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 effective equipment.
Let’s see, what is a speed bag good for?
7. Speed Bag Benefits
1. Better hand speed
Swift hands can help you in various ways. Firstly, it is harder for your opponent to defend your punches, but it also helps you protect 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 develop your punching power, 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 lack of defense and offense.)
To conclude, this type of punching bag is necessary for speed training.
2. Teaches you to keep your hands up
How can the speed bag training improve your defense skills?
The most important thing you have to learn in boxing is the basic boxing guard. It is mainly about keeping your fists up in front of your face. That position is crucial since you can protect 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 slows 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 one, but that is why they are professionals. When you regularly work on it, your shoulders get strong, and your mind learns to keep your fists in the proper position.
3. Eye-hand coordination and reaction time development
This equipment is a small and fast target, so you must concentrate on hitting it. 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 the 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.
4. It improves your physique
It enhances your fitness in two ways.
What muscles does a speed bag training work? You hit the bag with your arms up and always moving. 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 shape their arms. It may help to get rid of arm fat as well.
Plus, it 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 bag for at least 30 minutes). It’s an exciting upper body agility training.
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 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 speed bag drills. No risk at all.
6. Great home exercise equipment
A speed bag platform does not cost so much, and you can quickly install it even on a door frame. It does not require so much space as well. The speed bag workout is “compatible” with other exercises like cardio or strength training. And, the improved coordination will help to perform better in other sports.
7. Learn & get rid of stress
Besides the physical speed bag training benefits, it helps to get rid of the daily stress. You can switch your brain off quickly because you will have no time to concentrate on anything else, just the bag.
Finally, there are so many tricks you can learn. There is always a place to boost your speed, footwork, technique, rhythm, etc. You will always find some new skill to perfect.
Speed bags or heavy bags – 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 is the opposite. We use it for increasing punching power. That’s why we should include both in a boxing routine.
How to hit a speed bag?
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 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 hands. Finally, don’t overcomplicate your speed bag training. Go with the right-right-left-left rhythm and constant speed. You need to practice a lot, but it’s going to be your favorite activity. Learn more.
Here is an example speed bag workout video for beginners to improve accuracy.
What’s the difference between the double end bag and speed bag training?
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 develops footwork, accuracy, and targeting skills better.
Should I use hand protection?
I don’t think it’s necessary to wear boxing gloves. Hand wraps will do to avoid bruises. However, if you wear gloves, that means additional weight, it helps develop the muscles (get shredded shoulders).
To sum up
As you see, the speed bag workout benefits are numerous. It helps to improve both your brain and body, and it is a fun way to exercise. Typically, we see fighters using this gear, but it has a place in an average person’s life.