We train for more powerful punches, quicker footwork but without good reflexes, they don’t mean much at all. We sometimes need to act before thinking during sparring and boxing matches. And if you can dodge, attack or regain your balance even a millisecond before than you normally do, it would be just priceless.
These incredible methods below will definitely help you for improving your reflexes. Some of them are for defensive reflexes, some of them will improve your attacking reflexes and even some will improve both of these as well.
Let’s start with one of the most effective methods for how to improve reflexes…
1. Focus Mitt Training
According to me and many other boxing authoritative sites, focus mitt (punch mitt) training is the best for improving reflexes. Since the trainees have no idea where will be the target or where it will move next etc. So they need to punch or dodge when they need to and they need do it fast. And that is exactly what happens in a boxing match and this training is very close to real thing except sparring. However unlike sparring you will have a lot of chances to learn how to react and improve reflexes during this training. And keep in mind that punch mitt training offers you absolutely endless striking, defense and timing options.
These are the reasons why it is one of the best training types to improve it.
However trainers definitely should keep in mind that they should always change the combinations, distance to the target, timing etc. With more variation your reaction time will definitely get lower. I also found a basic training video yet trainer definitely knows what he is doing. He does not only improve the boxer’s punching skills and defense but he also provides a suitable training environment to improve reflexes as well. You can check out this short video below.
When you spar, you taste the real environment and well when an opportunity for punching arises you take it as soon as possible and you concentrate for these opportunities to arise. Let’s face it when we train with any kind of bag we generally don’t focus %100 during that training. However during sparring we can get punched anytime and that possibility alone gives you a lot of rush so as a result you are more focused. After all you prefer punching instead of getting punched right?
The best side of sparring is that you improve your reflexes for the right stimuli. Your sparring partners move, try punching you… All of these are right stimulus which you need to practice.
3. Speed Bag
During speed bag training your hand eye coordination improves a lot and the target is small and we need to punch it in a certain way to continue our training session properly. With that we can’t always punch it perfectly and when it does not have perfect swing, you punch it accordingly. And you need to do it before thinking. This is another crucial aspect for improving reflexes. You should act before thinking but you need to do it in a right way so speed bag can continue having a proper rhythm.
However punching the same speed bag won’t improve your reflexes after a certain point. So you need to train with smaller or faster bag to continue improving it. This changes the swing rate of the bag and thanks to that your reflexes will even improve more. Also some bags just give weird rebound rate and don’t have good balance whatsoever however these speed bags have it.
4. Double End Bag and Reactor Bag
Double end bag is really nice place to train for improving reaction time. It is fun and unlike heavy bag it can hit you back. So you are alerted while training and double end bag just shines here. Thanks to that your eyes also will be “sharper”. This is actually one of the most important reasons why people need to give more importance for it.
You will punch faster, slower with different techniques (uppercuts, hooks, jabs etc.) and you can also do many different striking combinations with double end bag. Every time you need to response to bag and dodge from it accordingly. If you want to improve your defensive reflexes for boxing, double end bag training is truly the best way to do it.
When you get used to training with your current double end bag just get smaller or larger model.
Why should you do that?
Because when you get used to punching or dodging while having certain bounce rates, after that point you won’t be able to improve it and this is why you should definitely get smaller or larger bags. If you are looking for a good quality bag, which have smaller and larger sizes, have a look at these double end bags. And you need suitable gloves for this training as well. You can check out these training gloves for this training,
Reactor bags also lower the reaction time and basically it does what double end bag does. However as a plus reactor bags are taller so you can practice punches for large strike surface and obviously it is same for defense. However it has a negative side as well. You can get only one size of reactor bag. So you don’t have many different stimulus. With that there is only a few quality reactor bags on the market and couple of days ago I reviewed the most quality one. For that you can have a look at Century Reactor Bag.
5. Balance Boards
People always talk about having better reflexes for attacking, dodging etc. However hardly anyone talks about improving better reflexes for balance. When you get punched or try avoiding punches, you can lose balance in no time and your feet need to react accordingly. Well balance boards will exactly improve that.
Imagine that you can regain your balance sooner than normal. This can even save you from a knockout punch and I am sure that many people prefer it 😉
Response time and reflexes are depended on genes as well and obviously these have more than vital importance for boxing. But keep in mind that the reaction time varies only 0.2 to 0.3 seconds. So you don’t have much room to improve it anyway but even that small improvement can make a huge difference. When you have better reflexes you will regain your balance faster, dodge better and counterattack more efficiently and accurately. So all boxers should include a routine for improving their reflexes. Always remember that you can throw very powerful punches but it does not mean anything unless you have good reflexes. Also keep in mind that reflex means doing before thinking so when you train always try changing everything about the stimuli. For example train with a larger speed bag or tighten the double end bag’s cord etc. There are many training types for everything including improving reflexes and each one benefits you in a different way. According to me this is why boxing training is great. I really hope that you enjoyed reading and if you have any questions, experiences just have a comment below.