Punch Bag vs Reflex Bag: What is The Right Choice for you?

When training as a boxer, it is essential that any fighter can get to grips with the different types of punching bags. With so many bags out there to choose from, you might want to focus in particular on one or two types. For most boxers looking for a rounded training regimen, then, we recommend you look at comparing a punch bag vs reflex bag.

To help you know what you are buying and what the major differences are, here is a breakdown of what a punch bag can do and what a reflex bag can do. Typically, comparing a reflex bag vs punch bag and a reflex bag vs heavy bag should be enough to give you a clear idea of what you need and what works best for you. So, let’s look at the most reliable options.

Punch Bags

The Punching Bag

The most common starting place for most people is the standard punch bag. Compare a punch bag vs a reflex bag, and you get two very different products indeed. The standard punch bag is typically designed to be:

  • Around 3-6ft in size, and designed in a cylinder shape that will stand up on its own feet.
  • The free standing nature of these bags mean they are usually held-down using a base.
  • The base is filled with water, sand, or material to help give it some extra balance overall.
  • The punch bag is usually designed with an exterior material like rubber, canvas, or leather.
  • Built for boxers of all skill levels, these are standard bast that rebound using a spring lever.
  • This means that the punch bag will return to its original position after it has been punched.

These are by far and away the most standard punch bag option. Their shape, style, and overall make-up makes them good for all purpose training. They offer a product that can be easily moved around and used in a confined space. You do not need wall space to hang it up, as you would with a heavy bag (see below).

You also can work on both body and head style shots, and improve both punch speed and punch combinations. This makes a normal punch bag a must-have for anyone looking to improve their overall boxing form. It is also the least specialist option, so boxers who are total newbies can enjoy using a normal punch bag.

If you were to compare a free standing punch bag vs hanging heavy bag options, you should notice a big difference in their style. For one, they weigh far less and as such are capable of being moved with far less physical force. They are also made from lighter materials, making them less durable overall. However, they are easy to use, simple, and convenient for the most part.

When evaluating what is the best free standing punch bag, be sure to take a look at this recommended list. You can then buy a free standing punch bag that won’t fall over so easily.

Heavy Bags

The Heavy Bag

The next option to think about before moving to reflex bags would be a heavy bag. To compare a reflex bag vs heavy bag would be to compare chalk and cheese. A heavy bag is wall or ceiling mounted bag that is extremely strong. It should weigh at least half of your body weight. These require straps or chains to hold in place, and need a knockout punch to have them rocking around as you would get with a standard punch bag.

As mentioned above, the heavy bag is held up onto the wall by using a chain or a strap. This means that it I much heavier. Boxers who want to add more crushing knockout power will need to get used to working on a heavy bag.

These bags require a lot of physical force to move, even slightly. They are aimed at boxers who feel like they are sprightly and confident in their punch, but lack a meaningful knockout hit. This gives you the chance to try out combinations and movements that can deliver the best power in your shot. A boxing coach would always ask someone to try out on a heavy bag when they want to see their finishing power.

If you are a boxer who lacks the ability to put an opponent down in the ring, then you should probably make getting a heavy bag a priority. These bags are absolutely essential to adding more hitting strength. Combine training your overall boxing style on a punch bag with heavy hitting sessions on the heavy bag. You will soon notice that you can land more hits, with greater accuracy, and with more stopping power. Heavy bags, then, make a very wise investment for any boxer.

Are you looking for the best heavy punch bag? Then you should always look to make a purchase based on the following options. These heavy bags all come highly recommended.

Reflex Bags

Reflex Bags

The other option to think about would be a reflex bag. So, reflex bags vs punch bags can seem very similar. A reflex bag, though, is typically only the shape of a human head. It will be on a large, flexible pole that can easily bend and rebound back into shape. This means that when you properly hit a reflex bag it should spring back up into position without any issues at all.

There are many benefits to using a reflex bag, though. For one, the smaller target is harder to hit and thus you need to be more focused, more accurate, to do the damage that you intend. Typically, we recommend anyone looking to use reflex bags will consider the following benefits:

  • Reflex bags are better for improving hand-to-eye coordination. The spring load keeps it moving and thus you need to stay consistent to land the punches you want.
  • The uneven weight means that the motion is less predictable, so you have to get used to following the movement as opposed to being able to guess its patterns.
  • This constant motion means you need to get used to following up punches with movement, changing angles, and predicting where the opponent is going to move. Just like a real fight!
  • Improving your decision making as you get used to following in, following up, and varying where and when you throw your finishing moves. This creates a more natural boxer overall.
  • Boost your striking speed. Many boxers suffer from not being able to follow up a good combination with a new combination. This makes your punches sharper and quicker to be unloaded.
  • Greater footwork, as the reflex bag forces you to move in and start landing punches as the bag rotates and recoils from each blow. This makes you a more natural, all-around boxer.

The general benefits, then, are to do with reaction times and boxing poise. Many boxers suffer from a lack of agility in their movement. They can be stiff, predictable fighters. Spending at least some of your training time on a reflex bag is going to make you a more challenging boxer to face off against. Slick opponents who can dodge your punches become less common. So, too, do boxers who can work out your movement patterns.

So, focus on making sure you can move with pace and consistency, whilst hitting with variety, by using a reflex bag.

Trying to find the best boxing reflex bag? Then take a look at this recommended range of boxing bags to consider today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are reflex bags any good?

Yes, they are a tremendous training tool for anyone looking to hone their skills. When used correctly, they can make a boxer much quicker and swifter in their movements, making them harder to fight.


What is the point of a reflex bag?

As noted above, the reflex bag allows you to work on your reaction times. Landing accurate, swift punches is vital for a boxer. This helps to ensure punches are more accurate and on point.


Do I need boxing gloves for a reflex bag?

It can help, but many find they can use a reflex bag without boxing gloves due to the lightweight nature of the bag and the exercise required.

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