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Free Standing Punching Bag vs. Hanging Heavy Bag

Free Standing Punching Bag vs. Hanging Heavy Bag

I’m not going to lie; I’ve had days when I just wanted to punch something and I didn’t care what. I bet you have a similar need occasionally – no need to lie either. We are all friends here. But there is actually a simple solution to such feelings – boxing.

If you are hooked, good, let’s talk about punching bags, because you have several options. Actually, I made it a bit easier for you and trimmed down the choice to two: a free-standing punching bag (and its cousin punching bag stand) and a hanging heavy bag.

A Stand-Up Option: Free Standing Punching Bag

Before we dive in, I feel obligated to point out that there are two primary kinds of this boxing bag type:

  • A free standing punching bag – which, as the name suggests, stands on its own and in most cases has a sturdy and supported base.
  • A punching bag stand – which is basically a tringle structure made of steel that can hold a hung punching bag. But instead of hanging from the ceiling, it hangs from the chain carabine located at the apex of the triangle.

So, now that we are familiar with these two subtypes, let’s check the pros and cons.


  • No drilling required: If you’re the type who considers a power drill to be a weapon of mass destruction, you’ll appreciate that these bad boys don’t need any holes in your walls or ceiling.
  • Mobility: Feel like changing up your workout scenery? With a stand, you can take your punching bag for a stroll around the house or yard. It’s like having your very own boxing ring on wheels (well, not really, but you get the point).
  • Multifunctional: Many stands come with pull-up bars, dip bars, or other fancy attachments, turning your punch-a-palooza into a total body workout. Talk about a one-stop shop.

Disclaimer: the last advantage only applies to punching bag stands, not free standing punching bags.


  • Space, the final frontier: These stands can take up a good chunk of real estate in your home gym, so make sure you’re ready to share your space.
  • Less stability: Physics is a cruel mistress, and she’s not a fan of stands or free standing bags. With a hanging bag, the force of your punches is absorbed by the bag itself. But with a stand, that force is transferred to the frame (or to the base in the case of free standing bags), potentially causing it to wobble, rock, or even tip over.

Hanging by a Thread: Hanging Punching Bags

Also known as the classic-type punching bag, a hanging bag, as the name suggests, hangs from the ceiling.


  • Stability: Unlike their free-standing brethren, hanging bags stay put, no matter how hard you punch. It’s like having a sparring partner that doesn’t whine about getting hit.
  • Space-saving: No bulky frame to trip over in the middle of the night. Just a bag, a chain, and a hook.
  • More authentic feel: As the preferred choice of most boxing gyms, hanging bags provide a more realistic training experience. It’s the closest you’ll get to fighting an actual opponent without landing yourself in anger management classes.


  • Installation: Remember that power drill we mentioned earlier? Yeah, you’ll need it for this one. If you’re not a DIY aficionado, you might find yourself more frustrated than when you started.
  • Limited portability: Once it’s up, it’s up. No spontaneous redecorating for you.

Comparison Table

Punching Bag TypeProsCons
Punching Bag Stands
  • No drilling required
  • Mobility
  • Multifunctional
  • Space consumption
  • Less stability
Hanging Punching Bags
  • Stability
  • Space-saving
  • More authentic feel
  • Installation
  • Limited portability

The Verdict

As you can probably guess, there is no winner or loser here. There is only your personal preference, which, I think, is a win-win in this case.

If you’re short on space or suffer from power-drill-phobia, a punching bag stand (and free-standing bag) might be your best bet. Plus, you can always impress your friends with your portable boxing ring and even take it outside to “play” as adult men do.

On the other hand, if you’re craving that authentic gym experience and don’t mind breaking out the toolbox, a hanging punching bag will provide the stability and realism you’re looking for. Just make sure your ceiling can handle the extra weight, otherwise, you are in for an unpleasant surprise.

And as with everything, the choice is, ultimately, yours. Peace out.

Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in martial arts (karate). I've trained with one of the best trainers in my home country.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from calisthenics to weight lifting to Taekwondo and everything in between. While I do love all kinds of sports, my passion still lies in martial arts.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

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