Boxing training is a great way to get fit; hence why the best punch bags are essential for sparring training at home. You can use them to build strength, endurance and get your pulse racing during lengthy training sessions. Frequent boxing training can also help you lose weight and improve cardio health.
Punch bags come in various shapes, sizes and weights, with smaller, lighter bags helping you to develop speed and long, heavy ones helping you with power and conditioning. For most types of punch bag training, we recommend using the best boxing gloves to protect both your hands and the bag from wear and tear.
Best punch bags to buy right now
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Best heavy bags
This punchbag set is almost an entire setup in itself, a magician’s box of tricks for the amateur boxer. Absolute beginners are sure to be thankful for the inclusion of a decent pair of gloves, and there's also a pull-up bar, for your Rocky-esque training montages.
While the individual components probably aren’t the highest quality you could put your hand to, but reviewers have found they’re perfectly passable. In fact, while the relatively lightweight bag might not present enough of a challenged for seasoned boxers, it’s arguably better for those just starting out. All in all, a great value package.
Built like the proverbial brick outhouse, this heavy-duty punchbag takes our top spot for its quality and durability. At 45kg, it’s firmly in the ‘heavy bag’ category, which is good news for avid fighters, meaning it won’t swing quite as much as more lightweight punch bags, and you’ll get more of a chance to improve your strength. The 10-year guarantee that comes with it is reassuring, too.
Best angle punch bags
When practising your devastating uppercut or unleashing a barrage of Street Fighter-style combos, you want a bag that can handle it. That would be this, the Lonsdale PU Angle Bag. The PU leather outer is tough and durable, designed to resist wear and tear, but the filling is soft and shock-absorbing to save your hands and wrists, and despite this, reviewers still reported a thoroughly satisfying thud on impact.
The in-and-out design also helps if you’re going above and beyond the standard, straightforward hits, giving you a chance to practice accurate landings on various bits of the body – although if your intended opponent looks like this, god help them.
Best free-standing punch bags
This extra-large training bag is all about that base. Now, while having a bag that swings and sways all over the place might be good practice for bar brawls, it’s hardly becoming a pro, which is why reviewers love this XXL Century training bag. Standing at a respectable 5’9, it’s a pretty stoic opponent that does move, but unlike a hanging bag, it doesn’t swing away and give you time to reset, so it’s a great one for short, high-intensity workouts. Its freestanding design also means you can move all around it and then dispatch it to the shed when it hands your ass to you.
Best speed ball
You can punch heavy bags all day if you want, but if you would like to improve accuracy and speed, you want to get a Hatton Speed Bag. This bag is sturdy enough to be used commercially and has a heavy-duty leather shell as well as a reinforced nylon loop attachment.
How to buy the best punch bag for you
It’s worth considering the material of your punchbag. Most standard ones are made using fake leather, giving them the strength to take regular pummelling without showing much wear and tear. Genuine leather bags are great, too, but they’re a bit softer and can often be more expensive. The best filling for punchbags is textile, but foam is a decent alternative, albeit not as 'authentic'.
Looking at products from the likes of Amazon and Sports Direct, we’ve compiled a list of the best punch bags featuring various materials and fillings. Whether you put budget or what type of punch bag it is at the forefront of your decision-making, you can find the best one in our guide.
How we test the best punch bags
Testing punch bags might sound like the easiest thing to do, but our testers spend a lot of time finding out the best qualities of each product listed in this guide. Not only it takes time to compare seemingly identical punch bags, but we must also ensure to spend quite a few hours working out with the bags to see how they behave and erode over time. Of course, we haven't got the capacity in our home gyms to store and test every single bag on this list for years, but we punch, kick and elbow them for at least a couple of months.
Are punching bags a good workout?
Punching a bag is certainly a better option from a general health perspective than sitting on the sofa all day, binge-watching Netflix. When done correctly, punch bag workouts can provide a full-body workout and even improve cardiovascular fitness. Just make sure you keep your body moving and bounce around as you lay those punches on the bag. For inspiration, learn the basics of boxing with FightCamp co-founder Tommy Duquette and try the best boxing workout for weight loss by clicking on the link. Here is another one from Tommy: a 12-minute boxing full body workout to get you fighting fit.