As convenient and useful free standing punching bags can be, there are also downside that come with them. Most of the time these issues are not realized until after you bought them and went through multiple uses, and by then you may be left with no other option but to keep them. So before you decide on the type of punching bag for yourself, read this article and find out what the problems are with free standing punching bags and how you can fix them.
- Free Standing Punching Bags Will Slide
Given that the base of standing punching bags are made of plastic. It leaves the bottom pretty smooth and without much grip. As a result, it is typical to have your standing punching bag slide and shift as you workout.
This becomes an issue because you will regularly need to adjust the bag in the middle of your workout and to help avoid this, there are several ways in which you can either make your free standing punching bag heavier, or give it more grip on the bottom. One option is filling the base with heavier material such as sand, or giving the bottom more grip by getting high quality rubber floor mats and applying grip tape to the bottom.
We cover the different ways you can make a free standing punching bag move less in this article here.
- They May Not Be Tall Enough
Many free standing punching bags can be adjusted to be lower or higher in height to help accommodate the boxer where the punching bag itself can be set on the base unit. Typically they will reach a maximum height of 6 feet or 72 inches.
Depending on how much bag surface you need and how tall you are, it could be a dealbreaker. Ideally you would want the top of the bag taller than you, a few inches or even a foot. This allows you to practice head and body shots and have more surface area for punching. For those close to 6 feet or more in height, a standard free stand punching bag may not be the best fit for you.
Something closer to what you might need is the Century Wavemaster XXL, it is a full length standing punching bag and bulkier, allowing it to take harder hits with optimal surface area for strikes.
- What Do You Fill The Base With
There’s often a debate as to what material is best to fill the base of a standing punching bag. The 2 most common options are sand and water. Water is easier to fill the base but even when filled to the brim, you will likely still experience some form of shifting or moving by the bag. Sand would make it much heavier, but it can be tougher to clean and empty or even move the bag when needed.
Many also suggest mixing both to get the exact weight of what works for you, but it would be a nightmare to empty. We advise reading our article above for alternative ways to help weigh down the free standing bag when filled with water.
- Do They Tip Over
Despite the best efforts from the manufacturers. Many of the free standing punching bags are known to tip when being hit hard. It kind of defeats the purpose of owning a punching bag, but at the same time, nothing can be perfect.
This is especially true to the standing bags with the adjustable heights where the higher you set it the greater chance it will tip when hit with great force. If you have the option, the full length standing bags tend to be more stable and sturdy.
- Standing Bags Do Not Sway
Many boxers prefer to have some slight swaying when using a punching bag. The movement from hanging heavy bags helps with improving accuracy and mimics a live opponent. Free standing punching bags has no swaying, due to the nature of how it is made and what it is.
Is it a dealbreaker for those who aren’t looking to be a professional boxer? Definitely not. A free standing punching is more than enough for those looking for boxing as a workout.
However, if you are looking for a bag that has some movement, and more dense to hit. Going with a heavy hanging bag would likely be more suitable.
You can see our comparison between a hanging heavy bag and free standing punching bag in our article here.
- Are Free Standing Bags Tall Enough
Deciding on a free standing punching bag based on the right height for you is only part of the story. Often times the punching bag may be the right height but it isn’t able to withstand the blows that you give.
On top of that, getting free standing punching bags that are adjustable will have less bag surface area to work with causing certain types of punches difficult to perform and kicks not available altogether.
If being sturdy and having plenty of surface area to use is at the top of your priority list, hanging punching bags or the full length standing bags are good options.
- Punching Bag Feel
If you have used heavy bags before, you will feel a big difference with free standing bags. Hanging heavy bags have a dense, thick feel when punching it. Many people prefer the heavy bag feel for the comfort and how it resembles real life opponents. With a free standing punching bag, there isn’t as much material in the bag, and when hit, it can feel hollow.
There is not much of a substitute if a standing bag is all you have room for. Your best bet would be going for XXL standing punching bags that have a larger base and bag.
- Do They Help Build Strength
Free standing punching bags are lighter and not as resistance to heavy hits like heavy bags are. Because of this, it doesn’t make it a great choice to help build strength through boxing. Like mentioned before, there isn’t much density and material inside to help weigh down the bag. Causing very little resistant needed that would help build strength in your punches. Hanging heavy bags have a lot of dead weight and can take a beating, which is great for growing muscles.
- It Can Be Awkward When Getting In Close
For those who have a shorter reach or like to get in close to the bag, this one is for you. The base of a free standing punching bag isn’t overly intrusive, but it does make it a bit awkward if you want to get in close to the bag and practice exercises like a body shot. This issue wouldn’t really matter if you’re just getting a workout in and doing combos, the foot space becomes a concern when you are moving a lot or grappling the bag.
- They can break
Everything that continually takes a beating will eventually wear down or break. But remember the standing punching bag has a lot of plastic parts. We’ve heard too many times that after filling the base or weighing it down so much that with enough force when using the bag, it can actually crack or break in half.
Free standing punching bags are great tools for those looking to box for fitness or casually. They fit easily into home gyms of all different sizes and will provide a great workout. However convenient it is, there isn’t a one size fits all when in comes to standing punching bags. Choose the right size and weight will be different depending on what your needs are.
To be safe, deciding on a free standing punching bag that may be slightly bigger than you need, would probably be the right choice. Having it a bit bigger and heavier is better than having it a bit smaller and lighter in what you’re looking for.