We all know the importance of supplementing our training with heavy bags.
They help us improve our technique when striking, they condition our body and muscles, and heavy bags also allow us to improve the power in our strikes.
If you’re in the market for a new punching bag then no doubt you’ve come across some standing punching bags on the market.
These new concoctions appear very attractive for those of us that wish to bring our training with us back home but unfortunately don’t have an area to hang a traditional heavy bag.
But are standing punching bags good as a replacement for traditional punching bags?
The simple answer is YES!
They can be a good replacement for traditional heavy bags.
What Is a Standing Punching Bag?
Before we delve deeper into why standing punching bags are good options to train with, let’s talk a little more about what exactly is a standing punching bag.
A standing punching bag is basically a free-standing heavy bag that does not require it to be hung on a ceiling.
The base of the standing punching bag is usually made out of plastic, while the striking area has a vinyl outer shell and foam for the insides to absorb strikes.
Some standing punching bags even incorporate a spring at the bottom to allow the bag to spring right back into the centre for you to strike after each blow.
Because the standing punching bag is not fixed to a specific spot on the ceiling, the base of the standing punching bag needs to be weighted down through the use of either sand or water being put into the base of the heavy bag.
Depending on who’s going to be using the heavy bag, these standing bags usually come in a variety of different sizes to suit the needs of the individual.
Convenience and Ease of Setup
Unlike traditional heavy bags that require you to set up and hang the bag on the ceiling, standing punching bags are extremely easy to set up.
Just fill-up the base with either sand or water and then attach the striking surface to the punching bag and off you go.
Some newer models of free-standing punching bags even come with the base pre-filled such as the Century VS.1 Versys Fight Simulator. Just attach the striking surface and your good to go.
It really doesn’t get any simpler than this with these bags and setup should not take more than 1-2 minutes tops!
With traditional heavy bags, the noise wasn’t too much of a problem. the most noise you would typically hear would be either the swivel swinging or the bag producing noise from strikes.
However, with standing punching bags, noise levels are a completely different story.
Due to the nature of the design of these free-standing bags, a lot of them do produce a bit of noise, especially if your striking at them with a lot of power.
The spring-loaded standing bags also produce a lot of noise as you strike at it due to the recoil effect of the spring.
The older generation wave master bags were especially prone to producing a lot of noise as the bag moved around after each powerful strike.
However, newer models have since surfaced on the market and these produce a lot less noise compared to their compatriots due to fewer movements, a larger striking area, and a smaller plastic base.
Unlike traditional heavy bags, standing heavy bags do cost a little more due to the extra materials that go into the manufacturing of these bags.
Also, there’s less competition in the market as most standing punching bags are only produced by a few manufacturers out there.
For traditional heavy bags, you would typically pay anywhere between $50-150 bucks depending on the size, type of material, and mounting accessories that are included with the bag.
However, it’s not uncommon to be paying $300 or more for a genuine leather punching bag. These types of bags are extremely durable and are much easier on the hands and feet. Sometimes these bags come unfilled as well so you’ll need to spend some extra money to fill them up.
For a standing punching bag, you typically would find them starting around $100 and upwards.
The larger the bag is, and the more unique features it has will tend to cost more.
If you’re an adult then expect to fork over a few hundred dollars to find one that suits your height and build.
When it comes to stability, hanging heavy bags have an advantage over standing heavy bags due to it being fixed in one position.
Standing punching bags because they aren’t stationary tend to move around a lot especially if you are hitting at full power. The base does not provide enough weight to prevent the bag from sliding across the floor unless you add in additional weights to it.
It’s not common to have the heavy bag move several inches during a practice session.
Furthermore, if you are going at the bag at full power, expect the bag to topple over. Standing bags are much easier to topple over compared to traditional bags.
However, manufacturers have starting to introduce new standing heavy bags that are less prone to toppling over compared to previous models out there.
For example, the Century VS.2 Versys Grappling Simulator which has a three-prong leg design to prevent falling over.
Wear and tear are inevitable for both hanging punching bags and standing punching bags, however the material being mainly foam surrounding the standing heavy bag is not quite as durable as a hanging punching bag.
Over time the foam will provide less and less shock absorption for blows to the bag and will break-in.
This means that if you bought a smaller less expensive model that has less dense foam surrounding the striking area then you will no doubt in time end up hitting the plastic part of the bag.
Furthermore, the plastic neck that holds the foam striking area and the base of the unit can be prone to developing breaks or leaks over time if you’re not careful.
One of the most common complaints about these types of bags is that the base starts to leak out either water or sand over time, especially if you strike at it hard.
This is just something to be mindful of if you do intend to purchase one of these standing bags.
Either don’t strike at them full power all the time or don’t hit the plastic parts of the bag.
However, some of the newer models out on the market such as the Century VS.1 Versys Fight Simulator have less of this issue as plastic is not even used at all. Rather foam and vinyl are mainly used. Not only do you not need to worry about injuring yourself by hitting the plastic parts of the bag accidentally, but you also don’t need to worry about the bag breaking or leaking either.
When it comes to being able to adjust the height, this is another area where standing punching bags shine.
Unlike traditional heavy bags, you can actually adjust the height on a lot of these units up and down by several inches.
Take, for example, the Century Bob Body Opponent Bag. This bag has several height adjustments that you can make to better suit your needs.
These height adjustments allow the whole family to better use the punching bags, unlike traditional hanging bags.
Easy to Relocate and Move Around
Because standing punching bags aren’t mounted to your ceilings, you can easily move them around your home.
On most standing bags, the base is shaped in a rounded circle, making it easy to just roll the bag around to wherever you need it to be.
If the punching bag is too heavy for you to roll around, you can even unmount the striking top from the base or empty the contents in the base, easily reducing the weight by 100 lbs and making it much lighter to carry around the house.
Softer Striking Surface
Traditional heavy bags, especially the ones that are 100 lbs and upwards tend to become quite hard and stiff especially at the lower parts of the bag due to the material settling down in the bag over time.
This can lead to injuries if your not careful or wearing protective equipment such as boxing gloves to hit the bag.
Standing heavy bags, on the other hand, have a foam filling along with a vinyl outer shell in most models, and there are even heavy bags that use soft rubber for their striking dummy such as the Century Bob Body Opponent Bag.
This means that the striking surface is much softer when you’re hitting it, and the chances of injury are lower.
While a traditional hanging heavy bag has been considered the gold standard when it comes to a training apparatus, the usefulness of a standing bag has been greatly undervalued.
These heavy bags are easy to set up and move around the house, are height adjustable, and offer much softer striking surfaces compared to traditional heavy bags. Furthermore, they really don’t cost that much more than a regular heavy bag and in some cases may be even cheaper compared to a hanging heavy bag if you’re looking at leather bags.
Standing punching bags aren’t perfect though and have a few drawbacks such as producing higher noise levels, tend to move around a lot, and aren’t quite as durable compared to a hanging bag, but all these weaknesses aside, they still make great training companions.
Let me know what you think about standing punching bags in the comments below.
To learn more about which freestanding bags to buy, check out this guide here.