Best punch bag 2021: punch your way to fitness at home

The best punch bags, including free-standing heavy bags and speed balls for boxing training, reviewed and ranked

best punch bag
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Boxing training is a great way to get fit and 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 longer heavy ones helping you with power and conditioning. For most type of punch bag training, we recommend using the best boxing gloves to protect both your hands and the bag from wear and tear.

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Best punch bags: best heavy punch bags

best punch bag: RDX Heavy Punch Bag

1. RDX Heavy Punch Bag

Best punchbag for beginners. Comes with gloves and a chin-up bar!

Type: Hanging
Weight: 25kg
Filling: Textile
Reasons to buy
+ Comes with gloves + Lightweight and inexpensive 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the best option for experienced boxers 

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. 

best punch bag: Everlast C3 Foam Heavy Punch Bag

2. Everlast C3 Foam Heavy Punch Bag

Best intermediate punchbag

Type: Hanging
Weight: 32kg
Filling: Synthetic fibre, sifted sand
Reasons to buy
+ Unusual filling keeps resistance even  + Great value 
Reasons to avoid
- Definitely not for use without gloves 

This bag is, quite simply, a great all-rounder. At a not-too-hefty 32kg it won’t leave you excessively sore after a workout, especially if you’re in a lighter weight class or practice a combination sport. Its unusual filling combination of natural and synthetic fibres, plus sifted sand, offers just the right level of resistance and keeps it consistent across the whole of the bag’s body, while an outer casing of foam is designed to absorb shock upon impact. 

All things considered, it’s surprisingly affordable, and reams of online reviewers line up to sing its praises. 

best punch bag: Outslayer Boxing MMA punchbag, black

3. Boxing MMA 100lbs Heavy Bag Filled

Best punchbag (and kick- knee- and gouge-bag) overall

Type: Hanging
Weight: 45kg
Filling: Textile
Reasons to buy
+ Heavy-duty punch bag + 10-year guarantee 
Reasons to avoid
- Not leather 

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 that you’ll get more of a chance to improve your strength. The 10-year guarantee that comes with it is reassuring, too.

Best punch bags: best angle punch bags

best punch bag: Lonsdale PU Angle Bag

Lonsdale PU Angle Bag

Best cheap punchbag for practicing uppercuts

Type: Hanging angled bag
Weight: 28kg
Filling: Unspecified
Reasons to buy
+ Unusual shape for uppercut practice + Durable PU outer 
Reasons to avoid
- Filling may be over-soft for some 

When practicing 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 the chance to practice accurate landings on various bits of the body – although if your intended opponent looks like this, god help them. 

Best punch bags: best free-standing punch bags

best punch bag: Century Wavemaster XXL punch bag

Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag

Best free-standing punchbag

Type: Hanging
Weight: 45kg
Filling: Foam
Reasons to buy
+Freestanding for easy setup+ Base can be filled for more weight 
Reasons to avoid
- Moves around quite a lot if filled with sand 

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 of 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, 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 punch bags: Best speed ball

best punch bag: Hatton Speed Ball

(Image credit: Hatton Boxing)

Hatton Speed Ball

I am speed

Type: Hanging/Speed Bag
Weight: 3 kg
Filling: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Heavy-duty leather outer shell
Reasons to avoid
-Some drilling required

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.

best punch bags: person performing an upper cut using bundled up tires as a punch bag

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to buy the best punch bag

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 in the way of 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 the type of punch bag it is at the forefront of your decision making, you can find the best one for you below. 

Home gyms are often compact spaces, so they require you to be savvy with the type of gym equipment you put in it. You'll have to decide if you want to taken your punchbag down from the ceiling when not in use, or work around it. 

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: 12-minute boxing full body workout to get you fighting fit.