Freestanding vs hanging heavy bag debate continues to bother combat sports practitioners worldwide. Perhaps, rightfully so! Why? Because there’s more to it than meets the eye. This descriptive blog helps you dig deep into the subject and compare freestanding vs hanging heavy bag better than ever.

To be honest, there really isn’t a right or wrong answer. It all depends on your preferences and circumstances. If you want a bag that is easy to install, easy to store in the closet, and you have limited space, a freestanding bag is a right choice.

On the other hand, if space is not a problem, a heavy hanging bag is a better choice. Although it is more difficult to install, the durability and the ability to work in your time cannot be matched by a freestanding model.

Now let’s get to the details, shall we?

What is a Punching Bag?

You may consider a punching bag a cylindrical bag filled with air, fiber, foam, or water, designed for punching or kicking. From boxing and martial arts training in gyms to pursuing a healthy lifestyle at home, you can use these bags for different purposes.

A punching bag assists martial arts and boxing enthusiasts hone their skills, burn fat, build muscle, and relieve stress while punching or kicking the bag. The two main types are hanging heavy bags and freestanding punching bags.

What Are Some Major Benefits of Punching Bag Workout?

There are plenty, to say the least. Some important ones include:

1. Greater Power

Hitting a bag involves strength and explosiveness. In a single movement, your muscles tense, contract to the maximum, and discharge all their energy with a strong impulse.

The biceps, triceps, and deltoids will be exclusively used for optimal upper body development on a good uppercut.

2. Concrete Abs

It’s not just the arms that work hard while engaging with a punching bag. Training with a punching bag involves twists and rotations of the entire core and strong mobilization of all abdominal muscles, giving you concrete abs.

3. Effective Cardio

Constant movement is essential for bag training, including hopping back and forth to simulate a combat situation. This high-intensity aerobic exercise is ideal if your goal is to burn fat and lose weight.

In general, improving your lung capacity and cardiovascular system are some of the benefits of an effective bag workout.

4. Balance and Coordination

Your “footwork” should perfectly match your shots on the bag. At first, it’s not easy, but with practice, you will get a good “rhythm.” With these exercises, you will improve your balance and agility through well-coordinated movements.

5. Muscle Toning

Punch bag workouts help tone and shape the arms and whole body muscles, shaping and defining the figure as you consistently progress through them.

6. Stress Buster 

This is another of the great benefits of including the punching bag in your fitness workouts. By releasing your fists and stretching your arms well, it is easy to eliminate accumulated stress and tension, perhaps after a hard day’s work.

You can visit this link to learn more about the benefits of a punch bag workout.

Freestanding vs Hanging Heavy Bag, Which is Better? 

Here’s what goes into determining which one might work best for you.

What is a Hanging Heavy Bag?


Also known as a hanging punch bag, a heavy bag is a type of punching bag used to improve punching power in boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), and other combat sports.

A conventional heavy bag is the heaviest type of punching bag, weighing around 45 kg. Therefore, the name “heavy bag” is very self-explanatory.

Heavy bags are usually used to develop the raw power of kicks and punches due to their weight.

Since you already need good form to hit a big bag without getting damaged, a heavy bag is not necessarily ideal for beginner-level technical training. (Here is how to learn basic punching techniques.)

When it comes to speed, heavy bags can help, but that’s not their primary function. You can’t build your parry speed with them because they don’t swing as fast as the small speed bags.

The accuracy of punches and kicks is the same. Unlike bulky heavy bags, a speed bag demands precision from you due to its compact size.

A heavy bag workout is the way to go if you want to improve your punching power. Heavy bags can be used for a variety of exercises.

In fact, this blog has compiled a list of workouts one can do with different punching bags. You’ll find it unbelievably helpful.

What is a Freestanding Punching Bag?


Freestanding punching bags are a great alternative to hanging punching bags that require a sturdy stand to hold their weight and take punches during workouts.

If you don’t want to risk making a hole in your ceiling, standing bags are certainly a good solution, provided you choose quality equipment with stable support (usually filled with sand or water).

In addition, standing bags are also more suitable for small areas since it is possible to move them away when your workout comes to an end.

Pros and Cons of Hanging Heavy Bags

As with all things, both heavy bags and freestanding punching bags have their pros and cons. Let’s see what a heavy bag has to offer.

Benefits of Hanging Punching Bags

The important ones include:

1. The Pendulum Swing Movement Pattern

Because of the heavy bag attached to the roof rack, the bag itself will bounce back and forth when hit. It is helpful for several reasons.

First, hanging punching bags cannot tip over, unlike free-standing punching bags. No matter how hard you hit or kick the bag, it will swing back and be ready to hit again.

Second, the swinging motion of the bags more accurately simulates the movement of actual combat experience, as opposed to the stationary design of the free-standing bag. You can work on your timing and footwork against a moving target with a heavy bag.

2. Ability to Withstand Powerful Blows (Ideal for Kicking)

Since the bag swings, you can land much more powerful punches, like high kicks. For example, if you want to work on your Muay Thai techniques, such as head kicks, a heavy hanging bag is much more suitable than a freestanding bag.

3. Relatively Cheaper

A sturdy, high-quality hanging bag is usually cheaper than a sturdy, high-quality freestanding bag. However, it is worth mentioning that if you cannot hang your heavy bag from the ceiling or a suitable beam, you will need a heavy bag holder.

This may increase your costs, but you can get a pretty solid stand for about $50. Even so, it will still be cheaper than a quality freestanding punching bag like the KARA Silver & Black Freestanding Punch Bag.

Drawbacks of Hanging Heavy Bags

Getting to drawbacks now, here are some:

1. Not Easy to Setup

One of the biggest drawbacks of a heavy bag is that it is difficult to set up. You have to find a suitable place to hang your bag yourself. It may require mounting brackets to the roof or finding a suitable beam in your home to support the weight of a heavy bag.

If not, you’ll need heavy-duty bag support, which can be quite complicated to set up on its own. That may not sound bad, but it seems like much effort compared to the ease of setting up a freestanding bag.

In case you still want to get a heavy bag, go ahead. Just make sure to check out our How to Hang a Punching Bag blog. It will surely help you make the most of your heavy-bag installation.

2. Needs More Space

Heavy bags sway back and forth. It means you need a room with enough space to fit heavy swing bags and work comfortably.

It’s okay if you have a big house or a garage, but for people living in an apartment, it’s not the easiest thing in the world.

3. May Need Help Managing the Swinging Motion 

If you’ve ever taken a boxing class, you’ve probably seen training partners take turns working on a heavy bag while the other person holds it in place.

Waiting for the bag to come back can slow you down, especially if you’re trying explosive high kicks in quick succession.

Pros and Cons of Freestanding Heavy Bag

About time to know what makes freestanding punching bags great or not so great!

Benefits of Freestanding Punching Bag

Those include:

1. No Assembly Required

It is arguably the best reason to buy a free-standing punching bag. To be installed safely, a classic boxing punching bag requires certain arrangements. Large bolts, solid support, or a reinforced ceiling beam are essential. Whereas for a self-supporting bag, the only constraint is having to fill the base with sand or water to ensure good stability.

2. Easy to Move and Store

You can move it from room to room in your home and store it appropriately or even use it outdoors for an outdoor session.

If you are a personal trainer looking to use the freestanding bag with a client, you can conveniently move it around in a vehicle.

3. Allows You to Train Differently

As the anchor point is on the ground in this case, the freestanding bag reacts quite differently than a heavy hanging bag. The bag is more static, so it can be used to vary training by working more on speed and the sequence of shots.

Compared to hanging bags, freestanding bags are considered better for training low kicks for Thai boxing, for example.

Drawbacks of Freestanding Heavy Bag

Talking of drawbacks, here are some:

1. More Unstable Support

Obviously, this will highly depend on the brand you choose. But you’ll come to the conclusion that some free standing punching bags are not stable enough to allow for optimal training or workouts. A lack of water or sand in the base can worsen this problem.

2. Limited in Power

Some freestanding punching bags cannot withstand heavy kicks and punches as they could tip over and fall. Be sure to read the specs carefully when buying the bag to know its weight and how much power it can handle.

3. Limited in Movement

​Due to its attachment to the ground, a standing punching bag does not allow you to work much on footwork and dodges compared to a hanging bag with its pendulum movement.

Freestanding vs Hanging Heavy Bag: What Are the Differences?

If you’re new to boxing training, you may think that a hanging bag and a freestanding bag are essentially the same except for how they’re supported.

Although both provide a way to practice and perfect punches and kicks, there are a few notable differences between these two types of bags, such as:

1. The Punching Power

Both types of bags move in their own (swinging or rocking) way when hit. But in reality, only the hanging bag does this much more forcefully.

Most freestanding bags are weighted at the base to prevent tipping, but if you’re looking to work on the power, you’ll soon find the bag at risk of tipping. A suspended bag is, therefore, much better suited to full power training, while a standing bag requires more restraint.

2. Different Angles

Although you can circle around both types of punching bags, a hanging bag is a more moving target that allows you to step forward or back during the swing.

On the contrary, a standing bag remains in a static position, which reduces the space for the creativity of footwork and striking angles.

3. The Pendulum Movement

Although the swing is sometimes tricky for a beginner, it is one of the main reasons a hanging punching bag is so convenient. Just think about that.

If you fight against an opponent, does he stay in the same place? Of course not. Swinging the bag requires the boxer to coordinate their whole body better to deliver a punch, which develops their offensive skills.

Whether developing the boxer’s classic style, punching, pressure brawling, or counter-attacking, the hanging bag offers more possibilities, like leaning against it while it rests on their shoulder or just ducking when it comes back.

So if you can’t practice against an opponent, this is the most appropriate way to get a “real” combat situation.

4. Space and Portability

This is probably the number one factor why someone who trains at home will choose a freestanding bag over a hanging bag. It doesn’t need to be set up and requires no additional equipment (other than filling).

Moreover, it doesn’t swing around, and you can easily move it from place to place. For some, it is a convenience of moving that takes precedence. For others, it is the only possible choice because of the lack of space available at home.

Tips for Training Well with a Punching Bag

Are you planning to train with the punching bag sometime soon? More strength, more energy, and more agility in general! You’ll get all that with no problem if you dedicate a few minutes daily to training on your bag. However, keep these few points in mind before committing to that:

  • Start small and try to get the basic moves right. You can also take a few classes to learn the basics to perform this training safely and avoid injury.
  • Never neglect the warm-up, including the twisting of the ankles, knees, hips, and wrists. In addition, a few minutes of skipping rope workouts are more than recommended.
  • Use protection for your fists and wrists – with wraps or mitts. Also, hit the bag with the correct posture and movement. You can learn how to wrap hands for heavy bag workout
  • Be sure to purchase gloves suitable for the punching bag before you practice.
  • Learn to punch into the punching bag gradually. If you’re right-handed, with each punch, you should tend to “shift” your body weight to the left side as you lift the heel of your right foot and throw your fist. (If you’re left-handed, reverse the pattern).
  • Remember to keep your knees bent, your elbows close to your sides before striking, and your shoulders slightly down. For a perfect movement, when you throw your punch, the shoulder of the thrown fist should come to protect your face.

Free Standing VS Hanging Heavy Bag: What to Choose?

Now comes the interesting part, deciding which one to buy. But don’t you think you know much more about it than ever before? All you need to do now is put yourself right into the center of the equation, considering all the variables, and determining what suits you and why. You can quickly order the kind of punching bag you need by visiting RDX Sports Punching Bags collection here.

With all set about the kind of punching bag you’d want for yourself, how about proceeding one step further and learning how to throw a punch right?


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