Floor Punching Bag: How Do They Differ From Other Bags? Which Are The Best Ones?
In this article I am going to be going over and listing my favorite floor punching bag that I personally use as well as several other good bang for buck options.
For those unaware, a floor punching bag is a standing bag that is designed for using at home or in your apartment.
They are designed to work well with carpet and hard surfaces.
Little bit of background on myself,
My MMA training was just beginning to take off in 2015 when I finally landed a job that required me to work shifts.
For a while, I managed to train by rounding up a few buddies every now and then.
But when it looked like the job was more demanding than I imagined, I figured that I needed to incorporate bag training at home.
Else, a lot of the sweat and grime that I had put in over the past few months would be rendered ineffective.
After speaking to my coaches and some friends, I decided on getting a floor punching bag for my home gym, and it’s been the best decision I have ever taken in my life.
For those who are scratching their heads, a floor punching bag is another term used to describe a freestanding bag.
You know the ones that you can install anywhere? The ones that the MMA gods bestowed upon us poor apartment dwellers who cannot afford to drill holes randomly on walls and garage ceilings?
That’s the one that I am talking about.
Floor Punching Bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and boast of features that rival their uppity, wall-hanging counterparts.
If you have been holding off on bag training because you thought that you couldn’t do without a hanging bag, wait till you read this blog post.
I am going to talk to you about my experience with floor hanging bags and also share with you, a list of the best floor hanging bags that I found during the course of my research.
Which Floor Punching Bag I Ended Up Getting for Myself?
After researching for months, I finally narrowed down my 2 top picks to the Wavemaster xxl and the 2xl pro.
And ultimately ended up getting the the earlier version, the Wavemaster XXL.
It’s one of the oldest freestanding punching bags in the market and has been used by professional athletes to rookie kickers. Just read the user its reviews on Amazon here to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
I was a rookie kicker when I started off. That’s no longer the case though.
I routinely throw my best kicks at it and it takes it like a charm. In case you were wondering, I am 6’2 and 192 lbs.
I have owned the Wavemaster XXL for years and it has been my go-to bag for practicing a wide range of MMA and Muay Thai drills.
A common argument that’s thrown up against it, is that it’s not a substitute for a heavy bag. Well, I believe that anyone who’s looking for a floor punching bag would be well aware of the FEW limitations that come with it.
For me, the positives have far outweighed a few minor niggles that I have discovered along the way.
The Best Floor Punching Bags
A lot of times, I come across posts on messaging boards where people mention that they are struggling to find a decent floor punching bag.
Guess what? I found ten of them.
Here’s my list of the best floor punching bags in 2021.
Century Wavemaster XXL Review
This is hands down, the best floor punching bag in the market. It’s large, it’s sturdy and it gives me a capacious practice surface that suffices for everything from punches, to agility drills to high kicks.
What I Like the Most About It
Apart from the 69” height and 18” diameter, I love the fact that it’s incredibly sturdy, even when filled with water. Do not believe it when people tell you that you can knock this over easily. I can’t, unless I am throwing a back kick at it with all my strength.
You may want to try filling it with sand. But be warned. It turns into a wall that you cannot kick at without feeling it in your bones.
Things that Could Be Better
It moves around a little, especially on a hardwood floor. Guess what’s an easy workaround? Throw in a Yoga Mat under it. The movement reduces by 80%.
You will occasionally land a kick on the base. As a beginner, it can be a little annoying. But as you work more on your kicks, you won’t even notice it.
What Customers Feel About It
It’s Century’s top rated floor punching bag. For most people it’s a toss-up between this and the Bob. For me, this one was heavier and worked better for the kind of drills I do. For someone practicing BJJ, the Bob would have been a slightly better choice.
- 69” tall and 18” thick
- Durable Vinyl cover
- Weighs 270 lbs. when filled. You cannot topple this over.
- Low profile plastic base.
- Very easy to move around home. (Topple it and roll)
- Is virtually noise free.
#2 - Century Aerobic Cardio Wavemaster- Best One for Cardio
An hour on a punching bag is one of the best forms of cardio that I have ever tried. It helps build up a massive sweat, and as a nice bonus, helps me hone on my agility drills as well.
For those who prefer using a punch bag for cardio, here’s the Century Aerobic Cardio Wavemaster, a more specialized version of the traditional wavemaster.
What I Like About It
I had a go at the Aerobic Cardio Wavemaster at my gym and I was amazed at how much springier, it feels as compared to the heavy bag version that I own. You can practice legwork, move around it and use it for accuracy and agility drills as well.
It is height adjustable, and has the lowest profile base among all Century Wavemasters. No more shin-blasting base kicks.
Things that Could Be Better
It could have been a little thicker maybe. It’s only 10.5” in Diameter, which reduces the actual surface area that you can strike. Not a biggie though because I don’t use this as much for punches and kicks.
What Customers Feel About It
The Cardio Wavemaster is quite popular with teens because when filled with water, it can turn into a very sturdy bag. Most customers appreciate the low profile base, which ensures that you don’t accidentally land kicks on it.
- Lightweight, springy wavemaster for cardio
- Tough construction
- Vinyl cover, double stitching
- Perfect for speed and agility drills
- Small footprint
- Height adjustable from 4-6’
#3 - Century Bob and Bob Xl - Best Man-Shaped Bag
The Century Bob is my favorite man-shaped bag, or grappling dummy, that offers a lot of advantages that other bags don’t.
For starters, I use it regularly for Blunt weapon training (knives and sticks). Something that’s impossible with a sparring partner or a conventional bag.
Even if weapon training is not your cup of tea, the Bob is a phenomenal choice for Ground and Pound BJJ practice.
What I Like About It
Pretty much everything! I firmly believe that sparring and mitts are the way to go when you get a chance. But the Bob, with its realistic upper torso shaped design is so good for accuracy drills, body shots and angles.
You just cannot replicate it with a sparring partner.
Also, the plastisol body filled with urethane foam gives you a very natural feedback when you connect. It is height adjustable and I can go from high kicks to the head, to clinch and knees to the ribs in a jiffy.
What Could Be Better
Needs to be a little sturdier maybe? I once knocked the bob right off the handle with a roundhouse. But that was just me letting off some steam. Has only happened that one time.
What Customers Feel About It
The Bob and Bob XL have definitely filled a void that existed, because conventional heavy bags are just not suited for certain types of drills. The human-shaped design definitely makes it easier for precision training.
It’s one of the most popular training bags in martial arts.
- Lifelike human design makes it easier for certain drills
- Plastisol body filled with urethane foam. Very durable and gives you a realistic feedback
- Agility, accuracy, strength, ground and pound, angles, name it and the Bob fits the bill
- Weighs 270 lbs. when the base is filled. Height adjustable.
#4 - Ringside Elite – Best Floor Punching Bag for Tall Users
The Ringside Elite stands 6’4. It’s one of the only bags that I can see eye to eye with. Lol!
If you are as tall as I am and like to go really high with your kicks, check this out.
What I Like About It
I can adjust the degree to which the bag will move when I kick or punch it. It comes with a removable foam collar that increases the stability. So I put it on when I want the bag to be more stable and remove it when I am practicing speed and agility.
The bag has a nice rebound to it without the collar, especially for heavy kicks and punches.
What Could Be Better
Let me think now. Faux leather cover, foam filled, sturdy base, great height.
I think this is a great bag and surprisingly, I found no nits to pick.
What Customers Feel About It
This is one of the top rated floor standing heavy bags in the market currently. There are professional martial artists who use it regularly for heavy duty practice, and have spoken at length about the sturdiness.
That’s testimony enough for anyone who’s skeptical about floor standing bags.
- 64” tall and 17” thick practice surface
- Perfect for tall users for a variety of drills
- Plastic base tank that weighs 270 lbs.
- Removable foam collar that increases or reduces the movement
#5 - Century Versys Fight Simulator – Best Bag for Takedowns
I was very skeptical initially about the effectiveness of the Century Versys. The general consensus is that you cannot substitute a real sparring partner, which I completely agree to.
Having said that, once I grappled with the Versys in the gym, I was sold.
This is a terrific bag, especially for takedowns.
Oh, it’s really tall as well and you can easily use this while training standing upright as well.
What I Like About It
I have used both, this as well as the Versys Ver 2.0. This is clearly more versatile than the other one. It comes with a prefilled base that weighs around 100 lbs. So it’s not overly heavy like a heavy bag.
At the same time, it’s not overly lightweight either. I can throw kicks, punches, combos, or just grab the two handles on top and use it for ground and pound training. Irrespective of whether you train MMA or Jiujitsu, the Versys is an excellent training aid.
What Could Be Better
The outer vinyl shell is a little soft for my liking. I prefer something tougher on my knuckles, like the Bob. But that may just be me. My partner finds this perfect and she uses it regularly for her Krav Magadrills.
What Customers Feel About It
The Versys is one of Century’s bestselling floor punching bags. The reviews are 90% positive and talk about the versatility of the tool. It’s so good for everything, except maybe super heavy kicks. For those, you need a heavy bag.
- Fight simulator with handles
- Perfect for gripping, takedowns, ground and pound
- Light weight with soft outer vinyl shell
- Comes with a prefilled base
- Stands 66” tall and is just shy of 14” in diameter, which is pretty good
#6 - Century Original Wavemaster Free-Standing Bag
This is the classic Wavemaster, that started the trend for floor standing bags. Before this, if someone told me that there’s a portable heavy bag that needn’t be hung, I’d probably think he was bluffing.
It’s a tried and tested design that’s been around for over 20 years.
Comes with a tough vinyl cover and a largish base that stays rock steady. You can fill it with any material of your choosing. I prefer sand, because water gives it a little wobble.
The practice surface is 24” long and 19.5” thick, which is one of the thickest heavy bags that I have seen. You can adjust the height from 47" to 68" in 7 incremental settings. It’s just perfect for punches and kicks.
- Classic design
- 24” long and 19.5” thick vinyl surface
- Stays rock steady when filled
- Perfect for heavy bag practice
- Been around for over two decades
#7 - Everlast Power Core Bag
The Everlast Power Core is so identical to the Original Wavemaster, that you can easily swap one for the other, and you wouldn’t even notice.
It’s a very sturdy freestanding heavy bag, that comes with a base that weighs 370 lbs. when filled with sand. Try to topple this over and I am sure you will break a sweat.
It features Everlast’s popular Nevatear Vinyl Outer shell with a foam-filled core. Very sturdy surface that offers realistic feedback upon contact.
Not too bad for MMA practice, but a little noisy. There’s also an outer ring (inside the vinyl cover) that absorbs some of the impact, thereby reducing the lateral movement.
I find it perfect for a variety of drills. Not overly expensive either, if the price is a concern.
- One of the bestsellers from Everlast
- Features a foam filled core and a tough vinyl outer layer
- Power ring layer which absorbs impact
- Stays as steady as a rock due to the heavy base
#8 - Ringside Tornado Free-Standing Heavy Bag
The Ringside Tornado is a heavy bag-reflex bag hybrid. I guess that’s the best way to describe it.
It’s somewhat like the Century Cardio Wavemaster in function. It’s lightweight, has a great natural rebound to it and comes with a base that weighs 100 lbs. when filled.
The rebound can vary depending on how hard you go at it. Some people may find that it swings back too fast and can hurt their knuckles. So take your time with it.
Personally, I wouldn’t go too hard at it. It’s better suited for speed and agility drills, as well as accuracy practice.
At 68” tall, it’s perfect for punches and kicks. But the height is not adjustable. So take that into consideration, especially if different people in the family are going to be using it.
- Sturdy and lightweight bag from Ringside
- Heavy bag-Reflex bag hybrid
- Has a natural swing and rebound
- Best suited for speed and agility drills
- 68” tall. Vinyl cover with a foam core
#9 - Power Systems PowerForce Freestanding Bag
This heavy bag from Power Systems has one of the largest striking surfaces in this list.
It’s a whopping 65” long and 33.5” in diameter. Irrespective of what kind of drills you want to practice, this should fit the bill.
It also has a very low profile base, that’s just 12” in height. Very unlikely that any misdirected kicks will land on it. Just like the Ringside elite, it comes with a removable foam collar that can be used to increase or reduce the extent to which the bag moves.
I also really like the surface. It is impact resistant foam that absorbs the force of impact and distributes it evenly across the surface.
Overall, this can be a great training aid for a tall and heavy user.
- Capacious surface that’s 65” long and 33.5” in diameter
- Low profile base that’s just 12” in height
- Removable foam collar to adjust the movement
- Impact-resistant foam surface provides great feedback
#10 - Dripex Freestanding Punching Bag
This is a budget-priced heavy duty punching bag from Dripex. It has a few unique features that separate it from the competition.
For starters, the 56” striking surface features Dual TPU absorbers which reduce noise, and make contact more forgiving on your knuckles and shin. Also, there are four springs which increase the extent to which the bag swings back and forth. This can be removed if you prefer a more stable striking surface.
The rounded ABS base features 12 suction cups under it, which help to keep it in place. In addition to this, you can fill this up with 180 lbs. of water or sand. Makes for a very stable bag that will be impossible to knock over.
It has a EPE foam core and a 2mm thickened PU leather outer cover that’s very durable.
- 56” striking surface with Dual TPU absorbers
- Absorbs noise and shock when you make contact
- Four springs at the base which increases or reduces the swing
- Rounded ABS base tank with 12-suction cups under it. Adheres to the surface and prevents movement
Best Floor Reflex Bags
While there are a few hybrid bags in this list that can be also used for practicing reflex drills, none of those are specialized floor reflex bags.
If your focus is on speed and agility drills, then one of these bags might be a better fit for your training goals.
These are freestanding versions of speed bags. Noticeably, they are not as fast. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use these for a terrific workout.
#1 - Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag
The Ringside Fitness Reflex Bag is an old tested warhorse that has been around forever.
It comes with a height adjustable telescopic handle/pole, whatever you want to call it, that’s goes from 49” to 69”. The bag is mounted on this pole and it is connected to a chrome spring, which gives it the ability to swing back and forth.
All of this is then attached to a large base that can be filled with 240 pounds of sand. The base stays in place while the reflex bag swings around evenly for your reflex training.
The bag itself, has a synthetic leather outer cover with a foam-filled core. The fact that it’s not inflatable makes it less likely to leak air and get deflated after repeated practice.
- Foam filled bag with a PE shell
- Height adjustable from 49” to 69”
- Chrome spring for even swinging
- Base that can be filled with 240 lbs. of sand
- Synthetic leather outer cover
#2 - Everlast Reflex Bag (EA)
This is a spring-mounted reflex bag from Everlast, that’s very similar to the Ringside bag in design.
It’s a foam-filled bag wrapped in a synthetic leather shell. Very comfortable to punch on. The bag is then mounted on a metal frame with a spring, that gives it a very even and predictable swing.
It’s an excellent choice for speed and agility drills. Most importantly, it does not swing waywardly, which makes it perfect for beginners.
Just like most of the products from Everlast, the construction is top notch. Hard to go wrong with this.
- Metal frame
- EPE Foam core and PU leather shell
- Durable stitching
- Heavy duty spring for even swing
- Sturdy base
#3 - Ringside Cobra Reflex Free-Standing Adjustable Boxing Fitness Workout Punching Bag (New Version)
If you are looking for a bag that swings faster than the Ringside Original and the EA bag, check out the Ringside Cobra.
It features an industrial-gradesteel alloy spring that gives it extra zip. Even with a light punch, it rebounds fasterand will really test your skill and accuracy.
Jabs, hand-eye co-ordination, footwork, this is perfect for everything. The bag comes prefilled with foam, ready to use.
The steel frame is height adjustable from 60” to 84” and the base can be filled with 140 lbs. of water or sand.
- A faster freestanding bag from Ringside
- Industrial-grade Steel alloy spring
- Perfect for hand eye coordination and accuracy drills
- Height adjustable steel frame from 60” to 84”
#4 - MaxxMMA Advanced Cobra Reflex Bag Kit
The Advanced Cobra Reflex Bag Kit from MaxxMMA features two bags of different sizes, instead of one. Allows you to choose a bag size depending on the drill you are practicing for.
The smaller bag is lighter weight and hence swings back more than the larger one. Alternatively, you can add a cushion inside the chrome-plated steel spring, which also reduces the speed by a fair bit.
In a nutshell, you have four different speed settings to choose from. Two by swapping the bags and two by using the foam.
The bag itself is tough PU leather with an inner bladder design. It should hold up well to vigorous practice.
One thing that I didn’t like is that the base can only be filled with 55 lbs. of material, which is clearly not enough to keep it stable. Use some weight plates and you should be good to go.
- Complete kit with two bags, a pair of gloves and a speed adjustor
- You can choose from four speed settings
- Tough PU leather shell with inner bladder design
- Base can be filled with 55 lbs. of water or sand
Floor Punching Bags Vs Other Bag Types
One of the biggest questions that I had in my mind while buying a floor standing bag, was would it hold up?
I was a rookie back then. But I had no plans to give up my training anytime soon and my biggest fear was that I would outgrow the bag.
But let me clear this. A floor punching bag is almost as good as any other type of punching bag. As I mentioned earlier, there might be some tradeoffs. But they are so minor that you won’t even notice, unless you are a WBA heavyweight.
Floor Punching Bag vs. Hanging Heavy Bag
I do my heavy bag drills with my Wavemaster XXL as well as with the Outslayer heavy bag in my gym. There’s no difference in my training intensity. That might not be the case for other freestanding punching bags and heavy bags on the market. But guess what? The Wavemaster has held up just as well.
Floor Punching Bag vs. Reflex Bags
This is an Apples vs. Oranges comparison. For what it’s worth, I have also listed some of the best floor reflex bags in this article.
Benefits of Having Floor Punching Bags
A lot of my friends at the gym ask me about the difference that adding a floor punching bag has made to my overall fitness and martial arts skill.
Well, the difference is night and day.
Before I got a punching bag, I would often miss my training owing to my busy work schedule. But with the Wavemaster XXL at home, I spend at least 30 minutes practicing no matter what time I get back home.
Here are some other advantages that I can think of.
Great for Cardio
A floor punching bag is a very versatile training tool. Go really intense and fast at it, and you will elevate your heart rate to the moon in no time. It never takes me more than 45 minutes to get a vigorous cardio workout. Certainly beats the mundanity of running on a treadmill.
Great for Fighting Sports MMA, Boxing etc
If you are into any type of martial arts, you’ll appreciate the versatility that the bag brings to practice. You can throw your heavy punches and kicks on a normal bag, or go for the man-shaped ones (Century Bob and Versys) for accuracy, and ground and pound training.
Nothing quite makes your workout more convenient than a portable punching bag. And that's what makes floor punching bags so cool for apartment users. Even with the base filled-up, floor punching bags are super easy to move around the house. I just push it over and roll it into the guest bedroom. The curved base makes it super easy to roll.
Easy to Setup
Most of these bags come ready to use. You just need to attach the foam-filled striking surface to the metal frame, fill the base with water or sand, and you are all set to rock.
Unlike other workout machines like racks, treadmills, ellipticals and bikes, Floor Punching bags don’t occupy more than 2 x 2 square feet of floor space. That’s a ridiculously small footprint for what it can do. You don’t need to drill holes risking the stability of the joist, or buy a metal clunker of a stand to hang it as you would with some of those darn heavy punching bags.
Sometimes you need a stand though, if you like to box outdoors there are some great outdoor heavy bag stands that you can use.
What to Consider When Buying a Floor Punching Bag
By now you’d be aware that floor punching bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. How do you buy one that best suits you?
Here are some of the variables that you need to consider before you shop.
What You Actually Want to Do
Why are you buying the bag in the first place? Do you want to throw heavy punches and kicks? Then you need something like the Wavemaster XXL, 2XL pro or the Ringside Elite.
If you like to use the bag mainly for cardio with some occasional heavy training, check out the Cardio Wavemaster or the Ringside Tornado.
MMA, BJJ and Wrestling practitioners must seriously consider getting home a fight simulator like the Bob or the Versys for tackle, takedown and G&P.
How much room can you spare for the bag? Are you looking for an apartment punching bag? Consider floor space, horizontal space to account for the natural rebound, vertical space (height) and storage space.
Floor punching bags, or aqua punching bags differ from heavy bags in that they do not require a lot of space. But it’s good to be aware of the exact room that it will occupy.
Ideally, you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for a punching bag for home use. That said, I wouldn’t recommend pinching pennies too much. When it comes to fitness gear, you get what you pay for.
None of the floor punching bags in this list are overpriced. (I know its subjective.) I am sure that you will find one that fits your budget.
There’s no better choice than Bovine leather for the outer shell of a punching bag. It ages beautifully and develops a patina, looks classy as well. But genuine leather is maintenance heavy.
So most manufacturers have started to veer towards faux leather, or Vinyl. Vinyl is extremely easy to maintain and is more durable than leather. As long as the bag is double stitched and features high quality vinyl, it should last a long time even with every day practice.
There are also punching bags that are made of canvas, these are usually cheaper and depending on your needs you might want to consider them. But if you're on a shoestring budget, and you have a way with tools, then you can consider building a diy punching bag with tiers.
I always buy fitness gear manufactured by a few select, trusted brands. I have nothing against new brands and I believe that there are some great startup brands with really exciting product catalogs. But I guess I am old school and I like buying from brands that have been around for a while.
Top Punching Bags Brands
Talking about brands, here are three of my favorite Punching bag brands in 2021.
Century is one of the oldest brands in the business, and one of my personal favorites. They manufacture quality products, right here in the USA. It’s a company driven by innovation. They discovered the Wavemaster, the Bobs and the Versys. Enough said. The products withstand heavy abuse for years and are quite affordable if you consider the quality.
Everlast’s boxing gear is legendary. My first pair of boxing gloves were Everlast. A lot of beginners start their careers with Everlast gear; gloves, shoes(high top or low top boxing shoes), punching bags , you name it, because it is so affordable and because it can take an absolute pounding. That does not mean that the gear or bags are not suited for pros though. I absolutely love their punching bags and other training aids. Hard to go wrong with it.
Ringside is one of the best brands out there manufacturing boxing and MMA gear. Their products are generally considered as mid-range options that are neither too expensive, nor flimsily made. Some of the Ringside products in this list, like the Tornado and the Reflex bag are regularly used by pros.
Here’s a brief FAQ for those who are new to floor punching bags.
Q. What Do I Fill My Bag with?
A. Water if you are looking for something readily (and cheaply) available. I personally fill my bags with play sand after drying it out thoroughly. Keeps the base a lot more stable and in case there’s a micro tear, doesn’t soak my hardwood flooring.
Q. How Do I Make My Bag Move Less When Punching?
A. By move, if you mean the natural rebound that the bag has, then you’ve got to buy a heavier duty bag. But if you mean the base of the bag moving around, try placing a mat under it. I use a Yoga mat that I bought off Amazon. But if you have some gym mats or foam blocks lying around home, those will work fine too.
Q. Do I Need Gloves When Punching These Bags?
A. If you are a beginner, I highly recommend against training without gloves. Some of these bags with their foam-filled core might seem like they are really soft. But they can leave your knuckles sore and swollen. As you develop strength in your arms and wrists, you can alternate between gloved training and bare knuckled training. Wraps are a terrific choice as well. They offer a considerable amount of protection to your knuckles, while still giving you that bare skin feel.
Q. Reflex Bag vs Heavy Bag: Which One Should I Get?
A. That depends entirely on the intended use. For me, the floor punching bag was a substitute for the heavy bag training I was missing out on. If you are looking to work on your reflexes, or want to use it for cardio, get a reflex bag instead.