A heavy bag is one of the most pivotal tools in your Muay Thai training. Not only does it help you develop your skills and improve your strength and speed, but it also allows you to train on your own without a training partner.
Yet heavy bags are surprisingly underutilized in Western gyms. Even those experienced in Muay Thai shy away from these training tools.
We’re here to change that. The benefits of training with a heavy bag are so numerous that we believe anyone interested in Muay Thai should be doing so.
Below we show you exactly how to pick the best Muay Thai heavy bag to take your training to the next level.
The first thing you must do when buying a heavy bag for Muay Thai is understand styles of bags. Then you can more easily choose the type that meets your training requirements..
Several types of heavy bags are available, each best suited for a different purpose. Some are better for kicking, some are better for punching, some are better for speed, and some are better for strengthening your shins and knuckles.
The key is to select the type of heavy bag that’s right for you. Here are the 6 most common types, and who they are best for.
Traditional Muay Thai Heavy Bag
If you’re looking for a heavy bag for all-around training, then a traditional Muay Thai heavy bag is for you. Also called a classic heavy bag, this training tool is designed for general purpose use. It’s a staple in Muay Thai gyms all around the world.
Traditional heavy bags have a classic cylindrical shape. They’re usually about 4 feet long. They generally weigh between 60 and 150 pounds. Heavier models are best for strengthening your kicks and punches. Lighter models swing more and are best for developing quicker movements.
Here are the pros and cons of traditional heavy bags for Muay Thai:
General purpose tool
Heaviness is great for strength/resistance training
Swing enables you to work on movement
Short length isn’t great for low kicks
No curve for specialized punches
Banana Heavy Bag
Another common sight in Muay Thai gyms around the world is the banana heavy bag. This type of heavy bag is skinnier and longer than classic bags. They usually clock in at around 6 feet in length.
The purpose of a banana heavy bag is training for low kicks. They reach low to the ground and are perfect for low kicks.
Banana heavy bags are usually heavier and harder than classic bags. The added heaviness enables you to strengthen your shins during training.
Though you can do other types of training with a banana bag, they’re usually only utilized for low kicking in most Muay Thai gyms. Here are the pros and cons of banana heavy bags for Muay Thai:
Long length for low kicks
Heaviness for strengthening shins and knuckles
Good size for combination training
Too narrow for body kicks
Little swing (not ideal for movement training)
Tear Drop Heavy Bag
A more specialized type of heavy bag, the tear drop heavy bag is, as its name implies, tear-drop shaped. The small size and tear-drop shape makes it perfect for throwing knees. It’s also the ideal bag for working on uppercuts, hooks, and other specialized punches.
Though they can be used for kicking, tear drop heavy bags aren’t ideal for this type of training. Here are the pros and cons of tear drop heavy bags for Muay Thai:
Great for elbowing and kneeing
Ideal for uppercuts and hooks
Lots of resistance for building strength
Not good for low kicks
Not much swing for movement training
Angled Heavy Bag
Another specialized heavy bag, the angled heavy bag is somewhere in between the banana heavy bag and tear drop heavy bag in terms of shape and size.
The chief characteristic is its shape. It has an angled surface near the top of the bag to allow you to more effectively practice uppercuts, hooks, and other specialized punches.
Most angled heavy bags are between 4 and 6 feet. Longer versions allow you to work on low kicks as well, making them an effective all-around training tool.
In fact, long angled heavy bags combine all of the benefits of banana heavy bags with those of traditional heavy bags. They’re a great choice for general purpose training.
Here are the pros and cons of angled heavy bags for Muay Thai:
6-foot model ideal for all-around training
Long enough for low kicks
Angled surface perfect for specialized punches
Very little swing (not good for movement training)
Very little give (the bags are thick and hard)
Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag
The wrecking ball heavy bag is actually designed specifically for boxing but has a number of uses for Muay Thai as well. This type of heavy bag is best for punching training. These bags are smaller and hang lower than most other models. This makes them ideal for specialized punches like uppercuts and hooks.
Indeed, wrecking ball heavy bags are perhaps the best Muay Thai heavy bag for uppercut training. They’re also perfect for uppercut combos.
These heavy bags are available in a number of different shapes, so you can find one that’s specifically tailored to your individual needs and preferences. Here are the pros and cons of wrecking ball heavy bags for Muay Thai:
Great for uppercuts
Perfect for uppercut combo training
Elevated to eye level
Only one training use
Not suited for kicking
Muay Thai Heavy Bag Reviews
Here are the 8 best Muay Thai heavy bags for all types of Muay Thai training and all personal preferences.
Outslayer is one of the top names in the professional fight equipment industry. Their Muay Thai Heavy Bag lives up to the company’s impeccable standards. The training tool is constructed from the absolute best materials for the utmost in quality and durability.
A key characteristic of this Outslayer Heavy Bag is its comfort. The heavy-duty vinyl exterior and fabric-filled interior is receptive to punches and kicks while still providing strong feedback.
The bag is 6 feet long and, in its stock form, weights 130 pounds. You can remove weight or even add more (up to 300 pounds total). Overall, this Outslayer heavy bag is a great choice for Muay Thai training.
Another excellent choice for one of the best Muay Thai traditional heavy bags is this one from Combat Sports. It’s comparable to the Outslayer heavy bag in terms of price, comfort, and durability. Both bags are constructed from synthetic leather and will last for years on end.
The main difference with the Combat Sports Thai Heavy Bag is that it comes stock weighing 100 pounds. Of course, you can adjust the amount of fill to suit your own preferences.
Like the Muay Thai heavy bag from Outslayer, this one from Combat Sports is 6 feet long. This is the perfect length for overall general-purpose Muay Thai training.
So, is the Combat Sports Thai Heavy Bag right for you? If you’re looking for an all-around heavy bag for Muay Thai, we can say that it’s definitely worth a look.
Not interested in a traditional heavy bag? Well then, a banana bag like this one from Fairtex might be right for you. The Fairtex Muay Thai Banana Bag has a traditional banana shape. It stands at 6 feet long and weighs in at 95 pounds.
The banana bag is lighter and skinnier than the two heavy bags reviewed above. This means it has much more swing, making it more responsive for movement training.
Despite the swing, the bag is still stiff thanks to its synthetic leather construction. It’s comfortable to use but it still tough enough to help strengthen your shins and knuckles.
The Fairtex Muay Thai Banana Bag is a great option for those looking for an all-around training tool that’s also designed with low kick training in mind.
If you desire a heavy bag created specifically and solely with Muay Thai in mind, then you need the Hypnotik Thai Heavy Bag. Not only is it created specifically for Muay Thai, but it’s built from the ground up with advanced users in mind. Though it can be used by beginners, it’s best suited for those with some experience under their belts.
The Hypnotik heavy bag is a traditional type bag that is 6.5 feet long and approximately 120 pounds in total. The extra half foot of length makes this one of the best bags for low kick training.
The heavy bag is made from high-strength vinyl. It’s extra-thick to provide a good amount of response. It’s also extremely durable and will stand up to years of abuse. Those serious about their Muay Thai training should strongly consider the Hypnotik Thai Heavy Bag.
A traditional or banana heavy bag isn’t right for everyone. Those that want to focus their training on specialized punches should opt for a teardrop heavy bag. The Fairtex Teardrop Heavy Bag is undoubtedly one of your best choices. It’s heavy, comfortable, and amazingly durable.
Premium leather construction and plenty of fill means this bag has very little swing and is perfect for building up strength and resistance. The size and shape of the bag invites kneeing and kicking in addition to punching. Uppercuts and hooks are especially easy thanks to the angle of the bag.
Use the Fairtex Teardrop Heavy Bag alongside a traditional heavy bag for an even better Muay Thai home gym.
Prefer a Muay Thai heavy bag that mounts to a wall instead of a stand? Then you might like the Windy Wall Mount Kickboxing Bag. It safely and securely mounts to your wall with included wall brackets for a space saving training tool.
The heavy bag is constructed from 100% genuine leather for the utmost in comfort, feedback, and durability. The bag is less than 3 feet high so it’s not best for low kicks. Instead, it’s designed for body kicks and high kicks along with punching (including uppercuts thanks to its angled design).
As a wrecking ball type heavy bag, the Ringside Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag is created mainly with punching in mind. And at that it excels. It’s smaller than most other heavy bags to help you increase accuracy and speed with your punches.
The small size means its specifically good for uppercuts. Thanks to the angled design, the bag is the best place to practice specialized punch combos that need to happen in quick succession.
The Ringside Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag is 15 inches by 18 inches and weighs around 50 pounds. Its rounded shape is designed exactly to help you build strength in punching.
Another option for a wrecking ball heavy bag, the Hypnotik Wrecking Ball Heavy Bag is notable for its substantial weight. At approximately 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet, the bag weights 70 pounds. The additional weight means it has very little swing. It also has a lot of resistance and sharp feedback.
In addition to training for punches like uppercuts, hooks, and combos, the heaviness of this wrecking ball bag makes it great for building up strength in your shins and knuckles. The bag has a very durable outer shell. The inner filling will not lose its feedback after heavy use over time.
Every complete Muay Thai gym could benefit from a wrecking ball bag in addition to a traditional/banana bag and a teardrop bag.
More Factors in Choosing a Kickboxing Bag
The most important factor in choosing a kickboxing bag for Muay Thai is undoubtedly selecting the right type for your training needs. However, beyond type, there are a number of additional factors you should remember. These include brand name, outer material, filler material, and mounting type.
Brand name is about more than the packaging and labeling of the heavy bag. In fact, brand name often has direct correlations to the quality and durability of the best Muay Thai heavy bag.
Choose a reputable brand with great user reviews to ensure that the heavy bag you buy lasts for a long time and provides the quality that you demand for your training.
The outer material is the type of material that covers the outside of your heavy bag. Your main options are leather, synthetic leather, vinyl, and plastic. Each outer material type has its own set of pros and cons.
Note that the main characteristics the type of outer material effects include durability, comfort (how soft the bag is on impact), stiffness (how hard the bag is on impact), and feedback (whether the bag bounces, absorbs, or cracks on impact).
Here is a little more information on each outer material type:
Leather – Comfortable with great feedback. Most durable option. Also, the most expensive option.
Synthetic – Good balance between comfort and feedback. Cheaper than leather heavy bags.
Vinyl – A very cheap option that doesn’t sacrifice comfort or feedback. However, vinyl doesn’t last very long.
Plastic – Often used for models that hold water rather than filler material. Not comfortable with poor feedback. Low lifespan.
We recommend buying a leather heavy bag for Muay Thai. Not only are they comfortable with great feedback, but they also last the longest.
If you’re looking to save a little money, then we recommend a synthetic heavy bag. They have most of the same benefits of leather models at a fraction of the cost.
The type of filler material that goes inside your heavy bag effects its comfort, feedback, and how the bag moves. Filler material is also a big influence on weight. As mentioned above, heavier heavy bags have less movement while lighter heavy bags have more movement.
The ideal weight for most Muay Thai heavy bags is around 100 pounds. This provides ample resistance without completely sacrificing movement and flexibility.
Though a wide range of filler materials are used (including water, sand, foam, and gel), we strongly recommend sticking with a cloth or fabric filler.
Cloth/fabric is the best Muay Thai heavy bag filler material because you can adjust the weight and it provides great comfort and feedback.
Your next decision is whether you want your heavy bag unfilled or prefilled. Unfilled bags are sold without filler while prefilled bags come with filler.
Unfilled is option the best option because shipping costs are lower. You will also have more flexibility and control to decide how soft/hard you want your bag to be.
There are two main mounting types for Muay Thai heavy bags used at home. These are wall mounted or stand mounted.
A wall mounted heavy bag takes up less space and is less expensive. However, it’s extremely important that you mount it to the wall properly to avoid serious damage.
A stand mounted heavy bag is more expensive and takes up more space. However, you won’t have to worry about damaging the wall.
We recommend a stand mounted heavy bag because they’re arguably of higher quality and are safer. We also like the added flexibility in adjusting the heavy bag that they give you.
Selecting the best Muay Thai heavy bag is only one piece of the puzzle. You must also make sure that the heavy bag you do select is best suited to your needs and preferences as well as the specific type of training you hope to do.
While specialized bags definitely have a place in homes and gyms, our top recommendation is either a traditional heavy bag or angled heavy bag. Both models allow for great all-around training. You can practice just about every kick, punch, elbow, and knee move you want with these models.
We especially like the Outslayer Muay Thai Heavy Bag for its traditional size/shape, heavy-duty vinyl construction, weight resistance adjustability, and extreme durability. We love the fact that it’s 6 feet long so that low kick training is possible.
Use our reviews above to select the very best Muay Thai heavy bag for you, whether that’s a traditional model, an angled model, or another model altogether.