Combat sport equipment varies in functionalities, shapes and benefits. Each equipment focuses on developing your techniques and abilities. One of the most important abilities to enhance in the field of fighting is reflexes. Reacting appropriately to incoming attacks can decide the fate of a match in your favor. To enhance their reflexes, athletes use double end bags and cobra reflex bags.
Despite the similar benefits these two equipment provide, they have several differences between them. Both the equipment are used to develop sharp reflexes, improve your striking speed and even enhance your striking accuracy. Depending on what workout drills you use, you can even train your head movement and footwork.
Both the bags are designed to recoil back towards you when they’re punched. With so much in common, the question then arises; How are double end bags and reflex bags different? In this article we will be discussing the differences of appearance and working, the pros and cons, and which piece of equipment is best for you.
Double End Bags
Double end bag, also known as floor-to-ceiling bag, is a uniquely designed bag used to improve one's reflexes and accuracy. The bag springs back when punched. This allows the practitioner to make a quick decision of what to do next. They can either strike again or evade the incoming bag using sways and ducks. Striking again can improving their hand-eye coordination while evading the ball can develop head movement required during defense
In 1870’s, Middleweight Champion, Mike Donovan, was seen punching a rugby ball attached to the ceiling. This was the very first documented piece of modern training equipment used by a boxer. His training equipment evolved into various types of punching bags. The double end bag is similar to Donovan’s creation, the only difference being that the double end bag is attached to the floor as well. In the 1950’s, the double end bag gathered popularity when seen being used by Sugar Ray Robinson
How does it work?
The double end bag consists of a leather bag, two bungee cords, and mounting screws. The inner part of the bag has a high-grade inflatable latex bladder and the top and bottom of the bag has straps. The bungee cords are attached with straps of the bag from each end. One cord is attached to the ceiling and the other is attached to the floor using the mounting screws.
The bungee cords have elasticity. It can either be tightened to restrict the bag's movement or loosened to let the bag move freely. The more the bag is loosened, the harder it gets to strike the bag due to its unpredictable motion. As a beginner, it's best to keep the bag’s motion restricted to develop rhythm, speed and accuracy. As you find it easier to strike the bag, loosen the cords and train your reflexes.
Pros of a Double End Bag
Although the design of the bag is simple, it provides fighters with a plethora of advantages otherwise not accessible in many modern day punching bags. The priority of many punching bags revolves around developing attack power, speed and technique. However, the double end bag focuses on enhancing your reflexes, accuracy and defensive aspects.
Uppercuts is a fundamental boxing punch that deals with serious damage to the opponent's chin and lower portion of the jaw. This area is sensitive enough to knock the opponent out when punched. Unlike the cobra bag, the double end bag can be used to practice your uppercut. This will allow you to perfect your uppercut technique.
Punching in rhythm and switching up the rhythm of your strikes is useful in confusing the opponent. The double end bag is used by athletes to perfect their strike timings, rhythm and speed. Restrict the movement of the bag by tightening the cords. This will allow you to perform consecutive punches and develop your rhythm.
Cheap Yet Effective
As compared to the cobra bag, the double end bag is cheaper. This is because of the production and working costs less during manufacturing. Despite its price however, it is still one of the most effective pieces of equipment used by many gyms and athletes.
The bladder inside the leather casing is inflatable. It does not require the practitioner to fill it up with sand or water unlike a cobra reflex bag. This makes the bag lighter. It also allows the bag to move with reduced strike power and lets you focus on other aspects like defense and accuracy.
When punched, the bag has unpredictable movements due to the elastic property of its cables. This elasticity can be reduced by tightening the cord to restrict the motion of the bag, making it easier to hit. The cords can also be loosened for more recoil which challenges the practitioner. That is because it becomes harder to strike. This helps in improving reflexes, accuracy, and hand eye coordination.
Consecutively punching the bag proves to burn fat as it is a form of cardio. It requires you to repeatedly strike the bag in a rhythm. In certain drills, you are not required to look at the bag as you punch it. Although this does not improve your reflexes or hand eye coordination, it does help you lose weight and develop rhythm. You can even watch TV or concentrate elsewhere as you exercise your punches.
Cons of a Double End Bag
Every piece of equipment has its disadvantages. These disadvantages can be due to their shape, size or their overall functionality. Despite all the benefits a double end bag provides, it does have many cons as well.
Difficult to Set up
As compared to the cobra reflex bag, setting up the double end bag takes time. Its cables are attached to the ceiling and the floor through screws. Attaching these cords makes the process take more time and energy.
Once you do set the double end bag up, it is difficult to remove it. It is not made to be moved around so you have to be sure of where to set it up. If you do remove the bag, it will leave holes where you used screws to keep it in place.
Difficult for Beginners
As a beginner, understanding the fundamentals of boxing and punching technique is essential. Throwing accurate punches is essential to learn the different punching techniques. It can be difficult for a beginner to accurately strike the bag every time on a double end bag. So, once you have trained the fundamentals, you can focus on improving your reflexes using the double end bag.
Cobra Reflex Bags
The cobra reflex bag is another tool used to improve your reflexes, head and body movement and punching speed and accuracy. The bag on the top is attached to a spring which recoils the bag after each it. The harder you hit the bag, the more recoil it will have and the faster it will move back towards you. You can enhance your defense game by evading the bag through stepping away or ducking. Training on the bag for a long duration can be a form of cardio and help burn fat.
The bag was originally named as the cobra bag as its movement resembles a striking cobra snake. The snake moves its head side to side and when it strikes, lunges forward and backwards with precision and speed. When struck, the bag has a similar motion where it moves away and towards the opponent. This helps the opponent train the reflexes and make quick decisions on how to counter the bags movement.
How does it work?
The cobra reflex bag consists of a bag, a spring rod and a suction cup base. The bag is attached to one end of the spring and the other end of the spring is attached to the base. Both the bag and the base are filled with water or sand to keep it from moving when the bag is struck. Setting up and disassembling the bag is easier and quicker than most bags.
When the bag is struck, it naturally moves away from the opponent in the direction of the force. The spring attached to the bag recoils the bag back towards the center but due to inertia, it keeps moving towards the direction of the recoil. The bag's motion towards the recoil stops itself after a certain distance or until it is punched again. The harder you strike the bag, the further forward and back the bag will move.
Pros of a Cobra Reflex Bag
Despite the vast similarities between a cobra bag and a double end bag, the cobra reflex bag is a better choice in some aspects. Although both the bags develop your reflexes, speed, agility and accuracy, due to their construction and mechanisms, they both have varying differences.
Less set up time
Setting up the reflex bag takes less time as compared to a double end bag. The bag's design allows the practitioner to easily assemble and disassemble the bag. It is done by connecting the base with the spring rod and attaching the bag with the rod. Fill the base with water or sand to keep the bag from toppling over. Once used, you can store the bag until the next training session.
The reflex bag does not require the support of walls or ceilings like most bags. Instead, you can place it anywhere in a room with enough space for it to recoil. Its property to assemble and disassemble allows you to take it anywhere you desire to train. It makes its usage convenient for most gyms and rooms with leveled floors.
Practicing your punches and developing reflexes is easier on a reflex bag than it is on a double end bag. Its shape allows the trainee to strike the bag with more accuracy. This makes the bag a better choice for beginners or anyone struggling with accurate strikes.
The height varies for every person, some people are taller than others. The height of the cobra bags can be adjusted making it convenient for every individual. This feature of the bag allows training possible for kids as well.
Satisfying to hit
The bag used in the cobra reflex bag is a solid ball that requires more strike power for it to recoil. Every punch is satisfying to land as compared to a double end bag. This is because the bag used in the double end bag is inflatable and can be set in motion with a single tap.
Cons of a Cobra Reflex Bag
No bag can ever be perfect. Every piece of equipment can have its limitations over other equipment. The cobra reflex bag can be a better choice for beginners but it still has some cons. These cons are mostly due to its production or its shape.
The cobra reflex bag is more pricey than the double end bag. The bag uses certain parts and labor that raises its price. Although the bag provides effective results, the price can be overwhelming for most boxers.
Limited Punching techniques
Boxing has a variety of punches that can be used in different situations. Training these punches are essential for securing wins in fights. Some of these punches like uppercuts can’t be trained on the cobra reflex bag.
The harder you strike the bag, the more distance it will cover and the more time it will take to recoil back towards you. Keeping a consistent power of your punch every time can be a difficult feat. The rhythm of your punches can be broken if the bag is struck with varying power. Although it is still doable, it is harder to train your punching rhythm as compared to a double end bag.
Double end bags are more commonly used by the boxing community than the reflex bag. This is due to the difference in durability of bag bags. The cobra reflex bag can lack durability. Other than the bag, if any part of the cobra reflex bag does break or wear out, it mostly can’t be replaced and you will have to buy the whole equipment again.
The differences in the functions of fighting equipment and their pros and cons make them worth using. Both the double end bags and cobra reflex bags mostly have the same goal of developing reflexes and defensive aspects. Even so, both bags are different from each other in a plethora of ways which provides them their identity and uniqueness.
The double end bag allows the practitioner to practice their boxing rhythm and various punching techniques. They are also cheaper in price as compared to the reflex bags. However, the reflex bags are easier to set up and can be disassembled when needed. It avoids the complexity of screwing it in walls or ceilings. You can also adjust the height according to the height of the trainee.
If you desire the satisfaction of striking the bag while developing your speed and accuracy, the reflex bag is perfect for you. Although it can be pricey, it is cost effective and easy to set up. It’s also a better choice if you're a beginner wanting to practice your fundamentals. But if you’re more interested in developing different punch techniques and punching rhythm with a lower budget, you can get yourself a double end bag.