Although there is not one crucial aspect that makes speed bags absolutely necessary, there are many benefits that incorporating a speed bag into your workout will have, not only for boxing, but also general fitness.
As you may have guessed, a speed bag can help with your hand speed. If you are a beginner, you will likely start with a slow rhythm and gradually build up faster and faster, until you create that classic speed bag sound you hear in every boxing gym. Eventually you can begin working in single arm rounds, odd-count combinations, etc. That’s one of the best parts: Everyone benefits (unless you have neighbors trying to sleep).
More importantly (in our opinion), the speed bag will condition you to keep your hands up. That is one of the most fundamental aspects of boxing, and often means the difference between a victory and being knocked out. If you are not competitively fighting, or even sparring in the gym, conditioning to keep your hands up will allow you to gain upper body endurance, which in turn can lead to better workouts and fitness in general.
Lastly, one of the more underrated aspects is rhythm and flinching. Creating a nice smooth rhythm with your punches, even if it’s slow to begin with, will allow you to feel more comfortable and confident during other boxing-specific exercises (e.g. heavy bag, pad work, etc). Additionally, when something comes very close to hitting you in the face, it’s natural to flinch and lose focus. This translates directly to the ring. By standing at a close distance to the bag and focusing carefully on your exercise, this will help alleviate any unintentional flinching or loss of focus in the ring. In a sense, it really ties the workout together.
Below we review some of the most popular and best speed bags available. There’s also specific individual reviews and information on properly selecting a speed bag below the table. For reviews on speed bag swivels, please click here, and for reviews on speed bag gloves, please click here.
|Speed Bag||Price Range||Average Customer Rating||Summary|
|Everlast Elite Leather Speed Bag||$$||Constructed with leather, welted seams, and reinforced lacing. The bag performs well, but questionable durability. May last a decent amount of time, but when it falls apart, it's a rapid decline.|
|TITLE Boxing Gyro Balanced Speed Bag||$$$||Gyro balanced manufacturing to help provide true rebounds and rapid recoiling (faster speed). Leather shell, triple reinforced seams and lacing. Includes a butyl rubber pro bladder with special internal balancing for maximum results. Known for durability along with solid performance. We recommend this speed bag.|
|Contender Fight Sports Speed Bag||$||Leather contstruction, welted seams, extra thick swivel loops. For good performance you may have to inflate slightly more than other bags. Pros: durability. Cons: constant re-inflation often required.|
|TITLE Classic Speed Bag||$$||Lightweight leather contstruction with triple-stitched all leather welted seams. Comes with extended-life rubber bladder. Generally a little bit smaller than other TITLE bags, even though they may list the same dimensions. Overall good quality and durabiity for a cheap to mid-range price.|
|Pro Mex Professional Speed Bag||$$$$||Made with goatskin leather to provide rapid response and good durability. Triple stitching and welted seams. Great quality and maintains inflation for long periods of time. Very well reviewed by customers.|
|Ringside Boxing Speed Bag||$$$||New and durable leather construction that offers great performance. Triple stitched with strong nylon thread. Make sure to check the dimensions, as they S/M/L sizes are slightly different from most other brands. Loses air rapidly, which can be an annoyance.|
|Century 108711P Vinyl Speed Bag||$||Constructed with Century technology patented Diamond Tech fabric for "harder workouts" (no idea what that means). More commonly available in larger sizes, e.g. 10x7. Bounces a little slower and requires regular re-inflation, but for the price actually isn't too bad at all. Recommended for beginners, but intermediate-advanced boxers may benefit from spending a few extra bucks on a different bag.|
|Everlast Everhide Speed Bag||$||The product description uses a lot of fancy words and makes this speed bag sound awesome, but it really isn't. The main advantage of this speed bag is that it's widely available, has a low price point, and performs well at first. The main disadvantages: After a little while there's a good chance it will totally fall apart. Definitely not known for durability, this speed bag is only recommended if you can get one helluva deal.|
|Pro Impact Genuine Leather Speed Bag||$$||A lesser known brand, but they provide a good product. 100% leather with triple reinforced seams and loop. Heavy duty bladder with a balanced design. Nothing special, but all around solid quality for the price. Bonus points for including a strong bladder.|
|TITLE Speed Bag||$$$||Fast, lightweight leather construction with numerous sizes to choose from. Leather welted seams, reinforced handles, and triple-stitching. Loops are quad wrapped for durability with the swivel. Long-lasting bladder. Definitely one of the better speed bags available.|
Most speed bags are made of some type of leather. Synthetic leather is generally performs pretty well, and it’s lighter and usually cheaper to use int he manufacturing process. However, it doesn’t have the durability of authentic leather. Moreover, there isn’t much of a difference between the two in terms of performance (most people find the genuine leather a little better), so the decision pretty much comes down to what you require for durability and how much you’re willing to spend.
There are other aspects of the construction that most companies like to point out, but keep in mind many of these features have become standard on any decent speed bag. These include, but are not limited to: “Triple re-inforced seams”, “balanced design”, “welted seams”, etc. In general, these are all good things to find in a speed bag, but they aren’t that unique anymore.
Most speed bags are advertised in small, medium, and large, but you should always be able to find the exact dimensions. Typically a small speed bag is 5×8 inches, a medium speed bag is 6×9 inches, and a large speed bag is 7×10 inches; however, it’s definitely worth double checking because there may be subtle differences across brands.
The size of a speed bag will also affect its performance. Small bags tend to be faster than large bags, so it’s often recommended that beginners start out on a large bag until they develop the speed, rhythm, and hand-eye coordination to utilize a smaller, faster bag. Again, this isn’t set in stone, as the construction, level of inflation, and overall quality can affect this as well.
Click here for more information on speed bag sizes and general information.
Often times when reading reviews it is common to read that a particular bag “isn’t well balanced” or “doesn’t rebound in a true fashion”. One of the things that makes reviewing speed bags a little more difficult is that often times these issues aren’t only related tot he bag itself, but the swivel it hangs on also plays a major role. If you have a crummy swivel than it will be tough to get the most out of any bag. Check out our reviews on different speed bag swivels for more information.
When budgeting for your bag, consider that you may need (or eventually need) extra bladders or a pump, especially if it’s a bag that constantly loses air. I know a couple guys that have had success with standard patch kits that they’ve had laying around the garage, so it’s not always necessary, but just something to keep in mind.
Some of the newer speed bags today indicate that they are “gyro balanced” during manufacturing. To be honest, we don’t know exactly what is different during the manufacturing process from conventional speed bags. I have personally contacted a few manufacturers to find out, but I’m still waiting to hear back (will update post as soon as I hear).
Unless you personally have a good idea of what gyro balanced actually is, it’s best to ignore these types of fancy terms and focus purely on the quality and durability of the product, regardless of the description.
Overall, this among the top rated speed bags. Some find the bag a little bit heavier, but it still rebounds quite quickly without any problems. Additionally, it is a durable speed bag capable of taking the punishment you deliver. Very well reviewed, we recommend this speed bag as it provides good bang for your buck. Check back again for updates on this specific product!
One of the things we like best about this speed bag is that it’s made from actual leather, which is known to generally hold up longer and sometimes even perform better than the synthetic stuff. Moreover, they don’t camouflage the construction with fancy words. What you see is what you get.
We voted this the best speed bag mainly for the all around great quality and durability. Yes, it’s one of the more expensive speed bags you can buy, but even still, it’s not much of a financial leap from lower grade speed bags.
I know for myself, one of the things I hate are subtle annoyances during a workout. The only thing I want to focus on is the task at hand, and not other little chores. The fact that this bag stays inflated longer than most other speed bags is definitely a positive.
Extremely well reviewed by customers, we also feel this is a great speed bag that provides rapid response and long lasting wear.
Given the price of this speed bag it is expected to be of lower quality. The one thing that gets on my nerves though is how they state that the patented Diamond Tech fabric facilitates “harder workouts”. Can’t get much more vague than that…
Although this individual review is off to a rough start, there are actually some advantages of this speed bag worth considering. If you are a beginner and don’t know what your personal preferences yet in terms of speed bags, this could be an ideal purchase simply because it’s cheap. Then, while you use it you may find things you like and don’t like about it, and later on you can purchase another speed bag of higher quality.
As for the performance, this speed bag tends to be on the slow side. Depending on how long it takes you to develop a rhythm, this could be a good thing, but generally isn’t preferred. Additionally it requires regular re-inflation. Not a fan of that.
Overall, we recommend this bag for beginners who want to figure out what they may prefer down the road. For intermediate-advanced boxers, this speed bag is not recommended.
Everlast is arguably the most popular boxing brand and has a wide range of products, some of which are excellent. In our opinion, this is not one of those products, primarily due to durability issues.
This speed bag isn’t complete garbage, as it does perform quite well at first. It’s reasonably fast and well constructed in a true rebound sense, and is relatively light weight.
Regarding the durability issue I just mentioned, this speed bag is well known to begin leaking or full-on fall apart FAST. This may be due to the “lightweight synthetic Everhide construction”, which in my guess, is simply a cheaper way to manufacture the bag while still having it perform well (for a short period of time).
Overall, we do not recommend this bag unless you can get a really good deal on it that makes it pretty much negligible in cost to you.
This Pro impact speed bag is made of 100% leather with triple reinforced seams and loop. There’s nothing that really stands out about this bag, but perhaps more importantly, nothing that jumps out as being bad.
In general, this bag is quick and responsive. Additionally, it comes with a heavy-duty bladder, which allows you to use it longer without as many re-inflations. Additionally, the loops are quad-wrapped for durability when attached to the swivel.
Overall this is an average quality bag offering good performance and durability, with bonus points for the heavy-duty bladder and respectable value. We recommend this for beginner-intermediate boxers.
Check out the first tutorial for tips on learning how to properly hit a speed bag, and then let Manny Pacquiao show you how it’s done in the second video!