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 for martial arts.
What you need to know about the 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 pugilists 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 pugilist to keep their hands up. A typical mistake of newcomers 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 and precision. 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 pugilist to throw a punch at the right time with accuracy at the enemy.
- 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 antagonist before he reacts.
- The speed bag 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. I only use hand wraps.
- 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 and stamina through small circular motions.
- Great to release stress.
Speed bag cons
- It doesn’t help the footwork. Footwork is important in pugilism 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 practicing combinations.
How to use the speed bag?
Within the following video, you can learn how to get started with this boxing gear.
Do speed bags help in boxing with evading punches?
In my opinion, the double end bag is much better for this purpose, but the winner is the slip bag.
Slip bags look like speed bags, but they are filled with sand and hung from the ceiling. The trainee ducks, slips, blocks, and counterpunches the slip bag, just as if it were a punch coming toward him. By using a slip bag, fighters train their reactions to punches and learn to react when blows come in without thinking about it.
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
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 strikes – jab, straights, hooks, and uppercuts. We can hit it from different angles.
- Good for practicing 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 and accuracy.
- Gain body hits. 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 the double end bag 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 it increases heart rate. This training improves cardiovascular endurance as well.
- Timing punches and precision. Punching at the correct time is very important in fisticuffs. It will help you to beat your opponent.
- Fighting rhythm. Fighting rhythm is important in fighting because it allows the fighter to throw punches and avoid blows as the opponent moves around the ring throughout the fight.
- Practice boxing defense skills. Evading strikes involve 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 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, how to have a double end bag workout.
Should a beginner train on a double end bag?
Training with a double end bag is similar to other forms of exercise, so proper form is essential. After you’re comfortable punching the bag and getting a feel for it, you can progress to more complex workouts using it. So, the main point is to learn the basics. It’s also true that the bag that moves quickly and unexpectedly is hard to get used to. Once you master it, however, it will boost your skills. Just be patient when getting started.
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 for any martial arts. Personally, I use both. Which do you prefer, speed bag vs double end bag, and why? Please share with us below.