Updated July 2022
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Buying guide for Best speed bags

Finding a workout that’s effective and fun can definitely be a struggle, but training with a speed bag is an excellent option for many people. Not only is it an effective cardiovascular workout, a speed bag can be a great way to blow off some steam while you get fit.

A speed bag is essentially a small, lightweight punching bag. Because of the smaller size, you’re able to punch more quickly to improve your speed and hand-eye coordination. Training with a speed bag helps tone your shoulders and arms and provides an effective workout for burning fat and calories, too.

If you want real fitness results, you have to find the right speed bag. That means figuring out the best size and materials, choosing between freestanding and wall-mounted models, and determining what other features help you train more effectively.

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Some research indicates that regular speed workouts can help boost brain function and improve motor patterns.

Key considerations


While all speed bags are smaller than traditional punching bags, they are available in different sizes. Most range from 4” x 7” to 10” x 13” but manufacturers tend to assign generic sizes to them, such as extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.

When you’re new to training with speed bag, it’s best to choose a larger bag because it doesn’t move quite as quickly as smaller bags. The bag is usually heavier too, so you can tone your arms more effectively. If your goal is to improve your hand-eye coordination and hand speed, opt for a smaller bag that requires more speed and precision with your punches.

You may want to purchase speed bags in a couple of different sizes to see which size works best for your fitness goals. It can also help to alternate between workouts with a larger bag and a smaller bag to reap the fitness benefits of each.


The outer shell of nearly all speed bags is made of either leather or synthetic leather. Leather bags are the highest quality and most durable, but synthetic bags work well if you’re on a budget. While they hold up to moisture better than leather bags, they typically don’t last as long overall.

The material for a speed bag’s inner bladder is just as important as the shell material — it’s the component that’s inflated to provide the bag’s shape and firmness. Latex is usually the best option because it’s lightweight, durable, and more comfortable to hit. Rubber bladders can be effective, though they are heavier and don’t allow for the same speed as latex bladders do.

Avoid plastic bladders — they don’t hold up well and are usually harder and stiffer than other materials, so they’re not as comfortable to hit.

Freestanding vs. wall-mounted

A speed bag can either be attached to a freestanding mount or it can be mounted to your wall. Freestanding speed bags are convenient if you have limited space since you can place the bag in storage when you’re not using it. However, freestanding bags aren’t as stable or sturdy and usually don’t move as quickly.

Wall-mounted speed bags usually require large mounts that may not work well in smaller spaces or homes with low ceilings. These bags are usually sturdier and can absorb hits more effectively.

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Did you know?
Speed bags with latex bladders lose air more quickly than rubber bladders, so you may need to reinflate your bag more often.



Because a speed bag takes a literal beating, its outer shell requires strong seams to maintain the bag’s durability. Some bags feature seams that aren’t reinforced at all, meaning they can come apart with repeated use. While these bags are usually less expensive, they won’t last as long and may wind up costing you more in the long run.

For the most durable speed bag, choose a model with double- or triple-reinforced seams. They hold up well to repeated use without coming apart.


If you’re interested in a freestanding speed bag, some bags include a stand to which the bag attaches. Opt for a stand with a sturdy base that can be filled with water or sand to help it stay in place when you’re hitting the bag. It should allow you to adjust the height so you can choose the ideal placement of bag for your workout while still permitting other members of your household to use the bag comfortably.

Most stands also have a high-tension spring in the pole that attaches the bag to the base, allowing the speed bag to move quickly so you can do your cardio workout and improve your hand-eye coordination.

Board or platform

If you prefer a wall-mounted speed bag, some models include a board or platform you can attach the bag to and then mount to the wall. While you can mount the bag at whatever height you prefer, it helps to choose a speed bag with a board that allows for height adjustment even while it’s attached to the wall.

Smaller boards may take up less space, but they usually require additional reinforcement to prevent the board from vibrating when you hit the speed bag. Larger boards are typically more stable so they don’t vibrate as much.

"Speed bag manufacturers usually recommend a specific pressure when you’re inflating the bladder, so it’s not too hard or too soft."

Speed bag prices

Speed bags vary in price based on their size, materials, and whether they include a stand or board. Most small speed bags range from $15 to $225.


The most affordable speed bags are made of synthetic leather and feature a rubber or latex bladder. They range from $15 to $35. Genuine leather speed bags with a rubber bladder are fairly budget-friendly too, costing between $25 and $50.


Mid-range speed bags are usually made of genuine leather and feature a latex bladder. They cost between $50 and $100.


The most expensive speed bags are those that include a stand or board. They are usually made of genuine leather and feature a rubber or latex bladder. They typically range from $70 to $225.

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Expert Tip
Get a full body workout by alternating several minutes of hitting a speed bag with several minutes of jumping rope and repeating the circuit for 20 to 30 minutes.


  • When you’re adjusting the height of your speed bag, make sure the thickest part of the bag lines up with your mouth. Having the bag too high can cause muscle strain.

  • Stand slightly closer than arm’s length from a speed bag. Your feet should be at an equal distance from the bag, too.

  • When you’re getting ready to hit a speed bag, your hands should be at chin level while your elbows should be parallel to the ground.

  • You’ll have more control over a speed bag if you hit it with the outer portion of your hand. If you strike it with the inner part, the bag may fly around too quickly.

  • It’s easiest to develop a rhythm for hitting a speed bag if you use a right-right-left-left approach. Hit the bag with your right hand two times and then hit it two times with your left. Repeat the process as you work out until it feels natural.
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A speed bag can be an ideal alternative to a bulky traditional punching bag if you live in a small home since it doesn’t take up as much space.


Q. Are speed bags only for people training to box?

A. You don’t have to be a boxer to reap the benefits of a speed bag. If you’re looking for a workout to tone your arms and shoulders without involving weights, going a few rounds with a speed bag can do the trick. Because you move around as you hit the bag, a speed bag workout can also get your heart pumping for effective cardio work that burns calories and fat when you’re tired of the usual treadmill or elliptical workout.

Q. Do I need boxing gloves to work out with a speed bag?

A. Boxing gloves are fairly heavy, so they can actually slow you down when you’re trying to hit a speed bag with the right rhythm. Since it’s not as hard as a heavy bag, you can do your speed bag training with bare hands or hand wraps, which are made of lightweight cloth that won’t slow you down.

Q. Can a speed bag’s bladder be reinflated?

A. A speed bag’s bladder can lose air over time, which requires it to be reinflated. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper reinflation procedure. Most bags can be inflated with a basic hand pump and inflation needle.

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