How to Box for Beginners With a Reflex Bag

How to Box for Beginners With a Reflex Bag

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Hitting a reflex bag tests your precision and timing.

Learning to box requires the development of several skills on a variety of pieces of equipment. While the heavy bag and speed bag are often synonymous with boxing training, using a reflex bag allows you to practice the sweet science in the comfort of your home, as this bag isn't typically a fixture of boxing gyms. This free-standing training tool consists of a weighted base, a flexible support rod and a small bag.


Cover your hands in hand wraps and bag gloves to minimize the impact of punches to your joints. Hand wraps are available in several styles, are typically made of cotton and wrap around your wrist, thumb and knuckles. Bag gloves are specifically designed for training drills and are lighter than competition gloves.


Stand in front of the reflex bag and adopt your natural fighting stance. For right-handed boxers, your body should be turned slightly to the right and your left hand should be a few inches ahead of your right hand. Your front foot should point slightly to the right of the target, and your front toes should be in line with your right heel. Left-handed fighters, who are known as southpaws, should mirror this stance.


Throw a left jab to the reflex bag by stepping forward with your left foot and extending your left arm and fist outward. Snap the fist back into your guard position and step forward with your right foot so your stance does not become too wide. Note how the reflex bag moves. If you hit the bag squarely, it will bend away from you and snap back straight. If you hit it to either side, it will move accordingly. The key to developing a rhythm with this workout is to hit the reflex bag with clean, accurate punches. As you become comfortable with throwing left jabs, incorporate combinations that include straight right hands and left hooks.


Move around the bag continuously as you hit it. Keeping your feet planted while boxing is ineffective; approach the reflex bag as though it's your opponent. Move into an attacking position, hit the bag with crisp combinations and quickly step away from the bag.

Things Needed

  • Hand wraps
  • Bag gloves


  • Work the reflex bag in three-minute rounds, which helps you prepare for eventual sparring drills or amateur competition. Take 60 seconds to rest in between rounds. For an up-tempo workout, drop your rest time to just 30 seconds.


  • If using the reflex bag at home, ensure the area around the bag is free of obstacles so you can move and hit the bag freely. If your basement or garage is crowded, set the bag up outside.
  • Always wear hand wraps and bag gloves to minimize the risk of injury.