A speed bag is a small air-filled bag that looks like a pear. The bag is tied up at the top with a short spring. When you hit the bag, it comes right back at you.
In the field of fighting, hitting a speed bag is a part of every athlete’s workout regime. So important that it’s often considered as their workout partner. This is because using a speed bag has a lot of benefits.
And although hitting a speed bag may look simple to you when they do it, it actually takes a lot of effort and practice. So when one masters it, it says a lot about the person.
Good news for you, speed bags aren’t just for professionals, anyone can use them.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the speed bag and hitting it the right way.
But first, let me help you get acquainted with some of the many benefits of using it. Think of it like your pre-workout supplement to help you get motivated. You’re welcome!
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Benefits of a speed bag
Training with a speed bag is an essential part of the routine for every professional boxer and UFC fighter because it comes with a lot of benefits. However, you don’t need to be a professional boxer. You can still benefit from using a speed bag in your daily workout routine.
Here are some common benefits of using a speed bag:
Improves your timing and rhythm
Training with a speed bag will not only help you build your arm muscles but also improve your timing, rhythm, and even your reflex.
When you punch a speed bag, it’ll come back to you at a fast pace. This means you’ll have to think and act faster. After using it for some time, you won’t even have to think as you’ll react on reflex.
Eventually, you’ll improve your muscle memory and throw punches that are accurate and perfectly timed.
Become more alert
The one thing that’s so important and crucial in boxing or any form of martial arts is having your guard up. You never know what your opponent’s next move is going to be, so you’ll always have to remain focused, ready, and prepared for what’s next.
When you use a speed bag, you’ll always have your hands up in front of your face while hitting it. This position is important as it allows you to be at an optimal state where you can throw punches without your wasting time, all the while protecting your head. And if you keep training with it, over time, you’ll become more focused and prepared.
Hand to eye coordination
When you start hitting a speed bag properly (we’ll get to that soon), you’ll develop your eye-hand coordination. That’s why most athletes use a ball train with a speed bag. They have so much to gain from it. So can you.
The more you practice, the more accurate your punches and timing will become. You’ll also be able to target your opponent in one place and throw a powerful K.O punch at the right moment. It helps you focus, pick your target area and find the right moment to make your move.
Improves your overall physique
When you use a speed bag, you’re constantly moving with your hands up. This can make your arms and shoulders stronger and more toned. Most athletes prefer working out with a speed bag and consider it a great shoulder workout.
In addition to strengthening and toning your arms and shoulders, it can also be used as a great cardio workout.
When you’re training with a speed bag, you’re making small and fast moves at the same time, which can get very intense. And in 15-30 minutes of your training, you’ll also realize that your breathing is getting heavier (even without going for a jog). This means that your heart rate is increasing.
Hence, training with a speed bag is an excellent way for you to burn calories and also improve your endurance.
When you train with a speed bag, you’ll have a better hand speed. This is great because when you have swift hands, it’s easier for you to hit your opponent and also defend yourself.
Your punches will also have a more significant impact when you improve the speed of your hands.
Training with a speed bag can also help you mentally by releasing stress. It’s a great way to let go of stress as your focus will only be on one target, and that is hitting the speed bag.
Develop your natural instinct
When you’re close to something that’s coming at you, it’s completely natural for you to back off. In the world of fighting, if you lack experience you might get more nervous and confused. You may not even know what you’re supposed to do besides hoping for the best.
While you’re training, your reflex must be fast as you’re close to the bag, and once you start hitting, it comes back at you constantly.
Training with a speed bag will develop a natural instinct for the opponent and even help you in similar situations. You won’t even have to think about when to react. It’ll come to you naturally.
And that my friend, are some of the amazing benefits of using a speed bag. But it can all go down the drain if you don’t know how to hit it properly.
Now that you’re motivated to learn more about speed bags, let’s jump right to the most crucial part – the basics of hitting.
How to hit a speed bag properly?
When you’re about to do something new or learn a new skill, it’s very important to know the basics first. And the same condition applies when you’re hitting a speed bag. If you don’t do it right, you’ll not only hurt yourself but also end up not gaining the results you desired.
To help you with that, here is a list of things you must remember in order to hit a speed bag properly:
1. No closed Hands
This is important to remember, especially if you’re new to this. When you hit with closed fist or knuckles, you’ll lose both your rhythm and control right from the start. Hitting with your fingers is much better as it’ll help you control your pace and avoid hitting the bag too fast, or worse, getting hurt.
2. Hands must be close
As mentioned earlier, when you’re hitting a speed bag, you must always keep your arms up. When your hands are close to the bag, you can gain more control and punch without trying hard to reach for it.
When you’re punching with one hand, the other hand must be under the bag and ready to strike at any moment.
3. Find your rhythm
Finding your rhythm while hitting is essential. When you have a good rhythm, your mind will get stronger over time and will help you control your movements more accurately.
You can start by following the two rights and two left technique, where you hit the bag with your right hand twice and again twice with your left hand. Start by hitting the bag with your front and then the bottom of your fist.
4. Maintain a circle form
When you hit a speed bag, always remember to hit in circles instead of moving your hands back and forth. In doing so, you’ll get a better sense of your rhythm.
You can’t punch a speed bag like a heavy bag. Unlike the heavy bag, a speed bag will come right back at you at lightning speed. Which is why having a proper form is very important for you.
5. Standing position
When you’re hitting a speed bag, it’s crucial to stand square and close, which means your feet must be at the same distance from the bag. How you position yourself will determine whether or not you can hit your target precisely.
Remember that you’re not in a fighting match, so position your feet and stand closer to the bag. And, make sure it’s closer than your arm’s length. Once you get used to it, you can position yourself in any way that works best for you.
Precision Striking have done a great video on punching the speed bag for beginners, it’s below.
As you can see, using a speed bag has so many benefits, from improving your mind and body to just transforming you into a better version of yourself. And the good thing is, it’s not restricted to only professional athletes, every individual can use it. Even kids, for that matter.
That said, you can only enjoy the benefits of using a speed bag if you know how to hit it properly. Fortunately, you can do it right by following the tips we’ve mentioned above.
Also, remember that just reading about it will not make you master the art of hitting a bag immediately. It’s going to take a lot more than that – days or even months of practice. Keep in mind that instructions are only meant to guide you; the rest is up to you.