If you’re in a hurry, and just want to find out what the best speed bag is, then I recommend the Title Boxing Gyro Balanced Speed Bag as the best one.
The two most important and recognizable boxing training tools are by far, the heavy bag and the speed bag. And not only in boxing – they’re useful in any other striking martial art, be it MMA, kickboxing, or anything in-between.
Both of them serve a unique purpose. The heavy bag helps you better your striking power and muscles, while the speed bag’s main purpose is to boost your speed and improve your hand-eye coordination.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the speed bag and the many advantages it provides. Read on, and you’ll find out what they are, and how to pick out the best speed bag for you.
Review: Everlast Speed Bag 9X6 (4241)
Everlast was founded over a hundred years ago, and they’ve been making boxing equipment since 1917. Since then, they’ve gone on to become one of the most recognizable boxing brands in the world.
Their 9×6 speed bag is a very popular choice among fighters, and it’s easy to see why, Its small size allows for a high degree of speed.
It’s made of real leather which means it’ll last a long time. Overall, it’s a good speed bag at an affordable price point.
- Made of leather. Provides durability
- Very fast. Can give you a good workout
- Comfortable enough to hit without hand protection
- Relatively small. Harder to hit for beginners
Title Boxing is a very popular MMA and boxing brand that’s been around for over 20 years.
Their Gyro Balanced speed bag comes in a wide range of sizes: XXS (4’’x7’’) and S (5’’x8’’) for advanced fighters, M (7’’x10’’) for intermediate, and L (7’’x10’’) for beginners.
It’s made using Gyro Balanced manufacturing, ensuring a very good balance, and a good recoil – very important qualities for a speed bag to have.
Made of genuine leather, and a rubber bladder, it is very sturdy, and can withstand a lot of punishment. Overall, this is a very good, durable speed bag, suitable for fighters of all levels – both high-skilled, and beginners.
- Can reach a good speed
- Its slightly irregular shape makes it easier to hit
- Comes in many sizes. There are options for all skill levels
- Well balanced
- Larger variants require more effort to get to a higher speed
The EZspeedbag is a door-mounted speed bag. This is its main advantage. Unlike most of the platform bags on this list, which require you to buy a platform to mount them on, the EZspeedbag requires no additional equipment to set up.
Being door-mounted, It also takes up much less space than some of the other options presented here. Owing to the fact that it’s door-mounted, this makes it very easy to transport. This means that you can easily move it to different locations in your house.
Another benefit is that you can use the bar to do pull-ups, which is a great addition to your workout program.
The product also comes with a lifetime warranty for everything but the bag itself, and users report great customer service.
- Easy to install
- Doesn’t take up much space
- No need to buy anything else to install it
- Lifetime warranty
- Can be used as a pull-up bar
- The speed bag is small, and may not be suitable for beginners
Review: Pro Impact Speed Bag
This speed bag is made of high quality leather, and uses latex for its bladder. This ensures a high durability.
It comes in many sizes, so there’s something for beginner and advanced fighters alike.
Its pear shape makes it very convenient to hit, so that you can focus on your workout, and not worry about trying to hit a narrow target.
- High quality leather and latex bladder. High durability
- Pear-shaped, allows for easy targeting
- Lots of sizes – good for different skill levels
- Circular piece at the bottom might hurt when hit with bare hands
Review: Protocol Boxing Ball Set
This freestanding bag is more geared toward people looking for a workout, rather than to martial arts practitioners. However, we feel that it’s very well suited for beginners.
For starters, it includes not only the bag and stand, but also boxing gloves. So, if you’re literally just starting out, this set has everything you need.
It’s extremely easy to set up, and doesn’t require any drilling. All you need is some water to fill in the base (you can also use sand, if you want the base to be heavier), and you’re all set!
Although this bag can’t provide the speed you can see in some of the other bags on this list, if you’re a beginner this is actually a good thing. A relatively slow speed can help you focus on your form and technique, and give you one hell of a workout at the same time!
The fact that it’s a freestanding bag also means that you can practice your kicking, as well. So, if you train kickboxing, MMA or any other art that involves kicking, this bag could really help you out.
Unfortunately, not everything is sunshine and rainbows, and this set is no exception. Its main disadvantage comes from it being freestanding. This means that if you hit it too hard, there’s a chance it could fall over, and interrupt your workout with having to prop it up again.
Also, its relatively slow speed makes it less than ideal for more experienced fighters.
Still, if you’re a beginner, or just looking to enhance your cardio workout, we think this could be a good option for you.
- Takes very little space
- Very easy to assemble
- Good for beginners
- Provides a great workout
- Comes with boxing gloves
- If you hit it too hard, it can fall over
- Not as fast as some of the other bags on this list
How a Speed Bag Helps You
There are lots of ways training with a speed bag helps you become a better fighter:
Improves your speed
As we all know, speed is an essential skill in any martial art. The faster you are, the more unpredictable you will be to your opponents. Training with a speed bag will help you practice your combinations, making them smoother and quicker.
Teaches you to keep your guard up
One of the first things they teach you in boxing is how to keep your guard up. It’s an essential part of any fighting sport – be it boxing, MMA, or anything in between. Not only does it help you get your punches out quicker, it’s a vital part of keeping yourself protected. Many knockouts, even in professional matches, can be traced back to not keeping your guard up. Often, this happens because your arms have gotten tired. If you’re a beginner, this often happens, because you forget. Training with a speed bag forces you to always keep your guard up, because if you don’t, your face will immediately feel it. Once it’s slapped your face a couple of times, you’ll instantly develop the habit of keeping your guard up!
Improves reaction time and hand-eye coordination
One of the most important aspects of martial arts is seeing the openings in your opponent’s position, and taking advantage of them. Of course, this is extremely hard to do, and takes years of practice. Reaction time and hand-eye coordination are two key components of this skill, because they are essential to taking an action, once you’ve seen an opportunity.
Training with a partner is the best way to put this skill into practice. However, each partner is different, and this adds a lot of variables to the training process, and it makes it hard to isolate these skills.
Training with a speed bag improves both of these qualities in an isolated environment where the only variable is you and your own skills. This will keep you focused on reacting to the incoming bag, and recovering, so that you’re ready for the next strike.
Tones your arms, shoulder muscles, and improves your cardio
Once you get more comfortable practicing your combinations, you’ll naturally start to build up speed. This makes the speed bag push back faster, which will prompt you to keep your pace up. This results in improving your muscle tone, and if you keep it up long enough, it can result in one hell of a cardio workout! It’s no wonder there are so many people who have no interest in boxing, yet they use speed bags just because of the workout they can provide.
What to Look for in a Speed Bag
One of the most important things to consider when buying a speed bag is its type. It determines how easy it is to set up, and whether you have the conditions to do so.
Platform-mounted speed bags are probably the most recognizable type of speed bag. The platform is mounted to the ceiling, and the bag itself hangs from a ring in the middle of the platform.
This type of bag allows you to move around it freely, and practice a set of combinations, or to enhance your training regimen with a good dose of cardio.
The pivoting ring can also add a bit of unpredictability to the bag’s movement which can help improve your hand-eye coordination.
Usually suspended between two elastic cords or bands, dual-point speed bags are perfect for testing a fighter’s range of motion.
Since one of the cords is mounted to the ceiling, and the other is mounted to the floor, these bags move around a lot more than their platform-mounted counterparts. Their unpredictable bobbing and weaving will test both your speed, and your footwork.
Free-standing bags are mounted on a pole which is secured to the floor. One of their advantages is that they allow you to practice your kicking, as well as your punching.
Another advantage is that a lot of them don’t need any drilling to set up. This is useful if you have a stricter landlord who wouldn’t allow you to install one of the other bag types on this list.
Probably the rarest type, door-mounted speed bags are similar to door-mounted pull-up bars. In function, they aren’t much different than platform-mounted bags. Their main disadvantage being the narrower range of motion they allow.
If you install a platform speed bag in the middle of a room, for example, you can afford to move around a lot.
The main downside they have is that they constrain your movements, since doors are quite narrow. Still, if you don’t have enough space at home, but still want to train, a door-mounted speed bag is a good solution.
Size, Shape and Weight
While in some cases size doesn’t matter, when it comes to speed bags, it definitely does! A smaller bag makes for a smaller target, which is more difficult to hit. Also, smaller bags are lighter and faster which further adds to the difficulty.
So, as a beginner you should generally go for as large of a bag as you can find. If you’re more advanced, however, don’t hesitate to go for something smaller.
Same thing goes for weight – heavier bags are slower, and are easier to hit, making them perfect for less experienced fighters.
Shape is also very important. While each one is different, all speed bags have a pear, or teardrop shape. What you need to look for is how narrow the bag is. The narrower it is, the more difficult it is to hit. So, if you’re a beginner, you should go for a bag with a fatter belly.
Another important factor is length. If you have a platform with a small diameter, a longer bag could hit the edge of the platform which could seriously damage the bag. This is why you should always make sure your bag fits the platform you have.
Speed Bag Materials
This type of equipment is usually made out of leather, due to its high strength and longevity. Indeed, I’ve seen people use speed bags that are over 30 years old, and they still hold up! Of course, not all leather bags are built to last this long – the quality of the leather is important, as is whether you take good care of it.
There are several things you can do to keep a leather speed bag in good shape:
- Do not over-inflate it. Doing so can stretch out the leather fibres, and make the oils inside evaporate faster.
- When inflating it, always use a hand pump. If you use a mechanical air compressor, you risk accidentally over-inflating the bag. If you over-inflate it even for just a second, you will ruining the leather
- Apply leather conditioner a couple of times per year to keep the bag soft and pliable
- If you know you won’t be using it for a long period of time, release a quarter of the air, so you can relax the leather
- Lubricate the loop of the bag with vaseline or chapstick to keep soft and pliable
- Using some more vaseline or chapstick, lubricate the needle of the inflation pump. That way the air valve is soft and pliable
- Try to keep it out of the sun. Sunlight, even through a window, will speed up the drying of the leather
- Clean the bag every time after use, but don’t use harsh chemicals which can dry the leather out. It’s a good idea to apply some leather conditioner after cleaning
- Make sure your swivel doesn’t have any rough edges in the loop area, and is not contacting the bag directly. Otherwise, the bag might suffer some damage
Synthetic leather is a cheaper alternative to leather. As a material, it usually isn’t as durable as leather, but if manufactured properly, synthetic speed bags can definitely hold their own.
While they may not be as tough as bags made of leather, faux leather bags require much less maintenance than their leather counterparts:
- Wipe them after use, using a mild soap or wet wipe
- Avoid exposing them to prolonged sunlight, as well as leaving them outside in harsh conditions
Speed bags are built to withstand all the punishment its users inflict on them. However, some are built better than others, so there are several things you need to consider when purchasing one.
The majority of speed bags are made of several panels stitched together to form their round shape. If the stitches aren’t good enough, they could split and cause a leak, and cause the bag to deflate.
This is why higher quality speed bags have reinforced stitching along the seams and loop of the bag. That way even if a couple of stitches break, the bag won’t deflate.
Welts are rolled leather portions you can find along the seams between the leather panels.
You’ve probably seen them on the outsoles of your leather shoes – they help keep the outsole attached to the shoe.
In speed bags, they sometimes serve as decoration, but in some cases are crucial to sealing the seams between the leather panels. They serve to reduce air leaks, and prevent deflation.
The only downside to them is that they’re quite unpleasant to hit, but if you’re using gloves, this shouldn’t be a problem. In any case, it’s a small price to pay for keeping your speed bag in top condition!
No matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced fighter, a speed bag is the perfect addition to any workout regimen.
It tones the muscles on your arm and shoulders, and can vastly improve your cardio.
Of all the options we’ve looked at here, my favourite is definitely the Title Gyro Balanced Speed Bag. It has all the qualities you can look for in a bag – it’s made of leather, has good balance, speed, and as a whole offers great value for money.