Speed bag vs double end bag – What’s the difference?

Updated: April 15, 2021 @ 11:53 am by Imrus

Are you new to boxing? In this article, we compare the speed bag and double end bag. These two boxing equipment pieces are similar in some aspects, while different in others. We hope this helps you decide which of these two bags you should be hitting next time to improve your boxing skills.

What you need to know about the speed bag

speed bag

What is a speed bag?

A speed is a relatively small punching bag filled with air hung from a platform. Since it is lightweight and flexible when we hit it, it rebounds quickly. That’s why boxers use it to practice punching techniques. The harder we hit it, the faster it is.

Another factor that influences the speed bag training is the size of the equipment. The smaller the bag, the faster it is and harder it to target. That’s why advanced boxers use small bags, why beginners bigger ones.

What’s the speed bag good for?

  • It teaches the boxer to keep their hands up. A typical mistake of beginners that they drop their hands, and with that, their head becomes unprotected. Since it is at head level, the regular training strengthens the shoulder muscles and helps to get the habit of keeping hands up (muscle memory). Hence, it enhances defence skills.
  • It improves hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is the ability to use your hands and eyes together to enhance your physical activities, for example, catching a ball or swinging a bat. That sense is important in boxing.
  • Develop timing. To hit the fast-moving bag at the right time and place with the right energy requires concentration. With a regular speed bag workout, this skill will come naturally. It helps the boxer to throw a punch at the right time at the opponent.
  • It develops hand speed. Punching speed is a key ingredient to winning a fight. A boxer with quick hands (fast hands) can quickly connect with the opponent before he reacts.
  • It doesn’t put stress on your hands. Compared to a heavy bag, the risk of getting an injury is almost zero. It’s even not necessary to wear gloves.
  • Improves the rhythm. In boxing, rhythm refers to the fighter’s sense of timing. It’s a critical skill because it can have a big impact on the outcome of a fight. By maintaining good timing, a fighter can effectively time their opponent’s movements and deliver powerful strikes.
  • Enjoyable and perfect for at-home training. It also helps with building arm endurance.
  • Great to release stress.

Speed bag cons

  • It doesn’t help the footwork. Footwork is important in boxing because it is a key technique to use with your punching and helps establish your dominance in the ring. A good punch is only as good as the step or movement it comes from. Since we stand in the same position, it doesn’t help much with the footwork.
  • It doesn’t burn many calories since it isn’t a full-body workout.
  • It’s a loud activity.
  • It doesn’t help with power punches, but that’s why we use the heavy bag instead.
  • It isn’t useful for practising combinations.

How to use the speed bag?

Within the following video, you can learn how to get started with this boxing equipment.

To sum up: The speed bag is an ideal training tool for developing hand-eye coordination and timing. It also works on staying light on your feet and punching in a fluid motion. You can check out the best speed punching bags here.

What you need to know about the double end bag

double end bag

What is a double end bag?

A double end bag or reflex bag is a small type of punching bag. It’s filled with air and attached to the floor and ceiling with two flexible cords. This way, we can move around it. Because of the flexibility of the ropes when we punch the bag, it has an unpredictable movement. It requires practice to hit it with the right power, time and area.

By changing the tightness of the cords and using a smaller or bigger punching bag, we can change the difficulty of the punching skill workouts. Smaller bags are harder to hit. That’s why real fighters use them.

What’s the double end bag good for?

  • Enhance the reflexes. Reflexes are one of the primary tools used by boxers to avoid attacks and make attacks during combat.
  • Practice different types of punches – jab, straights, hooks and uppercuts. We can hit it from different angles.
  • Good for practising combos. Beginner boxers should start with straight 1-2 punches. Of course, professionals use it for all sorts of combinations. Since the bag can move quite quickly, it’s useful to enhance combination speed.
  • Gain body punches. When you hit someone in the body, it makes them bend over in pain, making them easier to hit.
  • Better foot movement. We have to move around it to find the optimal distance and time to hit it. Hence, it promotes footwork.
  • Physical benefits. Since we have to move around the bag intensively, this training improves cardiovascular endurance as well.
  • Timing punches. Punching at the correct time is very important in boxing. It will help you to beat your opponent.
  • Fighting rhythm. Fighting rhythm is important in boxing because it allows the boxer to throw punches and avoid punches as the opponent moves around the ring throughout the fight.
  • Practice defense skills. Evading punches involves stepping off to the side or backwards to avoid punches. We can also practice head movement. The mobile target is great to practice these skills.

You can find the best double end bags for home here.

Reflex bag cons

  • Not beginner-friendly. Beginners usually hit it with incorrect technique making the bag swinging everywhere. So, a lot of practice is required.
  • It doesn’t develop strength. But, heavy punching bags are for that purpose.
  • Requires space to use it at home.

How to use the double end bag correctly?

Check out the following video to get some useful tips.

To sum up, the double end bag training can be done in a small area and allows a boxer to replicate many of the actions of a real match. It improves speed, timing and footwork. It can also serve as a substitute for an opponent.

Generally, the two bags above are used to improve your hand-eye coordination, timing, and rhythm, as well as helping you to develop your punching techniques. Personally, I use both. Which do you prefer and why? Please share with us below.


Bucko Imre

Hi there, I'm Imre. I started boxing when I was 15, but nowadays I hit my old, dirty heavy bag at home (you know, family, business, etc.) I love boxing so much, so I made this blog to help people get started with it (at home).