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What are the different types of punch bags and what are they for?

What are the different types of punch bags and what are they for?

17th May 2018

Punching bags have different training purposes and you will need to know the different types and what they are good for. Each type will vary in its weight, size, and shape, as well as the experience and resistance they bring to your training.

Before heading to the gym or investing in your own punch bag, read this guide on how you’ll use it and what you want to achieve. You might also want to check out our ultimate punch bag workout here.

Types of punching bags

Heavy duty or Jumbo

Heavy duty or Jumbo bags as they are sometimes known, are for heavy, hard training and due to the increased weight of the bag, will improve your muscle tone and strength. Over time, using a heavy bag will build strength and are available as either free standing or hanging bags.

Best for: Strength training; improving muscle strength for powerful hits.


Uppercut bags are on the smaller side and are designed for training to improve combination punches, such as hooks combined with uppercuts.

Combination punches are essential to winning matches, so are an important part of training. Use uppercut bags to perfect the technique and then put in the hours to increase your speed.

Best for: Combination punches.

Speed ball

A speed ball is primarily used to increase hand-eye coordination and will improve a boxer’s conditioning. You’ll recognise a speed ball as being inflated and attached to a wall board, although they can be freestanding but difficult to find in adult sizes.

When punched, they quickly swivel and bounce back, so you have to react quickly and work on your footwork. Generally, the more air in a bag, the faster it will respond. The smaller the ball the harder to hit, so maybe start with a regular size and work down to a peanut or mini size.

Best for: Improving hand-eye coordination. Ideal for beginners and all levels.

Maize ball and bags

Maize balls are typically small hanging punch bags used to specifically train your head movements and generally much smaller than a Maize Bag which is used for hooks and uppercut punches, much like uppercut bags.

They are perfect for building up defensive moves and can easily fit in smaller spaces. Maize bags filled with fake granules or rag and fake granules, will be heavier and will increase your endurance.

Best for: Working on head movement and uppercuts.

Free standing

Free standing punch bags come with a base that can be filled with sand or water and are usually easy to move around a gym and for placing into storage. The taller versions are primarily designed for punching and kicking workouts and the heavy style bags with bigger bases do not move from their position when kicked.

Also ideal for punching, they provide a solid, all round exercise and are great for beginners and professionals alike and great for home use when a bag cannot be hung from the ceiling or walls.

Best for: Kicking workouts and all round training.

Which material is best?


A popular choice is leather punch bags, which are generally preferred because they offer a natural feel for punches or kicks, and will last for years. Leather is very durable and as a result, it’s a premium option that costs more than its canvas and PU counterparts that are good quality for the money.

Artificial leather bags are also available if you want the nearest feel to leather without the price tag.

Best for: All round training with a natural feel and a long lasting investment.

Canvas and PU

Punch bags made from PU (Polyurethane) or canvas are durable enough for intense workouts and are available as free standing or hanging bags. They’re more affordable than leather bags and just as practical but the more you spend the better the quality.

Best for: Endurance training at a reasonable price, to keep up your performance in the ring.

Other available types:

Need more information?

At Boxfit UK we have a lot of different punch bags available from top brands, and if you’re trying to narrow down your choices, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Give us a call on 01708 320 320 or drop by our fully stocked Essex store and tell us about your training needs. We’ll recommend the right punching bag for you.