Free-standing punching bags are an excellent alternative for folks who want a big punching bag but don’t have a safe space to hang one. They’re also our go-to pieces of equipment for martial arts training! The best free-standing punching bags give you a space-efficient way to train absolutely anywhere. You can punch them, kick them, and hold them the same way you would a hanging model, and many of them actually offer more of a challenge!
However, not all free-standing punching bags are created equal. That’s actually far from the truth! There are any number of cheap models on the market that fall over (which can be dangerous for kids) or simply fall apart of you use them with any degree of force (and who wouldn’t?).
In this guide, we’ll help you shop for a free-standing punching bag like a seasoned pro. We’ll give you all the info you need to navigate your options and introduce you to our favorite models on the market right now!
Read on to learn which free-standing punching bags we currently recommend, and to find out why!
|Century Original Wavemaster Free-Standing Punching Bag||250 lbs||13 diam. in. x 26H in.; Base: 24 diam. in. x 19.5H in.||$|
|Century Cardio Wavemaster||170 lbs||Bag: 10.5" Diameter x 40" Tall Base: 22" Diameter 12" Tall Overall Height: Adjusts from 53.5" to 65.5"||$$|
|Century Wavemaster XXL Training Bag||270 lbs||27 x 27 x 68.5 inches||$$$|
Best Free-Standing Punching Bag Reviews (2019)
The Century Original Wavemaster has been one of our favorite free-standing punching bags for some time now. This is an older model, but that’s to your advantage! Since it’s been on the market for awhile, it’s very affordable. We think it’s by far the best budget option in this category. We think it’s the least you can pay for a high-quality free-standing punching bag, especially if you want something heavy.
It’s heavy. In fact, this is just as heavy (when filled) as the much pricier Wavemaster XXL below! Considering the Original costs half as much as the XXL, we think that’s pretty impressive. When completely full, it weighs 270 pounds.
That’s more than enough weight for the most avid boxers, kickboxers, and martial artists. You can do absolutely anything to this thing and still have an element of challenge. The bag will probably shift somewhat when you deliver your strongest kick, but it shuffles rather than wobbling. After all, you want some movement to keep yourself from becoming injured. This one’s stable, secure, and safe.
You can adjust the weight, which is excellent for when you’re starting out. If course, we don’t recommend using so little that the bag becomes unstable, but it’s nice to be able to have a gentler bag when you’re starting and then to be able to ramp things up when you gain more experience.
While it has a smaller surface area than the more expensive XXL, it compensates with an adjustable design. You can move the contact area up and down, which makes it easy to cater this one to different user heights as well as different moves. So, while you do have to make some adjustments, it’s technically just as versatile as the XXL!
It’s very affordable. This is the least expensive Wavemaster model on the market, and you can usually find it for less than $150. We think that should be accessible to anyone. It’s the least you can pay for something well-made and well-designed.
As with the other Wavemaster models we’ve recommended below, the Original has a base that’s easy to fill with sand or water when you set up your space.
It has the same warranty coverage as models twice its price. This one’s covered for a year, and has a superb reputation for long-term durability.
It’s not as nice as the Wavemaster XXL. That model has a nicer outer covering material, and we think the padding feels better as well (though the differences aren’t going to be drastic).
That model also gives you a lot more surface area to work with. While you can adjust this one to be just as high, it’s more convenient to simply have more surface area that you don’t have to keep moving up and down.
For folks who want to get their cardio fix with a bag, there’s nothing better than the Wavemaster Cardio. Of course, you can also use a speed bag such as the Cleto Reyes model we recommend in our main guide to the best punching bags. When it comes to free-standing models, though, the Cardio has no rival.
We love this one because it’s an alternative to massive, heavyweight bags such as the other models we’ve recommended here. It’s an ideal choice for those who are just looking to make fast, lighter moves than to deliver some knockout blow. It’s also an excellent choice for young athletes who could get frustrated easily using a massive, heavy bag.
While most free-standing punching bags are awfully heavy for kids to use, this one is light enough for them to work with without being so light as to fall over. We think it’s a great choice for young kids as well as adults looking for a cardio fix.
The light weight also makes this ideal for casual adult users who want to hit fast and furious, as we’ve said above. While it doesn’t have the kind of bulk and resistance you’d want for a full roundhouse, it’s perfect for quick, repetitive workouts that burn fat and increase agility.
Unlike a lot of lighter, speed-type free-standing models, the Cardio offers lots of surface area. There’s not quite as much contact area to work with as the XXL, but the Cardio has adjustable height so it’s easy to adapt to the types of blows you want to land.
An additional benefit of the lightweight design: this one’s quite easy to move around. It’s ideal for folks who don’t have a dedicated space for a punching bag and need to store theirs in the corner between uses.
While it’s not for everyone, it’s extremely well-made and well-designed. We don’t have any complaints–you simply need to know whether this one matches your goals.
It’s quite light, as we’ve noted above. There are certainly upsides to that, which we’ve touched on above. On the other hand, the Cardio’s light weight means it’s only suitable for certain types of workouts.
It’s meant for light, fast punches and kicks–that’s it. If you’re a heavy-hitter, you’ll probably be able to knock it over, or at least come close. If you’re over 6 feet tall or experienced, we definitely recommend a heavier setup.
Our ultimate recommendation for a free-standing punching bag is the Century Wavemaster XXL. This massive training bag is as heavy and hefty as anyone could want. We think it’s the best free-standing punching bag on the market right now. If you’re serious about fight training or martial arts, it’s worth the investment!
Size definitely matters when it comes to punching bags, and that’s where the XXL stands out! It offers a full 69” height without any adjustments necessary. It’s all usable surface area, too. Not only is it more convenient to use than an adjustable model, but it simply offers more space to train.
It’s a heavyweight bag, like the Original. When completely full, it weighs 270 pounds. You can use it for absolutely anything. Even a strong, tall person with some fighting expertise is going to have a hard time making this thing wobble.
Since it offers so much surface area and weight, it’s a great option for all users. Kids and adults can both use it without you having to make adjustments. That’s why we think it’s equally at home in a casual family garage as in a competitive kickboxer’s training pad.
It’s very expensive. This one costs twice as much as the other Wavemaster models we’ve recommended in this guide.
It’s both bulky and heavy. You’ll need quite a bit of space for it, and while it does wheel away pretty conveniently, most folks won’t want to need to shift it on a regular basis.
It doesn’t add any extra weight over the Original. We think 270 pounds is more than enough, though.
Which of these free-standing punching bags should you buy?
The Century Original Wavemaster is the obvious choice if you’re on a budget. It provides a nice mix of challenge and value, and it makes the most of its limited surface area. While you don’t get as much bag to work with as our pricier picks, you’ll have a very respectable amount of weight to work against. However, if you’re a dedicated kickboxer or martial artist who has ambitious goals, you’ll want to upgrade to the XXL at some point.
The Century Cardio Wavemaster is our recommendation for those who aren’t looking to become the next great fighter but are instead trying to get their cardio fix using a punching bag. It’s lighter than our other recommendations, but it keeps you moving quickly and stands up well to frequent, intense use.
The Century Wavemaster XXL is our suggestion to those who can make a sizeable investment in their training equipment, and who will get their money’s worth out of a big, challenging punching bag. It provides an ideal combination of surface area and weight, plus outstanding construction quality. Casual users don’t need to spend this much, but we think it’s the best free-standing option for folks who are serious about their home fight training.
If you’ve read this guide carefully, you’ll notice that all of the models featured in it are made by the same company. That’s not intentional. As with all our other buying guides, we strive to be completely impartial when we review free-standing punching bags and choose models to recommend to you. In this case, one company is simply way ahead of the competition. We’ve found that Century’s free-standing punching bags last longer and perform better than anything else on the market. We’re always reviewing new models, though, so rest assured that if and when we find a standout bag from another brand, we’ll include it here!
Decide On Your Budget
Quality free-standing punching bags generally more expensive than hanging models. However, when you consider the fact that you’re not having to pay for chains, hooks, and so on, they’re actually quite reasonable. The nicest free-standing models cost about the same as the best hanging models. Our recommendations start around $125 and can cost as much as $300. Figure out how much it’s reasonable for you to spend, so that you don’t set your eyes on something that’s out of your range.
Know Your Space
One of the best things about free-standing punching bags is the fact that you can use them practically anywhere. You don’t need to worry about finding a space where there’s a safe, secure mounting point above you, and you don’t need to leave so much room to the sides for swing clearance. However, you should still make sure that the model you choose is appropriate for your workout space. If you’re planning on training in the living room, you probably don’t want to buy a massive bag. If you’ve got plenty of room in the garage, on the other hand, go big and give yourself lots of room to grow!
Know Your Goals
As with buying a hanging punching bag, you’ll make your purchase of a free-standing model much easier if you think carefully about your fitness goals before making any decisions. What are you actually looking for in your new punching bag? Are you a novice looking for a home bag to supplement your kickboxing classes? Are you shopping for a child and looking for something light and inexpensive? Are you an experienced martial artist looking for a workhorse to take on your toughest moves? Knowing your experience level and future goals will help you navigate between the different options we’ve recommended here.
Now that you’ve finished reading this guide, we hope you’ve got all the info you need to confidently choose your new free-standing punching bag. You can find out more about the models we’ve recommended above by clicking on the links in our reviews. Remember to visit our homepage to see all our latest buying guides and most recent reviews!