One of the most important items to have in a home gym is a heavy bag. Heavy bags allow you to conduct strenuous training on your own without help from trainers or training partners. They are great for working on technique, timing, combinations, and conditioning. Heavy bags are valuable pieces of equipment regardless of your fighting style.
Having discussed why heavy bags are so important, let’s turn our attention to preparing them for use in training. Lots of punching bags must be hung from a roof or a wall. The only heavy bags that aren’t hanging are free standing. I don’t like free standing bags and suggest that you don’t buy them.
Buying a heavy bag stand is the solution for you if you want to avoid drilling holes in roofs and walls. Bag stands aren’t connected or need to be attached to anything.
What follows will educate you regarding heavy bag stands so you can make an informed decision about your purchase.
Heavy Bag Stand Choices
A heavy bag stand’s design needs to be the primary concern when making a purchase. This is because there are specialized bags created for specific combat arts, and these stylized heavy bags will not facilitate cross training in other fighting styles.
For instance, Western Boxing heavy bag stands are built so that you can practice punching, and are not made to allow other kinds of striking.
Kicking heavy bag stands have a wide leg base. Because of this construction, the bag swings freely, allowing you to move completely around the bag while working on your punches, kicks, and movement.
Ceiling and wall mounted bag stand holders are stronger, but you must drill holes to create the proper amount of support. Western Boxing or Muay Thai training facilities use these kinds of heavy bag stands. Large, open area buildings are more conducive for hanging these bags than home gyms. Homes are not the right places for mounted bag stands.
When you are ready to buy a heavy bag stand, you must determine how much space you have available to use the equipment. A common mistake of home gym owners is to buy a large piece of equipment and not have sufficient room to use it. Western Boxing bag stands don’t require much space, making them appropriate for home gyms.
If you want to use a hanging heavy bag, the least expensive method is purchasing a hanger that will attach to a ceiling beam. This is done by drilling a hole in an overhead beam, attaching the bag hanger to the beam, and hanging the chains around the loop. An alternative is to hang a universal bag hanger that you can use on an exposed beam that is convenient for home gym use.
Bag Stand Weight Limits
Another consideration for buying heavy bag stands is how much weight the stand can carry. The weight capacity of most stands is approximately 100 lbs. This weight allowance bears the use of a maximum weight of 100 lb. with the stand without causing problems.
A heavy bag that weighs more than the stand’s capacity will damage the hanging beam. A bigger problem is the possibility that an overweight heavy bag could tear the room’s ceiling and it could fall on you.
Rarely are heavy bags over 100 lbs., making it unlikely that this will happen. However, you must remember that the bag stand you purchase must not weight more than the heavy bag you use with the stand.
Bag Stand Construction Quality
The level of a heavy bag stand’s construction quality is directly related to how much you pay for the stand. A mid-priced stand will last you for a moderate amount of time. This kind of stand will occasionally show that it is not of the highest quality.
Discount bag stands are constructed of light steel tubes. The lighter weight keeps the sell price and ship price down. The lighter bag stands move constantly. Sand bagging the stand’s base will keep it place and prevent it from sliding. An added benefit of the sand bags is that they will keep the stand from moving when hitting the bag with power punches and kicks.
Bag Stand Setup
It is usually easy to setup your bag stand. The stand ships in a big box containing the stand pieces requiring construction. The enclosed instructions will detail exactly how the stand should be put together. This construction won’t be any more complicated than putting together regular home furniture. However, it could take longer if you aren’t good at putting things together.
You might need help with the installation if you’re putting together one of the bigger bag stands. The setup process should only take a half hour.
After constructing the bag stand, you will need to attach your heavy bag to the stand. If you are using a heavier bag, this step could require assistance. When I’ve done this in the past, I hold the bag while another person attaches the bag hooks over the stand’s loop.
Keep in mind that that heavy bags and stands aren’t sold together, and the heavy bag you plan to use should already be bought and ready to hang when you setup the stand.
Heavy bag stand pricing ranges from $100 – $1400. The prices range so wildly because the more inexpensive stands don’t use many materials and the stands are made from discount steel tubes. These stands are extremely lightweight, and you will need to sandbag the base of these stands to prevent them from moving.
The more expensive stands are constructed of solid steel and warranted by lifetime guarantees. The lifetime guarantee and the quality construction are not the only indications that these are higher quality stands. These stands are designed better and provide better maneuverability and improved bag movement.
A good, serviceable bag stand will cost you $300 to $400. These stands may squeak as the bag swings, but they offer plenty of room to move around the stand and hone your foot technique.
Best Punching Bag Stands
Here’s our detailed picks for what we consider as the best heavy bag stands on the market right now, organized by categories.
Best Comprehensive Stand
Century Cornerman Stand
This stand’s superior design allows fighters to exercise considerable footwork as they strike the bag, a crucial advantage to sharpen mobility and technical prowess. The Cornerman’s base provides a right angle that gives users additional foot space that is not available with other stands. I prefer having this extra space, and I think most fighters would feel the same.
The Cornerman has a maximum capacity of 100 lbs., an aspect to remember for those who prefer weightier bags.
This stand comes includes a manufacturer’s warranty. The Cornerman features solid steel construction that helps to support a swinging heavy bag. The stand’s sturdy base prevents it from sliding out of place.
The Cornerman has adjustable bottom legs which allows is to fit most anywhere. That said, this is a larger than average stand, and to make sure that your training space can accommodate it, you should measure the area where you will keep the stand.
My Recommendation: The Century Cornerman Bag Stand is the best heavy bag stand on the market. It is durable, strong, and provides excellent workspace
The Cornerman’s right-angled base gives you great room for footwork as you strike the bag. Most stands come with thin legs fitting close to each other, the Cornerman comes with wider placed legs. It can be a bit noisy while you’re using it, but it works great as a piece of Muay Thai training equipment
Great Alternate Stand
Outslayer Muay Thai Stand
The Outslayer Bag Stand is another top bag stand. This stand allows you much more space to work your hands, feet, and knees than most stands at this price point.
The Outslayer stands 7.5-foot-tall, allowing it to use bags of every size. The stand comes with a ten-year warranty that allows free replacement parts.
This stand is equipped with four empty bags for use to stabilize the stand’s base, keeping it in place during striking impact. Assembly is uncomplicated and straightforward.
My Recommendation: The Outslayer Muay Thai Heavy Bag Stand is a great heavy bag stand option.
This stand is a solid piece of equipment that isn’t costly and provides a good alternative to walls and ceiling mount bag stands. You should sandbag the base using the supplied bags so the stand will hold in place.
Best Unlimited Budget Stand
Balazs Universal Boxing Stand
This stand is the finest heavy bag stand available regardless of price. The Balazs stand supports a maximum weight of 300 lbs. and includes a lifetime warranty. If you purchase the Universal stand, you will never need another stand for the rest of your training career.
The stand’s solid stature makes it unnecessary to use sandbags to stabilize the base. This is a welcome benefit for most fighters, who usually have their stand move constantly after landing solid punches, kicks, and knees.
The stand can be modified to add speed bags or additional punching bags to supplement your training. The Balazs Universal bag is ideal for a fighter for whom money is not an issue and who desires the best available punching bag.
The Balazs stand holds up to a six-foot long punching bag and is designed to provide maximum foot space so your footwork and movement won’t be hindered as you strike the bag.
My Recommendation: The Balazs Universal Boxing Stand is the best of the best.
This is the finest available bag stand. Costing over $1000, buying this stand is a considerable investment, but one well worth making if you can afford it.
Best Budget Stand
Everlast Two Station Stand
The Everlast Two Station Stand is ideal for fighters who are looking for a solid, but inexpensive stand. This stand gives you the flexibility of using both a heavy and speed bag at the same time.
The Everlast’s stand biggest drawback is that its long legs protrude out into your standing area. The result is that front striking is all that is allowable, and that limits the amount of footwork and techniques that you will be able to use during training.
A workaround to this problem is drilling the stand into the flooring and removing the stand’s legs. The only way that this solution will work is if your flooring is strong and stable enough to support drilling the stand into place.
The Everlast Two Station holds up to 100 lbs., making it capable of supporting most bags. It is noisy and will shift when striking the bag, but overall, it is a very capable piece of equipment.
My Recommendation: The Everlast Two Station Bag Stand is a decent, basic stand.
The Everlast stand is ideal if you need a basic bag stand for your hand striking drills. This stand doesn’t work well for Thai training due to the lengthy legs that inhibit footwork and movement.
Having the right bag stand makes it possible to get much-needed training in the comfort of your own home. The best choice for a home gym heavy bag is one that will allow you total striking movement. As you hit the bag, you will want to sharpen your footwork as much as possible, and that means having a bag stand that allows you footwork freedom.
The limiting nature of some stands mean that you can only punch, knee, or kick bags head on. This is a source of frustration and is naturally restricting your fighting progress. Expert strikes are thrown using persistent movement and balanced footwork, making a mobile bag a necessity, not a luxury.
Another consideration you must make is your preferred maximum heavy bag weight. Most bag stands hold up to 100 lbs. It will be easy to find a stand that supports that much weight. If you want to use more than a 100 lbs. bag, you may have to shop somewhat harder to locate a stand that holds that much weight.
Finally, what kind of heavy bag you purchase depends on how much money you can spend for this piece of equipment. If you are willing to spend the money, it will not be hard to buy a solid heavy bag stand. Remember that heavy bag stands are self-installed. You are responsible for correctly assembling them in your home training area.