18 Types of Punching Bags And Heavy Bags: Plus Top Picks For Each

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Types of Punching Bags.

Are you curious to learn about all the different types of punching bags, their various use cases, and which may be best for you?

You’re in luck because we list the different types of punch bags and heavy bags.

I will also share with you the criteria to use to assess your needs. 

Types of Punching Bags

Here are some of the most common punching bags you’ll find.

a list describing the different types of punching bags.

Hanging Punching Bag: The Classic

A hanging punching bag is a classic boxing training tool suspended from the ceiling or a sturdy stand.

It offers a more authentic boxing or martial arts experience because its swinging motion provides a dynamic element that closely mimics the conditions of actual combat or sport. And because it swings upon impact, it also challenges you to improve your footwork and timing.

Of course, it also helps improve power, timing, and accuracy. But just remember that it requires a secure mounting setup, so it isn’t always practical.

Pros & Cons of a Hanging Punching Bag


  • Provides realistic feedback
  • Promotes power development
  • Durable


  • Requires sturdy ceiling mount
  • Not portable
  • Setup can be cumbersome
Great Example
Prorobust Punching Bag Package

This is worth mentioning because this package has everything you need to get started.

From the actual bag and boxing gloves to reflex balls and jump rope.

It's like the ultimate boxing gift.

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Free-Standing Punching Bag: Most Beginner-Friendly

A free-standing punching bag is a versatile training tool that stands upright on a base filled with water or sand. And unlike traditional hanging bags, freestanding punching bags don’t require any ceiling mounts. 

This makes it easier to move and is ideal for spaces with limited room.

It’s great for practicing a variety of strikes, kicks, and martial arts techniques and is generally more beginner-friendly than heavy bags.

Pros & Cons of a Free-Standing Punching Bag


  • Portable
  • No need to hang
  • Good for varied spaces


  • May move when struck hard
  • Sometimes, it is less stable than hanging bags
Great Example
Everlast Power Core Freestanding Bag

This convenient bad boy can be put anywhere and has an adjustable height (from 54″ to 65″).

And even though it has a compact design – it’s designed to effectively absorb and disperse impacts so it doesn’t fall over easily like other freestanding bags.

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Aqua Bag: Realistic Tactile Feel

A water-filled aqua bag is designed to mimic the feeling of hitting a human body.

It offers a more forgiving surface that is easier on the hands and joints while providing enough resistance for a solid workout.

Because it’s filled with water, the bag can absorb powerful strikes like a heavy bag, making it versatile for light and heavy strikes.

They’re typically made of durable, UV-resistant material, so aqua bags are great for indoor or outdoor use and are well-suited for boxers and martial artists of all skill levels.

Pros & Cons of an Aqua Bag


  • Gentle on joints
  • Adjustable firmness
  • Provides unique resistance


  • Potential for leakage
  • Less traditional feel
Great Example
Everlast HydroStrike Water Bag

Made in America, the Everlast Hydrostrike has been labeled the next generation of punching bags.

And at 100 pounds - once filled, it can work both as a standard punching or heavy bag.

But just be aware that aqua bags are made of plastic and can rupture over time.

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Speed Bag: Best for Punching Speed

A speed bag or speed ball is a small, air-filled bag anchored at the top to a rebound platform.

It’s designed to bounce back quickly when hit, helping to improve your hand-eye coordination, timing, and speed.

Speed bags train you to keep your hands up, sharpen your reflexes, and enhance your rhythmic striking abilities.

And they’re an excellent tool for adding finesse and agility to your skill set.

Pros & Cons of a Speed Bag


  • Enhances reflexes and coordination
  • Helps to boost arm and shoulder endurance.


  • Steeper learning curve
  • Not for power training.
Great Example
Meister SpeedKills Leather Speed Bag with Lightweight Latex Pocket

Meister’s speed bag is worth highlighting due to its quality. It’s made with cowhide leather, so it’s built to last. And it’s perfectly balanced for reliable movements.

You’ll just need to pick up a speed bag platform. Check out this perfect Everlast accompaniment on Amazon.

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Wall & Uppercut Bag: Very Practical

A wall/uppercut bag is a specialized training tool mounted to a wall, designed for practicing uppercut punches, hooks, and other angled punches.

Unlike hanging or free-standing bags, it stays fixed, allowing for targeted and precise strikes.

Its unique shape and stability make it ideal for focusing on the mechanics of specific punches that are often hard to practice on other types of bags.

It’s a great addition to a boxer’s or martial artist’s training regimen, offering a way to fine-tune technique and build a power punch that requires specialized form.

Pros & Cons of a Wall/Uppercut Bag


  • Great for practicing uppercuts and hooks
  • Space-saving


  • Limited range of strikes
  • Fixed height (once installed)
Great Example
Windy Wall Mount Boxing MMA Training Uppercut Punching Bag

The Windy Wall Mount is handmade in Thailand with 100% genuine leather and foam for optimal firmness to provide you with the optimal surface to practice hooks, uppercuts, and more.

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Grappling Dummy: Best For Ground and Pound

Although technically not a punching bag, a grappling dummy can act as one for practicing ground and pound.

They’re designed to endure throws, submissions, and strikes, so dummies provide a realistic and safe way to hone techniques without the risk of injuring a training partner.

Its human-like form allows for specific target practice, from joint locks to pounding strikes, making it indispensable for those wanting to perfect their ground game and striking skills in a controlled environment.

You can check out a variety options in our guide to the best grappling dummies.

Pros & Cons of a Grappling Dummy


  • Ideal for ground-and-pound
  • Simulates opponent for grappling
  • Very mobile


  • Not made specifically for striking
  • Can be expensive
Great Example
DAAN MMA Grappling Dummy (Vinyl, 170 cm)

With exceptional durability and effortless cleaning, the DAAN Grappling Dummy is exceptional.

Made of high-quality vinyl and four-ply polyester-nylon thread with double-reinforced stitching AND a lifetime warranty, it’s literally a no-brainer.

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Century Bob Punching Bag Dummy: Most Realistic

The Century Bob Punching Dummy is a lifelike martial arts training tool, shaped like a human’s upper torso and head, mounted on a free-standing base.

It’s known for its detailed face and anatomical structure, so Bob allows you to target specific areas, such as the chin or temple.

These dummies are made with high-quality materials and designed to endure combination punching and kicks like a champ.

Pros & Cons of a Century Bob Punching Bag Dummy


  • Realistic human shape for targeted strikes
  • Adjustable height


  • Limited striking surface
  • More expensive than traditional bags
Great Example
Century BOB Body Bag with Base Unit

Bob is the gold standard for realistic punching dummies. It’s made in the USA from super-durable plastisol with an adjustable stand up to 78″ (6 feet, 5 inches, or 198 cm).

It’s made to take a beating.

And it gives you a realistic target to hit with or without gloves.

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Reflex Bag: Best For Accuracy

A reflex bag is a slender, free-standing training tool with a spring-loaded shaft, allowing the small bag on top to quickly bounce back when hit.

It’s designed to improve your defensive skills, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and timing and challenges you to maintain rhythm and speed as the bag moves unpredictably upon impact.

Unlike traditional heavy bags, the reflex bag offers a dynamic workout experience. It simulates the evasive movements of a real opponent, making it ideal for both beginners and advanced practitioners aiming to sharpen their precision and agility.

Pros & Cons of a Reflex Bag


  • Helps improve timing and reflexes
  • Adjustable height


  • Not for power strikes
  • Base can be cumbersome
Great Example
Reflex Punching Bag with Stand - Height Adjustable

Cheap, quiet, easily moved, and highly effective, a reflex bag is a great tool for any boxing enthusiast.

Heck, even my 3-year-old nephew even has one (although a much shorter one).

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Mexican Style Double End Bag: Develop Coordination For Counters

A Mexican Style Double End Bag is a small, balloon-shaped training tool anchored by elastic cords at both the top and bottom.

This allows the bag to shoot back rapidly after being hit, offering unpredictable movement patterns.

It’s primarily used in boxing and helps enhance hand-eye coordination, timing, and reflexes.

Its “double-end” nature means it moves in multiple directions when struck, simulating an opponent’s dodging head movement (bobbing and weaving), and provides a challenging workout for those looking to refine their speed and precision.

Pros & Cons of a Mexican Style Double End Bag


  • Enhances reflexes and timing
  • Multi-directional movement


  • Requires both ceiling and floor mounts
  • Smaller striking surface
Great Example
Ringside Mexican-Style Double-Double End Bag

Sharpen your fundamentals with a tool designed for countering.

Just make sure to wear gloves, as the seams have been able to cut up knuckles.

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Maize Bag / Slip Bags – Best for Rhythm

A maize bag (or slip bag) is a smaller, ball-shaped bag filled with maize (corn) or sand, designed to swing back and forth when struck or pushed.

It’s primarily used to practice head movement and defensive techniques like slipping, ducking, and bobbing.

And by reacting to the bag’s pendulum-like motion, boxers, and martial artists refine their evasion skills and improve their agility.

The maize bag is essential for honing defensive prowess and offers a targeted approach to mastering the art of avoiding strikes.

And if you’re interested in a similar tool for honing your reflexes, be sure to check out our full Sparbar review here.

Pros & Cons of a Maize Bag / Slip Bag


  • Improves head movement and defense
  • Compact.


  • Limited to specific drills
  • Not for power training
Great Example
INNOLIFE Boxing Slip Bag

This is a small little addition to a training regimen that can have a big impact over time.

Learning how to get into an effective rhythm with the correct movement is key. And with its small design and faster swing, INNOLIFE’s slip bag is perfect.

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Types of Heavy Bags

A heavy bag is different from a punching bag. It’s heavier and requires a different approach.

Here’s a video from the great boxing trainer Tony Jeffries to explain before getting into the list:

If you’re looking for a heavy bag workout, these options below will do the trick. 

a list describing the different types of heavy bags.

Standard Heavy Bag

The standard heavy bag is a big cylindrical bag suspended from the ceiling or a stand. It allows users to develop power, technique, and endurance in their punches, kicks, and strikes.

They’re traditionally filled with materials like sand, fabric, or foam. And they weigh anywhere from 70 to 100+ pounds.

This added weight provides durability and a stable target, perfect for anyone looking to improve strength and hone their boxing skills consistently and effectively.

Pros & Cons of a Standard Heavy Bag


  • Suitable for general power and technique training
  • Durable


  • Requires sturdy mounting
  • More general – not specialized
Great Example
Ringside Leather Heavy Bag

Made of heavy-duty leather with triple stitching, Ringside’s heavy bag is built to last and absorb incredible amounts of punishment from all strikes.

And the chain and swivel included help ensure 360 movement.

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Free-Standing Heavy Bag

A free-standing heavy bag is another powerful training tool with a weighted base, eliminating the need for ceiling suspension. So, it’s convenient for easy relocation and is ideal for spaces with hanging limitations. This makes it perfect for renters ;).

Like the standard heavy bag, these bad boys are designed for punches, kicks, and strikes.

And despite its mobility, it provides substantial resistance, making it a versatile tool for both power training and technique refinement. 

Pros & Cons of a Free-Standing Heavy Bag


  • No need to hang
  • Portable
  • Versatile placement


  • Can have stability issues with powerful strikes
Great Example
Century The Original Wavemaster Freestanding Floor Boxing Heavy Bag

The Wavemaster is a solid choice if you’re looking for a more portable (granted, it is big and inconvenient to move).

It has seven different height options, and a floor base can weigh up to 270 pounds. This means you can beat it to your heart’s content, and unless you’re Francis Ngannou, it’s not gonna budge.

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Banana Heavy Bag

A banana heavy bag is a long, slender punching bag, often resembling the shape of a banana.

Typically, a Banana heavy bag weighs between 60 to 150 pounds. It extends towards the ground, making it ideal for practicing both punches and low kicks. This unique design caters to both boxers and mixed martial artists, allowing a diverse range of strikes, from jabs to leg kicks.

It’s sturdy and versatile, making it a go-to for those looking to emulate a full-body opponent in their training routines.

Pros & Cons of a Banana Heavy Bag


  • Suitable for both punches and low kicks
  • Long design
  • Great for Muay Thai training


  • Requires space
  • Not as firm as standard heavy bags
Great Example
Fairtex HB6 Banana Heavy Bag

A banana-shaped heavy bag is perfect for all striking martial arts, especially Muay Thai training.

And the Fairtex banana bag is the perfect choice. It’s made of high-grade synthetic leather and is easy to install with swivel and hanging straps.

Just make sure you fill it properly!

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Pole Bag

A pole bag wraps around a vertical pole or post.

This gives you a surface for practicing strikes without needing any hanging mechanisms or stands.

Pole Bags are perfect for training in environments where traditional bags might not be feasible. 

It’s versatile and space-saving; thus, the pole bag is a testament to adaptable training.

Pros & Cons of a Pole Heavy Bag


  • Utilizes existing poles
  • Space-saving
  • Versatile environment use.


  • Limited movement feedback
  • Potential for pole damage
Great Example
Fairtex FPBAG UF Pole Bag

If you happen to have a pole standing around, you can wrap this big guy around it and turn your pole dancing routine into a killing machine.

The Fairtex pole bag is perfect for training elbows, knees, and heavy kicks. Just be aware that it may slip around a bit.

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Angled Heavy Bag

An angled heavy bag is a specialized punching bag with a broader top and a tapered bottom.

This unique shape allows practitioners to perfect a range of punches. It’s made for versatility, so it accommodates both head-height strikes and body shots and uppercuts at its angled surface.

This helps bridge the gap between traditional heavy bags and uppercut-specific bags.

The angled heavy bag is invaluable for anyone looking for a multifaceted training tool to refine diverse striking techniques.

Pros & Cons of an Angled Heavy Bag


  • Designed for diverse strikes, including uppercuts
  • Versatile


  • Specific design may not cater to all training needs
Great Example
PROLAST Boxing Angle Heavy Bag

Weatherproof and ultra-durable, the PROLAST angle bag is the ultimate MMA bag for training your punches, knees, kicks, elbows, and more.

Just ensure you fill it with cloth or sand rather than insulation, as they recommend, as that may not be a sustainable option for your lungs.

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Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag

A wrecking ball heavy bag is a spherical (relatively short in length) and dense punching bag specifically designed to hone body shots and uppercuts.

It resembles the shape of a large ball and hangs from the ceiling, giving you a broad surface area for powerful mid-level strikes.

Its unique form challenges practitioners to focus on accuracy and technique.

The wrecking ball heavy bag transforms a training regimen by emphasizing precision and punching power in tandem.

Pros & Cons of a Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag


  • Ideal for body shots and uppercuts
  • Unique shape


  • Bulky
  • Requires more space than other bags
Great Example
Outslayer 70lb Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag

From a great heavy bag brand comes this great wrecking ball bag.

Made of the same material as 300-500lb heavy bags, this 70-pound bag comes pre-filled and ready to rock.

And it’s yet another bag perfect for boxing, Muay Thai, and really any other striking martial art.

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Teardrop Heavy Bag

A teardrop heavy bag is a uniquely shaped punching bag with a tapered bottom, resembling a water droplet.

The teardrop shape facilitates a wide range of strikes, from knee strikes and low kicks at its base to elbows, punches, and Muay Thai clinch work higher up.

Its contoured form allows for more angled punches, such as uppercuts, and is especially favored by Muay Thai and MMA practitioners.

The teardrop heavy bag is an essential tool if you’re looking for a dynamic training experience. 

Pros & Cons of a Teardrop Heavy Bag


  • Suitable for punches, elbows, and knee strikes
  • So again – quite versatile.


  • Specific design may not cater to all styles
Great Example
Fairtex Tear Drop HB4 Heavy Bag

The Fairtex Teardrop heavy bag is an excellent striking tool with a relatively unique shape.

Just make sure you pack it correctly, ideally with cloth, as the unique design can be quite tricky to fill with sand correctly without creating uncomfortable hard spots.

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Bowling Pin Heavy Bag

A bowling pin heavy bag, shaped distinctly like its namesake, features a broader top and a narrowed base, creating a versatile training surface.

This design allows for a mix of straight punches at its wider portion and precise hooks, elbows, or uppercuts along its curved sides.

The unique silhouette challenges you to adapt your strikes, perfect for refining technique and targeting specific angles.

For fighters seeking a varied striking experience, the bowling pin heavy bag is a game-changing addition to their training arsenal.

Pros & Cons of a Bowling Pin Heavy Bag


  • Unique shape for varied strikes
  • Promotes precision, especially for head strikes


  • Not as common
  • Limited feedback for certain techniques
Great Example
Fairtex Bowling HB10 Heavy Bag

Great for practicing neck kicks and clinching, the bowling pin design is a great tool to help replicate a real opponent.

Again though, just make sure to be extra careful when filling, as its unique design can be a bit of a pain to fill correctly.

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Punching Bag vs. Heavy Bag: What’s The Difference?

Punching and heavy bags are filled with material that people use to practice their punches, kicks, and other martial arts or boxing techniques.

However, they are a bit different.

A heavy bag is usually thicker and heavier, often weighing between 70 to 100 pounds or more.

It’s designed for practicing powerful punches and kicks and helps build strength and endurance. Meanwhile, punching bags are generally lighter and come in more diverse shapes and sizes. They’re better for practicing speed, accuracy, and technique rather than just power.

So, if you want to build muscle and practice strong hits, go for a heavy bag, while a lighter punching bag could be better for you if you’re more focused on speed and skill. 

How to Choose What Bag You Need

Choosing the right punching bag depends on various factors related to your training goals, environment, and experience.

Here are some tips and considerations to help you decide on the best punching bag for your needs:

Training Goals

Before choosing a punching bag, you must consider your fitness goals.

  1. Power: A traditional heavy bag or banana bag is ideal if you’re focusing on building punching and kicking power.
  2. Speed & Reflexes: A speed bag or reflex bag will help develop hand-eye coordination and a quick reaction time.
  3. Technique & Versatility: For refining specific punches like uppercuts or practicing clinch work, consider bags like the angled, teardrop, or bowling pin heavy bag.
  4. Groundwork: MMA fighters or those training in disciplines with groundwork might consider a grappling dummy for practicing ground and pound techniques.

Space & Setup

  1. Room Size: A free-standing or wall-mounted bag might be better if you have limited space. A hanging bag is an option for those with more space and a sturdy ceiling or beam – such as those with a gym garage.
  2. Outdoor vs. Indoor: If training outside, ensure the bag material is weather-resistant, or consider portable options.

Experience Level

  1. Beginners: A softer bag, like an aqua bag or a lighter free-standing bag, can be more forgiving on the hands and joints.
  2. Advanced: Seasoned fighters might opt for heavier, denser bags to simulate real-life resistance.

Material & Durability

Bags come with subtly different striking surfaces.

Those made of genuine leather tend to be more durable materials and provide a better feel (but might be pricier).

Synthetic materials modeled after leather or vinyl are a more affordable option but might wear out faster.


  1. Soft Fill: Bags filled with materials like foam or even water (like aqua bags) offer a softer impact, reducing the risk of injury.
  2. Hard Fill: Bags filled with sand or dense fabric provide more resistance, helping to build power.
  3. Weight: Generally, a traditional punching bag should be about half your body weight – however, this depends on your training goals. And if you want to develop strength, a heavy bag still applies. 


Consider bags that can accommodate multiple training forms. For instance, a teardrop bag is versatile for both punches and kicks.


While quality is essential, there are decent bags available at various price points. Determine a budget and read reviews to ensure you’re getting value for your money.

Feedback & Reviews

Before finalizing a purchase, look up reviews or get feedback from peers or trainers about the bag’s performance, durability, and value.

Personal Preference

Sometimes, the “feel” of the bag is a personal preference. If possible, test out different bags at a local gym or store before buying.

And remember, the best punching bag is the one that fits your individual needs and helps you achieve your training goals effectively and safely.

Should You Always Use Boxing Gloves With Punching Bags?

There is certainly an appeal to using your bare knuckles on a punch bag. After all, you won’t have time to go home and get your boxing gloves in a self-defense situation.

However, if you’re intention is fitness, safety, and longevity, it’s recommended to use boxing gloves with most types of punch bags (besides the speed bag, of course).

Here are some reasons:

Hand Protection: The primary purpose of boxing gloves is to protect your hands. Striking a bag without gloves can lead to bruises, scrapes, or more severe injuries like fractures or sprains.

Wrist Support: Boxing gloves with hand wraps offer wrist support, which helps prevent hyperextension or strains when landing a punch.

punching a heavy bag without gloves.

Knuckle Padding: The padding in boxing gloves absorbs shock and protects the knuckles from direct trauma and abrasions.

Bag Longevity: Gloves can also extend the life of the punching bag by reducing the impact of direct skin contact, sweat, and the potential tearing caused by rings or other jewelry.

Training Authenticity: If you’re training for boxing or any combat sport, using gloves simulates the actual conditions you’ll face in a sparring session or a match.

But again, there are instances where people intentionally train without gloves:

Conditioning: Some fighters engage in “bare-knuckle” training to condition and toughen their hands, though this comes with increased risk.

Martial Arts: Some martial arts disciplines may practice strikes using open hands, for which gloves may not be suitable.

Specific Drills: Occasionally, specific drills might require the sensitivity and tactile feedback only bare hands can provide.

Despite these exceptions, for most practitioners, especially beginners, it’s probably best to always use boxing gloves or appropriate hand protection when working with punching bags. 

Different Types of Punching Bags in Closing

So, in short, these different types of punching bags provide all sorts of benefits. Not only for your combat skills and fitness levels but also for your mental health – by letting you unleash some pent-up energy.

From the maize bag that perfects evasion techniques to the teardrop and angled bags designed for varied strikes, each offers unique benefits for your training goals.

Ultimately, the best punching bag aligns with your objectives, environment, and commitment to growth in the world of combat sports.

And for everything else combat sports related, be sure to keep up with the Way of the Fighter.

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