If you go to any boxing gym, you’re likely to hear the rhythmic ‘music’ of the speed bag being pummeled by boxers looking to perfect their art. The speed bag is an iconic piece of boxing training equipment that has been used for decades. Nine time out of ten, any training scene in a boxing related film will feature the speed bag being used and its use highlights the practitioner’s speed and co-ordination. A speed bag can make an ideal addition to a home gym. In this article, we’ll help you choose the best speed bag platform to suit your budget.
The best speed bag platform to suit your wallet
Here’s an overview of the best speed bags available whatever your budget:
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The Benefits of Training on a Speed Bag
There are multiple benefits of training on a speed bag:
To Develop Hand-Eye Coordination
Whilst any professional boxer will make training on a speed ball look easy, it takes time to develop the coordination required to hit that bag in exactly the right way to ensure rebounds back in the right way. This only comes with practice and during which the hand and eye become better at working together to ensure that, in time, the action becomes effortless.
Timing and Rhythm
Other pieces of training equipment, such as the heavy bag, will develop the fighters punching power. However, this will count for nothing if the boxer hasn’t got the timing to land the punch correctly. The speed ball develops “quick hands” enabling the boxer to execute punches in quick succession.
One of the first things that happens when a boxer gets tired is that their hands begin to drop. This leaves the head unprotected and vulnerable to attack.
Consistent use of the speed ball develops endurance in the arms and shoulders enabling the boxer to keep their hands raised and, importantly, head protected for longer periods of time.
When using the speed ball, it’s good to train using three, twelve minute intervals; just like a real fight.
The speed ball is roughly head shaped and is therefore is a good way to practice punching accuracy and timing. Indeed, one good technique is to aim at what would be the sweet spot on the chin whilst the bag is moving. This type of punch can result in an instant knock out and is therefore worth perfecting.
During normal use, when the speed ball is hit, it will bounce on opposite sides of the platform before returning to the middle to be hit again. However, if the bag is hit in succession quickly enough, it will bounce on the backboard and return to the middle only to be hit again. The boxer has to punch very quickly to achieve this and before long they will begin to “feel the burn”. It’s rare for boxers to last for more than 1 minute when using the speed ball in this way.
It’s good to throw this type of training into the mix once in a while in order to provide variety to the workout.
To Loosen Up
Generally speaking, most boxing trainers recommend training on a heavy bag first before moving on to the speed ball.
The heavy bag develops raw punching power but over training on this piece of equipment can leave the fighter feeling stiff and rigid. At this point, it’s good to get some fluidity back into the training program. The speed ball can help the body loosen up and relax the muscles after a heavy bag session.
What to Look for in a Speed Ball Platform
When choosing a speed ball platform, it’s important that the size of the ball is neither too big nor too small, or it will not bounce correctly on the platform.
In addition, you should check that a good quality swivel attaches the ball to the platform, again to ensure that it bounces correctly.
The speed ball should be attached to a heavy and solid platform. The platform can be struck by the ball with considerable force and the last thing the boxer wants is for the structure to be vibrating or moving unnecessarily.
When installing the platform, it’s important that it’s positioned so that the ball is roughly at head height.
How to Train on a Speed Ball Platform
There are a number of fundamental considerations to keep in mind when training on a speed ball platform:
- Keep your eyes on the bag. It can easy to become distracted and loose focus, meaning your eyes may wander away from the speed bag itself. This momentary lapse of concentration will often cause the boxer to mishit the target. This can disrupt the rhythm of the training session and often the individual will have to reset the bag and start over again.
- Often individuals will spend hours on the speed bag in an attempt to improve their technique. When the desired changes fail to materialise, it can result in disappointment and frustration. This can lead to the speed ball being abandoned as a training aid. It’s important to realise that it’s during periods of sleep that the brain lays down and reinforces its neural pathways. Any changes the brain needs to make as a result of a training session will only take place whilst the individual is asleep. Any improvements will only be seen after a number of days practice rather than after a matter of hours. It’s therefore better to train “little and often” to ensure a steady rate of improvement.
- When using the speed bag, it’ s important to protect the hands from the constant impact they’ll be subjected to. A good pair of quality hands wraps is an essential item of kit for a boxer to have. This was the subject of another article we’ve written about here.
- Below is an excellent video to help get you started:
The Best Speed Bag Platform to Suit Your Budget
We’ll help you find the best speed bag platform for your budget:
High End / $$$:
The platform is mounted on a solid steel frame which is designed to minimise vibration. The platform height is also adjustable over a range of 15 inches.
This is a very well made product that is built to last.
It’s important to note that the speed bag itself is not included with the platform but it does come with a professional grade, ball bearing swivel. Some users have complained that the swivel can be a little squeaky but that this is easily fixed with a quick spray of WD40. In time users may want to upgrade to the Title Deluxe Pro Swivel.
It can be a little tricky for one person to install on their own in order to help lift the platform into place but it is easy to assemble.
One user, Eric Backous*, commented:
“The quality of this product is outstanding. It is well-built, sturdy, and adjusts with ease.”
Cole Lissner* stated:
“Great platform for the price.”
Mid-Range / $$:
It’s height can be adjusted via the spring pin lock ensuring a solid and secure setup.
The swivel is included with the product but not speed ball itself. The actual wall mountings will also need to be purchased separately. It takes about an hour to install.
Everlast produce a range of quality boxing products, all at reasonable prices. This product is no exception.
There is a bit of vibration when using this product but this can be minimised by placing a weighted (30lb) sandbag on the platform itself.
One user, Corvus*, commented:
“As a beginner, this is a perfect starting place.”
S. Connor* stated:
“This is a great speed bag platform for the price. Installation was very easy.”
Budget / $:
It consists of a 1 inch think circular strike board that is 23.5 inches wide. The overall dimensions are 24″(L) x 22″(W) x 23.5″(H).
It is fully height adjustable and held securely in place by a spring pin lock.
The speedbag and mounting hardware is not included.
It’s very sturdy and strong although can vibrate slightly when used. This is easily remedied by placing a weighted sandbag on top of the platform.
A user, Rohit Thakare*, commented:
“Good product. Nice and sturdy.”
Jeff Passno* stated:
“5 out of 5 quality to value ratio.”
Hopefully this article will help you choose the best speed bag platform to suit your budget.