Look at me. I’m so strong and tough. And I can kick your ass.
People who have been training in combat sports for a while probably say this to other people, at least indirectly. However, you too can get fit and strong if you have a little time to spare, and a punching dummy.
If you are into martial arts or even boxing, then you most definitely need a punching dummy or human mannequin for practice. They can be quite useful in improving your technique and your punches, particularly if you don’t always have someone with you during practice sessions.
However, you can also acquire one if, at the end of a long day, you just feel like you want to hit something hard, and something in the shape of a human would certainly be more exciting. Combat training and martial arts, in general, are some of the most fulfilling undertakings in life.
What’s a Punching Dummy and Human Mannequin?
They are pretty much the same thing, with only a few key differences as their names suggest. A punching dummy is basically a punching bag designed in the shape of a human. It makes for good practice and effect since it gives you a specific spot to aim for during your training session.
However, a punching dummy is significantly different from the usual round and cylindrical punching bag. Many people prefer to use a punching dummy since it livens things up by making you feel like you are fighting a real, human opponent.
Punching dummy vs Punching Bag
If you are serious about fighting training, regularly using a punching bag or a punching dummy will significantly improve your technique. Are punching bags the same as punching dummies? The answer is, not quite.
Punching bags are mostly the traditional, cylindrical hanging bags you see in home gyms or professional gyms. They can provide good training for most types of kicking and punching drills that help to develop power. In this case, accuracy isn’t the focus of training.
However, punching dummies are generally great for training more advanced techniques such as elbowing and sparring. They are mostly suited for developing better accuracy rather than power and can be used by both beginners and professionals. They are also quite versatile and can be used to train for any kind of combat sport and not just mixed martial arts.
Why You Should Buy a Punching Dummy
We all know about the benefits of physical activity, fitness training, and sports training on our physical well-being. However, fitness activities can have an equally positive impact on your mental wellbeing. It’s often said that sport is played in the physical but won in the mind.
Emerging research shows that can help improve confidence, body image, and self-esteem, all of which are crucial elements of our happiness and overall mental wellbeing. Martial arts training activities particularly provide cognitive and behavioural benefits. Researchers have found links between martial arts training and improved emotional stability and assertiveness, and a reduced state of anxiety and depression.
Therefore, get that punching dummy and begin to experience positive physiological and mental changes in yourself. You can expect to have clearer thinking, more confidence, improved mood, and higher energy levels.
Are you persuaded? Let’s now see how to determine which punching dummy you should purchase.
How Do You Select the Best Punching Dummy?
Man-shaped punching dummies are excellent tools for training all kinds of impact sports, mixed martial arts, and even self-defence training. Unlike regular punching bags, they can be quite useful in training for a range of fighting techniques, including gruelling ground combat.
Before you click that order button, here are a few things worth noting to help you identify the best punching dummy and value for your hard-earned money:
Punching dummies take quite a lot of beating. Therefore, we always recommend single-piece punching dummies because there’s virtually no chance you’ll break any mechanical parts or components while working out.
That being said, the best punching dummies are highly resilient against kicks and punches because they are made out of the best materials. Ensure the punching dummy you are interested in is built using resilient materials such as quality synthetic leather, PVC, Polymer, or good quality plastic material.
Construction and design
This is also a hugely important consideration because it will significantly influence the kinds of exercises you can perform using the punching dummy. For instance, a good punching dummy should be suited to your height for optimum results. If you don’t want to worry about his, go for one with an adjustable height design. This would also work well if you will be sharing the punching dummy with other people.
To get livelier and more effective practice sessions, get a punching dummy with a design and construction that mimics a human body. Since you need to focus on better accuracy, getting a human mannequin with a more precise body structure will ensure better targeting and more optimal results from your practice sessions.
Height and weight
A height-adjustable punching dummy gives you the feeling of fighting different kinds of opponents. If you know your opponent’s height, you can always adjust your punching dummy to help you be better prepared before your fight.
The weight of your punching dummy only matters when it comes to the kind of resilience you want when you hit it. In most cases, it’s only a significant factor if you will be going for grappling or ground practice.
Your skill level
This is, by far the most important consideration when it comes to selecting the right punching dummies. While no punch bag or dummy can replace proper training and instructional training, they are as close as you can come to actual training. If you already have the necessary experience in the fighting techniques then your choice will be determined by what you want to develop or fine-tune.
NOTE: Avoid hitting your punching dummy with your bare knuckles. Always wear hand wraps or a pair of specially designed pair of boxing gloves
8 Best Punching Dummies in 2021
If you are looking for a punching dummy, you may be wondering what to buy, what with all the available options on Amazon and other eCommerce sites. We’ve done all the leg work for you and singled out eight options to help you select the best punching dummy.
Note that they are in no particular order:
It’s worth mentioning that one of the most distinctive features of the XL BOB freestanding punching dummy is the fact that it is wall-mounted. It’s specially designed for gym and home use, and for kicks, strikes, and punches. Therefore, it’s one of the most dynamic punching dummies you can get on the market.
- Wall-mounted design
- Hight density EVA-bonded construction to absorb every blow keep it in place during your training
- Synthetic outer material
- Large strike surface (approx. 55cm shoulder to shoulder, 78cm height)
- Easy set up since it comes pre-attached to a wall bracket. All you have to do is just screw it onto the wall and start exercising
- Takes up less space in your house or gym
- Weighs 9.5kgs
It provides a more realistic combat training experience in which you can train many different techniques. And the fact that it weighs around 37 pounds means that you can easily move it around the house or the gym.
- Human torso and face
- Size: 60-78 inches height and 24 inches width
- Height-adjustable settings
- Quality outer material made out of Vinyl ‘skin’ to provide that realistic combat feeling
- Realistic, human-shaped target for you to visualize where your strikes will land on your opponent
- Perfect for practising accuracy rather than power strikes or punches. You can then get a heavy bag to practice power punches.
- Comes with a stand and a rounded, sand or water base for easy relocation
It has a sturdy, high-density foam construction with a rubberized shell for a more realistic impact and feel of striking a real opponent. Other than boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts, it can be used for all kinds of impact sports.
- Realistic facial and body shape features
- Size: stands at 178m tall, 63cm wide, and with a base width of approximately 56cm
- Hard, rubberised finish for perfect conditioning
- High-density foam filling
- The base is large, water-fillable, and comes with multiple suction pad feet to provide added stability during your sessions
- Super quick installation and easy relocation (weighs only 43 kgs)
- You can fill the base with either sand or water
Because of the rather resilient construction, don’t practice without gloves or hand wraps. It will most likely hurt your knuckles or feet. Get a pair of good quality gloves for more optimum results.
It’s basically a wrestling or grappling punching dummy that you can also use for mixed martial arts training. It’s particularly ideal for training wrestling and other ground techniques such as lifting and throwing and other striking techniques you can perform from a ground position.
- Weighs between 35-55kgs when filled (wastage cloth pieces or cotton)
- Made out of strong, special synthetic leather
- 4 feet tall
- Complete human shape to provide a realistic combat training scenario
But don’t be fooled, this punching dummy is made out of heavy-duty thick-grade canvas material. And with reinforced stitching, it will take all the punching and grappling you can give it.
- Anatomically designed to look like a human in a submission posture
- Depending on the size of your order, it can weigh between 30kgs and 55kgs
- Comes unfilled and flat-packed
- You can select the 4-feet, 5-feet version, or the 6-feet version depending on your height preferences
- Also available in different colours
- Easy to operate zip enclosure that you can use to fill with spare clothes, shredded clothes, or any other available materials
- You can add sand (in plastic) bags if you want the dummy to be a little heavier
- Inflatable design
- Made out of 0.35mm PVC material (environmental-friendly and cold-resistant which makes it usable in winter as well).
- Screw cover water inlet that makes it super easy to load water and will not fall off
- Easy to store
- Size after inflation: 40cm by 160cm
- Optional colours
Note that it comes unfilled and you will have to fill it up by recycling clothes, shredded clothing items, raw cotton, or any other suitable materials. You may want to use materials such as rubber granulates to fill up the feet. Fillers are now readily available in the market and you can select your preferred kind based on your training needs.
When filled it can stand at a height of 4, 5, or 6 feet depending on the exact model you order. This means that you can order one for any member of the family.
- Durable and virtually unbreakable
- Made out of top-quality canvas material, and special synthetic leather
- Top-grade YKK zippers with overlaps that provide a perfect finish and seal
- Can weigh between 35 and 55kgs when filled
- Specially designed to help you develop and train mixed martial arts techniques, at home or at the gym
- Provides a 360-degree mobility to practice strikes, punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and tosses, including lock techniques
You can’t argue against the practicality of punching dummies when compared to the punching bags. First of all, they are much suited for practising grappling, which you can’t pull off with a hanging bag.
Secondly, a hanging punch bag immediately presents the almost inevitable question of suspension. To suspend a punching bag on the ceiling would require you to first install a sturdy mounting device. Ceilings aren’t built with this functionality in mind and you may find yourself limited on the maximum weight you can hang on your ceiling.
Lastly, punching dummies are better suited for training a wider range of fighting styles such as Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Kung Fu, and Judo. They provide alternative training tools to develop and fine-tune specific fighting techniques. In fact, punching dummies are perfect for developing self-defence techniques.
Look out for special discounts or sales when shopping for your punching dummy so you can get the best value for your money.