Do you remember when Rocky hit that speed bag? I was a kid, and I thought it is the best game ever. But, this boxing equipment is as important as a heavy bag for proper training. While heavy bags are for developing strength and can be used as a real opponent alternative, a speed bag is for increasing the speed of your punches and your reflexes. Hence, by combining both, you can get far more effective punches.
Here we'd like to give you a complete guide about this equipment. You can find tips on how to use and buy one. You can also find the reviews of the best models here. You can quickly navigate below.
Why do you need one? The benefits
One of the main reasons why fighters, mostly boxers use this training equipment is that it develops the hand-eye coordination and hand speed efficiency. Why is that important? Because they can throw the punches faster and more accurately. While at the same time, they can protect themselves from the hits of the opponent.
Another significant benefit for fighters is that it decreases the reaction time and develops timing and rhythm. Just check out a boxing match, you will see how quickly the fighters can react and find the right time to throw a punch or more. These skills are essential.
Compared to heavy punching bags, it is also more "user-friendly." I mean it does not matter how old you are, your gender or if you have any workout experience or not, this exercise is suitable for you. The risk of injury is very low. This is not true for a heavy bag. It helps no only to develop your body and endurance but also contributes to release stress. A great activity for everyone.
Any alternative? Catch flies! 🙂
'Catching flies is better training than hitting the speed bag' ~ Muhamad AliClick To Tweet
How to use it correctly?
Firstly, the bag should be at the same level as your mouth. If it is placed too low or too high that results in incorrect speed bag punching technique that ruins the benefits of this exercise.
When I tried it first I wanted to hit as fast as possible, but it it did not work, the bag did not move as I wanted. Then, I learned that I could control the ball by shorter and slower strikes to keep going. With practice, of course, the speed came as well. Hence, if you are a beginner start slow and focus on keeping the bag moving.
Another mistake is that beginners commit is that they want to use the speed bag like a heavy one, so they punch it with enormous power. As it is in its name, this one is for speeding you up, so there is no need to hit it with full power. Instead, throw light punches, and focus on increasing the speed as you get better at controlling.
Want to know even more? Just watch the video below and learn more tricks.
What to look for when buying?
Now, we have talked about its benefits and how to use it correctly, so the next step is to find out how to get the most suitable bag for you.
The most important factor is the speed bag size. There are smaller and bigger ones.
The smaller the ball, the faster it can move and the harder to target. But, it may not require such power to keep it running.
And with that, the bigger the bag, the slower it runs and easier to target. But since this type is usually heavier it requires more power and with that more muscle work to keep it moving.
- Large: 13x10, 12x10, 11x8 inches
- Medium: 10x7, 9x6 inches
- Small: 8x5, 7x4, 6.5x4 inches
Right size for you?
Since it is harder to control and target a smaller bag, it develops your speed and focusing better than a bigger one.
On the other hand, larger bag, because of its weight, requires more power to hit continuously, so it works your shoulder and arm muscles better. That does not mean a bigger bag does not develop your hand-eye coordination, just not at the same level as a smaller one.
If you are a beginner or need something to punch for recreation, I recommend getting a bigger one. In case you are serious about boxing (or any other martial art), the best is that if you use both. This way you can enjoy the benefits of both, and you are ready to be any situation in the ring.
There is no doubt that the shell of the best speed bags is made from leather. That is the most durable and provides the best user experience. But, they cost more. Cheaper models are made of synthetic leather. I would not recommend them.
This is another important part that you should pay attention to when purchasing. From my experience, the best is the latex bladder since it is lightweight and soft. Latex is comfortable to use and provides fast bag movement, but it may leak a little bit. Rubber bladders are also not bad, but they heavier and this way slower. And the worst is the plastic inner bladder.
What else will you need?
Keep in mind that most of the products come as they are. I mean, you will need a speed bag swivel and a platform as well. If you are a techie guy, you can make one for yourself to save money. But, a professionally installed platform is required to use the bag without annoying problems.
Also, do not forget about the hand protection. So, get gloves and hand wraps.
Where will you use it?
The main advantage of a speed bag platform is that you don't need so much space. There are also small platforms, for example, ones you can quickly install on the door frame. So, you may have one in your apartment as well.
In spite of this, always check the specification to know if you have enough space to use your speed ball comfortably. And include the footwork in your calculations.
Top 7 Speed Bags Reviews
1. Title Classic Speed Bag
If you like boxing a bit, I'm sure you have heard about the Title brand. They are an USA-based company that makes high-quality equipment such as punching bags and professional boxing gloves.
This is their classic bag that looks a bit old-old school, but that does not lack quality. It is made from leather providing an excellent user experience. The inner bladder is such an excellent one that most of the users does not need to reinflate it after the first pumping.
While the Title patch looks cool on it, if you hit it without hand protection the edge of the patch may chafe your hands. But, with use, the edge will get softer.
It comes in two sizes: 5"×8" inches (small) and 6"×9" (medium) inches. Hence, both pros and beginners can find a size for themselves.
2. TITLE Boxing Gyro-Balanced
This is another popular Title Speed bag, that is famous for its Gyro-Balanced manufacturing. What does that mean? This bag has been designed in such a shape that it provides excellent rebounds and quick recoiling.
It also comes with a heavy duty leather shell and strengthened leather seams for long-lasting usage.
The inner bladder is made from butyl rubber to enhance the balance. However, a few users tell that they should inflate it regularly. I think it would be much better if some sort of lighter material were used to enhance the speed.
Also, customers usually have to spend time with finding the optimal pressure. Most of the users think the optimal pressure is 4 psi. If it is pumped more than that level, it becomes unbalanced. However, you should try which pressure level works you the best.
You can choose from the following sizes: XXS (4" x 7"), S (5" x 8"), M (6" x 9"), L (7" x 10")
3. Balazs Speed Bag (The Winner!)
This model is a bit more expensive than the previous ones, but you get what you pay for, an excellent equipment that works as it should.
One reason why it stands out from the others is that the loop is made from Kevlar. That is an incredibly durable material, so you do not have to be afraid of tearing. Also, the loop is centered perfectly and double layered.
The shell is made of a special leather that is comfortable for your hands, plus it avoids slippery.
Another great feature is that it hasn't got lace and welting for even better balancing. This way your hands also not be roughed up. This technique is rarely used by other manufacturers.
Users like it because Balazs is incredibly fast, even if it not the lightest. Hence, it will not only develop your punching skills but also works your muscles well.
Sizes: Extra Small “Peanut” 5"×8" inches, Small “Sonic” 6"×9" inches, Medium “Jet” 7"×10" inches and Large “Rocket” size, 8"×11" inches.
4. Everlast Elite Leather Speed Bag
Everlast is another well-known manufacturer in martial arts, but this ball is maybe better for beginners. The customer reviews are rather different. Some users love, while others think it isn't worth the money. Most of them have problems with leaking and deflating in a short period.
Everlast tried to make a bag that is very fast and for this used a stretchy material for the shell to make it lighter. This is maybe the reason why it leaks so quickly. Plus, because of this stretchy material you should be careful when you inflate it as over-pumping can totally destroy the shell.
However, customers like it while working out as Everlast Elite quick and the price is affordable. But, I still think this Everlast punching bag is not for pros and every day usage.
Sizes: Medium is 9" x 6"; large is 10" x 7"
5. Contender Fight Sports Boxing/MMA/Muay Thai Fitness Speed Bag
This is another medium level model that has problems, but for an average user, this equipment is OK.
Firstly, many customers claim that it leaks, not very much but after a few days they have to pump it up again.
Another problem is the shell that does not have a continuous round surface because of the seams. It has sides that make the bag moving unexpectedly, and it is not comfortable for the hands as well. To avoid this problem, users pump it a bit harder than usual. Also, with usage, those sides soften.
This model is not for professionals, but for beginners and recreational purposes. The sizes are bigger than usual, so they are easier to target.
Sizes: Medium 9"× 6"″, large 11"× 8"
6. Cleto Reyes Platform Speed Bags
Do you search for a ball in a more exciting color than black, this is for you. You can get in colors of the Mexican flag. Cleto Reyes is a hand-made product from Mexico.
It is also made from leather and nylon lining for long duration and tear resistance.
Even pro users find it an excellent workout equipment as it is fast, lightweight and well-balanced. They also find the surface soft and comfortable for their hands even it is used for a long time continuously. They say Cleto Reyes is a commercially-graded quality.
This is the only ball that comes with an extra bladder on this list. However, the price is higher, but at least you do not have to worry about it for long years.
You can choose from 5 sizes and 5 colors.
7. Pro Impact Genuine
This is another classic product that manufactured from top grade leather. The inner bladder is latex which is a lightweight material, so the bag itself is pretty fast. A usual problem with latex is that it does not hold the air so much time as others. Hence, it should regularly be reinflated.
Anyway, the customers like it for its responsive, fast reaction and the surface is comfy to use.
The price is also OK and available in various sizes.
As you see, there is a wide range of models out there in different sizes and price range. Personally, I think the best speed bag is Balazs. A bit more expensive than the others but provides the best user experience, suitable for anyone and very durable.
Last update on 2017-09-19 at 20:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API