Updated: Apr 11, 2021
Years ago I found myself in a quandary over whether or not to buy a freestanding punch bag. My personal circumstances necessitated a temporary transition from hanging to freestanding. Basically I relocated to a remote part of the country where there were no boxing gyms and my new abode wasn’t hanging punch bag friendly. Thus I was forced to improvise.
In an attempt to help me in my predicament I made the mistake of asking a boxing mate of mine his opinion. He threw me a disapproving side eye and scoffed ‘They’re like blow up dolls, no replacement for the real thing!’ After commending his simile, if you could call it that, I asked if he was speaking from experience. He didn’t answer.
Still no better off as to what to do I visited a local dōjō where I knew they had a few different freestanding bags. On paying the £5 admission fee for an hour’s lesson of kickboxing I spent the session mostly ignoring the instructor and instead testing out the bags. I came away wiser on two points:
1) My boxing buddy was kind of right – freestanding bags are inferior to hanging bags
2) Freestanding bags are infinitely better than no bag at all
Later on, after dabbling in spot of deliberation, I contacted the dōjō and asked them where they’d acquired their bags. The instructor said they buy them direct from the supplier and that if I’d like to purchase one I could do so through the dōjō. And that’s precisely what I did. I shelled out £255 and a week later I collected my very own freestanding bag.
That thing served me well for a good three years until circumstances again necessitated that I donate it to a kid’s karate club.
Hanging Bag vs. Freestanding Bag
Pitting a hanging bag against a freestanding bag is the equivalent of putting an amateur in the ring with a professional – there’s no contest. However, as I tried to make clear in my intro, if you haven’t got the option to hang a bag, then a freestanding bag is vastly superior to punching air or walls.
Also, freestanding bags have come a long way from when I first bought one – which was simply a huge foam cylinder suspended on a water butt. Now they’re developed with innovative foam technology that offers a ‘realistic’ boxing experience.
Meaning that when you punch them it doesn’t feel as though you’re scrapping with a walrus.
So let’s say that, because of personal circumstances, you’ve decided to buy a freestanding punch bag. The question you’re now left asking is: which one should I get? Well, if I’ve done my job properly, by the end of this blog you’ll have a good idea which style of freestanding bag suits your personal pretences. Without further ado . . .