If you are interested in doing your own boxing workouts at home, you need more than just a good speed bag. Most bags do not come with the swivel and backboard platform, both of which are required to finish your speed bag station.
If you are a pro at welding and working with tools you could build your own speed bagplatform. For many though, it is easier to buy the best speed bag platform you can afford along with a good swivel. This article will help you explore your best options to complete your kick ass speed bag station.
Key Features of Speedbag Platforms
Rigid Frame: A rigid frame is critical to having on a good speed bag station. A secure platform frame keeps the drum tight, ensuring you get an awesome rebounding action. If there is some sway in the frame, you would get vibration and inconsistent rebounds. Nothing is as annoying as having your rhythm destroyed while working the speed bag.
Adjustability: The best speed bag platforms are adjustable in height by 12” to 15”. You want height adjustment so that you can use different size speed bags for a different workout. If you have more than one person using the speed bag, you want to be able to adjust to their punching height. It is an easy change to adjust the platform height, just use the knobs on the sides of the steel frame.
Quality Drum: The drum is the round plate that the swivel and bag attaches to. You want a solid, high quality material that creates a snappy rebound. Solid wood is the traditional choice, but manufactured wood and melanine are other common materials. I would avoid the temptation to go cheap, because plastic drums just don’t last and you’ll be disappointed with the rebounding.
Best Speedbag Platform Reviews
Here are 3 of the top speed bag platforms that we recommend. These are not of the cheap-o variety, but quality platforms that can provide consistent rebounding, and last for years of workouts.
Balazs is a smaller family owned boxing gear company known for their high quality boxing stand designs. Balazs started out building heavy bag stands, and eventually created their own speed bag platforms. The iBox is their home gym model, one of the top speed bag platforms for the money.
The iBox platform is all about performance design at a home gym price. It’s built on an 11 gauge steel tube frame, and has 12 inches of vertical adjustment. The frame utilizes “V” shaped arms to securely mount the drum to the wall frame, and a steel plate to mount the 1-1/4” wood drum.
The I Box comes with the Balazs Pro Level II speed bag swivel, so all you need is to add the speed bag and you’re ready to go. It’s also cool that there are three colored frame choices (black, yellow, or red) to match your personal style.
The XMark XM-2811 speed bag platform is very similar looking to the Balazs, save for a few key differences. While they both utilize vertical, steel mounting frames, the XMark uses steel angle bars rather than full tubing. Full tubing has more structural rigidity than angle iron. The V drum mounting arms are full 11 gauge steel tubing however, so the structure is still excellent.
Some users have commented that any vibration you experience can be fixed by adding some washers in between the red adjustment knobs. For some reason, the bolts are a thread too long and washers will allow complete tightening of the V frame to the wall frame. No need for sandbags to dampen vibration.
The drum on this model is a 1-1/2” slab of beautiful solid oak, with a diameter of 24” which means you can use most sizes of speed bag. XMark also has 15” of height adjustability vs 12” on the Balazs. Users have given the included ball bearing swivel high marks as well. Overall this is a quality speed bag platform that with proper mounting should provide you some killer speed bag workouts.
Valor Fitness has a different style of adjustable speed bag platform. They designed a horizontal steel tube frame that bolts into the wall and slides up and down on 2 metal shafts. The height adjustment is made with a hand wheel at the bottom that turns a large machine screw. It has 13” of adjustment, and this style is the easiest of the platforms to adjust.
The drum is a full 2 inches thick and made from engineered wood. The whole platform is a sleek black color that should look really good in your home gym. Don’t buy this unit just because it comes with a speed bag and pump, most users have said the bag is very cheap. The install instructions appear to be lacking, but if you’re handy you’ll have no problem. Overall this is a heavy duty platform that should work great for your speed bag drills.
The speed bag swivels that come with the platforms are fine for most people. If for some reason you think it doesn’t provide enough freedom of motion, then you can replace it with a higher quality swivel. For some reason manufacturers have chosen to go cheap on replacement swivels. It seems really hard to find a good action swivel that is quiet and won’t fall apart.
For that reason, the best speed bag swivel right now is the Everlast Pro Swivel. It is a stainless steel “D-ring” or “U-bolt” style ring, with a pin on mounted on ball bearings. It gets good reviews for bag movement, but can be a little noisy. The noise can be remedied with some grease on the center pin. Overall, the Everslast Pro Swivel is in our opinion the best speedbag swivel for beginners and intermediate speedbag users.
You might have heard about Deville swivels being the best for intermediate to advanced speed bag users. This is probably true, since they use a ball and s-hook mechanism. This type of system allows for complete freedom of motion when punching the speed bag, not just forward and back. You can impart some angles to your punches, as well as more advanced freestyle punching techniques.
The SwivelTek uses a brass ball mounted in a steel housing and swings on a Delrin ring bearing. Delrin is a durable plastic that has a low surface friction, making it perfect for a speed bag. The S hook allows you to change bags quickly, without undoing hardware. It costs a little more, but if you are more experienced, you know the increase range of motion is critical to speed bag responsiveness.
The most important thing to know about mounting a speed bag platform is they are extremely heavy and you should enlist a friend for help. These things are made of thick steel and weigh in excess of 50 pounds. Do not attempt to mount this by yourself.
Second, be sure to use proper fasteners for the type of wall you are mounting to. Concrete wall require different screws and bolts than woods studs. If you aren’t sure, hire a handyman who has the tools and knowhow to drive in lag bolts into your walls. Using improper mounting hardware can cause serious injury!
The platform should be mounted such that the bottom of the bag hangs at chin level. Mount the platform while it’s in the middle of the total adjustment range. Then make sure there is enough adjustment up or down to accommodate any other people that will use the bag.
If you experience vibrations while using your speed bag, first check that your frame is securely mounted to the wall. You may need extra bolts for rigidity. If you still feel the vibration, try adding a sandbag to the top of the drum to dampen out the unwanted movements.