MMA-Today is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

7 Different Types of Punching Bags

Practicing boxing at home using any of the many different types of punching bags can boost your skill level. Whether you’re learning traditional boxing or another combat sport, it’s an excellent workout, and it helps build the total-body strength that high-level punching and boxing demand.

“Even though you’re focusing on the upper body, it’s a full-body workout … you’ll use your lower body, back, and core. Your stance and power come from your lower body — not from throwing your arms.”

Laila Ali, world champion boxer and daughter of Muhammad Ali.

To build muscle tone and sharpen your skills, you’ll need the best boxing bag. Different types of boxing bags vary in size and shape to suit specific boxing techniques. They contain various light and heavy materials depending on the desired weight and movement when punched.

Choosing the right type of punching bag for your home gym can be tricky. If you find out the best uses for each boxing bag, you’ll be able to tell which is the best punch bag for the boxing skills you need to refine. 

Red boxing gym with many types of punching bags.
Punching bags come in the number of differing shapes and sizes, each with their own specific uses.

Heavy Punching Bags

As the name suggests, heavy bags are weighted, making them ideal for boxers who want to build muscle tone. The sturdy sand or grain filling within these punch bags resists bouncing and swinging when hit. There are a few different types of heavy bags to choose from depending on the boxing moves you want to practice.

Hanging Heavy Bag

A standard heavy bag is one of the most versatile boxing bag types. It has a long, cylindrical shape that makes it suitable for many basic techniques, including punches, kicks, and elbows. Learning how to hang a heavy bag from a ceiling or wall can make it more convenient for small spaces or home practice. 

Because of this punching bags swinging movement, it can withstand powerful punches. Because these types of boxing bags have very little give upon absorbing a strike, you should use protective gloves to avoid injury to your hand whilst bag punching.

  • Skill level: beginners, all levels
  • Best for: strength training, basic techniques

Free Standing Heavy Bag

The free standing bag is an alternative to a hanging heavy bag and is supported from the ground by a water or sand base. It has a low center of gravity, making it optimal for kicking and punching. 

Free standing boxing bags are ideal for beginners; however, they are less resistant to powerful blows than a hanging heavy bag. If you want an option you can stash in a closet after use, a freestanding bag is a great choice.

  • Skill level: beginners
  • Best for: strength training, basic techniques

Uppercut Bag

If you’re looking to practice combination punching, uppercut bags are a focused option for just that. Smaller than a heavy, this bag mounts directly to the wall. Boxers choose this bag for combinations like hooks to uppercuts because its shape mirrors the jaw area where these punches generally land. 

“Uppercuts are critical to boxing practice. A significant power punch, they require being close to your opponent and quickly bringing your fist from their waist to connect at their jaw.”

Because it’s fixed to the wall, this punch bag lacks movement, and you can only hit it from a few angles. It doesn’t measure up to different types of punching bags that focus on hand-eye coordination and rhythm training. However, uppercut bags have target areas that are excellent for improving the speed and fluidity of combination punches that involve uppercuts.

  • Skill level: all levels
  • Best for: uppercuts, combination punches

Angled Heavy Bag

On this variation of a suspended heavy bag, the wider top of the boxing bag extends at an angle from the bottom. The top half of the shape of this punching bag is ideal for practicing uppercuts and straight punches, while the bottom is better suited for kicks and body hooks. 

The angled heavy bag includes the benefits of multiple types of bags. It’s somewhere between a standard heavy bag and an uppercut bag, making it an excellent punching bag option for combination training. 

Because of its weight, it can support strength training without bouncing or swinging. If you’re looking to build muscle while combining different techniques, this is an ideal choice.

  • Skill level: all levels
  • Best for: strength training, uppercuts, combination punching

Light Punching Bags

Not all types of punching bags are large and heavy. If you want to refine your speed, reflexes, and hand-eye coordination, it’s best to practice on a lightweight punching bag. Options for light punching bags vary in size and swing, so make sure you pick the best one for the skills you’re trying to build.

Speed Bag

As the name implies, a speed bag, or speed ball, is the preferred choice for boxers who want to show off fast punching moves. Most types of speed bags involve a small, air-filled bag mounted to a board, and a spring attachment quickly bounces it back to you after each hit. 

The small bag comes in various basic sizes, so a beginner can train on a larger target and gradually size down to a peanut ball. 

If you want to test your hand-eye coordination on a small, moving target, a speed bag is an ideal option for sharpening your speed and rhythm. This punching bag will challenge you to hit with exact precision and timing to land repeated punches (1).

Skill level: beginners, all levels

Best for: speed, timing

A speed bag is one of the most popular types of punching bags.
The speed bag is used to improve the fluidity and overall mechanics of fast punches.

Double End Bags

This lightweight, basketball-shaped bag gets its name because it’s suspended between two attachment points on the floor and ceiling. You may customize the tension of the coils to adjust the amount of swing. The ball also comes in a variety of sizes, depending on how advanced your accuracy is.

Like the speed bag, the double-end bag has a powerful bounce-back effect after you strike it. It’s an ideal punching bag for practicing speed and rhythm. Its attachment points cause it to move in a way that simulates an opponent, meaning you’ll have to use blocking and counter-striking techniques. Training against different kinds of punching bags that move and bounce are critical to building up your defensive reflexes (2).

One popular customization for the double-end bag replaces the ball with a figure-8, or hourglass-shaped punching target, which allows you to refine your body hits’ speed and accuracy. If you hang your own double-end bag at home, you can adjust its tension and ball type to your preferred settings for punching.

  • Skill level: all levels
  • Best for: speed punching, timing, blocking, counter-strikes

Maize Bag

This smaller punching bag is the perfect tool for practicing head movements. The name “maize bag” refers to its traditional corn filling, which gives it a balanced swing. It comes suspended from the ceiling for convenient small-space use. Like the double-end bag, it challenges you to build up your defensive positions and counter-strikes (3).

The maize bag’s size and shape are not ideal for practicing kicks and body hits. However, it’s a useful alternative to the uppercut bag for working on hooks and waist-to-jaw punches. Because of its swinging movement, it’s a flexible option for developing your upper-body hits’ rhythm and timing.

  • Skill level: all levels
  • Best for: head movements, uppercuts, counter-strikes

Final Thoughts On Different Punching Bag Types

Now that you’ve discovered the basic types of punching bags and the benefits of each one, it’s time to choose the right kind of punching bag for your boxing practice.

Consider your goals with boxing: Are you training to eventually take a fight? Do you want to tone your muscles and improve your well-being? Do you strive to learn and perfect technique more than anything else? The answers to these questions will help you decide between the different types of punching bags you can add to your home gym.

Your existing level of expertise is another factor. For beginners building up their home gym, it’s essential to choose the bag type that meets your needs and allows for skill development. At the same time, you don’t want to overdo it with heavy-duty punching bags if you’re just learning basic moves.

All that’s left to do is learn how to hang a bag and you’ll have many customizable options for creating the best boxing and overall martial arts experience without leaving the house. You may also be interested in making your own DIY punching bag.

If you’re still uncertain, here are some quick answers to the most searched questions about types of punching bags. 


Hitting a heavy bag every day will not hurt you. It’s critical to keep your hands covered with protective wraps, or else you risk injury. But as long as you’re practicing safely, you can hit a heavy as often as you like.

Professional boxers will hit the heavy bag for up to 5 rounds of 3-5 minutes. It’s recommended that you combine your heavy bag workout with other forms of exercise like cardio and stretching. Splitting your training between heavy and lightweight punching bags will make you a more well-rounded boxer.

70lb boxing bags fall into the heavy category. Heavy boxing bags come in various weights up to 160lbs. It’s best to choose a bag that is about half your own body weight, so a 70lb boxing bag is the perfect match for a boxer who weighs 140lbs.

YouTube Video:



Leave a Comment