Punching Bag or Punching 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? Which one of these is better?

Actually, each of these has incredible benefits and cons as well. Let’s start with the training differences and continue with durability and suitability comparison for the home.

Precision and Technique

These are quite important in boxing or any other martial arts. Actually, we don’t have many training types to practice these. Sure you can do sparring but you can’t exactly work on your precision constantly. Because I am sure your sparring partners don’t let you punch them all the time. With that, you can do it with a punching dummy and you can practice all striking techniques including cross, hook and uppercuts. You can still 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 to 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?

After you strike dummies will stand still however heavy bags will swing. So when bags swing, you need to get to a suitable position for punching properly. If you don’t get lazy during heavy bag training, you will improve it significantly.

Even though you can do footwork with a dummy it is far less effective than heavy bag training. Because it does not swing and you don’t need to move much during a session and it can 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’s weight for your goal. For example, when you get stronger, you can simply fill a heavy bag more. It will be great for resistance training. Or you can fill the base of the dummy more and it will provide the same results.

However, I prefer a heavy bag for cardio. Because it swings and this forces you to move more. However, punching dummy stays still and if you get lazy you won’t move a lot and it is particularly bad as it is not as beneficial as you might expect.

Suitability for Home

Suitability can be a huge problem. You may have little space in your home or you may just want to minimize the space for training. You might also want to be silent as much as possible during training so your neighbors won’t kick your ass.

If you prefer punching dummy small spaces can be enough for it and when you finish training you can just roll it 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 it in a short amount of time. So dummies are more suitable for the home.

Actually being silent does not depend on the equipment type. It depends on the materials. Generally, dummies materials tend to be more silent than heavy bags’ materials.

Filling and Emptying 

Some bags come 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, fabric. By the way, filling heavy bags with fabric can take your time but it is really easy to do it. You can find a detailed guide about it here.


So what about the price? It can vary a lot however the following examples are the price comparison of quality dummies and bags.

As I mentioned before you need a stand for hanging a heavy bag and punching bag. However, if you prefer a dummy you will only need a dummy.

If you get Century Cornerman and Outslayer heavy bags, which are made of quality materials, you will actually pay less than the price of Century Bob XL.

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


The durability depends on 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 evenly and this increases the durability. 

However quality heavy bags tend to outlast quality dummies. For example, Outslayer gives ten years of warranty and there is no punching dummy company that can give more than a year. Actually, Outslayer has even a bag that has a lifetime warranty. This is actually an extreme example but we can understand that quality heavy bags generally are more durable than quality dummies.

About Equipment

Many people punch heavy bags or “Bob” with their bare hands. It can be really dangerous and actually harm your knuckles and wrists. You should always use boxing hand wraps and gloves together. If you get the right gloves these can protect you and provide amazing training sessions.

Bag glove’s padding type simply absorbs the shock better than other types of gloves and if you use one of them the bag will literally move more. This allows you to do more footwork while swinging. If you are interested in doing a dummy or heavy bag training session and benefit from them as much as possible then check out these gloves and their other incredible features. You will definitely have a better workout with these.

Conclusive Thoughts

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

You can do gut punches, uppercuts, improve punching technique and precision with a dummy. However, you can get better at footwork with heavy bags and these provide better cardio sessions.

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, 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 to train with a dummy because improving precision is my priority. What is your first preference? Punching bag or dummy?

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5 thoughts on “Punching Bag or Punching 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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