As you step into your journey as a boxer, there will come a point where you are introduced to the speed bags. Speed bag training is really important for beginners and pros alike as it helps develop and improve endurance, hand-eye coordination, reaction speed and timing! Speed bag training is typically associated with boxing; however, it has recently become increasingly popular in gyms and the general fitness realm as it provides so many benefits. Also, before you jump on the bag and go to town on it, it is also important to know what you are doing, why should beginners use it and how to find the best speed bags for beginners.
Once you get to grips with the basics, that's when you will begin to reap the rewards of speed bag training.
Why Beginners Should Train with a Speed Bag
There are a number of reasons why beginners should train with a boxing speed bag. To name a few, it improves your reaction time, hand-eye coordination, strength, and stamina. These are all the core skills that a boxer will need throughout their boxing career. Whether you are a beginner or a well-seasoned pro, you will spend the majority of training trying to improve those skills.
1. Reaction Time
Reactions and reflexes are crucial skills for any boxer, despite whether you are a beginner or a well-seasoned pro. If you want to be fast, you have to train fast. The saying practice makes perfect is absolutely true in this context as the speed bag requires rapid movements and consistent training will only make your hands get faster and faster.
If you have a suitable bag, it will have smooth and rapid rebounds that will enhance your reaction time. The smoother the rebound on the bag, the more likely you will be able to enhance your precision and power. Also, using a speed bag is quite literally about speed, and so you do not have to absolutely hammer your speed bag to get its full effects. It is not about power.
2. Hand-Eye Coordination
Having good hand-eye coordination is essential in boxing. The professionals will have immaculate timing and rhythm, and this did not just appear one day, it came from consistent and long-term training. The boxing speed bag is great for newcomers as it helps to ground and develop the essential skills of timing, control, and rhythm. The speed bag can be difficult at first, but with a little perseverance, you will develop your boxing skills quicker than you think.
3. Muscular Development and Endurance
With this style of training, it is no surprise that the speed bag will lead to muscular growth. Your upper body will be pushed to its limits! Also, your shoulders will feel the burn and this kind of conditioning will only make you stronger and put a lot more power behind those punches. Using the speed bag is an excellent form of cardio. It gets the heart pumping, and this will improve your stamina and heart rate health. Also, this is a whole-body workout, the effort you put in will determine the rewards you get back, so bear that in mind when your body starts to burn!
4. Improves Boxing Skills
Ultimately, training on the speed bag will improve your skills as a boxer overall. It will aid the development of your hand positioning, special awareness, transitioning and how to put the power behind punches even in complicated combinations. Also, training on the speed bag will provide beginners with a foundation of skills for them to progress further when it comes to sparring and fighting.
What Types of Speed Bags Work Best for Beginners and Why?
There are different sizes available, but the best kind of speed bags for boxing newcomers will be those from a small to medium size. You do not want a super small speed bag because it becomes harder to hit the target, however on the other side of the scale you do not want a bag too big as they tend to be heavier which will require more effort on your part.
With a small to medium-sized bag, you will find it easier to hit and to develop a rhythm. Later on, in your boxing journey, you may want to explore bigger speed bags as they can be used for power punching specifically. However, right now you will want to focus on getting the basics down and the lighter speed bags are perfect for that.
It may also be a good idea to use speed bag gloves or wraps when starting out to avoid any hand injuries.
How to Choose the Right Beginner Speed Bag
There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right beginner speed bag, this tends to include thinking about sizing, material, installation, speed bag kits, and appropriate accessories. It can be overwhelming at first, but we are going to break it down into sizable chunks to make it easier to understand. Research is key! Invest the time into finding what is right for you.
We have briefly touched upon size earlier, however, another important aspect to note is that the size of the bag will also affect maintenance. So, the larger the bag the more maintenance that is required. Larger bags will necessitate refills more often because they tend to be used for heavy-duty punching which knocks the air out of them. There are a variety of different sizes available.
Naturally, you get what you pay for, and so you have to manage your expectations around what you will receive if you are spending as little as possible. This is not to say that you can't get good quality bags at a reasonable price. There are brands out there that are creating great boxing gear and bags at a budget-friendly price, it can just take some searching to find the right one.
As a beginner, you might be tempted to opt straight for the leather bags, however, that will always be the more expensive option. It is worth considering synthetic leather options as a novice because firstly, they are cheaper and secondly, they are often just as good as their leather counterparts.
It can be tempting to go for that all leather, authentic style of speedbag, however that kind of speed bag is not always appropriate for a beginner. Especially if you are trying to get the best value for your money. There are a lot of synthetic materials out there that are just as good, if not better than your traditional leather, and these come at a far better price. Typically, if you are shopping with the bigger boxing brands then you know you are going to get something that is safe and reliable, regardless of whether you opt for leather or synthetic.
4. Installation and Accessories
Mounting your speed bags properly is essential, and in order to do this, you will have to ensure you have the correct accessories. A harder and thicker platform is advisable as this will give you a solid rebound as well as minimizing noise. The difficulty of using a lighter platform is that it can cause rattling which puts a lot of boxers off of their own rhythm.
The next thing to consider is what type of swivel to get. The swivel determines the movement of the bag, and there are three types available.
Hook and Ball Swivel
This option is typically used by new boxers because it controls and slows down the bag’s movement, allowing the user to get to grips with using speed bags. However, it should be noted this type of swivel can be jumpy, and this can make it harder to hit on target.
The U-Hook option is less jumpy than the Hook and Ball Swivel, and easier to dismantle. However, when it comes to removing the pin, it can become quite a hassle as it will take some strength to move. Another notable point to consider is that it does not react well with side punches, this can be limiting.
Chain Link Swivel
Lastly, you have Chain Link swivels, these work best for fast sparring and for testing those reaction times. Workouts on this will be quick, and the chain link swivel allows the bag freedom to move in all directions. It works well for speed training, but as a beginner, it might be better to work towards using this and hone your technique before diving in and going for this option right away.
Our Top 5 Best Speed Bag Recommendations for Beginners
There are several great brands for boxing newbies to choose from, and so, in order to help you figure out what one is the best speed bag for you, we have set out our top 5 recommendations for beginners and have also summarized their pros and cons.
The Cleto Reyes Speed Bag is definitely on the more expensive side; however, you can ensure that you are getting incredible quality and functionality. The Cleto Reyes brand is no stranger to the boxing world, and their experience as a brand is most certainly reflected in this product. It has a durable leather exterior; however, it is still comfortable enough to use with bare hands. Also, the bag features a tough nylon lining, increasing the already extreme durability of the bag.
It comes in four sizes; X-Small: 5" x 8", Small: 6"x9", Medium: 7"x10", Large; 7"x11" and is perfect for coordination and reaction training. Despite its higher cost, this bag is overall easily one of the best speed bag available for a beginner. It's tough, reliable and will last in the long run for sure. If you are set on starting your journey as a boxer, then this is the speed bag for you.
The Title Gyro Speed Bag is made with precision Gyro balanced construction resulting in clean rebounds and smooth recoils. The Title boxing speed bag is perfect for improving your reflexes, speed, and hand-eye coordination. Also, you will have no concerns about the durability of the Title boxing bag as it is made from top-grade leather and the seams are triple reinforced. The seams create a stylish look to the bag as they are made of bright red stitching, that contrasts against the black grain leather. Aside from looking good, this bag is also a practical option as it includes a butyl rubber pro bladder.
Overall, the Title Boxing Gyro Balanced speed bag ensures high quality, excellent durability, and a suitable functionality for a beginner.
The Everlast EverHide Speed Bag is one of the more budget-friendly options available. It is made of a premium synthetic leather and uses reinforced seams, both together make for an inexpensive bag that is strong, resilient, and also durable. The bag uses a balanced construction which works well for reflex training and ensuring those accurate rebounds.
Everlast bags have a reputation to 'Neverlast', however, be careful with what you believe because Everlast is a longstanding reputable brand that creates cost-effective, quality bags. The Everlast speed bag is a suitable option for any beginner who wants to start off with a more affordable choice before committing to more expensive, long-term options. Overall, the Everlast EverHide speed bag is a good bag for the price you pay.
The MaxxMMA Speed Bag is another no fuss, simple yet functional option for a beginner. For the affordable price you pay, you get yourself a good quality bag. It can be used to develop timing, speed, and accuracy of your punches. It works just like any speed bag and is perfectly balanced for achieving those swift rebounds.
The bag is a basic black color, with the MaxxMMA logo printed on the front. It uses synthetic leather and comes with a hand pump and needle. Also, a tip for those beginners who want to work at a slower pace initially can deflate the bag somewhat, as a deflated bag will be easier to hit and a bit kinder to the hands. With this inexpensive bag, you will be able to enhance your skills without breaking the bank.
The Contender Fight Sports Speed Bag is a very cost-effective and smart choice for a beginner. It is manufactured using durable, all leather fabric combined with extra reinforced seams. This construction is going to hold up well in the long run, however, it should be noted that the bladder will need to be inflated on a semi-regular basis.
Nevertheless, this is a great starter bag as it will help you develop precision punching as the bag uses precision balancing to ensure smooth rebounds. It is available in two sizes: small (5" x 8") and medium (6" x 9"). Another reason why this bag is beginner-friendly is that it comes with extra thick swivel loops and the thick leather construction will not only slow down the pace of the bag, but it will also protect your hands by cushioning the blow somewhat. Overall, it is hard to fault this bag as it is a high quality, affordable option that is ideal for boxing newbies.
A Quick Summary
Each of the 5 best speed bags for beginners we have just gone through would make an excellent choice for a newbie. There is a lot to consider when buying the one that is right for you, however, hopefully, this article has shed some light on what needs to be thought about. Speed bag training has a lot of benefits that come with it, and so to get the most out of it, you need a bag that is good quality, functional and that suits your priorities. For example, if you are someone who is unsure about their boxing journey, then it's best to start with a more affordable option, in case you decide it's not for you. On the flip side, if you know that boxing is your calling then it is well worth investing in a high-quality bag to aide your development.
If we had to pick one of these bags as the best of the best speed bag, it would undoubtedly be the Cleto Reyes Speed Bag. This bag has been designed with excellence in mind, with its durable exterior, high-functionality, and longevity it makes for a great option for those beginners who are committed to developing and enhancing their skills. Title Boxing Speed Bag come at a close second.
Nonetheless, we are aware that not every beginner is sure of their boxing journey yet, and for that demographic, the Cleto Reyes is perhaps not the best option. For those who do not want to commit to a more expensive bag, then the Contender Fight Sports Speed Bag may be more appropriate. This bag is more budget-friendly, without compromising on quality.