Punching bags are an important piece of gear for many boxers.
However, it can be hard to find a good punching bag on a budget, especially if you're a beginner.
After all, the best punching bag for beginners are bags that are going to be somewhat affordable and come with the benefit of being easy to set up and move around.
You don’t need something super complex that is going to be hard to set up and use if you’re just starting out practicing at home, for example.
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best punching bags for beginners.
The 8 pretty awesome options that we have put together provide you with a lot of benefits, so browse through them and see which one's work for you.
Each one comes with a list of different things that makes it unique and specifically helpful for people that are just looking to get started with a bag as a beginner.
Let's dive in.
What to Look for in a Punching Bag
There are a lot of different aspects that you're going to want to pay attention to when trying to find a suitable punching bag for beginners.
With that in mind, here are some of the things that you will want to check out before you buy the bag.
Does The Bag Come Filled?
The first thing that should be looked at is whether or not the bag that you're interested in comes filled or unfilled. For the sake of a beginner bag, you are probably looking for a bag that is already filled.
After all, there is nothing more annoying than trying to work out how to fill a new punching bag on your own for the first time - plus, it isn't easy, often isn't as good and takes way more effort.
As long as you are going to use a bag that has good quality, you’ll be fine with the filling that comes in it.
You can pull them out of the box, hang them up, and start using them right away.
Basically, leave stuffing the bags to the experts.
Type of Material Used
The next feature that you will want to check out is the kind of material that is used in the bag. If you are a beginner there are basically two different perspectives that you can have on a bag. Either it’s something that you get a low cost to try out or it’s an investment that you want to last a while.
Those two options are reflected in the kind of materials that you are going to want to have in a good punching bag for beginners.
If you're looking into materials that are guaranteed to be top of the line and give you long-lasting results, then you can’t beat genuine leather. Having leather as the shell of your punching bag means you’re going to have something that is going to stand up to severe punishment for a long time.
It’s not going to crack, tear and give you hard bits that you’ll catch your gloves on, either.
There are a lot of other materials that are being used for punching bags these days. They include synthetic leathers which aren’t as good as genuine leather, but they aren’t as bad as they used to be. You could still find a pretty good bag that uses synthetic materials as long as it has other features that make it useful to you.
We will always stand behind the idea that you are going to get what you pay for in terms of martial arts and combat sports equipment.
You can’t spend the least amount of money and expect good quality on a product. When you look at the things that make the cost of a punching bag go up such as brand name and the company’s expertise, the materials, the size, and the filling, it's apparent that you can’t cut those things out and expect to have good results.
That doesn’t mean that the most expensive bag is always the best, either. You have to take into consideration your needs and what you want to hope to get out of the bag, and then look at price from that standpoint. Still, the extremes in price are not usually what a beginner is going to want to use.
Knowing some of the major brands and the quality that they produce is also important. Well known brands that have have earned a good reputation tend to be a safe bet.
Now, there are some times when you might be paying more for the brand, but if they have been releasing the best beginner punching bag for the last couple years then it is worth paying for it.
All in all, you want a brand that is known for their fighting gear and has a history of putting their money where their mouth is in terms of guarantees.
Still, don’t be surprised if you find a good bag from a smaller company that is trying to break into the “big leagues” of fight equipment.
Type of Punching Bag
When you’re looking at the best heavy bag for beginners, you'll come across a couple of different types.
These are free standing and hanging bags. With comes with certain benefits and drawbacks, which I'll discuss below.
We've also got a full guide on free standing vs hanging heavy bags which you also check out here.
A free standing punching bag is one that comes mounted on a base and doesn’t require you to hang it from a stand or from a mount in the ceiling.
The benefits of using a free standing bag is that they don’t take up a lot of room, so people that have a small gym at home can fit one in there and get a decent work out.
It’s good for people that don’t have a lot of room to work with. These kinds of bags are also very useful if you’re new to setting up punching bags because they are much easier to get started with compared to hanging bags.
There is one major drawback to using a free standing bag, though.
If you hit them withe enough force, they can sometimes topple over. The base can only accommodate certain amounts of power before it is too much and it topples.
So, if you’re planning on practicing some crazy kicks, knees, and a superman punches, it might be best to look at a hanging bag. That said, some of the better models (which are on this list) feature a spring loaded design that helps to reduce the impact and makes the bag more stable.
Hanging bags are going to be able to withstand just about anything that you throw at them.
They tend to be heavier, swing when you hit them so you can practice your timing, and have pretty much no chance of becoming unstable if you set them up properly.
You will need some more room to use a hanging bag compared to a free standing one because the hanging bags need to be used with a stand. It’s not very compact, but you’re going to be able to put in a lot of good work on them.
Another thing to consider with hanging bags is the fact that you have to set it up. That involves investing in a stand or other mounting system and then hanging the bag. That can be a fair bit harder to set up, but it is typically worth the investment of time on the part of the user.
List of the Best Punching Bags for Beginners
After taking a look at the different types of punching bags, we thought it would be a good idea to look at these punching bags separately.
That way, you can get a better idea of what each bag provides rather than what it can and can’t do. We’re going to take a closer look at the top bags in each category as well as what makes each one so useful.
With that in mind, we're going to get started by taking a look at some of the top free standing options. Also, if none of these take your fancy, we've got a full list of the best free standing punching bags here that you can browse.
Ringside Elite Free Standing Punching Bag
The Ringside Elite is definitely a good contender when you’re looking at the best beginner punching bags in the free standing department.
Ringside is a great name in gear, so you can be reasonably sure that the bag is going to be high quality. This is a freestanding bag, but you’ll notice that the base that comes with this is able to hold a lot of weight - 270lbs.
For beginners, that should be more than enough to keep you from knocking it over with a single hit.
What's more, it's spring loaded, meaning the bag is going to “give” and bounce a little when you hit it, but it comes back fast enough that it will allow you to get into a flow for striking - somewhat like a traditional hanging bag.
Another great thing that you'll like about this bag is that it has nice padding all over, including a reinforced red part on the bottom so you can practice low kicks without worrying about hitting the spring.
The shell of the bag is made of synthetic leather and vinyl. It’s not as good as you’re going to get with genuine leather, but it’s still pretty good stuff that you can count on using and abusing without damaging your hands.
This is also a pretty big bag, too. It is 6’4” tall when you set it up and it has a pretty large hitting surface of 17” x 64”. That’s pretty massive considering that it is a free standing bag, but it’s not going to take up a ton of space because it’s not swinging around or using a stand.
The bottom line is that you’re going to be able to smack this thing around and it will keep bouncing back. You probably aren’t going to knock it over (unless you're Deontay Wilder) and it is made out of good materials that will keep the bag in good shape for a while.
Now, regarding the price, it's somewhat of a large investment. That said, you can count on being able to use this for years, so it's definitely a reasonable option.
If you'd like to know a bit more about the Ringside Elite, be sure to check out our in-depth review.
Century Powerline Wavemaster
The Century Powerline Wavemaster is a free standing bag that comes from a long line of successful bags made by the Century brand. If you've been to any sort of martial arts or combat sports gym, the chances are you'll be familiar with the brand
There are a lot of features that come with this particular bag, and one of my favourite is the adjustable height. You might look at a picture of this thing and wonder how it’s ever supposed to accommodate a punch. However, full extended it is almost 6’ tall, so it should be tall enough for most people.
The shell of the bag is made from vinyl, which is just okay. It does cut down on cost and it should last you for a long time, a couple of years at least.
As long as you use the bag right and store it properly, this really shouldn’t be a big deal. Like we said, though, the cost of the bag is a little bit lower than what you will see on other free standing setups.
Inside of that shell of vinyl is high density foam that allows you to safely load up on your strikes against the bag. The thickness of the foam is also useful if you are new and strike a glancing blow that might hurt more on a less forgiving surface.
In terms of size the bags pretty big; measuring in at 17.5” in diameter and 26” tall. It’s more than enough surface space for you to hit when you’re just beginning your martial arts journey.
All in all, this is a good bag for people that are starting. You get good quality from a great brand and the bag can withstand rounds upon rounds of training.
There are two things that you have to watch out for, though.
One is that this freestanding setup can move when you have it fully extended. It might topple if you strike hard and high (such as a high kick).
Secondly, it’s hard to use if you’re tall. You might be looking to practice kicks that will overshoot the bag’s height, so you have to consider that when buying this bag or look into some of the other options we have here.
Fortunately, the next bag coming up is perfect for the taller people out there.
Century Wavemaster XXL
The Century Wavemaster XXL is one of most popular models that Century currently offer. It’s definitely among the largest ones that you are going to find from the brand as well. It stands at 69” tall and comes with a bag diameter of 18”. That is a lot of space to strike, even when you take into account the base.
This freestanding bag is something that is going to be able to take a lot of punishment that you dish out. With a pretty tough vinyl shell with high density foam under it, you can mix up your strikes, without worrying that it will take damage.
Just be aware, the vinyl is definitely not be something that you want to hit without some wraps or gloves on, though. If you haven't got any yet, I'd recommend checking out our list of the best heavy bag gloves for some great options.
Another great feature with this bag is the weight. As one of the largest bags released by Century, this one can hold 270lbs of weight in the base, so don’t count on being able to knock this one over with ease. Now, if you try to knock it over you probably could, but during a moderately intense workout, you shouldn’t send the bag sailing.
Unlike the other bags we’ve looked at from Century, the Wavemaster XXL is large, tall, and doesn’t require adjustment, making it easy to set up for beginners. You can buy this particular bag in red, black, and blue, so you should be able to find one that suits your preference.
All in all, this is a pretty good option for you to buy if you’re looking at free standing bags. The price point is a little bit higher than the other Century models but still under what Ringside charge for their Elite.
The bottom line is that this bag is a tank. It's durable, it's big and it's as stable as they come in terms of free standing designs.
Century Aerobic Wavemaster
As the name suggests, the Century Aerobic Wavemaster is not a bag that you are going to want to thrash around.
It’s designed to give the user something to get a cardio workout while practicing their strikes. However, with a somewhat low filled weight of 170lbs, you can’t put too much behind those strikes or your bag is going to topple over.
You’re going to look at the price and see that it is pretty low for a standing bag, and that helps out people who are new to martial arts and operating on a budget.
Yet, it also means that Century couldn’t use the same quality of materials when they were designing this bag. You’ll notice that kind of quickly when you’re looking at the shell. Instead of being leather or a high quality synthetic leather, you have a poly-shell, which isn't quite as good in terms of durability.
The height of the bag and stand setup is not that great for tall people. It adjusts up to 65”, but even that is something that you might outgrow as you progress into your martial arts training. The benefit of all of this is that the price is so low that you can afford to use it as just the barebones beginner bag that we all need at one time or another.
Aside from that, the bag comes in three different colors: red, black, and blue. That can give you a little bit of a choice for customization that is always exciting.
Overall, this is a good beginner bag, if you're interested in things such as cardio-kickboxing or boxercise, as this is exactly what the bag is designed for.
Hanging Punching Bags For Beginners
Now we're going to take a look at some of the more traditional types of bags that are suitable for beginners.
Everlast Nevatear Heavy Bag
Whether you have watched boxing or taken part in it, you will know the name Everlast. They've been a big name in the world of boxing gear for a long time now.
One of my favourite aspects of this bag is the price tag, which is definitely on the low side of things when compared to other options out there. Despite this though, Everlast didn’t sacrifice quality to make this bag so affordable.
The Nevatear has a shell that's made out of the latest premium synthetic leather, so you can bet that it's not going to tear and split on you. The inside of the bag is made from shock absorbent materials that makes training on the Nevatear as comfortable as can be.
Basically, the construction of the bag itself is nothing short of solid.
Now, since you are going to be hanging the bag, you have to have a stand or some kind of mount built into your home or gym. That being said, the nylon straps that this bag uses to connect the bag to the mount are strong.
Even if you get the heavier bags, you can count on the straps not being at the forefront of your mind while you’re slamming away on this. Plus, they're a lot quieter than chains, which is definitely a bonus if you've got easily annoyed neighbours.
Another feature that I particularly like is that fact that Everlast really lets the users determine how much of a bag they need to work out with.
You can get bags between the sizes of 41” in height, 40lbs in weight, and 12.5” in diameter up to 59” tall, 100lbs in weight, and 13.25” in diameter. It’s not going to be as wide as some of the biggest bags that are out there, but it has more than enough surface area for you to effectively practice your technique at home.
All in all, you’re looking at a very good choice in hanging bags when it comes to the Everlast Nevatear. With a low price, good quality construction, and various sizes, you can pick out a bag that suits you best and get a fantastic work out from home.
Ringside Powerhide (Unfilled)
Ringside is a tremendous brand when it comes to equipment that is used for training and is commonly used in boxing gyms around the world. The Ringside Powerhide in particular is one that you can count on using for some very, very vigorous workouts.
One thing to keep in mind here though is that the bag is a little shorter than some of the other options out there, but at 43 inches long and 14 inches in diameter, there's plenty of space to hit - especially if boxing your discipline of choice.
The bag is can be pretty heavy as well, with the ability to hold up to 100lb. That said, the weight really depends on what you use to fill it with. If you opt for fabric and textiles, there's a good chance it will weigh around the 70lb mark.
With between 70lb-100lbs of weight to work with, you should feel free to load up your strikes on this thing, without sending it into orbit.
The outer shell is made from some really durable synthetic leather called Powerhide (hence the name). It’s one of the top names when it comes to synthetic materials, so you know it’s going to be durable and not scuff up your gloves or tear after a couple of punches.
Overall, this bag is pretty much perfect for beginners. It has a moderate price point for a hanging bag, it's durable, it come's with a chain and swivel needed to set it up. What's more, it's incredibly easy and cheap to fill, which is great for anyone shopping around on a budget.
While it’s not trying to set any records for the most fashionable bag with its bland black shell and branding, it gets the job done and that is what's most important.
Outslayer Heavy Bag
Any person looking for a great heavy bag for beginners is going to salivate over the Outslayer. The long and short of it is that this is a massive, high quality bag that allows you to engage in a lot of different styles of training.
For example, it's particularly good for Muay Thai training while you’re at home for a lot of different reasons that we’ll get into.
For starters, you’ll love the fact that the bag is 6 feet tall. You’ll be able to do high kicks, low kicks, punches, and more. The bag is long, so it’s going to swing a little more than others, and that means you need to have a fair amount of space dedicated to housing the bag.
Other than that, though, this bag is great for a home gym or basement.
Going from the outside to the inside, the shell is made from a heavy duty vinyl that will withstand whatever you’re going to throw at it without tearing or cracking. Inside is 130lbs of filling that's entirely fabric, so you don’t have to worry about creating hollow spots in the bag that could make for an awkward strike.
At the top of the bag are four straps that are going to hold the bag upright on your stand or mount. These are very tough straps that will be able to hold up to many days of swaying and getting knocked around.
Now, the price tag is a little bit higher than most other beginner bags, but you have to consider all the benefits we just listed above when buying it. This bag has a 10-year warranty, too, so you know that Outslayer means business.
You are getting a lot more than “my first punching bag”, this punching bag's for life.
Outslayer 100lb Heavy Bag
If you’re a beginner that is looking to get a great deal when they buy a new bag, then it’s going to be very hard to beat this.
The Outslayer 100lb Heavy Bag provides an awesome bag for any skill level. What's more, the bag comes pre-filled, which saves you having to do this yourself. If you've never filled a bag before, it can be fairly tricky and time consuming, so it's often a safer bet to get one pre-filled.
That said, pre-filled bags tend to cost more, which is definitely the case with this particular. Although expensive, you are getting a pre-filled bag from one of the most respected names in the game,
The bag’s outside is made of a heavy duty vinyl that will withstand a good beating without showing it. If you’re worried that vinyl is not the right material for you, then consider the fact that Outslayer gives you a 10-year warranty just for buying the bag.
The Outslayer bag has a good looking style but unfortunately only comes in black and white, but at the end of the day, looks are not the most important factor when looking for a punching bag.
All in all, it’s going to be pretty hard to find a better setup than this. You get a high quality bag that's both durable and looks good, as well as a whopping 10-year warranty.
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the options you have for the best bags for beginners, it could help to be familiar with some of the most popular punching bag brands out there.
These are the best of the best, and command respect with their quality and style. They set themselves apart from others by using good materials and making sure to give their buyers more than they bargained for every time.
Ringside is one of the biggest boxing gear brands out there in the modern day. They are a familiar company to see and have become one of the biggest in boxing over the last 30 years or so. They provide apparel, heavy bags, gloves, and much more. Their high quality comes with a cost, though. They tend to be a little more on the expensive side of things, but you can rest assured that every purchase you make from them will be a worthwhile investment for the future.
Outslayer didn’t get its start in the world of boxing like a lot of other heavy bag brands. They have made their way in the world as a leading provider of Muay Thai bags that can withstand the punishment that you can expect while training in that discipline. Their gear is fantastic and the price point is accessible for people of all backgrounds. Best of all, they back up their name by providing a warranty on just about every heavy bag that you buy from them.
Everlast has been the face of boxing gear for longer than most people reading this have been following the sport and has been around since 1910. It’s an American brand that provides quality gear at affordable prices. You aren’t usually going to look at this brand for fancy and stylish pieces. This is a brand that is all about getting work done while not breaking the bank. It’s particularly good for beginners in that way.
Q) Do I Need to Wear Gloves?
A) Yes, 100%. If you train on a heavy bag regularly, you can cause some pretty serious damage. Even if it's a one off, you'll definitely cut your knuckles up, which will then make it painful to wear gloves for the next few days.
If you're new to working the heavy bag, I would also recommend wearing a pair of hand wraps underneath your gloves for added protection and padding. What's more, make sure you're wearing decently heavy gloves, typically 14oz or 16oz do the trick.
Q) What's the Difference Between a Heavy Bag and a Speed Bag?
A) A heavy bag is designed to develop technique and power, where as a speed bag is more suited for working on your timing, reactions and accuracy.
For a well rounded training experience, I would recommend using both a speed bag and a heavy bag in conjunction with one another.
Q) Are Heavy Bags Loud?
A) Yes, they can be pretty loud, especially if the bag makes use a of a chain to connect it to the swivel. Typically though, free standing bags are quieter, however can definitely still be heard from the next room.
As such, a basement or garage is probably the best place to put your new bag.
Q) How Do I Set Up a Heavy Bag?
A) This depends on the type of bag you have.
If you've got a hanging model, you'll need to find a suitable beam, buy a stand or buy a wall mount. All of which require a decent amount of DIY handy-work, but aren't too bad.
For free standing bags, simply fill the base, attach the bag to the base and you're good to go. Most people either use sand or water, but I've heard of people using rocks as well.
Q) I bought an un-filled bag, how do I fill it?
A) There's a wide variety of different material you can use to fill the bag. For a full in-depth guide, I recommend reading this article from the RDX blog. This will show you the different types of material and discuss which ones are best to use when.
How to Use a Heavy Bag
As a beginner, you may not be that well versed as to how to actually use a heavy bag. Yes, it may seem simple - throw some punches and kicks and you're good to go. However, there's a lot more to it than that, which is explained in the video below.
Alright, we’ve looked at the best punching bag for beginners from the perspective of the free standing bag as well as the hanging bag. It’s only fair that we recommend one from each of those choices, so here is what we came up with after looking long and hard at all of them.
Best free standing bag for beginners - Ringside Elite
The Ringside Elite Free Standing Bag is a great bag that has a combination of factors that make it fantastic. For starters, this is a very large bag that is 6’4” tall, giving you plenty of space to strike the bag.
Even though it's free standing, it is one of the most stable bags that you’re going to find today. Holding 270lbs, it is hard to knock this thing over without trying, and that is important for this kind of bag. Yet, you’re going to find a lot of other great benefits including the padding and synthetic leather shell.
Although it might be a little pricey, the fact is, that it’s worth every cent.
Best hanging heavy bag for beginners - Everlast Nevatear
As far as the hanging bags go, the Everlast Nevatear is the go-to heavy bag. Everlast consistently releases good products, and this is no different.
The bag comes in a lot of different sizes, giving you choice. The bag is made from great synthetic leather and filled with good materials that ensure the bag is going to last throughout a lot of training. The bag’s surface area is pretty good so that you can train yourself in a wide variety of disciplines on just one bag. The bottom line, though, is the low price.
The bag doesn’t cost a lot and it’s a really good option for beginners that want to hang a bag and get to work.
Best Beginner Punching Bag: Final Thoughts
It was a bit of a read, but you made it to the end.
We’ve gone over some of the options available, so you should be able to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each type of bag.
You’ll be able to determine the best punching bag for beginners that are going to work for you. No matter if you want hanging or free standing bags, you’re going to have two great bags that will give you everything that you need as someone just starting out.
With that in mind, thank you for reading the article.
We hope that we were able to show you something new and interesting about getting started with punching bags.
Feel free to comment and let us know what you think of the top choices that we have come up with!