The speed bag is maybe the coolest boxing equipment. If you have ever watched a professional boxer doing speed bag training, it is fantastic how fast they can hit the ball with one hand or both. Not to mention the various tricks and the steady sound it makes.
But the speed punching bag is more than just a “toy” to play with. It is a very beneficial boxing gear to boost the hands’ speed and reaction, which is vital not just in martial arts, but other sports like baseball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, etc. And this is only one benefit of this simple yet efficient equipment.
Let’s see, what is a speed bag good for.
Hitting the speed bag benefits
1. Improving your hand speed
Swift hands can help you in various ways. Firstly, it is more laborious for your opponent to defend your punches, but it also helps you defend yourself from his attacks.
Besides, the faster your hands, the bigger your punching power is. A quicker hand with the same weight has more impact than a slower one. Therefore, in some cases, if you need to improve your power punches, it is better to improve the punching speed than the size of your guns by putting on more muscle mass. 👊
Finally, your speed bag workout routine teaches you to hit the opponent at a constant power since you have to do the same with the ball. If you check a boxing match, you can see that the competitors do not throw only huge strikes, but mainly small or middle ones most of the time. (Throwing just massive strikes would make them tired quickly, leading to a lack of defense and offense.)
To conclude, this type of punching bag is necessary for speed training.
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2. Teaches you to keep your fists up ✊
How can the speed bag improve your defense skills and focus?
The most important thing you have to learn in boxing is the basic boxing guard. It is mainly about keeping your fists high in front of your face. That position is crucial since you can shield your head and start punches from an optimal state without wasting time.
A typical mistake of beginners is that they lower their arms because of the lack of shoulder strength or merely because they “forget” it. This way, they “open” their defense and slow down their punches since time is needed to lift their arms for jabs, straights, or crosses. I know pros lower their weapons, mainly their jab ones, but that is why they are experts. When you regularly work on it, your shoulders get strong, and your mind learns to keep your fists in the proper position.
It also helps a bit to get used to keeping the proper boxing stance and standing for a long time.
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3. Improving your hand-eye coordination, timing, and rhythm 👁
This equipment is a fast and small size target, so you must concentrate when you land your punches. Typical boxing speed bag sizes are just from 8×5 to 13×10 inches. Your punches will be more accurate by practicing, and your timing and reflexes will be more precise thanks to better hand-eye coordination.
This way, you can better target one particular area of the opponent, and you will be more effective against a quick, “always-moving-here-and-there” fighter. The improved reaction time helps to hit a point that you want more effectively.
In addition to preventing atrophy, it enhances the brain’s functions across all motor patterns. Plus, as you repeatedly strike the speed bag and return your hand to your face, you build muscle memory that protects your face during a fight.
4. It improves your physique, builds great endurance 🥊
It enhances your fitness in two ways.
What muscles does the speed bag work? You hit the boxing bag with your arms up in a constant motion. This way, it strengthens and tones all parts of your arms and shoulders. Hence, it might be a good solution for those girls and boys who want to improve upper body strength. It may help to get rid of arm fat besides improving arm strength.
Plus, rhythm punching is intensive boxing training with small yet fast moves, increasing your heart rate. Hence, the speed bag for cardio conditioning is an activity that improves your endurance and burns calories. (Particularly doing longer sessions, when you hit the speed ball for at least 30 minutes). It’s an exciting upper body agility training thanks to the circular motion.
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5. Injury-free training
Compared to the heavy bag workout, the potential to get an injury is far less. A heavy punching bag has a hard surface. A badly-performed punch or lack of hand protection can lead to serious injuries.
Since this boxing punching bag is light, you will hardly get any injuries as it is filled with air. Maybe your fists will be red here and there, or just a little bruise if you hit it with bare hands, but that’s the worst you can get after advanced speed bag drills. No risk at all.
6. Great home boxing equipment 🏠
A speed bag platform does not cost so much, and you can install it even on a door frame. It does not require so much space since it hangs from the ceiling. The speed bag workout is “compatible” with other exercises like cardio or strength training sessions. Another advantage is that the improved coordination will help to perform better in other sports.
7. Focus & get rid of stress 😡
Besides the physical speed bag training benefits, it benefits to get rid of the daily stress. You can switch your brain off instantly because you will have no time to concentrate on anything else, just the bag.
Finally, there are so many tricks you can discover. There is always a place to boost your speed, footwork, technique, rhythm, intensity, and resistance. You will always find some new skill to perfect.
Speed bagging or hitting the heavy bag – What are they good for?
Using a speed bag helps to improve various striking techniques and fighting skills for martial art. It isn’t about power. The heavy bag training is the opposite. Boxers use it for increasing punching strength. That’s why we should include types of punching bags in a boxing routine. Learn more about the heavy bag benefits.
How to use a speed bag? What’s the correct technique?
If you are a beginner, don’t make a strong fist but open your palms a bit and hit the bag with your fingers. Keep your hands close to the bag for a minimal range of repetitive motion. This way, you can’t beat it with such big energy that makes the bag uncontrollable.
When you strike the bag, imagine you’re making small circles with your fists. Finally, don’t overcomplicate your speed bag drill. Go with the right-right-left-left rhythm and constant speed. But, you can “invent” your own combination to hit it at different angles. You need to practice a lot to improve your speed bag technique, but it’s going to be your favorite activity. Learn more.
Keep in mind that a small-sized speed bag is harder to hit, so get a bigger one at the beginning. Also, you can do shadow boxing to practice and hit it at a steady pace.
Finally, keep the fighting stance, place your weight to the sides and keep your elbows up.
Here is an example speed bag workout video for beginners to improve accuracy.
What’s the difference between the double end bag and the speed bag?
Both of them are for improving hand-eye-coordination, rhythm, reflexes, and speed. However, the double end bag has a more unpredictable movement, and with that harder to target, we need to move around it. Hence, the double end bag major benefits are: developing footwork, improved accuracy, and targeting skills better. Boxers use both.
Should I use hand protection?
I don’t think it’s necessary to wear boxing gloves. Hand wraps will do to avoid bruises on knuckles. However, if you wear gloves, that means additional weight, it assists to develop the muscles (get shredded shoulders).
To sum up
As you see, the speed bag benefits are numerous. It betters both your brain and body, and it is a fun way to exercise. It should be in a boxing program. Typically, we see fighters developing their speed bag skills, but it has a place in an average person’s life.