The best punchbags

Improve your striking ability, get fit and relieve stress with our list of the best punch bags

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Home gyms are often compact spaces, so they require you to be savvy with the type of gym equipment you put in it. Punch bags are fairly reasonable in size, and can often be taken down from the ceiling and put away when not in use. Alternatively, water-based punch bags can be moved to the side of the room once you’ve completed your workout, giving you the space to carry out floor exercises if required. 

Punch bags are a great way to keep fit, whether you practice boxing or not, as you can use them to build strength, endurance and get your pulse racing during lengthy training sessions.  They come in all shapes, sizes and weights, with smaller, lighter ones helping you to develop time and speed and longer heavy ones helping you with power and conditioning. 

It’s also worth considering the material of your punchbag. Most standard ones are made using fake leather, giving them the strength to take regular pummelling without showing much in the way of wear and tear. Genuine leather bags are great, too, but they’re a bit softer and can often be more expensive. 

Surprisingly, the best filling for punch bags is textile – a posh name for shredded clothing. An alternative filling is foam, which is essentially just as good as textile, just not as authentic. 

Looking at products from the likes of Amazon and Sports Direct, we’ve compiled a list of the best punch bags featuring various materials and fillings...

1. Boxing MMA 100lbs Heavy Bag Filled

The perfect training bag for avid boxers, kickboxers and martial arts lovers in general

Specifications
Best for: Heavy hitters
Type: Hanging
Material: Vinyl
Weight: 45kg
Filler: Textile
Reasons to buy
+ Heavy weight for improving power and conditioning+ Authentic shredded textile filling 
Reasons to avoid
- Will have to be shipped from the USA 

A heavy punch bag should ideally weigh more 70lb, so you can guarantee that this bag will put up some resistance when it comes throwing kicks and punches. The weight will prevent it from swinging as much, giving you greater resistance to improve the power of your impact, and you also have the option to purchase it with a D-ring at the bottom, allowing you to attach it to the floor - great if your home gym is a particularly small space. While it’s not made from genuine leather, it comes with a 10 year guarantee to quality, with many reviewers expressing how impressed they are with how it performs.  

2. Everlast C3 Foam Heavy Punch Bag

A popular choice for the budget-conscious

Specifications
Best for: All-rounder
Type: Hanging
Material: Polycanvas
Weight: 32kg
Filler: Synthetic fibre and sand mix
Reasons to buy
+ Universal weight for light and heavy practice + Ground anchor option if required 
Reasons to avoid
- Surface not as soft as leather  

Everlast is pretty much a failsafe brand if you’re looking for a punch bag.  They’re well known, and, as the same suggests, their products are built to last. Surrounded by a foam, users benefit from a high absorption upon impact and with a filling consisting of foam and sand, the combination is made to ensure the right level of resistance. At 32kg, the bag isn’t too heavy, which makes it the perfect choice for a lighter weight boxers and kickboxers. It’s also worth noting the option of a ground anchor, which is certainly a good addition if your home gym is compact in size, as it stops it from swinging around so much. 

3. Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag

A heavy, free standing punch bag for intense workouts

Specifications
Best for: Movement
Type: free standing
Material: Vinyl
Weight: 225kg with water filled base
Filler: Foam, base can be filled with either sand or water
Reasons to buy
+ Superheavy + 5'9 tall for kicking and punching 
Reasons to avoid
- Slight movement when punched hard 

Standing at 5'9 inches tall, this is the perfect bag for kicking and punching practice and because it doesn’t move per se, it gives you a more intense workout without the need to wait until it has swung back and settled slightly for the next impact. Featuring a vinyl exterior, it may not be the most authentic punch bag, but users report that they are consistently happy with the quality, making it totally worth the price tag. This bag should make the perfect sparring partner outside of the gym, as there’s freedom to move 360 degrees around it, should your space allow.  

4. Century BOB Freestanding Punch Bag

A popular choice for sparring and target training at home

Specifications
Best for: Sparring/target training
Type: free standing
Material: high density urethane foam
Weight: 122kg with water filled base
Filler: N/A
Reasons to buy
+ Realistic target practice + Full sized 
Reasons to avoid
- More for precision work 

If you’re looking to improve the accuracy of your punches, or fancy a light and fast workout, BOB may just do the trick. With a large base filled with either sand or water, BOB has the weight to withstand fairly strong punches. However, due to less impact absorption, he’s not built for power development. You can use BOB to get ahead of your sparring at home; as with our third pick, he’s freestanding, so you have the freedom to move 360 degrees around him should your gym space allow. 

5. RDX Heavy Punch Bag

With gloves and a pull up bar welcome extras, this heavy punch bag is perfect for beginners

Specifications
Best for: Beginners
Type: hanging
Material: Maya hide leather
Weight: 25kg
Filler: T
Reasons to buy
+ Choose from three different designs + Pull up bar will allow you to vary your workout 
Reasons to avoid
- Perhaps too light for those experienced in contact sports 

If you’re a beginner, you’re probably looking for a high quality package so you can swing right into it. This wall mounted punch bag comes with gloves and a pull up bar so you can start building your fitness from day one. The bag itself is lighter than others on our list, so it’s perfect for beginners looking to improve the power of their punches, but probably too light for those who are capable of full throttle impact. The gloves won’t be representative of the highest quality, but are probably perfectly fine for beginners, while the pull up bar will allow you to build your upper strength for quicker results.  

6. Lonsdale PU Angle Bag

A soft bag for lighter impact while practising upper cuts

Specifications
Best for: Uppercuts
Type: Single angled hanging bag
Material: PU outer
Weight: 28kg
Filler: Soft inner filling
Reasons to buy
+ Designed so you can practice your uppercuts + Cheap and cheerful 
Reasons to avoid
- PU outer won’t be the highest quality 

When you’re perfecting your technique, the impact of continuous punching can take it out of your joints. If you’re looking to work on your uppercut specifically, this single angled punch bag will enable you to mimic the right movement so you can develop your skills more effectively. While some people may not enjoy the soft inner filling, those who suffer with pain because of the impact on their hands, may benefit from a bag that offers a higher level of absorption.  

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