Something I find that is often overlooked in a home boxing gym is the reflex bag. It can seem pretty intimidating when you see pros like Ryan Garcia going all out in their workout. But the good news is you don’t have to be a pro in order to enjoy this type of punching bag. With the combination of all the movements, timing and punches. It will be a great tool and workout for all levels. Assuming you’re not a pro, here are some benefits of a reflex bag and why you should put it in your arsenal.
A reflex bag is a small punching bag that sits on a spring and attached to a base. It closely resembles a speed bag and double end bag in shape, and mainly serves the same purpose. The benefits of using a reflex bag is that it improves hand eye coordination, reaction time, punch speed and a great cardio workout among plenty others.
The unpredictability of the movement that the reflex bag has, helps train muscle memory and accuracy in a more realistic environment, perfect for a boxer. Unlike a traditional heavy bag, the reflex bag moves quickly and reacts to each strike, requiring the boxer to be on their toes and adjust their movements accordingly.
It is also a great way to get a high-intensity cardio workout for those who are only in it for fitness. The fast-paced, intense movements required to effectively hit the bag will elevate your heart rate, keeps you moving and is an effective way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular endurance.
The Benefits Of A Reflex Bag For A Boxer
As a boxer, timing and speed are two important skills and needs to be worked on constantly. Sparring and pad work is one way to work on it, but these exercises typically require two people. Not a luxury many people have, especially if you’re working out at home. So, to fix that problem get yourself a reflex bag. This is how it can help you improve as a boxer.
- Improves hand-eye coordination: A reflex bag is a great tool for improving your hand-eye coordination. When punching the bag, you need to be quick and precise, and you need to be able to react to the bag’s movements. Doing this consistently helps improve your tracking abilities and can make you more accurate in the long run.
- Improves reaction time: The quick movements of a reflex bag can also help you improve your reaction time. The reflex bag could get up to some pretty quick speeds. Reacting to the movements of the can help you be quicker and get you more comfortable with being responsive with your reactions.
- Improves timing: A reflex bag requires you to have good timing in order to effectively punch it. With any moving object you need to time your punches carefully. When practicing your strikes like this, it can help with tracking a live opponent in the ring.
- Improves Defensive Movements: The more you hit the reflex bag the quicker it rocks back and forth. What makes it different from a speed bag and some double end bags is that you can use those movements to practice your head movements and blocks.
- Improves footwork: When using a reflex bag, you can have a exercise that primarily focusses on foot work. Hitting the bag in different directions will cause you to have to maneuver around. Us e it to help improve your movement around the opponent.
The Benefits Of A Reflex Bag For Fitness
If you’re wondering if you need to be a boxer to get the most out of a reflex bag. The short answer is no. It might not be apparent at first glance, but the reflex bag can be the perfect tool to help get you moving and breaking a sweat. And you don’t need to be very skilled at the sport at all. You don’t necessarily need to use it for “boxing training” instead use it for the workout benefits.
- Increases endurance: Punching a reflex bag is a great way to build endurance. You need to keep your arms up and moving for extended periods of time in order to effectively punch the bag. This will help you to build up your endurance and improve your overall fitness level.
- Increases cardiovascular health: Punching a reflex bag is a great cardiovascular workout. The repetitive movements will get your heart rate up and help you to build up your endurance over time.
- Increases flexibility: Punching a reflex bag requires you to be flexible in your movements. This will help you to increase your flexibility over time, which is important for many different types of combat sports and activities.
- Improves overall fitness: Punching a reflex bag is a great way to improve your overall fitness level. The combination of endurance, power, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination will help you to become a better and more well-rounded athlete.
- Fun and engaging: Punching a reflex bag can be a fun and engaging way to train. The constant movement and challenge will keep you motivated and interested in your training, making it a great way to stay in shape and improve your skills.
Is The Reflex Bag Good For Beginners
If you haven’t been boxing for a long time or even at all. It shouldn’t make you shy away from getting yourself a reflex bag. There will be a bit of a learning curve for any level boxer that is using it for the first time. And it is a skill that is built over time.
Going in with the mindset of learning and taking your time to build the skills needed. You should be able to manage this type of punching bag without much issue. It is good to start practicing some basic boxing combos, that you can repetitively do and get a feel for how the reflex bag moves. Starting slow, learn the basics and do not be discouraged if your not fully swinging and dodge the bag in a short period of time.
Any skill requires learning and practice. In order to get to a certain level with the reflex bag, you will have to go through all the steps before it.
Reflex Bag vs Speed Bag vs Double End Bag
Due to the similarities of a reflex bag, speed bag and double end bag. It could make you wonder if they all serve the same purpose and if they give the same benefits. Although all three primary helps improve hand speed and coordination. You wouldn’t necessary get the same experience if you chose one at random. Here’s a brief description of each.
A reflex bag is like a freestanding punching bag where it sits on a base and can be moved around quite easily. When hitting the reflex bag, it creates an arc shape when rocking back and forth which is you can then use to work on your defence. Because it sits on a spring, the back and forth movement can still get to pretty fast speeds depending on how you hit it. But in comparison to the other two punching bags on the list, it would probably be the slowest. Making it a good option for beginners to take their time on.
The speed bag, on the other hand, is generally a smaller inflatable bag that is attached from a platform. When hit, the bag itself whips back on forth against the board it’s attached to and its primarily used for hand speed and rhythm workouts. They are typically suspended on a wall making it a pretty stationary workout. It’s a good way to warm up or cool down around exercises, but if you’re looking for a more full body workout, then I would stick to one of the other two on the list.
The double end bag is about the same size as a reflex bag but it is attached to two elastic cords. One cord is suspended and attached to the ceiling, and the other end is anchored to the ground giving it the name double end bag. Because of the way it is suspended, the cords keep it pretty tight, causing the speed bag to vibrate and whip rapidly. Some caution should be taken when throwing hard punches or combos as the ball can swing back quickly.
There is no one way to determine if there is one that is better than the other, and it would be a different answer for every person. There is a lot of factors that justifies which one would be good for you. The types of workouts you would be doing, space available, budgets are just some points you should be considering. However, each style of bag does do things better than the other. In my opinion anyway.
The reflex is much better for a cardio workout and movement based exercises, the arc swing of the bag as well as the speed of it makes it a perfect companion for building on your reaction. With the double end bag, you can essentially get the same results of the reflex, however with the rapid swinging it makes much better use of training your hand eye as opposed to working on your head movements. With the speed bag you really on get a select few workouts with it. Hand speed and rhythm is what you should be focussing on if you use this type of bag.
Having a reflex bag is a cost-effective and convenient way for those looking to improve their boxing skillset or would like an intense and fun workout. I would even recommend for those that are only using boxing as an exercise, to skip the traditional punching bag and just use the reflex bag at home. It simply brings a fun style of getting your feet moving and your gloves up.