When starting out on your boxing/martial arts journey it’s often hard to know where to start. This is also the case when selecting a punching bag for beginners. There are lots of brands, then there are also many different sizes and weight bags. That’s why we’re writing this in-depth guide on which punching bag is the best for beginners. Here are the top three that we’ve reviewed.
Our Top Picks
Keep reading if you want to find out which punching bags made positions 4-8. Or if you want to know the finer details of each one.
- 0.1 Century Wavemaster XXL
- 0.2 Century Wavemaster Original
- 0.3 Outslayer 100lb Heavy Bag
- 0.4 Everlast HydroStrike Water Bag
- 0.5 RDX punching bag set
- 0.6 Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag
- 0.7 Everlast Power Core Bag
- 0.8 Everlast 40 Pound Heavy bag
- 1 Punching Bag for Beginners FAQs
- 2 In Summary
First up is the Century Wavemaster XXL. To be honest, you could buy any Century Martial Arts bag and be happy with it. The quality of each model is that good. But, we’ll tell you why the Wavemaster XXL is the best punching bag for beginners.
As you can see from the photo, this bag has a large striking surface. This means that you can land kicks and punches on a large target. So, don’t let the size of this bag intimidate you. It’s also a free-standing bag which means you can easily move it around. The base needs to be filled with water or sand to make sure it stays in place when in use. The base of this bag is also low compared to other free-standing punching bags, as you’ll see with the next bag.
We also love how simple it is to assemble. This is another plus to why it’s great for beginners. All you need to do is take everything out of the box and piece it all together. The hardest part is filling the base with either substance.
The vinyl cover and dense inner foam make it soft on your hands when punching. You should still wear boxing gloves suitable for beginners though.
The one downside to this bag is that it’s expensive. But, you’re paying for the quality. This punching bag will last you a long time and is still suitable once you progress.
- Low-profile base
- Large striking area
- Good for kicks and punches
- Easy to move
- Expensive for a first punch bag
|Dimension||18 x 69 inches|
Time for another punching bag from Century, the Wavemaster Original. This bag is smaller than the XXL and has a larger base. This means that it’s better suited for punches and high-kicks.
Beginners have 7 different height settings due to the adjustable height. This makes it a great punching bag for teenagers as when they grow it can be adjusted higher.
Both Wavemaster bags use the same high-quality materials. You’ve got an outer layer of vinyl and compact foam inside. The base also requires filling with sand or water to ensure the bag remains in place when in use. Once filled it will approximately weigh 250 lbs. Century’s Original Wavemaster is as easy to set up as the XXL. Take out the items from the box and connect them piece-by-piece.
There are 3 colors to pick from, blue, red, or black. If you’re starting out as a beginner in boxing this bag is ideal. The fact that it’s over $100 cheaper than the XXL might convince you that it’s the right one.
- High-quality materials used
- Easy to move
- 7 height options
- Made in the USA
- Larger base than the XXL
|Weight||Up to 250 lbs|
|Dimension||19.5 x 49-69 inches|
Some beginners are more confident than others. If that’s you then this 100lb heavy bag from Outslayer is a great option. Outslayer is known for its high-quality punching bags, especially Muay Thai bags. In fact, each bag comes with a 10-year warranty certificate.
Don’t be put off by the size of this bag, once it’s mounted, you’ll be able to dance around it throwing punches. It comes already filled with compressed shredded fabric, so there’s no need to fill it yourself. If you’ve got the space to hang this bag then we recommend considering this option.
If you’re an eager beginner you’ll quickly grow out of some of the other bags, like the Ringside Reflex bag. This bag from Outslayer is the ultimate step up when it comes to hanging heavy bags.
A couple of downsides are that it doesn’t include hanging equipment, apart from the nylon straps. Secondly, it’s quite expensive. But, this bag is on the same level as the Century Wavemaster XXL, just that it’s hanging instead of free-standing.
- Made with long-lasting materials
- Comes already filled
- 10-year warranty
- Can be used outdoors
- Doesn’t include hanging equipment
|Dimension||12 x 55 inches (67 including straps)|
The next punching bag for beginners is a water bag from Everlast. A water punching bag is a great type of bag for new starters because you have less chance of injuries. This is especially true of the hands and wrists. Everlast HydroStrike bag is the best water punching bag out there so you can’t go wrong with it.
When fully filled this bag weighs 100 lbs, this is a good weight bag to start with. It’s not too heavy and not too light. Due to being filled with water, the bag absorbs punches nicely. If you want to move the bag all you have to do is drain it and then move it. This is another big plus. The fact that the outer material is resilient means that it can also be used as an outdoor punching bag.
As well as the punching bag you also get:
- Hanging bracket
- Quick link
- Sweeper nozzle
This means that you have everything you need to hang and fill it. Finally, Everlast gives a 2-year guarantee with this bag. If you find any faults in this time, you can get a refund or replacement.
- Life-like feel on impact
- 2-year warranty guarantee
- Comes with hanging equipment
- Less chance of injuries
- Extremely portable
- Need to wear gloves when using it
RDX offers a complete punching bag set with many items. Other than the maya-hide leather bag you’ll receive:
- Wall bracket
- Steel chains
- Ceiling hook
- Pair of hand wraps
- Boxing mitts
- Jump rope
- Hand gripper
- 2x key rings
The punching bag comes filled and in two size options, 4-foot or 5-foot. You can also select from two colors either black or white. In the package you have everything you need to hang the bag, you just need to decide on the best location for it. If it’s your first time hanging a heavy bag we recommend watching a tutorial on YouTube.
RDX’s punching bag is excellent for beginners as it comes filled, and even has a loop on the bottom of the bag. This is for extra stability, you can attach it to an anchor to keep the bag in place when using it.
Granted, some of the items aren’t needed but as a beginner they’re nice-to-haves. If you have the space we recommend going for the 5-foot bag as you can grow into it and have more space for kicks if needed.
- Uses non-tear leather
- 2 size options
- Comes as a set
- Bottom loop attached
- Not easy to move elsewhere
|Weight||4FT – 44 lbs 5FT – 48 lbs|
|Dimension||4 or 5 foot|
We’re adding another free-standing bag to the list, but this time it’s in the form of a reflex punching bag. Ringside’s reflex bag is ideal for beginners as it’s easily adjustable and has a large enough ball to punch. The spring at the base makes the steel pole and speedball bounce back similar to an opponent. There are more advanced reflex bags, but we picked this one as it’s ideal for new starters.
This punching bag doesn’t come with the high price tag that the others have. But then again it hasn’t got the large striking surface. This makes a great first punching bag which may encourage you to keep using it. If not, you haven’t wasted a lot of money on something you won’t use often.
Ringside is another popular boxing brand so you can be sure the materials used are of good quality. There’s the plastic base, durable synthetic leather bag, and the chrome spring and rod. It’s also handy that you can adjust the height of the bag, starting at 49 up to 69 inches.
- Moves like an opponent
- Height adjustable
- Small punching area
|Weight||Between 125-240 pounds|
Now for another free-standing bag, and another from Everlast. This is another great punching bag for beginners as it’s easy to set-up and start using within minutes. You can fill the base with either water or sand to keep it stable. If you fill it with water it will weigh around 250 lbs. But, if you use sand it will weigh approximately 370 lbs. If you’re a heavy hitter even as a beginner you may want to fill it with sand, although water should suffice.
This bag is good for practicing punches, cardio workouts, and high kicks. High kicks aren’t really for beginners but that’s something you can aim for. Compared to the Century models, the base is larger. If you want a bigger striking area the Century models are better. The bag comes in two colors, black/white or silver. It is also a bit more expensive than the Original Wavemaster.
Everlast’s Power Core bag is excellent for someone who is just starting out. Everlast is known for manufacturing quality boxing products. They do clearly state that this bag shouldn’t be used outside though, something to keep in mind.
- Solid base for stability
- Easy to move around
- From a top boxing brand
- Height adjustable
- Some reports of water/sand leaking
|Dimension||Base diameter 25” x 52-65” height|
Now for the last bag on our list of the best punching bags for beginners, and it’s another from Everlast! This 40-pound bag is the lightest on the list. But if you’re a total beginner and not too confident yet it’s a good alternative to some of the others. Also, maybe you don’t have space at home to hang a 100-pound bag.
You’ll find the same quality construction that all Everlast punching bags have. The outer material is made from synthetic leather making it easy to clean and not too hard on the hands. It also comes with a double-end loop so you can attach it to an anchor for increased stability.
There’s no need to fill it either as it comes already filled. The bag also comes with a chain, but you’ll need to order the hanging bracket or ceiling hook separately.
- Comes filled
- Double-end loop attached
- Good for low ceilings
- Hanging bracket sold separately
|Materials||Premium synthetic leather|
|Dimension||12.75 x 31 inches|
Punching Bag for Beginners FAQs
How to select the right punching bag for beginners?
Choosing the right punching bag as a beginner isn’t easy. But below we’re going to guide you on what to consider when making that final decision. There are few important aspects to consider, and we’re going to start by looking at the weight of the bag.
If you’re going to buy a heavy bag as your first punching bag then you’ll want it to be the right weight for your build. Even as a beginner, the general rule is to get a bag that’s half your weight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 100-pound bag would be suitable.
We think that using a 100-pound bag as a beginner is a perfect size. It’s not too small or too big. Also, as you progress you’ll still be able to use it. Then, if you want to go heavier you can see our review of the best heavy bags available.
Obviously, if you decide to go for a reflex bag then you don’t need to worry about the weight.
To be honest, the size of the bag isn’t as important as the weight. But, it’s still something to consider. If you have enough space for a 5-foot bag this is the ideal size for a first punching bag. That’s not to say that you can’t get a lot of use out of a 4-foot or 6-foot bag though. All sizes mentioned here are great.
You might be thinking, this is my first bag so I don’t need to spend a lot on an expensive brand. But, we’d argue that the more established brands offer a better product. For example, Everlast, Century, Outslayer, and Ringside have been making top-quality bags for years.
It’s not just that they’ve been around for a long time, most of these brands offer a warranty guarantee. In the case of Outslayer, all its punching bags come with a 10-year warranty certificate. That’s a huge selling point when weighing up which bag to buy.
If you do decide to go for a cheaper brand, don’t be annoyed if it doesn’t last a long time. Still, hopefully, you would have got a lot of use out of it for a first punch bag. Then, anyway, it might be time to invest in one of the more expensive long-lasting bags.
The last thing that we’d consider is what your goals are. If you want to work on conditioning and punching techniques then we recommend any heavy bag. But, if you’re looking to improve your speed and reaction times, reflex bags are more suitable. For those looking to practice kicks as well as punches, make sure you go for a bag that has a large striking surface. A 6-foot bag is an ideal size for practicing low-kicks.
Do I need to wear gloves?
As you’re a beginner we recommend that you wear a pair of boxing gloves whilst pounding the bag. This is to reduce the chance of injuries, and you can work out much longer when wearing gloves.
If you feel like you’re advancing and don’t want to wear heavy bag gloves all the time, try using MMA gloves on the bag. MMA gloves don’t have as much padding as normal boxing gloves, that’s why it’s a good way to transition to using no gloves. Using no gloves is okay if you want to condition your hands, but we still prefer to use gloves most of the time.
Free-standing or Hanging Bag?
This question can be answered by your personal preference and the size of space that you have. If you live in an apartment then a free-standing bag makes much more sense than a hanging bag. But, if you’ve got a garage, spare room, or large outdoor area a hanging bag is a great option.
Obviously, a hanging heavy bag will move more than a free-standing bag. If you want less movement we’d say to buy a free-standing bag otherwise go for a hanging bag. There’s also the fact that assembling a free-standing model only takes a couple of minutes.
We’ve come to the end of our guide on the best punching bags for beginners. There are many different types of punching bags that you can consider. It really depends on how much space you have and how much you are willing to spend on a first bag.
For a free-standing bag, the Century Wavemaster XXL is the best, though the Original is cheaper. If you want a hanging bag the 100-pound model from Outslayer is our top pick. It comes with a 10-year warranty, is good for beginners, and has room to grow into.