Speed bag is one of the indispensable tools for boxers as well as martial art fighters. However, if you are neither and just like to include boxing and kick boxing to your workout training as a means of keeping fit; even then speed bag can be your best friend.
Training with this bag offers a number of benefits including improving hand eye coordination, sharpening and quickening reflexes, increasing arm strength as well as it will prove to be a good cardio vascular workout method. This being said, another thing about using a speed bag is that it takes a lot of practice and patience to master it.
The bag is usually mounted using a swivel that is attached to a horizontal board. If you are a beginner, then the best thing to do is to start slow. Start by punching the speed bag with both your fists slowly and develop a rhythm.
Once you begin to get a control over your movement as well as understand the rebound of the speed bag, you will automatically improve your speed. With a speed bag it is important that you begin with the right technique and placement.
Get your basics about speed bag right
The speed bag should be placed at a height such that you look directly at the middle of the bag; neither lower nor higher. When you are setting it up, keep your elbows up and try to fist the speed bag. You will be in a comfortable position to hit the belly of the bag.
Get the stance right
Before you begin the routine, stand facing the bag with your feet apart. The distance between your feet is usually the same as the width of your shoulder.
Remember that your whole body should face the speed bag and you should be close enough to it so that you don’t have to extend your arm more than just a few inches. Also, you shouldn’t be so close that when the bag rebounds, it hits you on your head. Jokes apart, this can hurt, so be very precise with your stance.
As for your arms, make sure that you hold your fists at chin level and raise your elbows such that they are parallel to the ground.
Begin with the front circle punch
Strike the belly of the bag with the side of your fist, one hand at a time. Once your strike the bag, take it back in a circular motion and take your other fist forward completing the circle. This is the first and most basic step that one should learn.
Do this slowly at first so that you can familiarise yourself with the sound and rhythm of the rebounds. Once you are comfortable and think you have the bag under control then increase your speed.
Don’t hit with knuckles
If you are a beginner then we would suggest that you avoid hitting the bag with tight fists and knuckles. This is because chances are that you will end up losing control and hurting yourself. Hit with fingers till the time you get used to the rhythm.
Apart from this we would suggest that you talk to a professional trainer and learn the basics under supervision as well. This minimizes the chances of an injury and also ensures that you learn the right techniques from the very beginning.
Read on to know more about some basic workout routines that you can do with a speed bag.
Basic workout routines
1. For Strength
For this routine get into your fighting stance and punch as hard as you can. After punching count the number of times the bag hits the board. If it hits thrice then practise punching such that you get three rebounds with every punch.
Slowly increase the power of your punches and increase the rebounds as well. Also, in this routine do not wound up your punches rather hold your stance and continue working in a rhythm.
2. For Speed
For this you would need a timer that is set at 30 seconds. Count the number of times you hit the bag in these 30 seconds. Once you have the count, maintain the number in batches of 30 seconds. Try to increase this count slowly and gradually. Do not drop your hands and punch while being in a fighting stance.
3. For Endurance
By using a speed bag you are constantly in motion and the burn can be felt in your arms and shoulders. For building endurance, try and punch the bag as many times as you can in a minute.
Use a fast pace but remember to be steady. In this, remember to take a break of 15 seconds or so after every minute. You will feel drained in the beginning but keep your patience and practise regularly; your number will go higher and your strength will build up slowly and gradually.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither did Mohammad Ali become a legend in one day. It takes time, effort, focus and commitment.
4. For Speed
For speed try and hit the bag in the center so that you can get a rebound that is in a straight line. Once you are comfortable with the rhythm, hit different spots on the speed bag and circle it taking small steps. The crucial thing here is that you must maintain your rhythm at all times. Also, don’t overdo it.
Hitting a speed bag isn’t rocket science but it is definitely a matter of precision. With simple techniques you can dominate the speed bag but keep your patience and practise regularly.
Once you have the basics in place and you can understand the rhythm of the bag and your punches etc. then try out various more advanced techniques. Incorporate the speed bag in your workout or training and you will see a remarkable improvement in your overall coordination as well as precision. And also, with a speed bag, we would suggest that you “Go Slow!”