Freestanding Reflex Bag and Punching Bag Overview
Maybe you’re in it for the fitness, or maybe you’re working on becoming an amateur or professional fighter, or maybe you’re like me and just have some pent-up frustrations.
My confession is that the latter of those three reasons was why I purchased my first punching bag. Now, I’m not a violent person, but we all experience frustrations, often resulting in anger and sometimes…it just feels SO good to simply hit something!
It’s just great to put on some music, often some heavier fast paced stuff, and just “go to town” beating the stuffing out of something. The best part about it…you actually get fit!
It’s a combination of strength and cardio, depending on how fast and active you get while beating on the bag.
Don’t Chase the Bag
One of the problems with many bags is that you end up chasing it as you’re punching it. I can tell you from experience that this is a frustrating thing to have happen, especially when you’re in the groove.
Many of the freestanding punching bags are supposed be filled with either sand or water, and of course they are not typically shipped with either. It makes sense of course, water is…readily available anywhere, and sand is heavy!
If you want to use sand, then you can generally pick it up at hardware stores and other building type outlets.
The Difference Between a Freestanding Reflex Bag and a Freestanding Punching Bag
The main difference between a punching bag and a reflex bag is that the punching bag just sits there and “takes it”, while a reflex bag will snap back, and if you’ve got a decent one, and aren’t careful it’ll punch you back!
A freestanding punching bag is great if you want to just deal out some punishment without too much risk of taking any in return. They’re also great for leaning in with elbow hits, forearm punches, knee attacks and kicks.
A freestanding reflex bag is probably one of my favorites for a more cardio based workout because once you get some accuracy down, then you can really get into it by dodging, weaving and counter punching.
You can get some good elbow and forearm hits in with a reflex bag too, but you’ve got to get the timing down. Once you get really good you can add some spinning backhands and if you’re feeling like superman you can throw in a kick or two, just watch out for your shins…those poles the bag sits on hurts…bad!
Is a Reflex Bag better than a Punching Bag? Which Should I Choose?
That depends on your style. As I indicated above, if you want a more cardio type workout with a little bit of risk involved (you know, to get your blood pumping that much more) you’ll want a reflex bag.
Reflex bags are great fun! I love my reflex bag; the best one I’ve found that is somewhat economic is the Everlast freestanding reflex bag. It has a decent amount of snap-back at a decent speed that I can keep up with it and it’s pretty durable.
Durability is a big deal with these types of tools because you are actively abusing them. That’s a good point to stress, you will end up breaking these eventually. They are made to stand up to abuse, but nothing can be abused forever and stay intact.
However, if you just want to deal out damage, meaning you want to just beat the hell out of something without worrying about a lot of coordination and reduced risk of potential injury, then a freestanding training bag is likely your product.
You want something that isn’t going to move too much when you hit it, and you want something that is going to be able to absorb some serious damage. These can often be used not only to punch, but to kick, and kicks can be pretty powerful even if you are small.
Personally, I have both, and I’ll tell you why. The main reason is because my mood is different from day to day. Sometimes I just want to beat on something so I use my freestanding training punching bag. Other days I want a “battle royal” and want to mix in some real motion.
It also allows me to set up both of them and combine the fun. You can even use your imagination to create “scenarios” involving people at work…of course I NEVER do that. J
How Much Room do You Need?
You don’t need as much room as you think. I’ve used these in small bedrooms by making sure I’ve got about 6 to 8 feet of space around the perimeter of the freestanding bags, and sometimes I set up both in a large living area (after clearing out coffee tables and the like).
I keep one in my office, that way I can just move it to the center of the room and get in quick sessions whenever I feel like it.
For a freestanding reflex bag, you want about five to six feet on either side of it, because if you hit it really hard it’ll go horizontal with the floor and you don’t want to be busting up stuff that it hits. You also want to be able to move and dodge, and that depends on your size, so use some judgment here.
With a freestanding training bag, you don’t need as much room. You only need enough room to be about arm’s length plus a foot or two away from the bag.
Another nice thing about these bags is that even though they are very heave, you can drag them out of the way and store them in a closet, or along the wall (for a conversation piece).
The Everlast reflex bag is built so that you can unscrew the pole and take it apart to store the base and pole under a bed.
The reason that I rated this a four is because it’s just a really nice, affordable reflex bag. It does what it was meant to do, but it also has a little bit left to desire.
This is a great reflex bag, it’s heavy enough that it doesn’t move much even when you really pound on it and it has pretty nice snap to it. Meaning, the harder you hit it the faster it’s going to come back at you.
It has an adjustable height so that whether you are short or tall, you should be able to adjust it to your needs.
I’m 6 feet 2 inches tall myself, and I don’t have it adjusted to its max height.
There is some movement after you beat on it for a while. The biggest complaint I have with mine is that it tends to turn (the pole) when you hit it.
It seems that I favor throwing right minded punches that sometimes spins it. Since the pole is threaded into the base, this has the effect of unscrewing it. The first time that happened I was shocked when I hit it really hard and the whole pole flew off the base.
It’s simple to get around though. There’s a logo on the bag, when you see it spin, don’t even break your stride, hit it focusing on a “left spin” and it’ll tighten right back up.
From time to time take a breather and check to see if it’s loosened, you know, just to make sure.
You’re going to want some gloves to use with this bag. Trust me, if you don’t use gloves, then after a while your knuckles are going to redden and ultimately split. Guess how I know that. 🙂
My first set of gloves I wore it in about two weeks. They were really cool and gel filled, but the fabric began to wear and ultimately unraveled…then the gel fell out, so I don’t recommend those.
For light duty (like the reflex bag) whereas the heavy gloves will work, I tend to like the Everlast Pro Style MMA Grappling Gloves. They’re light, have a decent amount of padding, and will protect not only your hands but your wrists a bit too.
That’s the other thing you have to concern yourself with, wrist protection is important, when you hit the bag wrong (and you will) you want something supporting your wrists or It’s going to hurt, probably for weeks.
Century Wavemaster XXL Freestanding Heavy Training Bag
Product: Century Wavemaster XXL Freestanding Heavy Boxing Training Bag
Product Type: Exercise and Fitness
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
My rating of 3.5 out of 5 is mainly because of the nature of a free-standing bag. When you are using a “banana-bag” you tend to put a lot of force behind hits.
The innate problem of a freestanding banana bag is that it will likely move around, especially this one since the base is smaller (which is also a good thing).
As a result, it takes a little extra effort to make the experience a bit more enjoyable, but once you’ve accepted that, you’ll find ways (using my suggestions that follow how to resolve movement) of getting around these issues.
Despite the lower rating, you’re probably not going to find a bag better than this one, though I’d also point you to the Ringside Free Standing Boxing Heavy Bag. It’s a good back, the cushions doesn’t extend all the way to the base, and it can only be filled by sand, but it’s a really nice bag if you don’t mind those two characteristics.
This is a great bag for replacing a full hanging banana bag. It’s a full banana bag so you don’t have to worry about accidentally kicking a pole or anything.
This bag is great for an all-around workout when you’re just trying to throw some punches and kicks without getting “punched back” like the reflex bag.
The base has a small circumference, this means that you can get in close and get some knees and elbows in without too much trouble.
It’s pretty expensive but it works. One thing that can be quite annoying is the base. I know I indicated that the small base is great for getting in close, but even full it does tend to move a bit.
Sometimes the center rod unscrews a little bit resulting in more movement than is ideal.
You can use the same gloves that I recommended with the reflex bag, but often the bigger banana type bags can result in heavier hits. This means a little bit of extra padding is not a bad idea.
The Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves fit the bill well. They are heavy enough and durable enough to last you quite a while, but not so expensive that it’s going to hurt too badly when they inevitably wear out.
Come on, let’s be real, you KNOW they’re going to wear out, everything does, especially when you’re pounding the hell out of things.
So unless you have a reason to go really expensive (thinking about extra writ protection and the like) then go with these gloves, they work great and won’t break the bank.
How to Fix Movement Issues with Either Bag
Nothing beats a hanging bag, but let’s face it, you probably don’t want to hang one of those monsters in your house and they’re kind of…permanent.
However, with any freestanding bag you are going to face a little bit of movement as you beat on them. Here’s a strategy on how to beat some of that movement.
- Get some heavy duty high density rubber interlocking foam pads that you can set the bags on
- Get some double-sided carpet tape
- Tape a foam pad to the bottom of the water (or sand) filled base with the double-sided carpet tape
- Set up your workout area with the other interlocking foam pads
- Pound away
You can also overcome some of the natural unscrewing of the center pole by using some plumber tape or other means of tightening the hold of the base.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review and the bags!
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