Are you thinking about adding a free-standing bag to your training regimen? Or maybe even thinking about adding one to your home gym? We’ve got the free-standing bag 101 information you’ll need to find and purchase the right martial arts equipment to suit your training goals, budget, and space requirements.
1. What is a free-standing bag?
Free-standing bags are boxing bags that come with a weighted pedestal and don’t require hanging from above like more traditional equipment. Depending on the model, the base can be filled with sand or water to help keep the bag grounded so that it won’t shift, slide, or fall over when you use it.
2. Are there different types of free-standing bags?
There are a number of variations of free-standing bags on the market to cater to different training needs and techniques. The heavy-bag style, sometimes called a tower, is the most common and popular variety of this type of equipment, but there are a number of other options available for those with other training requirements. Some of these include target systems, speed bags, and a model shaped like a human torso.
3. What can you do with a free-standing bag?
In general, anything that you can do on a hanging bag, you can do on a free-standing one. As long as you’re not a high-level competitor — or a talented amateur with hands of stone — the weighted podium will stay in place while you work on your rounds and drills. Many models can also be tipped over and used for MMA-style ground game-based training, like ground and pound drills and BJJ position drills.
4. What are the advantages of a free-standing bag over a hanging bag?
Free-standing bags are excellent for anyone who wants to train at home or augment their training with some extra work at home. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you probably don’t have enough space — or a space with the right structural requirements — to build an entire boxing gym with bags suspended from above. Free-standing bags take up less space and can be set up in almost any environment, allowing you to punch, kick, and elbow from the comfort of even the most modestly-sized home or apartment.
Many free-standing bags have a little more give in their structure than heavy bags, particularly as they age, which makes them great for beginners who aren’t used to striking on a hard, well-used heavy bag. Or for anyone who doesn’t want to get used to that level of training.
Free-standing target systems can also provide focus-style training for anyone who doesn’t have easy access to a partner who can hold pads for them.
5. What are the disadvantages?
If you are a heavy striker, or you’re training for competitive purposes, free-standing bag work probably shouldn’t be your primary source of training. Although the weighted bases are solid, they can topple when they’re hit extremely hard. Which makes a suspended bag a much more effective — not to mention safer — option for any seriously intense and hard-hitting training you might want to do.
Even for less serious boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai students, traditional suspended bags will always have a certain appeal. There’s just something that feel so good and so powerful about working with heavy and speed bags in a gym setting. Free-standing bags aren’t meant to replace that experience, though. They’ve been designed to provide additional resources for fighters and exercisers. And there’s no downside to having more options available as you (with the help of your coaches) design a martial arts training routine that can best speak to your needs and goals as an individual.
6. Where can you purchase one? How much are they?
Popular tower models include the ProForce® Tower Free Standing Bag ($399.95 UDS) and the ProForce® Bounce Back Target (available in three colors for $295.00 USD each). The ProForce® Target Master, designed specifically for multi-angle strikes, retails for $234.95 USD.
AWMA also carries a number of arm and leg targets and target training systems that can be attached to tower free-standing bags to add an additional element to your training routines. They start as low as $49.95 USD for the small ProForce® Strong-Arm Training Target and go up to $99.95 for the ProForce® Paddle Clapper Target.