Freestanding or Hanging Bag? Which Should You Choose?

If you are an avid reader of this blog, you know that we think having a heavy bag at your disposal for training is key. However, choosing the right type of bag to meet your training needs is essential. People often ask us what kind of heavy bag they need. In order to answer that question, we need to consider the following criteria:

What Sport are You Training for?

If you are a boxer, you’re going to want a shorter and fatter hanging bag. The reasoning behind this is that fighters need to be able to respond to the motion of their opponent with the movement of their body. Also, the rules of boxing give you a very specific area on your opponent where you are allowed to hit. A long, skinny bag that is designed for MMA fighters who can land blows to the legs as well as the head and torso makes less sense for a boxer. Heavy bags are tailored in sizes, lengths, and weights to different sports, so it is crucial that you know what type of bag is recommended for your sport before you begin shopping around. Not sure what type of bag you need? Our expert coaching team can help.

Freestanding vs. Hanging Heavy Bag
Don’t let the name fool you. A heavy hanging bag can also be put on a stand. However, that does not make it a freestanding punching bag. The freestanding bag is ideal for those who are practicing grappling martial arts and need to be able to take down an opponent. The base of the bag is filled with sand or water to keep the bag from toppling over when kicks or blows strike it. The bag can be forced over with takedown moves and offers a wide surface area for MMA fighters to practice kicks, knees, and punches. Heavy bags tend to weigh more than other types of training bags and offer both stationary and hanging options.

Pros and Cons
Each type of bag has benefits and some less than ideal characteristics. Before you buy, here is a breakdown that may help you understand which bag is right for you.

Hanging Heavy Bag Pros:
Bag swings simulating real motion
Impossible to knock over
Encourages work on timing and footwork
Can withstand powerful kicks
Tend to be less expensive

Hanging Heavy Bag Cons:
Require more space than freestanding bags
May require a partner to keep it from swinging too much
Can be difficult to set up

Freestanding Bag Pros:
Tend to be softer
Require less space
Easy to set up
Many different sizes and shapes available

Freestanding Bag Cons:
Limited brand choices
Spring loaded bags can be loud
Topple over easily

Want to train in a gym where they have the best equipment and highly skilled coaches? Then you want to train at Gracie Raleigh. Call or come by the gym today to learn more about all our available programs and to sign up for your free classes!