What are boxing reflex balls?
Boxing reflex balls are nifty training tools boxers use to improve hand-eye coordination, reflex speed, accuracy, and timing.
The reflex ball, comprised of a softball tethered by a cord to harness, fastens around the boxer’s head.
When using a boxing reflex ball, the objective is to keep the ball moving by throwing light punches in quick succession.
Are boxing reflex balls good?
Hitting the heavy bag is a great method of developing endurance and punching power (as well as busting stress!). Because of their weight, you can welly a heavy bag with all your might and it’ll barely move a muscle.
However, there’s a downside to working the heavy bag regularly. And that is they can blunt your reaction time and slow punch speed.
This is why it’s important to mix your training methods by including boxing reflex balls into your workouts.
Related: check out the Best Boxing Reflex Bags for the home gym
Unlike the heavy bag, boxing reflex balls are super-lightweight. Thus, they don’t offer anywhere near the resistance as a heavy bag. And because they’re suspended by a long elastic band, they respond erratically when hit.
Consequently, when training with a boxing reflex ball, you must focus on reaction, timing and punch speed. If not, you’ll be hitting thin air all day.
benefits of boxing reflex ball
Surprisingly, there are many benefits to using a boxing reflex ball. Often looked at as a cheap gimmick, the reflex ball, if used regularly enough, can develop skills and abilities that some conventional forms of boxing training cannot. This accounts for why two of the best boxers today use the reflex ball as part of their training routine.
A handful of those benefits have been outlined in the list below:
They can help develop hand-eye coordination
Improve reflexes and reaction time
Are comparatively inexpensive
Can be used with or without boxing gloves
They hone mental focus
Require no additional equipment
Are portable and thus can enable you to work on your boxing skills anywhere
Related: Discover 10 Benefits of Boxing Training
Best ball of them all
As with any boxing or fitness equipment, there are loads of different products on the market. While this might seem like a good thing, it can make choosing the best product challenging.
On Amazon, there are innumerable boxing reflex balls, many of which boast thousands of reviews. However, when you read through the customer feedback, it quickly comes apparent that the product is flawed.
Many of the boxing reflex balls are poorly designed and poorly constructed. Even products with thousands of reviews have been criticised for inferior quality materials that quickly resulted in reflex ball redundancy.
However, one of the best products we found, is the Champs Boxing Reflex Ball. While this product hasn’t received as many reviews as some of its competitors, the feedback is solid. The majority of reviewers commended Champs’ reflex ball for its durability and sturdy design. One reviewer said that, of the many boxing reflex balls he’s bought, Champs’ is the best.
Do boxers use reflex balls?
Yes, some professional boxers use reflex balls as part of their training routine. Perhaps the most famous boxer to use the reflex ball is Oleksandr Usyk, current Heavyweight World Champion.
Usyk uses the boxing reflex ball to sharpen and hone his hand-eye coordination and reaction time. Having researched his training routine, it seems Usyk incorporates the boxing reflex ball in his pre-workout warm-up.
Another professional boxer who practices with the reflex ball is Vasyl Lomachenko, who has won world championship titles in multiple weight categories.
Best known for his blistering hand speed and Matrix-like head movement (think Neo dodging the punches of Agent Smith), Vasyl Lomachenko makes other world champions look average.
Lomachenko is also known for his use of unconventional training methods. For example, during his pre-fight workouts he can be seen juggling, ladder hopping (and performing other deft feats of balance and coordination), and punching the reflex ball. These are just some of the techniques Lomachenko uses to forge his razor-sharp reflexes.
Related: Perfect your pugilism with this Complete Guide to Boxing Basics
How to use boxing reflex balls
While there’s no right or wrong way to use a boxing reflex ball, they are probably best used during the warm-up and cool-down phase of a boxing workout.
After a 10-minute skipping session or slow 3-mile run, you could fasten on your boxing reflex ball and complete 3 to 5 round practice routine. The same method could be applied after your workout during the cool-down.
When using the boxing reflex ball, the objective is to throw light punches in bunches. Also, when you start to get the hang of it, which takes time and patience, you can begin to move as you would when sparring with an opponent.
Related: Check this Complete Guide to Boxing Fitness
Because the boxing reflex ball is a low-impact activity, you can practice whenever you’ve got an idle moment. And because they are portable, the same thing can’t be said of heavy boxing bags, you can take your reflex boxing ball anywhere you go.
For more boxing-related articles, see our dedicated Boxing Page.