The Best Free Standing Punching Bag For MMA

In this post we look at a selection of the best free standing punching bags available. What should you expect from these products and which is the best one for your MMA training?

So here are our two favorite free standing punching bags at a glance. Be sure to read our full buyers guide, product reviews and videos below!...

Best Free Standing Punching Bag: Our Top Picks

Century Versys Fight Simulator

Best Free Standing Punching Bag Century Versus Fight Simulator

Best Free Standing Punching Bag For MMA Cross Training 

  • Great for Lighter Kickboxing Training
  • Can be Used to Practice Takedowns
  • Excellent for practicing Ground and Pound / Grappling transitions
  • Pre-Filled Base - it's Ready to go in just a few Minutes!
  • Suitable for all Ages
  • Very Portable / Unzips into Two Parts
  • Kids Version also Available Here
  • Lighter / Smaller than Other Free Standing Bags
  • Will Tip Over after One or Two Good Power Shots

Century Wavemaster XXL

Best Free standing Punching Bag Century Wavemaster XXL

Best Free Standing Punching Bag For Boxing, Kickboxing & Muay Thai 

  • The Best Free Standing Punch Bag for Kickboxing / Boxing Training
  • Can Take Harder Shots Without Tipping Over
  • Best Free Standing Bag for Combinations
  • Thicker, Heavier and More Sturdy 
  • Alternative "Scoring Zones" Model also Available Here
  • Cannot be Used for Take-down Drills or Ground and Pound
  • Less Portable than Other Models

Best Free Standing Punching Bag: Buyers Guide

Free standing punch bags are awesome for MMA training. They provide a great way to practice / refine your MMA techniques. Make sure you get the one best suited to the type of training you require:

There are some limitations to that come with free standing punching bags. Make sure you are aware of exactly what your training experience will be like with these bags. Read our reviews below, watch the videos to see how each bag is suited to the type of training you are trying to do. That way you can make an informed purchase... returning these bags to vendors is a hassle so its worth taking the time to read below! 

Free Standing Punching Bag: Pros 

  • Free standing punching bags are super convenient, they require no modifications to your home / gym and can be pushed into a corner or closet when not in use.
  • Free standing punch bags allow you to workout on your own and do as many reps as you want. This also means you can workout whenever you want. I find this a huge benefit, being able to squeeze in a quick 30 min bag workout without having to leave the house!
  • The "dummy" style bags allow you to practice the full range of MMA techniques including take downs / throws, Grappling or BJJ drills and Ground & Pound (see video below in our review).

Free Standing Punch Bag: Cons

Here's some points to be aware of when deciding which free standing punching bag to use:

  • They are not true "Heavy Bags" and will never replicate them perfectly.​ A ceiling mounted heavy bag is fixed at the top. Free standing bags at the bottom. Therefore they will always respond differently no matter how good the design. 
  • They won't have the feel of a heavy bag for hard punches / kicks. If you are expecting to feel the same solid resistance and impact you get from a heavy bag you will be disappointed. Free standing bags are all made from very light foam, with all the weight being in the base.
  • Free standing bags will move and/or tip. Obviously some more than others depending on the size and design.
  • They make a noise. Not just the sound of your punches impacting the bag. If the base is the solid plastic type, this will be quite loud as it moves and tips on a bare floor. 

Best Free Standing Punching Bag: Buyer Tips!

If you're concerned about any of the "cons" above, don't worry, there's plenty of ways to improve your free-standing bag training. Our favorite ones are below:

  • Sand is Heavier than Water! If your free standing bad has a self filling base, you can choose to fill it with either sand or water. Whilst water is much cheaper and quicker, using sand gives a far better anchor point. This gives a dramatic improvement to how little the bag will move or tip when using it.
  • Use dry sand and a funnel! Dry sand will pour easily into the base and a funnel stops it spilling everywhere.
  • Water is more convenient / Portable. Whilst not giving the same anchoring benefits as sand. Do use water if you plan on emptying the base to move the bag from time to time (e.g. up and down stairs). Water is much faster / easier to empty out.
  • Use a mat under your free standing punch bag. A non slip padded mat to drastically reduce the amount the bag moves and noise generated. We found an old non slip you mat to be ideal but zebra mats, old carpet or just the cheap non-slip under lay in hardware stores will all work wonders. 

Best Free Standing Punching Bag Reviews:

Century Wavemaster XXL Review

If you're looking for the best free standing punching bag for pure striking training. This is the bag for you. 

Specifications:

  • Height - 69 inches / 175 cm 
  • Diameter (Bag) - 18 inches
  • Diameter (Base) - 28 inches
  • Weight - Up to 270 lbs when fully sand filled
  • Available in Blue, Red, Black and Custom "Target Zones" model
  • 100's of Positive user reviews and feedback
  • Well established brand with over 30 yrs experience in Martial Arts products
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Star Rating:

The Century Wavemaster XXL is essentially a boxing and kickboxing heavy bag substitute. 

As it comes with a fixed hard plastic base, it cannot be used for take downs or ground and pound drills.

If you use sand to fill the base to capacity and place it on a non slip surface, it becomes one of the most solid stand alone punch bags you can buy. Take a look at this demo video of someone using it for a kickboxing workout:

Courtesy of Tom Cox Youtube Channel

You can see from the video that this free standing punching bag:

  • Absorbs combinations of kicks and punches without tipping over. You can throw, two, three, four strike combinations at this bag with decent power. This for us is the most awesome and important thing about this bagIf you want to get an intense workout and practice correct technique its important the bag is at least sturdy enough for this. Other lighter bags on the market either completely tip over, or slide backwards meaning you constantly have to reset them.
  • Can be used to train any stand up strike, from leg kicks, body shots to head kicks. The length of the padding makes this a true kickboxing bag.
  • Its a good height for most adults. At 175 cm tall this bag is a similar height to a 183cm / 6ft tall man if they were to take up a slightly crouched boxing stance. This means all but the tallest of users will get a realistic target height.

Ringside Elite Free Standing Heavy Bag Review

If you're looking for the best free standing punching bag for taller guys / girls. This is the bag for you. 

Specifications:

  • Height - 76 inches / 193 cm 
  • Diameter (Bag) - 17 inches
  • Diameter (Base) - 32 inches
  • Weight - Up to 270 lbs when fully filled
  • 100's of Positive user reviews and feedback
  • Well established brand with almost 40 yrs experience in manufacturing Boxing equipment
  • Price Range: $$$$
  • Star Rating:

The Ringside Elite Free Standing Punching Bag is the big daddy of the group. Although it is the most expensive bag of the selection, many users say it is well worth the money. Here's why:

  • It's BIG. At 6' 4" or approximately 193 cm the Ringside Elite is almost a head higher than other free standing punch bags. This makes it a fantastic choice for taller individuals / simulating taller opponents. 
  • The base doesn't move.. at all. With the base completely full this is one of the hardest free standing bags on the market to move / tip over. This means you can practice throwing full power shots at it. 

Flexible Base of a Free Standing Punching Pag

  • It has a spring loaded design. The base of the Ringside Elite contains a flexible section, allowing it to sway when absorbing a hit. This is the main reason it is so impossible to tip over.
  • It sways when hit. The spring loaded nature of the bag means it does sway back and forth when hit, compared to the Wavemaster XXL which snaps back into position quite rigidly. Some people like this to practice a bit more footwork and move around the bag more. It really depends on your personal preference.  

<< Looking for the Best MMA Training Gloves for your Punch Bag Workouts? Check Out Our Reviews and Buyers Guide Here! >> 

Century Versys Fight Simulator Review

Specifications:

  • Height - 66 inches / 168 cm 
  • Diameter (Bag) - 13.75 inches
  • Weight - Up to 110 lbs 
  • Ready Filled Base / Easy Assembly
  • 100's of Positive user reviews and feedback
  • Youth Version Available
  • Well established brand with over 30 yrs experience in Martial Arts products
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Star Rating:

The Century Versys Fight Simulator is a hybrid between a stand alone punch bag and a grappling dummy. 

It doesn't compare to a hanging bag or the Wavemaster XXL for pure Boxing / Kickboxing training as it simply isn't designed for that type of workout.

Where the Versys comes into its own however is MMA cross training i.e. workouts where you want to chain a variety of MMA techniques together. Check out this great video showing all the potential of this free standing punch bag (make sure you watch 'til the end to see ground work drills)... ​

Courtesy of Ginger Ninja's Youtube Channel

Pretty awesome right? So if you're not looking to throw heavy combinations but instead practice multiple MMA techniques, this bag lets you:

  • Practise single strikes or quick one-two combinations from any angle or height.
  • Practice chaining strikes into takedown drills.
  • Use handles at top of bag to clinch and train standing knee strikes.
  • Practice ground and pound strikes from any position.
  • Practice mobility drills for grappling transitions e.g. knee on belly, side control, spinning to the back etc.
  • Use as a weight / prop for general workout and conditioning exercises.

This bag is especially suitable for someone looking for a convenient / portable free standing bag. Imagine you just want to work out in your apartment for example. You can place this bag in the corner of the room to stop falling over so easily. Do some striking drills, then practice some ground and pound, finish with some mobility drills. You probably won't disturb the neighbors too much and you can stuff it in a wardrobe / behind a door when you're done! 

These bags are also great for kids training. As they have no hard plastic parts, they are relatively safe to let kids loose on without worrying about them hurting themselves! There's lots of comments out there from Martial Arts schools / parents that rave about how much the young students like beating up these bags... 

Conclusion: If you want to be able to get a heavy bag style workout in, without all the hassle of installing the required fixtures etc. then a free standing punching bag is a great alternative option.

You will get heavy bag "like" training and much more. Depending on what style of MMA training you want to do should determine which bag you pick. As long as you take note of all our pointers above, we're sure you'll love either of our recommendations!   

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