Let your inner Laila Ali shine with these picks for the best punching bags when you just need to hit some sh*t.

By Gabrielle Porcaro
October 06, 2020
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If your at-home workout is getting a little stale, or if you're craving a cardio-forward fitness activity that you usually take advantage of in a gym or studio, it might be time to implement boxing or kickboxing into your routine, which both have tremendous benefits — and not just when it comes to your physique.

"Boxing is an incredible holistic workout; mind and body," says Liv Young, the founder of Box Flow in New York, a high-intensity workout class combining elements of boxing & yoga. Mentally, boxing requires you to be present and have your actions connect to your breathing, explains Young. And, not to state the obvious, but punching something very hard is a great way to get rid of stress or anxiety. (Related: Crush This Kickboxing Workout In Your Living Room)

Not only does boxing help to relieve stress, but it also helps build strength and endurance, improve your hand-eye coordination, and can give you killer abs. "It requires connection since everything comes from the core," says Young. "If you engage your belly and utilize your legs, core, and hips, you will sweat in no time."

While boxing and kickboxing can seem a bit aggressive to bring into your home (it's an exercise that requires a bit more than a set of resistance bands or dumbbells), the good news is that the equipment only appears intimidating. You can actually quite easily transform your home office, living room, basement, or deck into a boxing ring simply by investing in a punching bag. (Related: Adriana Lima Will Convince You to Finally Buy a Pair of Weightlifting Gloves)

When shopping for a punching bag, choose one that's half your body weight. (For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, your heavy bag should weigh approximately 80 pounds, and you can round up if you are between bag weights.) As for location, be sure you put it in a space where you have enough room to move freely around it since boxing is a fluid sport, adds Young. "You don't want to get stuck in your stance or space," she says. "You want to be able to move, use your whole body, and utilize the entire space to get the best workout and experience." Also, consider the kind of bag that makes the most sense for your home; if your ceiling can't handle the weight of a heavy bag, opt for a standing punching bag instead.

Once you're fully set up, if you are a beginner or need a form refresher, check out this beginner's boxing workout to familiarize yourself with the correct technique. And of course, add some music to get you in a fighter's mindset. Ahead the nine best punching bag options to add to your home gym, or wherever you are working out these days.

Protocol Punching Bag with Stand

AMAZON

For newbies or those missing their boxing gyms, this all-in-one package is everything you need to get started. From a pump to inflate the ball to padded gloves, you'll be punching it out shortly after it arrives. The hefty base stays in place as you jab and the adjustable height makes this a great fitness tool for the entire family. The consensus with reviewers is that this is a great way to get rid of tension and anxiety: "I bought this for stress relief," said one shopper. "I don't think I have ever felt stress released like this. I will definitely be using this every day."

Dripex Freestanding Punching Bag

AMAZON

As Amazon's top seller in the "heavy punching bag" category, you can fill the base of this piece of equipment with either water or sand and the suction cups help ensure it's not going anywhere. The multi-layer construction, which is made of foam and durable, high-quality leather, protects your body from even your strongest kick or punch. One customer stressed it is well worth the money: "It's sturdy....the suction cups and springs in the base work great. It is just as quiet as advertised. No need for expert assembly, as they do half the work for you. I filled it with two 50lb bags of sand and the base literally doesn't move." (Related: Shape Studio: Bodyweight Boxing Training Workout from Gloveworx)

Toco Freido Double End Punching Ball with Boxing Reflex Ball

AMAZON

No need to be intimidated by this double-end punching ball. The bag's setup is a breeze since the carabiners and bungees secure to the ceiling and the bottom is attached to something heavy like a concrete block. Plus, using it helps improve hand-eye coordination and agility. The set also comes with a portable reflex ball and headband, allowing you to box from anywhere. One fan is having so much fun adding this ball into their training: "I do a lot of jumping rope for cardio, and this was a nice addition to switch up the footwork and routine. The bag comes with a pump, two carabiners, and two elastic ropes. The additional items that came with the punching bag were a great bonus."

Hicient Punching Bag Free Standing Boxing Bag

AMAZON

With a robust spring, the ball quickly returns to start after every punch. Rigorously tested, this punching bag was hit in the same spot more than 120,000 times to guarantee that it's built to last — meaning, this will be part of your fitness routine for a long, long time. Also, it's super easy to move around, so no need to commit to a location.

One buyer sang its praises, saying "Assembly is very easy, less than half an hour, the adjustable-height is helpful. I and my children can use it. In general, this is the punching bag I have been looking for, stable, sturdy, fast rebound back. Highly recommended for all punching enthusiasts!"

Tech Tools Punching Boxing Bag

AMAZON

This punching bag is perfect for the entire family because it adjusts from 49 inches to 63 inches, and springs back gently, so there's no need to worry about any little ones getting hit with the return. The freestanding heavy-duty base can be put on grass or concrete, so it works just as well in your basement as it would on your deck. Reviewers noted that it's especially beneficial for relieving stress, as one shopper wrote: "Solid product, great for stress relief - especially during these times. Its also a fun workout, like it really does get your heart rate up and blood flowing! My arm muscles were sore the next day! I was a bit worried about the size, but I'm 5ft 7in, and it was perfect for me. So happy about it!"

Everlast P00000657 Hydrostrike Water Bag

AMAZON

For a completely different experience, try a bag filled with water: the liquid absorbs each hit making it feel like you are fighting a real competitor. This is Amazon's Choice for "water punching bag," and holds 100 pounds or 12 gallons of water, meaning it's one solid piece of gear. One customer commented, "This is a great bag that has some give to it to simulate as though you were hitting someone in the body." (Related: Tone All Over with a Kickass New Boxing Workout)

Life Gears Black Canvas Punching Bag with Chains

AMAZON

New to the sport and not looking for a big commitment? This canvas bag will do the job without having to shell out lots of cash. While it doesn't come with stuffing, most buyers shared that they packed it with old clothes or plastic bags. The white and black color is perfect if you are hoping your punching bag will blend into your home and not give it gym vibes. One customer explained how this gives them a bang for the buck: "It is truly a case where I thought the price would indicate lower quality, and it was NOT the case! I was skeptical, but when we opened the box, I was really impressed with the quality of canvas, the connection of the chains, and the size."

FITVEN Punching Bag with Wall Bracket

AMAZON

Not all punching bags are free-standing or hang from the ceiling. The triangle wall bracket is easy to install with six screws so you can move around the bag ducking and swinging uppercuts. A large zipper allows you to add additional stuffing in case you want to make the bag heavier. "This rocks!" shared a happy boxer. "High quality on every aspect of its construction. Heavy stitching, thick panels, heavy-duty filling, and hang mounts. Comes with a mounting bracket for the wall that could probably hold a small car."

Century Bob Torso Training Bag

DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

While this might cause you to giggle daily, "Bob's torso" will give you a more realistic fighting experience to practice techniques. The base can be filled with sand or water and is easy to roll if you need to move Bob around your at-home gym space. "Century Bob is very well constructed," said one buyer, noting that this punching bag has a very life-like feel. "Great for my husband to release stress and build cardio. Great for me to beat-up on when the day's events have me pushed to the limit. Size is proportionate to real life. Sturdy; well-built." (Related: The Boxing Yoga Mash-Up Workout for a Fierce Body and Calm Mind)

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