Punching Bag or Dummy – Which one is better?

When I train, I want to get all benefits in an efficient way. Don’t we all want that? In my gym there is “Bob” and lots of heavy bags. So which one I should train with? Punching bag or dummy? Actually each of these has incredible benefits and cons as well. And let’s start with the training differences and continue with durability and suitability comparison for home.


Precision and Technique

In my opinion this is one of the most important things in boxing or any other martial arts training. If you can strike with more precision it can change everything in a positive way. And actually we don’t have lots of place to practice it. Sure you do sparring but you can’t exactly work on your precision constantly. Because I am sure your sparring partners won’t let you punch them all the time 😉 With that punching dummy will and you can practice ALL striking techniques including cross, hook and uppercuts. You can do jabs, cross etc. with heavy bags but you simply can’t practice uppercuts. Here dummies are one giant step ahead of punching bags.



It is obvious that lots of people don’t give enough importance for footwork. Even in boxing matches we can see lots of boxers who can’t position themselves properly. With that you can practice footwork with both punching dummies and bags. However which one is better for improving it? Obviously after you strike dummies stand still and heavy bags will swing. So when bags swing, you get to a position to a suitable position for punching properly. If you don’t get lazy during heavy bag training (It happens to MANY people) you will improve it significantly.

Even though you can do footwork with dummy it is far less effective than heavy bag training. Because it does not swing and you don’t need to do footwork during the training and it probably will make you lazy about doing footwork.



Cardio and strength training

If you consider ONLY strength training, according to me this one is a fair tie. You can adjust a dummy or bag for your goal. For example when you fill the heavy bag relatively more, it will be great for resistance training. Or you can fill the base of dummy more and it will give the same result.

However I prefer heavy bag for cardio. Because it will swing and it will force you to “move”. However punching dummy stay still and if you get lazy you won’t move a lot and it is really bad for an aerobic exercise.


About Suitability for home

Suitability can be a huge problem. You may have little space in your home or you just want to minimize the space for training. You can also try making your workout silent as much as possible so your neighbors won’t kick your ass 😉 If you use punching dummy small spaces can be enough for it and when you finish training you can just roll and put it away. However you need a hanger or stand for punching bags and after you hang the bag, it is really hard to take it off. Well at least you can’t do in short amount of time. So dummies are more suitable for home.

Actually being silent also depends on materials however lots of dummies are more silent than heavy bags.

 heavy bag training

Filling and emptying it

Some bags comes filled however if you will fill it yourself, both dummy and bag can be filled quite easily. For example Bob can be filled with water or sand and heavy bags can be filled with sand, water or fabric. And filling heavy bags with fabric can take your time but it is really easy to do it. You can also find a guide on here.



So what about price? I will give example for only quality dummies and bags here. You need a stand or hanger for hanging heavy bag. However if you use dummy you will only need dummy.

If you get Century Cornerman and Outslayer heavy bag, which are very quality stand and bag, you will pay less than Century Bob XL.

Of course you can find much cheaper products however if you will get only quality products then getting a bag can save you lots of money.



Again durability changes according to materials including cover material and filler. For example foam is one of the most quality fillers and after you strike, the foam distributes the impact and this increases the durability. So durability really depends on material quality.

However quality heavy bags always outlast quality dummies. For example Outslayer gives 10 years of warranty and there is no punching dummy company which can give more than 1 year. Actually Outslayer has some bags which have lifetime warranty. This is actually an extreme example but even from that we can understand that quality heavy bags have more duration than quality dummies.


About Equipment

I have seen people punch the heavy bag or “Bob” with their bare hands. It can be really dangerousPunching Bag or Dummy and actually harm your knuckles and wrists. You should always use boxing hand wraps and gloves together. And if you get the right gloves it can protect you and truly give you amazing training sessions. Their padding type simply delivers the shock better than training gloves and if you use one of them the bag will literally move more. In that way it will allow you to do more footwork. If you are interested in doing dummy or heavy bag training session and want to get maximum benefit then check out these gloves and their other incredible features. You will have definitely better workout these.



Conclusive Thoughts

Certainly both dummy and heavy bag have incredible benefits and unique features.

You can do gut punches, uppercuts and have better punching technique, precision with dummy. However you can do more footwork and better cardio with heavy bags.

If you are looking for a dummy I strongly recommend you to have a look at Century Bob XL review. I also trained with it and I am more than pleased with my skill development. And it is basically suitable for everywhere. There you can find all about its exclusive features and warranty period as well.

With that you may want to practice footwork and get better with it, then have a look at these amazing heavy bags, their exclusive features.

Certainly it is best to train with both of these boxing training tools. My first preference is dummy because improving precision is my first priority. What is your first preference? Punching bag or dummy?




Image Courtesy of NoNo and  U.S. Navy  (wikimedia) via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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5 thoughts on “Punching Bag or Dummy – Which one is better?”

  1. Hi Furkan,

    What a great idea. I personally do not have much experience with boxing, but my husband does and what you’ve said about the dummy in terms of precision and technique, makes total sense to me. I’ll be recommending this product to my husband who has a great relationship with our local boxing club “Box on” so I’m sure they’ll consider it. Thanks for the information.

    1. I am glad that your husband trains boxing and I had a great improvement with it in very short amount of time. I am sure he will love to train with a dummy and improve his precision.

  2. Noell Romatowski

    I love your idea of boxing with a dummy! I have been doing kickboxing for years and we always punch in the air or use the bags which can be very harmful. You can also imagine the dummy is someone and help for accuracy and precision in your boxing technique HAHA. Great article and I will for sure be looking into this for myself!

  3. Thanks for your thorough comparisons!

    I think that a punching bag will much better fit my budget right now, and the durability is a huge factor too. But I can see how the design of a dummie is better suited for training for an actual fight with an opponent.

    What are your #1 recommended brands? There seem to be a lot of options out there.

    Are there any kind of virtual options out there that you recommend? Do those lack enough realism and physical contact to be worthwhile? Thanks.

    1. I think that dummy is a far better option for realistic striking experience and it is a known fact that people just can’t improve the precision quite effectively. And there dummies like Century Bob helps. Century is the number 1 brand as far as I concern. There are other brands which “copied” this dummy’s everything including the shape and the construction. But nothing can beat the original. So you can check out the review of Century Bob XL which is the bigger model.

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