Boxing is one of the most effective ways to improve overall stamina and stay fit. Whether you intend to train from a boxing hall or home, finding an appropriate punching heavy bag is key to realizing your fitness goals.
While hanging bags are the most popular heavy bags used for training, installing such bags may not be easy, plus they require more space to swing freely during workouts, which is why a free-standing punch bag is your best alternative.
Apart from high portability and easy storage, a free-standing punch bag is economical in space and is also easy to set up.
Read on as we explore more tips on choosing a free-standing punch bag.
What is a Free Standing Punch Bag?
A free-standing punch bag is a training kit, usually a boxing bag filled with air or other material and attached to a base filled with sand or water to prevent it from knocking off or falling over when hit.
Unlike the hanging punch bag that requires frequent movement during training, a freestanding bag is designed to offer a stationary target.
How to Choose a Free Standing Punch Bag
You’ve now decided to go for a free-standing punch bag but still unsure how an ideal free-standing bag looks.
A general guideline would be to ask yourself how you intend to use the punch bag. For example, how long would you need to punch it per training session? Do you plan to share it with kids, or is it strictly for use by adults?
Below is a guide on how to pick the right product.
Size and Weight
One major complaint across many people who use a free-standing punching bag is their easy knock-off. In addition, a freestanding punch bag has a striking surface that will take up to a certain amount of external impact, depending on its size and base weight.
Perhaps you’re unsure on what size and weight a heavy punching bag should be. As a thumb of rule, pick a heavy punching bag that is half your body weight. For instance, for someone weighing 150 pounds, the punching bag should be 75 pounds.
Below is a basic guideline on punching bag weights, which may vary across races:
- 40lbs: Designed for young beginners and youthful boxers
- 70lbs: Suitable for beginners and teenagers
- 100lbs: Optimal for intermediate boxers
- 200lbs: Made for heavy-weight boxers
The versatility caters to training needs across all age sets, both beginners and experienced boxers.
Note: There are free-standing inflatable punching bags. Such bags offer less resistance than the usual heavy bags. However, they are less effective and not recommended for your training.
It will be a series of pounding on your free-standing punch bag, which is why the material must be as robust as possible. Your dealer will help you choose the right thickness and denseness depending on how you intend to use the punching bag.
As mentioned above, avoid inflated punching bags. Instead, go for a bag filled with foam material. The outer cover must be equally durable and comfortable on both your hands and feet.
Design and Function
Some free-standing punch bags are strictly for punches, whereas others are designed to take repeated jabs and kicks that’ll knock them over.
If you intend to train purely on your punches, talk to your dealer about a free-standing punch bag that only takes punching strikes.
For those training Taekwondo or karate, you’ll need a kickboxing bag designed to take both punches and hard kicks.
The B.O.B (body opponent bag) is one popular free-standing punching bag designed for Taekwondo and karate students. The punching bag resembles a real person and is created using a unique material to withstand intense hitting.
A heavy-duty punching dummy is adjustable between 60 to 78 inches tall, making them ideal for sharing across people of different heights.
The choice of a free-standing punch bag boils down to why you want to acquire the heavy bag. Do you want to train to enhance your stamina and power, or is your goal improving striking speed? There are many options, including a reflex bag, speed bag, or boxing bag.
If you’re going to train Taekwondo or Muay Thai, then a free-standing punch bag might not be for you. Hard strikes will knock off the punch bag from time to time, which may be a turn-off since you might end up spending much time erecting the bag after every few strikes.
The bag may work for beginners who require just a little resistance. However, if you need to continue using the free-standing punch bag as you advance, you might need to invest in a heavy bag stand, which might be costly.
Base Surface and Capacity
One most critical component of a free-standing punch bag is the base surface and its capacity. An ideal free-standing punch bag does not knock off easily when struck hard, which is why a broader base with a larger capacity is recommended.
Standard free-standing punch bags have a base capacity of between 80 and 100 liters.
While some people use sand or viscous motor oil to enhance base weight, water is the best option. Also, pay attention to the thickness of the plastic used in constructing the base. The thicker, the better.
Free-standing punch bags cost between £110 and £215. A full-size adult punch bag will cost up to £250. Avoid the temptation of buying cheap punching bags as they are primarily for kids and may not serve you.
Free-standing punch bags come with many parts, so you are not likely to find viable models at low prices.
Be wary of cheap free-standing punch bag models that come without a warranty. You should not invest in an expensive kit to find out it does not meet your expectations or is faulty.
Some of the common problems you should watch out for include:
- Leaking base molds
- Cracking neck after a few strikes
- Punching bag cover tearing off after a few punches or kicks
Note that free-standing bags are huge products packaged in large boxes. Shipping them can be both expensive and tiring. If the product is covered with a warranty, try to send it back within the guarantee period if you notice any concern.
Why Choose a Free Standing Punch Bag?
Free-standing punch bags are among the many types of punch bags available for boxing and other forms of fitness training. Different types available include speed bags, hanging bags, among others. These bags have features making them suited for specific training goals.
Below are reasons you need to pick a free-standing punch bag over other designs.
Easy and Quick Setup
Free-standing punch bags draw many people due to their easy setup, which does not require any expertise. All you need is to unpackage the product, fill the base with water or sand, attach the punching bag and start striking.
In contrast, hanging punch bag models require wall drilling to install, which may both be costly and tiring. In addition, some homeowners may not allow you to drill their walls and ceilings if you live in a rented house.
Saves on Storage Space
If you live in a small rented house with inadequate space to hang a punching bag, then a free-standing model would be your ideal option. You can always create space in your living room, perform your exercises, and then slide it back to your preferred storage when done.
Safe and Convenient
If you live with kids, a hanging punch bag can be potentially dangerous. The heavy swinging bag will easily knock them off in case they stumble on it. On the other hand, a free-standing model will offer enough resistance when struck by minors.
Regular punch bags are stuffed with such materials that are prone to compressing and hardening as time goes. On the other hand, free-standing punch bags have a soft feeling and will not hurt your knuckles.
Additionally, a free-standing punch bag is highly portable, making it very convenient when you’re moving from one residence to the next.
Ever since COVID-19 struck, more people continue to embrace home training as a way of avoiding crowds, a trend that has seen many acquire home training equipment.
As a boxing enthusiast, a free-standing boxing bag is something you don’t want to leave out. However, before you shop for this vital equipment, here are important points to keep in mind.
- Determine your training goals, find a high capacity base if you plan to train on Taekwondo and other hard-strike exercises.
- Weight of the punching bag that corresponds with your body weight.
- Get adjustable punch bags if you intend to share the kit with others.
- Pay attention to the bag cover. It should be made of something robust, like synthetic leather, but still feel soft on the knuckles.
- Some of the most expensive punch bags are the best. Go for them, keeping in mind that a freestanding punching bag is generally costly.
- Buy from brands like Everlast that offer a warranty.