When I started weight lifting, I also became inspired by boxing. I thought that people who are weight lifters, if they aren’t punching, they are nothing but stuffed bags with no weapons to protect them. For me, weight lifting wasn’t to look good. I did it because I was insecure. There were bullies in my school and then in college. I wanted to look rough, powerful, and protected. That’s one reason I started weight lifting and that was the time when I thought that there should be alternatives for a punching bag.

Emma Watson: Emma practicing boxing.

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I know there are many more like me. Many more who would like to know that if they can use something else instead of a punching bag for improving their knuckles. To feel if they can actually punch a man. To practice like they are practicing for a marathon.

>>> Why Everlast MMA Punching Bag is best for Muay Thai?

I have tried many alternatives. Some went great, some were hard. But I learned that there are alternatives to punching bag. These alternatives won’t be as great as the real punching bags but at least they are good for a start.

List of Best Punching Bag Alternatives

After coming up with different options for a punching bag, I decided to test them out. I have divided my final results in the form of a list. You can see the whole list below. Let me know what you think about these alternatives and if they can be any help to you. I will try to post even more boxing bag alternatives once I test them.

Shadow Boxing

One punching bag alternative is shadow boxing. It is an ancient and effective way of training is the shadow boxing. If you have a punching bag and you are not willing to have training on it, or you don’t have one, this shadow boxing training is an alternative to punching bag that you can try.

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In old times, people used to do this workout and nowadays the trainees are also asked to perform this as it increase your stamina and focus on your workout. What you have to do is to stand in front of a mirror and start punching in the air. Like you are hitting someone.

Or else, you will have to stand in the boxing ring and perform your practice by looking at your own shadow. This kind of workout, enables you to enhance your defensive techniques as you are fighting with your own reflection.

Wrist Weights

The best and very effective training as an alternative to punching bag is the wrist weight. In this workout, the trainee has to tie up portable weight on his wrists and then punch in the air. Such weight can be tied up by using straps as well. Such wrist weight training enables to increase and enhancement of your strength, stamina and resistance of your arms and shoulders. By having such heavy weight on your wrists, your heart may get increase up to 10 beats per minute.

The wrist weight is proved to be very effective in case of shadow boxing and you can add up this training in your shadow boxing routine.

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Focus Mitts

For this workout, you need a partner who will stand in front of you by holding the pads. He is supposed to change the pad’s position frequently and you are supposed to hit those pads every time. In this way, you speed, and focus will get improved and you will have a sharp look on your target. This workout includes the hitting of pads in various manners like uppercuts, kicks, straight punches etc. in order to improve your defense as well, your partner should strike you back and you have to defense those strikes.

Force, mind & soul: Hilary Rhoda by Daniel Matallana for Harper's Bazaar Turkey january 2017 #boxing #sporty

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Floor Bag

Floor bags are a rough form of boxing training. They are most used by military personnel in rough environments. Mostly they are used in places where actual punching bags are hard to get. They make these by adding sand into a floor bag.

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But as you know that a floor bag isn’t as powerful as a punching bag, because it doesn’t have the nevatear fabric, nor it is made of poly canvas material. Instead, it is just a floor bag or a couple of floor bags that have one inside the other to keep the sand from falling out. The end purpose is to hang it to a pole so military personnel can exercise.

This floor bag is perfect for those who cannot afford a punching bag of price $60 to $100 but would like to start boxing.

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Used Car Tires

I have seen that in my village, people prefer to use used car tires as a makeshift punching bag. These car tires are mostly used in the martial arts academies where they can’t get actual punching bags due to low fees, But come to think of it, these used car tires are a great way to box. Why? Because they are powerful and soft just like a real punching bag. They are also made of rubber so they don’t hurt the hands.

Martial arts gear and equipment Tire stick target for Bartitsu training - Billy Wilsher https://www.facebook.com/groups/ukbartitsu/permalink/1221228181223105/longswordsinlondon: Tire stick target for...

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Just make sure you are wearing gloves when you start punching them. Some of them have sharp edges or tiny wires protruding from within the bag that can pierce your hands if you aren’t careful.

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Wing Chun Dummy

Though a wing chun dummy isn’t an ideal Punching Bag Alternative, but these are great for practice. In fact, I personally made my own kung fu dummy when I started martial arts. These help improve your reflexes and make the elbows as hard as a stick.

You can make your own dummy by watching most youtube videos. But if you aren’t sure that you will make it right or you don’t have the right equipment, then in that case it is better to buy one. The average price of a wooden dummy is between $40 to $60, which is affordable in comparison with a punching bag that costs at least $100 for starters – unless you are visiting craiglist.

Grappling Dummies

Next we have the grappling dummies. These aren’t recommended as a replacement for punching bags but they are great for grappling and jiujitsu training. The grappling dummy is actually a man-sized dummy filled with sand or synthetic filling. It can be in different sizes ranging for, 70lbs to 150lbs. You can buy most from amazon. The price of these grappling dummies is between $100 and $150 at most.

I have seen most people using grappling dummies to complement their punching bags because the first one is used for standing training while grappling dummies are used for ground training.

Kick Shields

If you don’t have a punching bag but work with a partner, the best way to go about it is to get a kick shield. The kick shield will provide the same level of impact and it will help you focus on specific parts of the body.

The kick shields are just like a crusader’s knight’s shield. Your partner can hold it while you kick or punch. It is one great way of training and many kick boxing gyms have kick shields instead of punching bags.

These are also lower in cost.

First, clean up your diet. Eliminate all refined carbs (bread, pasta, sugar, etc). Eat more fresh veggies (broccoli, spinach, string beans, etc). Eat lean sources of protein (white meat chicken, turkey, white fish, lean cuts of beef, egg-whites, etc). Eliminate your intake of processed/fried foods (fast food, frozen dinners, prepackaged meals, etc). Eat 5 small meals/day. Always eat breakfast, then eat every 3-4 hours after. Try to only drink water. No soda, fruit juice, high-calorie coffee dri

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Make-shift Surfaces

A great alternative of a punching bag is to use anything cushioned. You can use a sofa, a cushioned chair, a pair of newspapers, or even an old book.

Home made punching bag- pillow case filled with towels, sheets and throw pillows- hung from a tree... perfect outlet for crashing inpute

Just make sure that the surface is thick, padded, and stable. You may find it difficult to use these boxing bag alternative options in the beginning but you will become used to them later on.

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Makiwara Training Board

Last but not the least is to make a Makiwara training board at home. These are some of the oldest ways of training. Makiwara means wooden board and it was originally used by Karate masters in Okinawa, Japan. You can create your own Makiwara training board or buy one from Amazon. This is one great punching bag substitute for home gyms that is also low cost.

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Punching Bag Alternative for Apartments

Now you must be wondering which one of these will be a good alternative for Apartments. The answer is simple. Apartment folks are looking for a punching substitute that is light-weight but impact absorber. A couple of alternatives that fit this description are:

  • Car Tires
  • Flour Bags
  • Punching Mitts
  • Target striking bags

Target Striking Punching Bag AlternativeCheck Out Punching Bag Alternatives for Apartments

You can easily hang them in your room in your apartment and they will provide you the desired workout that you need.

The good thing is all these are easily movable. So, you can move them whenever someone objects. Just kidding. Start using these boxing bag replacements for your apartment and improve your boxing.

That’s it for now. I will post more substitutes of punching bags in near-future. Until then, make sure to start training for whatever goal you have in mind. Train smart and safe.

Let me know if you have any alternative of the heavy punching bags in mind and I will at that to the list.

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