many gyms around the world, the design allows a practitioner to work on quality, precision striking, which will truly help them in the gym.
The base can be filled to a maximum of 270 pounds, similar to other bags on the list, and is designed to be easily slid or rolled into and out of storage.
The Century BOB takes punches like an absolute champ. The material is durable and pliable to take a solid strike and the base is strong enough not to move or slide.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this bag is that it doesn’t allow for low kicks, as it is only a torso, not an entire body.
Also, it has been recommended that you wear gloves when training with the BOB as it can take some time for the plastisol to soften up for bare-knuckle strikes.
Best Value - Ringside Elite Standing Punching Bag
While being the best value for money, the ringside also one of the sturdiest bags on the market.
Designed with a huge 32-inch diameter base, it can also be filled to 270 pounds, with water, sand or other materials.
One of it’s unique factors is its low centre of gravity, which means you can really give it some muscle.
Unlike the Century Wavemaster XXL, the Ringside Elite Free-Standing Punching bag features a spring-loaded core, which offers some additional benefits.
The spring-loaded core improves the shock absorption abilities of this bag, meaning it can take some heavy shots. However, the downside of this is that it causes the bag to sway more, which makes it more of a hybrid between a heavy bag and a punching bag.
An issue that many people have noticed is that the screws that attach the base and the spring-loaded collar become loose over time, due to the vibrations. So we recommend some blue Loctite on the threads to stop that from happening.
It’s also been noted that the spring can become quite squeaky over time, so it’s recommended that you give this bag a bit of TLC with some lubricant or WD40.
Standing at a huge 6 foot 4 inches, the Ringside Elite is one of the biggest free-standing punching bags on our list, which makes it great for someone who wants to practice Muay Thai or Kick Boxing.
If you want a bag that’s durable and sturdy then the Ringside Elite is one of the best free-standing punching bags that you can buy.
Best Free Standing Punching Bag – Other Choices
While the top three have been noticed for the overall ability, realism and value, that doesn’t make them any less of a prospect.
Century Powerline Wavemaster
The Century Powerline Wavemaster is the 2nd version of the popular free-standing bag, the Wavemaster, but this version takes it to the very next level.
The Powerline Wavemaster features twice as much high-density foam as its predecessor and has an adjustable height from 46 inches to 68 inches, making this an incredibly versatile freestanding heavy bag.
Fill the base with water, sand or other ballast and the Century Powerline Wavemaster can weigh up to 270 pounds, perfect for those hard-hitting workouts.
Ideal for any martial artist, the Century Powerline Wavemaster is durable and highly versatile.
Available in Red, Blue or Black, this bag also comes with a one year warranty!
Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag
First on our list of best free-standing punching bags is the Century Wavemaster XXL. Like many of the free-standing bags on this list, this is a substantial piece of equipment.
Weighing up to 270 pounds when fully filled, this is one of the most durable bags on the market.
Unlike many of the bags on this list, this heavy bag is not spring-loaded but instead features a shock collar that sits between the bag and the base.
This means it’s a far more rigid free standing heavy bag, which many people will find satisfying to strike with.
One of the issues that people mentioned with this bag is that is they have an issue with the base sliding around when filled with water.
However, this can be remedied by filling the base with sand and placing the bag on a non-slip rubber mat, instead of having it sit on bare concrete or carpet.
Ultimately it’s down to its sturdiness that we are happy to recommend this heavy bag with our Editor’s Choice award.
Century Versys Fight Simulator
The Century Versys Fight Simulator is one of the most unique designs for a free-standing punching bag. The bag is designed to help you with your movement as well as your striking.
Featuring a narrow, rounded base, the Versys Fight Simulator is an excellent alternative to a sparring partner.
Give this bag the old one-two combination and it will rock back and forth, ideal for you to practice your footwork and your step-off right hook.
The Versys Fight Simulator can also be an excellent alternative to an MMA sparring partner. Coming in at just 100 pounds, you can easily pick this up and slam it and give it a good ground and pound session.
Setup takes no time at all, the base is prefilled, so all you have to do is fill the body. Its narrow footprint also makes it excellent for storage.
This page is perfect for fighters looking to fine-tune their techniques. It features handles at the top and bottom of the bag, allowing you to practice your clinch work and get in some of those reps that you would not be able to do with a standard free-standing punching bag.
Ringside Fitness Punching Bag
Here is another punching bag that features a smaller base, however unlike its larger brother, the Ringside Elite, this bag is designed to help work those fine motor skills and get in a good cardio workout.
With a smaller base comes more manoeuvrability, making it far easier to store but also a bit more wobbly on its feet.
The base comes in at around 140 pounds once fully filled, however a quick word of warning is needed here. The opening is rather small so we would recommend filling it with a funnel so to avoid unneeded mess.
The body is constructed with durable vinyl and also has a thick reinforced vinyl core for extra protection.
This ringside bag has some sway to it, thanks to its small base, which is perfect for mimicking sparring situations and practising your footwork. If you’re in the market for a decent-sized free-standing punching bag, the Ringside Fitness Punching Bag is ideal.
If you’re looking to take your striking and your boxing workout to the next level then the Everlast PowerCore has you covered.
Thanks to its rounded design, this bag is durable but has a relatively small footprint, allowing you to move around the bag more freely while getting in an excellent cardio workout.
Everlast never messes around when making boxing equipment, and this bag is no different. Designed to absorb the impact of the hardest strikes, this bag sits firm even with a hit from the hardest hook.
With a deep base, once you’ve filled this bag up, it can weigh up to a whopping 370 pounds and also features an adjustable height from 54 inches to 65 inches to you can adjust it to your perfect height.
Everlast even through in some included equipment with the bag so this really is the all-in-one best free-standing punching bag available on the market.
Century Cardio Wavemaster
While Century is the kings of free-standing heavy bags, their punching bags are just as good!
The Cardio Wavemaster has all the features of its bigger brothers, but in a smaller package that’s perfect for the home.
This bag would be considered to be more of a free-standing fitness bag, but it’s heavy enough and substantial enough that you can give it some confident hits, especially if you’re a beginner.
The base comes in at 170 pounds once it’s filled with water or sand, thanks to its smaller footprint, and people have mentioned that the base case slide, so we would recommend putting it on a rubber mat so you have more traction.
Thanks to its strong connection to the base, the bag is fairly rigid, but if you want to get in an excellent workout between gym sessions and need something that’s not going to take up a lot of space in your home, this is ideal.
Century Torrent T1 & T2 Pro
Last and by no means least on this list is the Century Torrent T1 & T2 Pro.
Another big hitter from century the torrent T1 & T2 Pro is a big bertha of a heavy bag. This is designed for those big hits n the gym and is especially good for someone who wants to get in a good workout and work their power.
Ideal for taking hard kicks from a seasoned kickboxer.
One of the most unique features of this free-standing punching bag is its innovative unlocking system, where you can unlock the base from the head meaning it’s super portable.
The Century Torrent T1 Bag comes in at 60 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter, while the T2 comes in at a rather big 67 inches tall and 25 inches in diameter. One of the more unique qualities about the T2 Pro is the fact that it’s so big, you can actually get two people working on the same bag without much interruption from each other.
Key Features to Look Out For
So when you’re looking for a freestanding heavy bag, what are you actually on the lookout for? These are some of the key points that we’ve come up with when you’re in the market.
Durability and Construction – One of the biggest issues, when you buy a cheap free-standing punching bag, is construction. Cheap coverings, poor quality bases and inadequate joins are all something that needs to be considered.
When you’re looking to buy a heavy bag, be on the lookout for products that feature premium, heavy vinyl and sturdy, thick foam padding. A big with both of these will be able to withstand years of abuse.
The more premium the material, the longer it will last and freestanding bags have a number of different elements to them, so it’s important that they’re all strong and sturdy.
Resistance and Stability – When it comes to a free-standing heavy bag, having a product that feels sturdy and offers up resistance is key.
The last thing you want to be doing is unloading shots into a bag that doesn’t feel substantial, that will only make your workout feel poor.
A heavy base is key for this, one which can go up to 270 pounds is ideal. We would also recommend putting a rubber mat underneath the bag for added friction.
Portability – One of the key features of home gym equipment is portability and a free-standing heavy bag is not different.
Things to consider when you’re purchasing these products, can I move it easily? How easily can the base be filled and emptied?
All these are a factor when considering buying your first free-standing bag.
Warranty – Having an excellent warranty on your free-standing heavy bag is impreitive. Not only will it protect you from manufacturer defects but it will also give you confidence in the product and the company that you’re buying from.
A 90-day warranty is common, however, companies such as Century, who offer a 1-year warranty should be considered.
How to Fill Your Freestanding Heavy Bag
When you’re looking to set up your heavy bag, one of the first things you need to be looking for is what kind of ballast you should be filling your base with.
Two of the most recommended items are sand, or water, this is due to their easy transportability and also that they are heavy.
Both of these come with their own pros and cons
Sand – Sand is best for durability, if you’re not planning on moving the bag around a lot, sand is the best because it will create a firm base once it’s all packed in there.
Water – Water won’t create a firm base like sand due to it moving when you hit the bag, however, if you need to move your free-standing bag around a lot then this is an excellent solution.
When it comes to filling up the base of your freestanding punching bag, one of the first things you’re really going to need is a funnel.
When it comes to sand, start by slowly filling the base up with a small spade and regularly making sure that the sand mixture is even inside the base. Ideally, you will need around 5 to 6 bags of 50-pound sand, we recommend quickrete or simple children’s play sand.
When it comes to water, grab a hose, simply turn the tap on and wait!
If you want to make the base EXTRA heavy, combine the sand and water together, however, this will make it incredibly difficult to move around once it has been filled.
How heavy should a freestanding punching bag be?
Putting up a heavy bag is a real bag. It’s not as simple as just attaching it to your ceiling and then wailing on the bag.
Firstly, you have to make sure that your ceiling can actually bear the load. This is definitely not a step you want to skip and you need to make sure that it can handle it structurally.
If you don’t do your due diligence at this point then the consequences can be dire. Your entire ceiling could collapse in on itself. Even worse if you live in an apartment with neighbours above you. You could be hitting the bag when everything just comes down and your poor neighbour falls through the floor with all the rubble and debris too.
Even if your ceiling can handle it, it’s a massive ordeal to screw everything in properly and then actually put the bag onto the hook.
Heavy bags, as the name suggests, are heavy and thus can be extremely difficult to set up. Especially if you’re on the smaller side, trying to set one up for yourself. For some it’s impossible.
Heavy bag stands go some ways into mitigating these issues but if you really want to eschew those problems completely but still be able to use a heavy bag, then you’re going to need a free-standing heavy bag.
These look like heavy bags but with a wider, thicker area at the bottom where you load them up with either water or sand to keep them in place whilst you hit the bag. These are far easier to set up then hanging a heavy bag and easier than setting up a stand.
All the fun and benefits of a heavy bag with none of the cons.
Heavy bags are one of the most versatile training tools available. They’ve been a common staple in boxing train since forever and will continue to have a stable home for years to come. With these freestanding heavy bags, every barrier that heavy bags have presented have been torn down. Now anyone can own a heavy bag and reap all the rewards.