Which double-end bag should you buy?
I don’t blame you for being confused about all the million options. There are many different kinds of shapes, sizes, and options available out there for double end bags. I’ll explain how they’re used, what skills they develop, and the right kind of cord to set them up with. (I also include videos of how the pros use them.)
Check out my top 5 types of double end bags:
Beginner All-around (timing/rhythm/defense)
If you can only have one, get this one. You can work both offense and defense on it. Anything you want. It’s versatile and will challenge you. Good for beginners.
Set to: LIGHT CORD at MEDIUM TENSION
Beginner Slim (timing/rhythm/accuracy)
Another good all-around double end bag option is the slim shape. Good for working all punches, offense and defense. It’s the same as the beginner all-around but slimmer.
Set to: LIGHT CORD at LIGHT TENSION
Advanced offense (speed/rhythm/accuracy)
This one is good for putting it with tight elasticity and working your accuracy and speed rhythms. The slim smaller size makes it good for practicing your accuracy with faster combinations. Not good for working your defense since the elastic will be tight.
Set to: MEDIUM/HEAVY CORD with HIGH TENSION
*Can also use it upside-down as shown above.
Head & Body (combinations)
A good all-around bag for you to work on combinations, accuracy, speed, timing on head shots as well as body shots. Typically though, I just go for the single ball double-end bags and I’ll hit the rope to simulate a body shot. Still…for those who want an actual “body”, can use this with good results. It’s still fun to use and works better with a tighter elastic cord. This bag is probably not good for practicing defense.
Set to: HEAVY CORD with MEDIUM/HIGH TENSION
The Sniper Bag (accuracy)
Good for working your accuracy and timing with potshots. It moves around a lot so you’re not going to be working hard combinations. It’s more for flowing around and pinpoint accuracy. You can do a little defensive work on it. I would not use this as an all-around bag since it won’t test your rhythm as much.
Set to: LIGHT CORD with LOW/LOOSE TENSION
CORD WEIGHT & TENSION (for the DE bag)
You must use the right kind of cord (weight and tension)
to get the maximum benefit out of your double end bag.
There is something many people don’t know about the double-end bag and that is the kind of cord you should use with it. Quite often, especially beginners or people who work out at home, will simply install the double-end bag with the cord it came with or use any elastic cord that they can find. And when you don’t use the right kind of cord, the bag moves too little, or too much, or in a weird awkward way and overall doesn’t give you the best training that it can.
The WEIGHT of the cord has to match the weight of your double end bag
If your double end bag is too heavy and the elastic cord is too light, the cord won’t have enough strength to make it rebound fast enough. Even if your cord is high tension, it still won’t have enough strength to return the double-end bag. Also the cord will wear out too quickly (especially the top one).
Likewise, if your double end bag is too light and the elastic cord is too heavy, the bag won’t be heavy enough to stretch the cord and it won’t move at all (NOTE: in some situations, you may want this).
Typically, a heavier bag will need a heavier and more sturdy cord. A lighter bag will need a lighter cord. You may have to try different cords before finding the right balance for your double end bag setup. I recommend going to a boxing gym and seeing how they have theirs set up.
The TENSION of the cord has to match the WEIGHT & PURPOSE of your double end bag
There are two factors to this detail:
- how elastic the cord is
- how tight is the cord installed
Typically the elasticity of the cord has to do with the weight of the bag. If the bag is heavy, than the cord elasticity has to be strong enough to return the bag (already covered in previous point).
Now the tightness of the cord installation is another matter. For example: do you install the cord at its un-stretched length? Or do you install the cord already a bit stretch out?
Well it depends on the purpose and what drills you’re doing. If the cord is more or less un-stretched then the bag starts out kind of loose and jumpy (because of a “low starting stretch”). If the cord is already stretched out then the bag starts out with high tension, moves within a tighter space, and swings with more stability. It depends on if you want to work offense or defense and also how heavy your bag is.
Here are the many possibilities:
- low tension (unstretched) – jumpy accuracy
- low tension (stretched) – offense, defense
- high tension (unstretched) – jumpy accuracy
- high tension (stretched) – speed, offense
I do feel kind of silly explaining these details because these are things you’ll likely figure out for yourself. But I wrote it out in case somebody needs a little extra help.
Proper HEIGHT for double end bag
Basically…the double end bag is typically installed somewhere around chest height to chin height. I like to recommend chest height as the best height so that everyone (short and tall) can use it for offense or defensive purposes. Even if I was the only one using it, I would still set it at chest height. I find this is more anatomically correct positioning for punching.
Balancing out the FLOOR-to-CEILING distribution
In an ideal world, the double-end bag would be placed somewhere around the middle of the distance between the floor and the ceiling. This way both the top cord and bottom cord easily balance each other out and you have a bag that swings nicely. But unfortunately, life is never convenient…
Sometimes your ceiling is really high and so the top cord is much longer than the bottom cord. And in this case, one cord is more likely to be stronger than the other (especially if you are using matching cords for both top and bottom). And then you have the awkward case of where the bag swings awkwardly.
There are several ways to balance out this problem. Some people will use different cords for the top and bottom. Some people will use a 3rd cord, a much stronger (or NON-elastic cord) for a portion of the very top part, and then use matching cords to balance out the remaining top and bottom (making it 2 cords on top, one on bottom).
Where to buy elastic cords for the double end bag:
Because of all the variables I listed up above, it’s hard for me to recommend a universal solution for everyone. I would recommend searching in these places to find the right cord for your double end bag.
- Local fight store with (boxing/MMA/martial arts) equipment
- Hardware store
- Make your own (by combining bungee cords or other lesser cords)
Check out my other articles on the double-end bag: