The Different Types Of Punching Bags And What They Are Good For

It comes with some trial and error when finding which heavy punching bag is right for you. From my early experiences, using the typical cylindrical punching bag or freestanding punching bag was what I though would be the best options available.

After being able to use a wider variety of punching bags out there, I quickly found that not only are there a much greater variety of punching bags, but often times they can be better fits for your workouts. Even for beginners.

For me, finding a punching bag that is complimentary to what you are looking for in a boxing workout, not only makes the exercise more enjoyable but also makes it more effective. Resulting in a higher likelihood of returning everytime. I wrote a guide on how to choose a punching bag, and go through the considerations I went through before making my first purchase.

Stick around for this list and find out what types of punching bags there are, what they’re good for and if it is best suited for you.

  • Best Overall Punching Bag – Angled Heavy bag
  • Best Heavy Bag For Kicking – Banana Bag / Muay Thai Hanging Bag
  • Best Punching Bag For Power – Wrecking Ball
  • Best Punching Bag For Speed – Double End Bag
  • Best Punching Bag For General Training – Heavy Hanging Bag
  • Best Punching Bag For Beginners – Freestanding Punching Bag
  • Best Punching Bag For Small Spaces – Freestanding Punching Bag

What Are The Different Types Of Punching Bags

There are various types of heavy bags or punching bags, each designed to excel in different ways. Strength training, coordination and speed are some typical attributes that are considered when completing a design. And it also should be what you consider when picking out which heavy bag is right for you.

Freestanding Punching Bags

long and short bag freestanding punching bags

This is probably the most common type of punching bag you would find in a home gym. Especially for those that are more into the fitness part of boxing and not particularly the fight skill aspect. It is the perfect boxing bag for beginners as it is easy to set up and use. There is little to no need for any maintenance and is a good fit for any type of workout.

Freestanding punching bags do not require any surface to hang from, instead they sit on a wide base that is typically filled with sand or water to help weigh it down. There are full length options where the punching bag area runs from the top of the bag to the base. And a smaller bag option where the bag itself is about 3-4 feet long and would have adjustable height tracks connected to the base.

Between the two sizes they are both viable options for boxing. The floor to ceiling punching bag is meant more for using kicks and knees strikes but I have found that it is also great for boxers as it would give more surface area to land strikes.

Heavy Hanging Bags

heavy hanging punching bag

Hanging punching bags are the better option for serious boxers or if you want a more realistic boxing workout. Main reason being that there is movement in the punching bag when being used. The swaying of a heavy hanging bag allows you to help coordinate your strikes, as well as use defensives moves like slips and head movement as if you were training for a real fight.

A hanging punching will have more weight and feel denser when being it, many relate it to as if hitting a real person. And it also encourages movement around the bag during your workout where you can incorporate footwork and head movement.

Setting up this style of punching bag does take a bit more effort than a freestanding one though. Using a ceiling beam or joist is a common option. But for those who are a bit uncertain of space or which joist is good. A wall mount or heavy bag stand are much better options.

Banana Heavy Bag

banana punching bag used for muay thai

If you want to incorporate some low kicks and knees to your workout, a banana heavy bag may be what you’re looking for. They’re meant to hang from a ceiling or really tall bag stand, with the bag itself measuring 6 feet in length. Due to its length you would often find it fastened to the floor or just touching it.

This style of punching bag is popular among kickboxers and muay thai fighters as it will help accommodate their fight style which inludes kicks, knees, as well as grappling. It’s a bit of a overkill if you strictly boxing or doing boxing workouts.

If that sounds like you, it may be a better idea to just stick with another type of punching bag on this list.

Angle Heavy Bag, Upper Cut Bag, Mushroom Bag

angled heavy hanging bag for boxing

This hanging heavy bag can come with many different names. The shape of this style of punching bag has a wider top about the same diameter of a standard heavy bag. It does angle in and gradually tapers to a smaller size near the bottom.

The angle design on this heavy bag gives a better feel when going through the motions of the different boxing combos. When compared to the standard cylindrical style punching bags. Your punches will need to land flat every time in order to be punching properly.

The Angle Heavy Bag may seem intimidating to use. However, in my opinion it is arguably the most versatile punching bag that is suited for every level of boxing. Even for beginners. They’re good for practicing body shots, uppercuts and headshots.

Teardrop Heavy Bag

teardrop heavy hanging punching bag used for uppercuts and body movement

A versatile bag that is great for punches as well as close quarters bag work. The Teardrop heavy bag has a unique design like a teardrop or also an egg, with the top of the bag being the smallest in diameter. This type of design can serve a few purposes.

The rounded bottom creates a great area to practice your knees and uppercuts. And for the kickboxers or muay thai enthusiasts, holding the top of the bag while practicing your knees or body shots is great for this bag.

Teardrop bags are typically lighter in weight as well, meaning the bag has a good swing to it when being hit. And with it’s shorter length, you will get a good exercise in head movements while you bob and weave.

Wrecking Ball

round and heavy punching bag called the wrecking ball

There is a similar shape with the wrecking ball that can be compared to the Angle heavy bag and Teardrop bag. It is another type of hanging punching bag that is designed for more angled punches like the uppercut and bodyshots.

The Wrecking Ball is typically larger in size and heavier, meaning the swing of this bag would not be as wide, however due to its shape it is still great to bob, slip and weave with when working out.

This type of punching bag is made more for boxing workouts as it’s not a great shape for kicks and knees. The denseness and heaviness of the bag is great for building strength in your punches and is designed to absorb impact well, giving a softer feel when your punches land.

Wall Uppercut Bag

wallmounted punching bag used for uppercuts and body shots

If you have limited floor space and just can’t fit a heavy bag stand or mounting a bag from the ceiling, then a wall mounted punching bag may be the one for you. It has a similar design as the Angle punching bag with a protruded top to allow for uppercuts, and a wide enough body to accommodate body shots.

This bag is good for practicing boxing combos, but due to its stationary position, you won’t get any bag movement that some boxers need. As a result footwork and proper training in defensive movements are virtually non-existent.

It is a good budget option for a simple home setup, but be sure to have it well mounted on the wall from the studs. It would also be a good idea to mount a large plywood on the wall first and then the bag for more security and reduce any possible damage to the wall itself.

Speed Bag

wall mounted speed bag

Speed bags are a good way to help develop your punch speed, rhythm and timing. As oppose to the larger standard hanging punching bags, speed bags are used to develop a boxers skill instead of power. The speed bag hangs from a platform that is mounted to the wall, it’s a great piece of equipment that will stay out of the way until you need it.

Chances are the speed bag will be something to get as you build your boxing skills or comfortable in elevating your workout. For beginners or as a first punching bag, stick to a standard heavy bag or freestanding punching bag and build on the basics from there.

Double End Bag

double ended punching bag used for speed and coordination in boxing training

The double end bag is a step up from the standard speed bag. It is mounted to the ceiling and the floor with a circular punching bag (about the size of a volleyball) in the middle. What differentiates it from a standard speed bag is that as you hit the double end bag, it snaps back rather quickly which allows the boxer to attack and dodge when using this punching bag. It mimics a real counter attack that boxers may encounter in the ring.

It is a good punching bag to further develop boxing movement and defence. You can develop coordination and practice swerving and dodging techniques while working on your movement. Its good as a stand alone workout or a warm up / cool down to an existing one.

Aqua Bag

aqua bag, water filled punching bag

The aqua punching bag is interesting and a quite convenient way of using a punching bag in your home. While most punching bags are made out of leather or synthetic material. Aqua bags are made what feels like thick plastic or rubbery texture, making it durable and able to retain the water. With most hanging punching bags filled with foam, sand and other materials. Aqua bags only need to be filled up with water.

Being a hanging ball of water, when you punch the aqua bag your strikes tend to dip or sink in more than what you would get with regular hanging bags. There is also less swing and movement to the bag, given how heavy it can be.

Reflex Bags

reflex bag, speed bag mounted on a base with coil springs

Another punching bag that is focussed to defining your boxing skills first is the reflex bag. It’s also one of the of bags that is extremely fun to use. Like a double end bag and speed bag, the reflex bag is about the size of a volleyball and rapidly swings back and forth when being used. You can use the reflex bag to develop speed, coordination and your defensive moves.

What makes the reflex bag a convenient choice for home use, is that it sits on a coiled spring and base stand. You wouldn’t need a dedicated space for this type of punching bag since it won’t be anchored to walls or ceilings. It can be placed in position and put away as you need it.

Types Of Punching Bags For Home Use – Which One Is Right For You

Not all punching bags are created equal. Not for their intended use anyway. There are many to choose from and they can come in all different shapes and sizes. In this article, we are going to talk about the different types of punching bags for your home and how to choose which is right for you.

There are many options of punching bags that are suitable for any home. Variations of hanging punching bags, free standing punching bags and wall mounted punching bags are all great for workout and training purposes. And depending on what you’re looking for, certain punching bags are better suited for your needs.

Each punching bags comes with its own set up and maintenance that may not be obvious from the beginning and before deciding on any specific punching bag, it’s important to understand what you’re getting and how it will fit in your home and overall goals.

The type of gym you plan on creating and the types of workouts you plan on doing will play a factor on which boxing bag will end up right for you.

Type Of Boxing BagWhat is it good for?Cost (Approx.)
Hanging Punching Bags-overall fitness
-improves boxing skills
-can take harder punches
Free Standing Punching Bags-overall fitness
-improves boxing skills
-easy to set up
Reflex Punching Bags-overall fitness
-hand-eye coordination
-increase punch speed
-improves timing
Wall Mounted Punching Bags-overall fitness
-improves boxing skills
-punch training

Types Of Boxing Bags For Your Home

As mentioned before, there are many types of punching bags you can get for your home. However depending on what you plan on doing, certain types of bags may not be a good fit. Although each type of punching can be used for a great workout or boxing training. If you have certain goals in mind, choosing the right bag from the beginning would be best way in helping you succeed.

Having enough space is a common issue, you can read our article about how much a punching bag needs for more information.

  • Hanging Heavy Bags – the most well known type of boxing bag. Hanging punching bags are the top choice for most boxers. They are best for working out and training for power. They can be hung from a ceiling or a bag stand and require a bit more work when installing. The swaying motion it creates and the density of the bag itself is most realistic for a boxer to train on.
  • Freestanding Punching Bags – made for more of the recreational boxer. Free standing punching bags are an alternative for those who wants something similar to a hanging punching bag, but with less hassle. The base is filled with water or sand to keep it from moving, which allows more flexibility in where you can workout.
  • Reflex Punching Bags – similar to standing punching bags, reflex bags sit on a base that can be filled. The bag itself is typically smaller, roughly the size of a basketball and sits on a spring that rocks back and forth when being hit. If you’re training for coordination and speed, reflex punching bags are the way to go.
  • Wall Mounted Bags – bags that are wall mounted are typically for practicing certain types of punches. Most common are the uppercut bags, where the top of the bag protrudes out for the boxer to use. Get these bags if you’re looking to practice certain types of combinations or want to add some more layers to your boxing workout.

Which Type Of Punching Bag Is Good For You

So now that we seen the types of boxing bags you have available for your home. We can start looking at which one is right for you. Even though they all similarly serve the same purpose, not each one will be a good fit for your situation. Space in your home, boxing skills, and overall goals for your home gym. Are just some of the things to consider in which type of punching bag you need.

  • Hanging Heavy Bags – these come most recommended. If you’re serious about boxing or would want to have a true boxing workout. Then you would need to get a hanging punching bag. The swaying movement and the dense feel of these types of bags are second to none. For home use the issue with these bags is finding the right beams or joists to hang them from. If you’re hanging them from ceilings you will have less options as to where you can hang them. Getting a bag stand is a good solution, however they will make the set up a bit bulkier and make total costs go up as well.
  • Free Standing Punching Bags – for those that just enjoy the workout and want easy setup. Go with the free standing punching bag. They are designed for all levels of boxers and fitness enthusiasts. You only need to fill the base and you’re ready to go. If you want boxing as part of your workout with a bag that is easy to set up and move around as you see fit, free standing punching bags will be a great choice.
  • Reflex Punching Bags – very fun to use and will help with hand eye coordination. They do take some getting use to and if you haven’t used one before, you probably should hold and practice the basics first. Use reflex punching bag if you’re looking to specifically build on speed and coordination skills. If you’re just looking to workout or hit a bag. Stick with the hanging or stand up options.
  • Wall Mounted Bags – good for practicing certain punches and easy to install. If you prefer something more stationary, then go with a mounted style bag. Something to consider about this style is the space you have to use the bag. Most other bags has 360 degrees available to move around and box. However, with wall mounted bags, getting in close or even moving side to side will be more restricted.

If you’re stuck between free standing punching bags, we have a helpful article to help you along.

Which Size Punching Bag Is Best

To add more reasons for analysis paralysis, depending on the type of bag you get there can be various size options to come with it. The use cases for each are different but luckily they can be simplified pretty easily. In the list below we will go over the different sizes you can get as well as comparing which one would be a right fit for you. There are more comparisons between hanging heavy bags, so we will be mostly focussing on that.

Hanging Heavy Bags

When finding the right type of hanging punching bag for you. A general rule of thumb is to use a punching bag that is half your bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds than a punching bag of about 90 pounds would be a good size to start with. The goal is to find a weight that gives you just enough resistance where your bag isn’t swinging too much and alternatively does not feel like brick wall when being hit.

The chart here is a recommended punching bag according to your weight and height.

Your WeightYour HeightSuggest Weight Of Punching Bag
140 Poundsup to 5’560-70 Pounds
160 Poundsup to 5’880-90 Pounds
180 Poundsup to 6′100 Pounds

With the weight of a punching bag, there are also length options as well. Most common lengths are 4 feet (48 inches) to 6 feet (72 inches). The longer 6 foot bags are primarily made for kickboxers or for those who want to do low kicks. If you’re just in it for boxing, stick to nothing less than 4 feet. Any punching bag that is shorter tends to swing a lot more and at that point you may be better off with a speed bag.

Heavy hanging bags could also be cheaper depending if you would want to fill them yourself or not. Buying the bag empty would obviously cost less, and if you have loads of old unwanted clothes hanging around, you can easily fill a punching bag with these easy steps.

Free Standing Punching Bags

With free standing punching bags, you have less options to analyze in terms of weight and height. In terms of length you typically have 2 choices. A longer standing punching bag where the bag wrapping covers all the way to the base. And the shorter option, which is just the bag itself that is about 3.5 feet (42 inches). When completely set up on the base, both versions of these punch bags reach a max height of about 6 feet.

The longer versions of the standing punching bags are to accommodate those that want to practice low kicks. The same reasons as for a longer hanging punching bag. However, with the 3.5 foot freestanding bags, they feel a bit short during use. Especially if you’re a taller individual. For this reason, I would recommend the tall free standing punching bags, where the bag itself covers through to the base. Even if you do not plan on kickboxing or practicing low kicks. You may be finding yourself needing extra space when landing your punches. And having the longer version eliminates that. The Torrent model from Century Martial Arts is one that doesn’t disappoint, you can check them out here.


A good way to find the right punching bag for you, whether it is a hanging punching bag, free standing punch bag or anything in between. First, look at what your intended use would be. Is it strictly for fitness or you are look to really improve as a boxer. These are use cases that can help tip the decision making process dramatically and also help you spend your hard earned money one something you would be happy with.

For those just starting out, stick with a free standing punching bag for simplicity and good workout. Or if you prefer more realism and heavy duty. Go with the hanging punching bags with bag stand. You can find more comparisons between a free standing and hanging punching bag in our article here.

You can also check out my full review of the Century Wavemaster here.

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