Is your shadow-boxing practice a bore? Looking to mix up your training routine? A boxing reflex ball may put some, well, bounce back into your workout. This gadget can seriously improve your reaction time and overall coordination. A boxing reflex ball combines the classic boxing practice of bouncing a tennis ball with the unpredictability of a paddleball. The ball is attached to a springy tether, which itself attaches to an adjustable headband. Put the headband on, start batting the ball, and the challenge begins.
Read this buying guide to learn more about boxing reflex balls and how to use them. Our top pick by SPANLA offers a set of boxing reflex balls for multiple skill levels.
Considerations when choosing boxing reflex balls
Boxing reflex balls can be used for sports training or just for fun, although as with any activity where objects are being flung around at high speeds, kids should use them only with supervision.
The smaller the reflex ball, the higher the difficulty in using it. Beginners do best with a larger, softer ball, which is much more forgiving if the user misses a return. As skill improves, smaller reflex balls can be used. New users, therefore, should look at reflex ball sets that have two or three different ball sizes, and even a couple of different lengths of elastic bands.
Because of their simple design, boxing reflex balls don't have many components to worry about. There are a few features that buyers should keep in mind.
The headband needs to fit comfortably yet securely around the user's head, without obscuring vision. Different brands feature a hook-and-loop fastener or an adjustable strap. The tough yet stretchy elastic band provides the bounce-back action of the reflex ball. The attachment point where the elastic band connects to the ball and the headband should be sturdy, but not so large that it gets in the way of the user. The ball itself, made of rubber or soft foam, should fit within the user's handspan so that it can be caught or controlled when necessary.
Boxing reflex ball prices
Boxing reflex balls with fewer options start as low as $9, but buyers will find multi-ball sets and better quality in the $13 to $19 price range. Super-tough boxing reflex balls designed for gym environments can reach $40.
Q. Why not start with the smallest boxing reflex ball?
A. Even when a user just bats the ball softly, the elastic band returns the ball swiftly -- usually much faster than its user expects. For new users, that means getting hit in the face, chest, or shoulder with the ball, and a hard rubber ball can really sting. Starting with a softer foam ball slows down the action, and if the return gets past your hands, getting hit is not so bad.
Q. Can the elastic band break?
A. The elastic bands used for boxing reflex balls can stand up to many hours of use when used and cared for properly. First, don't hit the ball hard; bat it gently, which gives you better control and doesn't stretch the elastic as far. Second, store the boxing reflex ball set away from heat sources such as a radiator or clothes dryer, and out of direct sunlight so its synthetic and rubber components aren't damaged.
Boxing reflex balls we recommend
Best of the best: SPANLA Boxing Fight Ball
Our take: Three different reflex balls included in this set make it ideal for beginners who want to progress steadily with reaction and reflex training.
What we like: The lightweight headband is comfortable even on hot training days, and it's a huge plus that each ball has its own elastic band.
What we dislike: Users with long arms won't be able to fully extend their arm on each jab, as the elastic bands are a little bit short.
Best bang for your buck: Punch King Boxing Reflex Ball
Our take: A sturdy band attachment and plenty of accessories make this a fun addition to your training routine.
What we like: Putting on the hook-and-loop headband is a snap, and so is attaching the elastic band using a sturdy metal clip system. Included knuckle protectors are a unique accessory.
What we dislike: The learning curve on this reflex ball is steep, and new users may be frustrated after several misses and whiffs.
Choice 3: boxaball Boxing Reflex Ball
Our take: A fun one-size-fits-most boxing reflex ball engineered for new users to ease into the activity.
What we like: An extra-long elastic band reduces the speed of returns of the larger, lighter foam ball, meaning far fewer smacks on the nose. The headband is substantial and fastens securely.
What we dislike: The elastic band is very thin and can't be replaced, meaning if it snaps, you'll have to order a new boxaball.
Samantha Bookman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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