We’ve recently spoken about the benefits of training on a speed bag in a previous article and there’s a reason why this item of training equipment is found in almost every boxing gym you do into: it works! Unfortunately most speed ball platforms don’t come with an actual speed ball included. During this article, we’ll show you what to look for when looking to choose the best speed bag to use when training.
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The speed bag’s main purpose is to improve a fighters timing and rhythm. Indeed, raw punching power will count for nothing if the boxer is unable to land the punch at the crucial moment.
Consistent training on a speed bag is also an excellent way to develop endurance, particularly in the shoulders. This is crucial in a real fight as the hands constantly need to be held up in order to protect the fighter’s head and upper body from punches from the opponent. During the latter rounds of a boxing match you’ll see the fighters hands begin to drop as they tire. Regular training on the speed bag will help prevent this from happening.
Training on the speed bag is also an excellent way of loosening up the body after a weights session or after training on the heavy bag, to help flush the lactic acid from the muscles and aid recovery.
Factors to consider when choosing the best speed bag to suit your training needs:
Speed bag shells are generally made of two types of material: a plastic vinyl and leather.
Leather tends to be more durable and hard wearing and can take years of pounding if they are looked after properly. However, this quality is reflected in the price; you can expect to pay considerably more for this type of bag.
Plastic vinyl is cheaper but don’t expect it to last as long. However, they are good for beginners to practice and develop their technique before moving on to a higher quality, leather bag.
Under the shell is the inner air filled bladder and this can be made of a variety of materials. Higher quality bags tend to have bladders made of latex which is lightweight and ensures the bag moves quickly. Cheaper bags might be made of rubber which tends to be heavier and moves at a slower rate. Very cheap bags might be made of plastic which is unlikely to be very durable.
Speed bags come in a range of sizes. The smaller the size, the faster it will board on the supporting board and the more difficult it will be to hit.
Conversely, larger bags will move slower but will be easier to hit. They are typically heavier and so will require more power to keep them moving.
The range of sizes available:
Large: Any speed bag over 11 x 8 inches would be considered a large bag.
Small: Speed bags measuring 8 x 5 inches and under would be considered small.
Bags in between these two extremes of sizes would be regarded as medium sized.
Choosing the right sized speed bag for you.
The following guide from Everlast is a useful tool.
In terms of choosing the right sized bag, much depends on the fighter level of proficiency at the speed bag. Beginners would be advised to start with a larger speed bag. This will be an easier target to hit and will also move at a slower rate.
Once the basic technique has been mastered, a smaller sized bag can be purchased.
Differing sized bags enable the practitioner to progress as their skill level develops. This ensures a continual level of challenge.
Using the Speed Bag
Before you can start to use the speed bag you’ll need to attach it to your speed bag platform. This is simply a matter of attaching it to the metal swivel that comes with most speed ball platforms. When attached, the middle of the speed ball should be at about nose height.
When installing the equipment you need to ensure you have enough space around the platform to be able to move freely.
Here’s a useful video to get you started:
Quality Speed Bags
It’s available in a range of sizes: XXS (4″ x 7″), S (5″ x 8″), M (6″ x 9″), L (7″ x 10″). As we’ve discussed this allows you to purchase a bag to suit your skill level.
The speed ball shell is made from a quality leather and the seams have been triple reinforced meaning it will withstanding rounds of continual pounding.
The speed ball is also gyro balanced meaning it will rebound in a true fashion. This makes it far more predictable and easier to strike.
We’d recommend most beginners purchase the medium sized bag to begin with. This allows enough of a challenge to prevent the user from becoming bored and yet is easy enough to ensure that the basics can be learned.
Meshell DJ Luna* stated the following about this bag:
“The bag is very strong. Moves quick and easy. Makes a great gift.”
Alexei Volkov* commented as follows:
“Excellent speed bag. bounces really well. bought size small, so have used if for about 2 1/2 years.”
This speed bag is made of top grade leather and features reinforced seams for superior durability.
The medium speed bag measures 9″ x 6″ whilst the large speed bag is 10″ x 7″. The bag design has been balanced to ensure accurate rebounds.
Dubin20* said the following about this product:
“Great for beginners and it definitely teaches hand eye coordination. I started at 5 bounces and a week later almost mastering 3 bounces while alternating form. Worth the buy, sturdy, and built to last.”
Lisa Rogers* commented:
“I workout with this regularly and it’s a quaity bag.”
It’s a beautiful looking bag and comes in a range of sizes: Extra Small, Small and Medium.
It’s available in a selection of colours: black, red and the colours of the Mexican flag.
Popescu Razvan* said the following about this speed bag:
“Love the bag, it’s very fast, leather feel top notch, very very soft. I like that it comes with a second inflateable baloon.”
JaJA* was equally as positive:
“Cleto Reyes makes a lot of fine boxing equipment. These bags are no different. They are made with some quality leather and a good responsive bladder.”
Hopefully this article has provided you with some useful tips to help you find the best speed bag to match your training needs.