The double end bag is an underutilized and somewhat misunderstood piece of boxing equipment. It’s not a speed bag and it’s not a heavy bag. The original use of the double end style bag was for building your timing and punching speed.
Whether you are a trainer, gym owner, or do your boxing training at home, there are good bags to evaluate. This guide will help you understand the all the benefits of this type of boxing gear, and choose the best double end bag for the money that suits your purposes.
There are several types of double end bags, and each has its own benefits and uses. Here are the most common types:
Single Ball/Pea – This is the most common style, and is great for all boxers, including beginners. It looks like a speed bag, but has the exclusive action of the double end bag.
Double Ball – A double ball simply has two separate balls connected by a strap. This allows you to practice both head and body punches.
Mexican Style – This is similar to the double ball, but has an hourglass shape, making it more realistic to train on.
Key Features of a Good Bag
Double end bags do tend to look similar, but there are features and qualities to look for to get a good bag for how you train. Remember, a good double end bag is a great alternative to a heavy bag when space is a concern.
Ball Size – The smaller the ball the more accuracy is required to hit it. The smaller ball size also moves faster and is harder to strike.
Ball Shape – A teardrop shape is really only good for straight jabs and hooks, and is a little tougher for uppercuts. A pea shape, or round ball bag is easier to work in all three punches. A double ball or Mexican style bag allows you to work upper and lower body punches.
Cable Elasticity – Some of this is adjustable in your setup, but some double end bags just have a more elastic or softer cord on them. The tighter the cord the less movement the ball will have, and will move faster. A looser cord has more movement, and can be more challenging to hit.
Height Adjustable – You want to be able to adjust the height of the ball to your height, or you can also adjust to the height of your opponent for a more realistic training experience.
Quality Stitching – Obviously, the quality of stitching directly correlates to how long your ball will last. Make sure there are other reviews that confirm the stitching is top notch.
Leather Surfaces – Leather is the best striking surface, but is more expensive. That doesn’t mean the other materials like synthetic leather are bad, they are actually very good too and as long as it’s stitched well, it should be a good bag.
The TITLE bag is a solid, if not a basic double end bag, and it’s popular for a reason. The bag shell is constructed of premium leather, with triple stitched panels, and welded seams. It doesn’t come with the bungee cords so you’ll want to also get the TITLE mounting kit. Despite some reports of leaky air bladders (it’s always good to have a spare), the majority of buyers of this bag have been happy with the toughness and durability.
Outslayer has fantastic reputation for quality and standing behind their products with a 10 year warranty. They are best known for making awesome heavy bags. This power double end bag is no different, and is likely the best heavy bag alternative you’ll find. It comes pre-filled with fabric, weighing 20lbs, in a barrel shape that is very unique for this type of punching bag.
The length allows you to practice all your punch combos, and the weight allows you to work on your power. To mount the Outslayer, all you need is some climbing rope for connecting the top straps to a ceiling anchor, and either a bungee to a floor anchor or get the 70lb Outslayer floor anchor kit.
The Ringside bag is very similar to the TITLE boxing version. The Ringside is all leather, with all triple layer stitches, even on the straps. The difference is the slightly oval shape, and the straps have hole instead of metal rings. This is not a bad thing because the Ringside bag comes with bungee cords that have hooks to slip into the eyelet on the straps. Buy some floor and ceiling anchors and you’ll have everything you need to get started.
RDX makes great looking boxing gear, just like the B-Ball end bag. The synthetic mayahide leather is pea shaped, but has a round air bladder. The pea shape puts the cord attachments in a secure location, so there are no straps to tear off the cover. This also makes the side opening bigger and much easier to replace the air bladder.
The RDX comes with the mounting hardware and a Flexstring mounting strap and a 48” adjustable bungee cable. You put the strap on the top end of the bag, and the bungee on the bottom where you can adjust the tension to the amount of speed and movement you want.
At 8” diameter, the TITLE Platinum ball is a little larger than the standard 6” end bag. It’s more oval shaped, with smaller strap caps as well. Like all the other Platinum series boxing gear, the leather is of a thicker premium grade. It does not come with the stretch cords, but you can buy a kit or get some at a home improvement store.
Be sure to wear mma style gloves, or light boxing gloves when working the ball because there is a small emblem on the upper part of the ball that can cut up your hands. The Platinum ball has a permanent air bladder that helps the ball maintain a nice symmetrical shape.
Cleto Reyes – This small pea style bag is fast and responsive, and has sweet looking red, white, and green leather panels. Like other Cleto Reyes brand gear, the price is also premium. The bladder is easily accessible via the laces at the top connection strap. I wish the straps were a little longer, beginners may risk hitting the connection hardware.
MaxxMMA– This is a kit, complete with the ball, cords, weighted base, air pump, and some really crappy gloves. If you want something with everything in the box, and only intend to use it occasionally, this product might be OK.
Everlast– Like a lot of newer Everlast gear, this double end striking bag is made pretty cheaply. This 8” bag is made of a tough synthetic leather and does hold air quite well (although it can be tough to fill it initially). The cables and hooks that come with this bag are marginal, and you should be careful on your first use so the hooks don’t fly off. If they don’t feel right, it will work great with other hardware and cords too.
Double End Bag Anchors
If you don’t like the idea of permanently drilling into the floor to anchor your bag, there is always the portable anchor system. You can fill these with sand or water and effectively stabilize the bottom cable of you bag. Here are the 3 best options for punching bag anchors.
Outslayer Bag Anchor – This anchor from Outslayer is the easy #1 choice. The size of the anchor is 15” diameter by 5” tall, and has a capacity of up to 70 lbs of sand. It is perfect for either a heavy bag or double end ball setup.
RDX Floor Anchor System – This is a good anchor as well, but it’s larger (25” diameter), and has a smaller capacity (50lbs) compared to the Outslayer. It has a small and difficult opening in which to pour the sand, but once it’s filled you’re good to go. It’s a sharp looking piece of gear with 3 RDX themed color schemes.
Everlast Bag Anchor – If you just want something low cost that will get the job done, look at the Everlast bag anchor. It is made of synthetic leather, with a zipper that accesses the PVC bladder. You can fill this with water or sand (we recommend sand). Based on these points, the Everlast is likely the best heavy bag anchor for the money.
Double End Bag vs Speed Bag
While both a speed bag and double end bag have their uses, most serious boxers will tell you that a double end ball will help you improve your skills more than a speed bag.
A speed bag is great for rhythm and shoulder strength endurance. Think of the speed bag as more of a conditioning tool. The double end bag on the other hand, can help train a boxer on far more skills. Use the double end bag for working on accuracy, hand speed, footwork, head movement, and much more.
Double End Bag vs Heavy Bag
A double end bag is more versatile than a heavy bag, whereas the heavy bag can take the full force of all your power. The punching bag should be used for working on your power and endurance. There are many great heavy bag workouts to build your power punches.
Double end bag drills can also help you punch harder, but it is also great for learning to punch faster. With the double end ball you can also work on building power with punches like the uppercut. It also forces you to work on reacting to quick movements, something a slow swinging heavy bag cannot do.
First thing to do is to inflate the ball to the proper air pressure, per your bag manufacturer’s recommendations. The ball will have a nipple like on a football or basketball that can be pumped up with a bike tire pump.
Next, you need to find a proper location for the floor and ceiling anchor points. The best solution for the floor anchor is to drill a hole in a concrete floor and install a threaded insert. Some double end bags come with different hardware to attach to the floor, such as hinges and brackets with wood screws. These may work fine, but the concrete anchor is permanent and strong.
Some of you may not want to drill into the concrete for your floor anchor, so companies have designed anchor bags to serve that purpose. They are big round bags that can be filled with sand to reach weights of 70 pounds or more. The best anchor for a double end ball is the Outslayer anchor.
The ceiling anchor can be screwed into a ceiling beam. Using a high quality stainless steel screw will ensure a strong and long lasting attachment point. Make sure the floor and ceiling anchor points are directly in line with each other. Use a rope and weight to find these points and make a mark before drilling mounting holes.
If the bungees or cords ever wear out, it’s easy to replace them with materials you can find in hardware stores. Bungee rope, rubber straps, and hooks and swivels are all readily available. Round resistance bands actually work well too, and you can swap band strengths later for a challenging change of pace.
Which Should You Buy?
We would advise you to buy a quality double end bag from a reputable manufacturer. Going cheap with your equipment is a recipe for frustration. You should also buy a bag that has adjustable attachments so you can change out bungee cords and hardware as needed. If you follow this guide, we are confident you will be adding a piece of training equipment that you can use to improve your boxing skills.