It baffles me that reflex bags are still not very popular in martial arts circles. They are so integral to becoming an effective martial artist that it makes no sense to me that there’s not one in every gym.
There are people out there that will tell you heavy bag training is all you need to become a great fighter. They are wrong. If you can’t hit your opponent, it doesn’t matter how hard you hit, and that’s where reflex bags come in.
You can check out the top rated (and my personal favorite) reflex bag on amazon by clicking here.
You can probably picture that a spring loaded system, combined with a small bag makes it quite hard to hit, which is why it’s such great training.
Benefits of Using a Reflex Bag
Listed below are the main benefits of using a reflex punching bag
Develop Hand Eye coordination
As I said above, reflex bags are propped up by a spring loaded system and have a relatively small bag attached at the top. The uneven weight distribution will cause the bag to have a very wide range of motion and move in unpredictable patterns.
This will result in a crude imitation of how an enemy boxer might bob and weave to dodge your strikes, which in turn will require you to make split second decisions about where should your fist be to hit it as it moves, and to develop precise timing to deliver maximum power with every strike.
As you continue training with the reflex bag you’ll begin to see how this carries over to actual combat and you’ll be able to strike with more precision and speed than ever before.
Develop Striking Speed
This one is very related to our previous benefit. Even if you can see where the fight is going, if you can’t get your fist in the right place at the right time, you’re not gonna hit it.
Much like a speed bag, the reflex bag will require you to develop rhythm and timing if you want to hit it consistently. You’ll get used to moving your fists blindingly fast and in turn will become even deadlier inside the ring.
A benefit of reflex bags most people don’t think about is that they are free standing. This allows you to place them in the center of a room and strike them from all angles.
You can punch it and then practice dodging the bag as it swings back thanks to the springs. Moving around the opponent and bobbing and weaving in and out of strikes will help you become untouchable inside the ring.
No Bag Set Up
This one isn’t really a benefit of training per se, but it may help you get in more training than you would otherwise.
Reflex bags are very small and free standing. That means you can have a punching bag in your apartment or house, without any drilling any holes in your ceiling, wall, or tedious building of a bulky stand.
These puppies are so compact you can keep them stored inside a closet and have a challenging bag workout ready to go in minutes. Saving you money on gym fees and making you a better athlete – two birds, one stone.
Reflex Bag Tips and Tricks
Listed below are tips for beginners to keep in mind when training on the reflex punching bag
Keep the Area clear!!
It’s easy to miss just how much the reflex bag will move around, and how much speed it can pick up! I know from experience that if you place your reflex bag in a crowded space, you’re gonna end up punching it into something and breaking things by mistake.
You should always make sure that the entire radius of the bag is clear of any debris, furniture or fragile materials, since they can break, damage your bag, hurt you when you move around – or even all three!
Protect Your Hands!
I’ve seen plenty of people choosing to not wear gloves or even wrap their hands when hitting the reflex bag. They think that since it’s pretty lightweight, there’s no need for protection. They are wrong.
While the reflex bag may seem small and lightweight, as you punch it, its gonna pick up some serious speed. If you don’t wear any protection, all that energy will be transferred into your hands and wrists, over time causing pain and possibly injuries.
Not only that, but training without gloves defeats the purpose in a sense. You’re trying to train your hands to be faster, but if you’re not used to the weight of the glove, that speed is not gonna come through inside the ring. Especially with 16oz boxing gloves!
Use the Bag in 3-Minute Rounds
This one is especially important for boxers, by practicing in 3 minute rounds you can get your body used to the tempo of an actual fight.
Thanks to the fast paced nature of a reflex bag workout, the next time you step in the ring you’ll have energy for days while your opponent gasses out after a few boxing rounds! If you wanna take it even further, do 2 and a half minute rounds, then an actual match will feel like a walk in the park!
My Recommendation – Buy a Reflex Bag
It may come off a bit straightforward but I cannot stress enough how good a purchase a reflex bag is. It’s not very expensive, it’s portable and requires no set up. Out of the box to working out in minutes!
Not only that, but it’s also a great way to switch it up from regular martial arts training while targeting often neglected skills like hand eye coordination and fist speed.
The most important reason however is that they are not very common in martial arts circles, so it’s an amazing way to get an edge over the competition and take your skills to the next level without needing to leave your home!
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Hi there! I'm Kaden, Founder & Main Writer here at SmartMMA. I've been training boxing, MMA, BJJ and other martial arts since 2004. I love every aspect of it as well as helping others learn more about training martial arts effectively.