Do you watch your favorite boxers exercise in a speed bag and be amazed at how cool it looks? What is it? Is it beneficial? Do you want to know how to punch a speed bag? Well, keep on reading because this article will show you!
In essence, the main goal of combat sports is to score using strikes on your opponent. Fighters heavily rely on speed, accuracy, and timing for them to successfully win a fight.
For sure, fighters undergo immense training to improve their skillset. As you may have seen in videos and tutorials, one of the best ways to develop speed, accuracy, and timing is the mastery of punching a piece of equipment called a speed bag.
You can find speed bags in all boxing gyms across the world, that's how vital it is in a boxer's training regime. It comes in various shapes, sizes, materials, and hanging orientations. With that being said, let's get started!
What Is A Speed Bag?
When it comes to combat sports training, punching bags are essential. There are different types which depend on the function and what kind of training you want. For example, heavy bags are used by MMA fighters to work on their kicks and knee strikes. Boxers also train on them to develop their punches, as well as their footwork.
Another type of punching bag is the speed bag. What is it? A speed bag is a small type of punching bag that is connected to a ceiling with a spring. This is to provide a minimal range of motion.
When you hit a speed bag with enough power, it will come right back at you in a flash. That is why you must time your strikes properly. It may look smaller compared to the other punching bags, but it is definitely one the the most challenging ones.
How Does A Speed Bag Work?
A speed bag is attached to a ceiling or a bracket through a reinforced board. However, if you are setting up your own gym at your house and you want to put a speed bag, you may need to add extra support for reducing the vibrations and to make sure it is safe.
The most important part of a speed bag is the swivel. It attaches the ball to the board or ceiling in a way that when punched, it will move without flying off to somewhere.
Furthermore, the interior is composed of a rubber bladder which needs to be inflated. The exterior is a tough fabric, either leather or synthetic with stitched seams. Due to this, the speed bag can withstand a lot of punches from fighters.
The last part is of course, the bag. It is shaped like a pear or a teardrop which allows it to effectively bounce during training.
Basically, the speed bag requires well-timed punches as well as a rhythm for it to properly work. When you punch it, it will bounce back to you because it is designed to do that. With that, let's move on to the benefits of using a speed bag.
Benefits Of The Speed Bag
1. Hand-Eye Coordination
One of the main things you are developing when you are training on the speed bag is your hand-eye coordination. Furthermore, the speed bag is the best equipment for training this coordination.
In fact, other athletes who deal with balls also work on the speed bag. For boxers and fighters, the speed bag can help them punch more accurately while avoiding the opponent's strikes at the same time.
In relation with the first one, A speed bag is specifically designed to up your timing and accuracy. With this, your strikes will hit your opponents more often.
Mastering the speed bag would entail you to anticipate when you should hit it, therefore understanding the timing. This is to make sure that all of your punches will not go to waste.
3. Cardiovascular Health
The speed bag is also perfect for improving your cardiovascular health. You can set your own pace but you can also speed up which can really challenge you.
Hitting the speed bag long enough will make you sweat. It will make your heart rate will go up, leading to burning up calories. It will also strengthen your heart and lungs and of course, reduce the risks of acquiring cardiovascular diseases.
The speed bag got its name because it can greatly improve one's speed! That's right. You can act faster and punch faster. If you've got lazy and slow hands, you'll never get to hit the speed bag, more so understanding the tempo in which you should hit it.
Moreover, the reaction time that you will acquire through speed bag training will be beneficial because you'd get to apply it during actual matches.
I know that most fighter train on their power using other punching bags, like the heavy bag. However, a speed bag can also help them develop power!
As boxing science show, it's the technique that makes punches more threatening. When you've got that pop and speed in your punches, it will make your punch force harder, in comparison to just raw power alone.
6. Pacing Techniques
Speed bag workouts and drills typically are done through circuits in between mitt or heavy bag work. This means that you are already sweating and tired, therefore you can greatly improve your endurance.
As boxing matches normally have 8 to 12 rounds, making your body adapt to the pace that you want to set will greatly get you ready for the real action. You will be able to figure out when to deliver explosive punches and combinations and when to hold back.
7. Shoulder and Arm Strength
A speed bag is also considered a shoulder and arm strength workout. It is because of the position of your arms when striking the speed bag.
Drills on this bag hit the muscle groups present in your arms and shoulders. If you train on a speed bag longer, it will put your shoulder and arms under more strain. Over time, this leads to improved muscle stamina and physique.
8. Rhythm and Timing
Speed bag workout is all about rhythm and timing. It is not as easy as it looks. Furthermore, it is even more difficult than punching heavy bags!
In order for it to work properly, you must have a rhythm and hit it properly on time. This is to make sure that the bag will bounce back properly to take the next punch from you.
The bag will be moving at a fast speed. So you must act faster and think ahead too. Timing your punches is better than power. Even MMA champion, Conor McGregor and other fighters said so.
What is the use of powerful punches if you can't land them properly, right? As a beginner, it will be challenging to work on the speed bag. But as you spend time on it, your muscle memory will get the hang of the speed bag, and finally, you will get your rhythm.
9. Keeping Your Defense Up
"The best defense is the best offense". Have you ever heard of that quote? Combat sports are not always about striking your opponent. You must also learn how to keep your guard up and defend yourself!
In punching bag workouts, the equipment does not strike bag. But in actual matches, your opponents will do! So when working on the speed bag, you need to learn how to keep your guard up.
10. Muscle Endurance
The speed bag will really test your limit. Furthermore, it will only stop when you stop. So basically, you are competing against yourself! It is important because you will carry it on to your actual fights.
The way you position your arms and constantly move it will place a huge amount of strain in your muscles. Over time, the more you train the speed bag, the more your muscles get used to than stress and hence greatly improve your endurance.
How To Punch A Speed Bag?
1. Hands Open
This is for the beginners out there. When you are starting out in the speed bag, do not use your fists first or hit using your knuckles because you will easily lose control of the bag. If you are just learning, use the sides of your hand.
Being a beginner, using your fists immediately will make it harder for you to find a rhythm. When you do, you can easily hurt yourself! With that, you should hit the bag with your hands open and find your rhythm
2. Keep Your Hands Close
When you keep your hands close, it will be easier to find a good and perfect rhythm for you. Think of it as a practice to keeping your guard close to you as well. Doing these small things can lead you to build up that habit.
One hand will be punching, while the other will be waiting before its turn. If you punch too far, it will simply not work because the bag will be moving too fast for you to catch up. Always keep your eyes on the bag, focus, and time your punches.
3. Work On Your Flow and Rhythm
Always and always remember that rhythm is very important when working on the speed bag and also during actual fights and matches.
Having a rhythm will put your mind in a state wherein you can feel every movement you and the opponent will make. With that, a speed bag workout will also be developing your mental strength.
The best rhythm for beginners is the right-right-left-left. Basically, you will hit twice using your right fist and then twice with your left fist. Furthermore, on the first hit, use the front part of your fist while on the second one, use the bottom.
Follow this rhythm until you get the hang of it and you can properly work on the speed bag.
4. Form A Circular Arm Path
Basically, what I mean by this is to follow a circle when you hit the bag. The trajectory of your punches should be a circle and always make it look the same, especially when you find the best rhythm and pattern.
Knowing how to punch a speed bag is to know how to move your hands. A speed bag is very different from other punching bags. This one actually retaliates back at you! So you need to do it properly and use the right form.
5. Have A Proper Stance
The last thing you need to learn is of course your stance. Remember, the position of your feet will determine the position of your body. Furthermore, the body position will determine how you will punch your target correctly!
The mistake most people do is that they use a boxing stance when working on the speed bag. That is incorrect. What you should do is square up and get closer.
Basically, you should plant your feet at an equal distance from the speed bag. Furthermore, you must stand at arm's length from the bag.
There you have it! That is all you need to know how to punch a speed bag. Follow all the steps and tips I have shared to you and you will be excellent at the boxing equipment.
If you still can't get it right, don't give up! Continue doing the workout because it is very essential. Believe in yourself, follow the tips, and you will be able to do it.
Furthermore, the speed bag is available to everyone. There are different sizes that will fit your preference as well as your age. Make sure to follow the right way to do it to minimize the chances of you getting hurt.
Thank you so much for reading my "How To Punch A Speed Bag" article and guide! If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!