Best Punching Dummies Reviews: Finding The Ultimate Sparring Partner

Best Punching Dummies Reviews

Punching dummies are a great way to practice your punches. It is a great way to practice your boxing technique as well as other martial arts that you may enjoy. There are a lot of mixed feelings regarding these types of dummies and whether they are worth purchasing over a heavy punching bag. To help put an end to the fear of trying a punching dummy in your home gym, we have put together a guide to give you more information about the dummies. We have also included five of the best punching dummy reviews that you may be interested in purchasing in the near future.

Value Section

Punching Dummy Vs Heavy Punching Bag

Many individuals are not aware of the true value that a punching dummy can bring to your game. They see many professionals utilizing heavy hitting bags in the movies and they think that these types of punching bags are best, but think about it this way: a punching bag gives you a great amount of resistance when you punch, but not as much as a solid wooden dummy would offer. Not all punching dummies today are made of wood; in fact, most modern models are made of a softer material that can absorb the impact a little. This middle ground is exactly where you want your practice dummy to be; as close to a real opponent as possible.

In addition, punching a dummy allows you the chance to practice defensive moves and blocking techniques by utilizing the hands, arms, and legs on the punching dummy. A lot of martial arts originate from China and neighboring areas, do you think it is a coincidence that wooden combat dummies have been used in China for centuries to train?0 In fact, students of the Shaolin Temple are required to face a hall of dummies before they are able to graduate. If you would like to know more about the history of the wooden dummy, take a look at this article. Which is better? Well here is a head to head line up that gives you a little demonstration using both.

Sand Vs Water

Both are good for filling the inside of a punching dummy, but ultimately the choice is up to you. Water is a more readily available option, but sometimes it can leak through an imperfection in the bag that is as small as a pinhole. The good thing about water is that it is really easy to clean up. Sand gives you more stability at the base of the unit, and it is less likely to leak. The main issue with sand is that it is heavy and difficult to move, especially when it gets wet. If this occurs, then you can look forward to scooping a material that is almost as hard as concrete. Which substance would you prefer?

Height and Weight

When you are selecting a punching dummy, chances are that you want an opponent to be a certain height. This height is going to be similar to the opponents you will be competing against, which is a great way to find a technique that works in practice. In addition, the weight of the dummy that you select will be one of the determining factors when it comes to how hard you can hit the punching dummy.

Benefits of Using a Punching Dummy

When you practice with a punching dummy, you can punch at full power and speed, so it feels more like you are going up against a real opponent. It’s a good cardio workout that can help you to improve your balance and reaction time, which is extremely useful for any type of martial arts or boxing techniques. If you are an MMA fighter or you want to become one, practicing on a punching dummy is perfect for you. It is a great way to practice hitting areas of the body that can really be damaging to your opponent.

Punching dummies are a great way to keep your mind focused on your opponent’s body as well as practice with arms and legs in the mix. As a matter of fact, one individual even used a popular punching dummy to set a world record.

If you are working on a budget, there is no reason that you cannot still workout. Most punching dummies will cost you a few hundred dollars, but you can easily craft one of your own out of materials that are not that hard to find.

Best Punching Dummies Reviews

1. Century BOB Body Opponent Training Bag

Century BOB Body Opponent Training Bag

The Century BOB is a punching dummy that is designed to give you a realistic training experience, so it has all of the upper body parts that a real human opponent would have, including an ugly mug. Since you will not always be sparring against an opponent of the same height, BOB is able to be adjusted to seven different height levels between 60 and 78 inches. In addition, you can easily see the different areas of BOB’s body, so if you need to practice specific blows like uppercuts, liver shots or direct hits to specific pressure points or vital organs, it is easy to pinpoint the location that you should be aiming to land your punch.

BOB’s body is padded with a very durable plastisol body that is complete with a thick layer of high density foam, which means that no matter the types of strikes you are practicing, the dummy will absorb some of the blows. The head is soft enough to punch with your bare hands, and the torso is tough enough to withstand the force of punching with a boxing glove, so give it your best shot. In addition, the base can be filled with either sand or water. Both options will give the unit a weight of 270 pounds.

Things We Liked

  • Great for practicing realistic strikes and movements.
  • The unit is very stable, regardless of what you fill the base with.
  • Punching BOB is a comfortable experience that is much more realistic than using a heavy bag.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Filling the base of BOB can be time consuming because the hole is rather small. 
  • BOB does not offer as much resistance near the head.
  • BOB’s body does not extend past his torso, so not all hits are viable.

2. MMA Man-Shaped Dummy Punching Bag

MMA Man-Shaped Dummy Punching Bag

Our next selection is a punching dummy that is designed to resemble the full body of a human. It is comprised of a heavy duty polyester material that will be able to withstand a severe beating. The lining is tightly filled to make it seem as realistic as possible, which brings the weight of the dummy up to about 75 pounds. This is a good bit of resistance when fighting this unit, but it is also able to absorb some of the punches to enable you to keep your rhythm going.

This punching dummy is designed to be a great tool for MMA fighters, boxers, and anyone who likes to throw a punch. It resembles the height of an opponent that would be five feet and eight inches tall, which is an averaged sized height that will be great for practicing. The unit is designed to hang from the ceiling, so you can easily get a complete 360 degrees of access to any of the vital organs or other parts of the body that you need to freshen up on. Maneuverability is paramount to perfecting your techniques. If you want to practice some of your moves for when your opponent falls, then you can easily unhook this punching dummy to practice your ground punches at any time.

Things We Liked

  • This punching dummy is a great device to use for practicing neck, arm, and leg strikes.
  • You can set the arms to whatever angle you prefer, which is great for practicing techniques that may be blocked by your opponent.
  • Very durable unit that is easy to hit with your bare hands.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The filling area is located in the hands of the body, so it is rather difficult to fully fill the head of this punching dummy.
  • If you are looking for more than a sparring partner, this dummy’s resistance is not as optimal for heavy hitting as some.

3. Century BOB XL with Base Unit

Century BOB XL with Base Unit

The original Century BOB is great, but as we discussed it is designed with only the upper body in mind. The BOB XL is a definite upgrade for anyone who needs to practice their leg strikes or hits that affect the body below the torso. The body is a high plastisol construction that is filled with a layer of high density foam to make your strikes and punches feel more realistic, which is exactly what most boxers and MMA fighters want when they are training for an upcoming match.

The height on this bag is adjustable as well, so if you want to try your moves against a taller opponent, you can practice on BOB XL first. In addition, this device can be filled with either water or sand, which will increase the weight of this dummy to about 270 pounds. The head of this unit is once again the softest area of the dummy, while the torso offers a lot more resistance that will allow you to make harder hits when aiming for many of the upper body areas of the dummy.

Things We Liked

  • This punching dummy provides a great way to practice your aim and striking of specific targeted areas.
  • Offers a realistic surface that closely resembles the resistance of a human body.
  • The material of the punching dummy is soft enough to punch without gloves, but it will still be able to take a good punch while wearing a pair of boxing gloves.
  • The unit has a sturdy, durable base that can take a lot of abuse.

Things We Didn't Like

  • BOB XL is difficult to move if the unit is filled with sand. You will need to turn the unit on its side and roll it on the floor.
  • BOB XL likes to bounce around when hit, so you may want to place a rug under the base, especially if you live on the second floor.

4. Celebrita MMA Judo Punching Bag Grappling Dummy

Celebrita MMA Judo Punching Bag Grappling Dummy

The next punching dummy on our list is the perfect tool to use when you are practicing for MMA. This dummy is designed to look like a body that is kneeling down on the mat before you. Its arms are straight out, facing you, and it is in the perfect position to be grappled to the ground where you can practice your striking techniques on the mat. Since this dummy is a full length body, you can practice strike it with any jabs, gut punches, uppercuts, and even toss punches if you desire. The material of this punching dummy is leather on most of the versions, but if you prefer, it is also available in a canvas material.

The Celebrita MMA punching dummy comes in a range of sizes. The smallest, which is 40 inches, is great for a younger individual to practice with. The largest size, which is 70 inches in length, is great for a full sized adult. In addition, the weight of this dummy will vary as well based on the size that you purchase. The weights that are available are 55 pounds, 77 pounds, 99 pounds, and 121 pounds, so whether you are a novice who does not have much strength behind their punch or a well qualified MMA professional with a heavy hand, you will be able to easily practice your techniques.

Things We Liked

  • This device is great for practicing ground punches as well as techniques where muscle memory is important.
  • This model is available in a large variety of sizes, so it can be a great too for a child who is interested in MMA.
  • The material is very capable of taking pretty heavy hits, so it should last for years.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The leather exterior tends to crack a bit with wear, but that can easily be remedied by purchasing a canvas style dummy instead of a leather one.
  • Stuffing this unit can be a time consuming process, especially if you want the arms and legs to be stuffed properly.

5. Hawk Combatives Training Partner

Hawk Combatives Training Partner

Having a sparring partner is important for practicing your punching moves and fighting techniques, so if you do not have a viable partner to assist you with this process, the Hawk combatives training partner will have your back. It is a realistic looking human torso that has a fierce looking face and spring loaded arms that can be set to any position that you need. The hands are shaped in such a way that holding weapons or other objects is possible, so it is a great dummy to use if you are practicing your self defense maneuvers.

The skin is polyurethane and a layer of foam is packed between the skin and the frame, which means that the resistance level of the dummy is great whether you are using gloves or not to practice. No matter how hard you punch this device, the arms will bounce right back into the position you set them. A mounting harness also comes with this punching dummy, so if you want a bit of height, you can easily attach the device to a heavy punching bag.

Things We Liked

  • This training partner has a very realistic body construction. This dummy has an anatomical construction that makes it easy to train.
  • This dummy has pliable, bendable joints. This dummy is ideal for training because each joint bends in the ways that we do. This way, you'll know what's effective and what's not.
  • The internal skeleton and this dummy's unique ability to hold weapons can really provide a plethora of unique training situations for someone looking to boost their self defense.

Things We Didn't Like

  • This training dummy is not able to stand on its own, so you need to make an additional purchase if you want that feature.
  • There is no lower body with this unit. They are available, but they need to be purchased separately.

Conclusion and Final Pick

We’ve taken the time to look at punching dummies to see if they are worth purchasing over traditional heavy punching bags, and we’ve reviewed five of the best punching dummies that are available on the market.

Now it is time to announce the winner, and the Century BOB XL comes out on top in this battle. It has great options when it comes to height and weight; in fact, there are even options that are great for younger individuals. The BOB XL has more to it than just a torso, like some of the products on our list, so you have a larger area where you can practice. The only downside is that if you want movable arms, this unit does not have that capability. As a punching dummy, it comes out on top, but if you need to practice other maneuvers, there may be a better option for you out there.