Best Boxing Reflex Balls

Updated June 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

29 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
300 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best boxing reflex balls

Last Updated June 2019

At first glance, a boxing reflex ball may look strange and even silly, especially to those new to the sweet science of boxing. It is, after all, a headband with a ball dangling from it on an elastic band. However, this little device works wonders in improving depth perception, reach, coordination, and reaction time — all key skills for students of any martial art.

Worn so that the elastic band is centered on the forehead, the boxer tosses the ball up and jabs at it, so that the ball is propelled straight out and then returns almost straight back thanks to the elastic band. From there, the boxer can either intercept the reflex ball with another jab or dodge it with a quick sideslip.

Not sure how to choose the best boxing reflex ball for your needs? Check out our shopping guide for tips and details on how to use it and what to look for. If you’re ready to buy, consider our recommended models.

The boxing reflex ball is an improvement on an age-old training technique of bouncing an untethered rubber ball on the ground and batting it downward; with the reflex ball and headband, boxers react to a more realistic lateral force at the same level of an opponent’s punches.

Who should buy a boxing reflex ball?

Boxing reflex balls look simple but are designed to train complex movements and reactions. While they may not be the best tool for teaching proper movement and punching form, they are a challenging, active way to teach quick reaction. For boxers with a strong grounding in footwork and a good sense of timing, a boxing reflex ball can enhance their skills. For those with no interest in fighting, reflex balls are a great conditioning tool; users can improve overall hand-eye coordination and, by adding footwork, will find themselves in the middle of a challenging workout.

A big advantage of the boxing reflex ball is that it introduces a high level of unpredictability to the training regime. Other static training tools, like heavy bags, speed bags, and double-end bags, have only so much impact on a fighter’s reaction time and can lull the boxer into training at a metronome-like pace. While timing is an important skill, doing too many routine movements over and over can make a fighter predictable to an opponent. The reflex ball changes up the training game.

However, this unpredictability can cause quite a bit of frustration for the first-time user. Missing the reflex ball on the return may mean getting hit in the face with the ball — funny at first, but not so much after several tries.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re new to reflex balls, consider a set that has a larger, softball-sized foam ball. Getting hit in the face by a missed return is no fun, but a softer ball can make the experience a bit easier to take.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Headband

This piece of canvas or nylon is the anchor for the boxing reflex ball. It fits around the head and is secured with either a hook-and-loop closure or an adjustable snap fastener at the back of the band. It should be comfortable to wear yet fasten securely so that it doesn’t loosen and slip off during a training session.

Elastic band

This connects to the headband and the reflex ball at either end. The length and thickness of the elastic band determines how far the ball travels after being hit and how quickly it snaps back toward the user. Different thicknesses can increase the challenge of the boxing reflex ball, which improves overall skills.

Reflex ball

This is a firm rubber or soft foam ball that is attached to one end of an elastic band. It responds almost instantly to light jabs or a bat from an open palm. Training sets often include two or three types of reflex balls, sometimes in different sizes, for different training challenges.

Attachment point

Typically, each rubber ball in a set is permanently attached to its elastic band, but the other end of the elastic can be attached or detached from the headband in most sets. The attachment point should be sturdy, as should the clip that secures the elastic to the headband.

Can you do 10 in a row? Completing consecutive jabs with a boxing reflex ball can be quite a challenge.

Boxing reflex ball prices

Inexpensive: Boxing reflex balls can be found for as little as $9, although the quality of the materials may be lower — such as a weaker elastic band that may snap after a few uses — and the set may have fewer options and accessories.

Mid-range: A wider range of reflex ball sets can be found for just a few dollars more, ranging from $13 to $19, many with at least two reflex balls and a wider choice of headbands.

Expensive: The priciest boxing reflex balls offer extra-durable headgear and more accessories, like three levels of reflex balls, and can cost $40 or more.

CAUTION

Keep the set out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources like clothes dryers or stoves — heat can damage many of the set’s components and diminish its effectiveness.

Tips

  • Jab gently at the reflex ball, using light taps: the harder you hit the reflex ball, the faster it will return.
  • Make sure the headband is secured tightly around your head.
  • Try to keep the reflex ball lower than your forehead. Hitting the ball too high up will easily send it out of control.
  • Don’t just try to intercept the reflex ball; try dodging it a few times during a session.
  • Once you’ve gotten comfortable using the reflex ball when standing still, try moving around — back and forth, side to side, and in circles.
  • Stay patient, calm, and focused when using the reflex ball, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t make repeated contact at first.
  • With a multi-ball set, start with the largest, softest reflex ball first, and shift to the smaller, firmer reflex ball as your confidence and skill improve.
  • Worried about the headband irritating your skin? Look for a reflex ball headband with a hypoallergenic cloth backing or a cushioned headband that doesn’t slide around as much.
  • While boxing reflex balls can generally be used bare-handed, boxers may prefer to wrap their hands or wear lightweight gloves during a session to prevent discomfort, especially if the rubber ball is very firm.

Other products we considered

We liked the Revo Fight Boxing Reflex Ball for its allergen-free silicone headband, with a microfiber lining on the forehead side that keeps sweat out of the user’s eyes. For parents worried about kids breaking the elastic band or users who want to tap the ball harder, the Kickstone Fight Reflex Ball has durable components and a sturdy headband with a strong hook-and-loop fastener. And for those who like detailed instruction and a little inspiration with their reflex training, the StrikeGuru Boxing Reflex Ball adds an eBook and video instructions to its kit.

The length of the elastic cord can be shortened to make the challenge harder by doubling over the cord, tying it off so it doesn’t slip, and hooking both loops to the attachment clip.

FAQ

Q. My knuckles and the backs of my hands get bruised when using the boxing reflex ball. How can I prevent this?
A.
Don’t hit the reflex ball too hard. You should just use a light tap each time and intercept the ball as it snaps back along the elastic band. If you have a set of reflex balls, use the larger, softer ball. Or if the balls are the same size, choose the ball that is attached to the longer, looser elastic band. These types of balls or elastic bands are easier to jab at and control. If your hands are still sore or bruised, wear wraps or lightweight gloves when using the reflex ball. Additionally, spend more time training on other boxing equipment as directed to condition your hands.

Q. Can I use both of the balls included in my reflex ball set at the same time?
A.
You’re free to use the boxing reflex ball set almost any way you choose, and as long as you’re able to securely attach both balls to the headband, go for it. The same principles apply: use a light touch, stay focused, and be prepared to dodge a rapidly returning ball.

Q. What are the benefits of using a boxing reflex ball?
A.
Using a boxing reflex ball can greatly improve hand-eye coordination, making it an effective tool not just for fighters but for anyone who wants to actively improve this fundamental skill. Unlike a floor-mounted reflex bag or a double-ended ball, the target area of a reflex ball is very small and requires tight focus to hit correctly and intercept on the return. And because the reflex ball set is attached to the body, users can move in any direction they want, as far as they want — a great way to build spatial awareness and improve balance and agility.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Samantha
    Samantha
    Writer

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