How To Choose A Free Standing Punching Bag

Boxing training is a great high intensity workout. It comes with many benefits when done alone and can also be included on top of any workout routine. The best part is that it can be done easily at home, all you need is a punching bag. The most common punching bag for home use, is the free standing punching bag. And this is how you choose the right one for your home gym.

You would want to have a clear idea of what types of workouts you will be doing and the available space you have. The ideal standing punching bag should come with a large and stable base, with a punching bag that is 1.5 – 2 feet wide and can reach a max height of about 6 feet or 72 inches. Add in some space for you to complete the workout and that should give you a good idea of what room would work best.

Depending on your workout plans, a full length standing bag has padding from the base of the unit to the top, allowing more striking range and low kicks. Whereas the common standard bags can slide up and down the base unit allowing you to choose the perfect height. If you plan on incorporating kicks as part of your workout a full length standing punch bag is what you would need. For boxing training the standard 3.5 foot bag is sufficient.

The base will originally be empty and when you finally settle in on a spot for it, you would need to fill it entirely with water or sand. A base full of water would make the entire unit weight about 200-250 pounds and with sand it will be about 350 pounds. Plan for 3 -4 bags of sand in order to fill the base entirely.

How Tall Should A Standing Punching Bag Be?

Most free standing punching bags come with either an adjustable punching bag that can be slide higher or lower or a punching bag that covers the entirety of the base unit up until the foot of it. The most common max height of a free standing punching bag is 6 feet.

What you’re looking for when finding the ideal height of a standing punching bag is be able to comfortably punch in front of you without having to feel like you’re reaching high or too low. If you’re able to throw a punch at shoulder height and still have some room to punch higher or lower. Then you’re good to go.

A full length model of a free standing punching bag will help eliminate the hassle of adjusting for height. You wouldn’t need to slide the punching bag up and you would get extra striking area, including low kicks. The Torrent by Century is a good example of it, with a sturdy size and plenty of striking room.

How Heavy Should A Standing Punching Bag Be?

Having the right heaviness or weight of your standing punching bag will very between different users. It’s a mix between size and skill of the boxer that could help determine how heavy the punching bag should be weighed down.

Filling the entire base with water and making the unit about a total of 250 pounds, is typically heavy enough for most users. And keeping it at a total weight of 250 – 300 pounds would be enough for many boxing exercises. Especially if you are boxing more for fitness reasons rather than trying to demolish the punch bag. However, sometimes we underestimate our own strength and the standing punching bag can still slide or shift during use. It happened to me quite a bit and decided to write an article to help others keep their standing punching bag from moving.

The optimal weight is when the base isn’t sliding across the floor or tipping during your workout. If you’re unsure if a water filled base is enough for you. I would recommend going with sand from the get go or read our article about extra steps in keeping your standing bag still.

What Is The Difference Between A Standing Punching Bag and Hanging Punching Bag?

When comparing a hanging punching bag with a standing punching bag, the first thing that jumps out is the feel of the bags. When punching a free standing bag there is less padding and more of a hollow feel to it. Alternatively with a hanging punching bag, there is much more density and weight.

Hanging Punching BagFree Standing Punching Bag
Pros– good for building muscle
– heavier bag
– can take harder punches
– good movement from the punching bag
– easy set up
– cost effective
– freedom of placement
Cons– more set up required
– higher costs
– not easily put away
– can shift with harder punches
– no bag movement
– max height may not be suitable for those over 6 feet

For someone looking to upgrade their boxing skills or to build muscle. There really isn’t any alternative to the classic hanging punching bag. They may take a bit more money and elbow grease to set up properly, but the end result is second to none. The inner stuffing of a hanging bag has much denser materials also. This allows the bag to be much heavier and a better feel when punching.

On the other hand a free standing punching bag comes with its own set of positives. Being able to place a standing bag wherever you please, comes as a great convenience. Not every home gym, basement or garage has an easily accessible joist that would be needed for a hanging punch bag. When the base is weighed down properly, a free standing punching bag is actually a great workout tool. It can withstand hits from any casual boxer and is a perfect addition to any workout.

How Do You Stabilize A Free Standing Punching Bag?

After filling your free standing punching bag with either water or sand. You may find that it is shifting a bit during use. We can dive a bit deeper and see how you can keep a free standing bag from sliding, shifting and tipping during a workout, there are a few things that can you can do to help.

  1. Floor Mats – A good quality rubber floor mat would make a world of difference. The surface of rubber mats have extra grip to it too, which can “hold” the base much better than concrete, tile or even carpet flooring. If you have any sort of home gym, you should be considering good quality floor mats anyway. A layer of protection for your floors, and an extra cushion for your body is a win win when working out at home.
  2. Sand Bags – Relatively cheap, and easy to manage. Try tying 2-3 sand bags together at the top of the base. The same sand bags used for film and photography will work great. You could also try placing them on the sides around your punching bag, but this would give you less foot space when getting in closer.
  3. Lean It On A Wall – This may not be the best option if you like moving around your bag. But it definitely would help it from moving around. Push your bag up against the baseboard of a wall. You can even put a towel or an old shirt in between to prevent any damage. Most base sizes are larger then the actual bag, giving you some space from the bag hitting the wall.
  4. Anti Slip Tape – Sticking adhesive tape, or anti slip tape underneath the base of your punching bag is another way to create some extra friction. Depending on the type of flooring you have there are quite of few different options of tape that can be suitable. Having a extra layer of grip will be useful, be sure to choose one right for your floor.

Where Should You Put A Standing Punching Bag?

Basements and garages are the most common place to place a punching bag, and they typically will have plenty of space to for them or a home gym in general. They should be in an area of your home that is relatively private and away from any daily foot traffic. This serves two purposes. The first is you get to go to your own space and focus on working out, thats it. The second being that you are far enough away that your workouts are not distracting anyone else in the house.

When looking where to place your standing punching bag or home gym, you should look for a few things.

  1. plenty of floor and head space
  2. well ventilated
  3. a lot of light – windows, LEDs etc.

Is A Free Standing Punching Bag Worth It?

Like how we started off this article saying, boxing is an amazing workout. Having a free standing punching bag is a great investment for both getting better at boxing and boxing as a for of fitness. In terms of fitness equipment, although standing punching bags takes a “beating”, investing in a high quality punch bag will last you for many years.

Boxing as a workout or skill training requires a punching bag, if you’re looking for something that is low maintenance from start to finish then a free standing punching back is worth it. If you would like more information on a standing punching bag, we go more in depth with our article here.

There are also some negatives that many owners have talked about, we have an article that goes through the top 10 issues you may encounter with a free standing punching bag.

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