In the world of boxing, mix martial arts, kickboxing and other, the type of a punching bag that you use really matters. It says something about you, it has its own meaning. So when a professional, or a well-informed athlete, asks you about the punching bag that you have at home, he wants to find out what your skills are, how strong you are and more. If he knows what to ask, he really can find out plenty about you. In this article, we will help you understand the benefits of a speed bag, teach you something new, and open the doors of the fighting sports to you! We will cover many topics that will, at the end, make you understand why a speed bag is so beneficial. Let’s dive in, shall we?
A brief intro to punching bags in general
The world of boxing has come a long way. From its modest and humble beginnings to a massive multi-million dollar sport that is winning over the globe. With the development of boxing, many other sports developed as well. Wrestling, kickboxing, or any other sport and style that you can see in the UFC today. All of that led to a creation of new and exciting equipment that the professionals are using. Punching bags, gloves, mats, all of that any much more. But there is one thing that all of us think of when someone mentions boxing. That one thing would be punching bags. I am sure that you agree on this one, right?
Anyhow, today, punching bags come in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Here is how you can classify them:
- Heavy bags: Standing bags and Hanging bags.
- Uppercut bags
- Double ended bags
And finally, there are
- Speed bags
Each one of these will do different things for you and your body. Some develop strength like heavy bags do, and other focus on something different that you can improve and work at. We have an article that has everything explained in detail right here.
Now that you have warmed up, let’s see what exactly does a speed bag have to offer to you.
What is a speed bag?
As you can see, a speed bag is one of four categories of punching bags. It is a small bag that actually, looks kind of like a pear. The speed bag is connected to a short spring that comes right back at you, when you hit it, with good speed. You have definitely seen one of them. How are we so certain? Well, everyone watched the “Rocky” movies. You can see him (Rocky) go and work with that speed bag in every single movie. So, if you are in doubt and don’t trust us, listen to Rocky and go get that speed bag for you today.
All jokes aside, before getting the speed bag, you must know what it is used for and what are the speed bag’s benefits. We got you covered, and no, not in a weird way. Sheesh!
What are the benefits of using a speed bag?
Before we begin, you should know that you don’t have to be a professional in order to use a speed bag. It is fine, there is a first time for everything and you are not limited in any way. A speed bag is mostly used by boxers. It is a part of their everyday life and it is considered their training partner. You can use them for the same benefits they do. Here are the reasons why a speed bag is a useful piece of equipment.
If you are using a speed bag correctly, which will be mentioned later, you are developing your hand-eye coordination. It is one of the best things that you can use in order to improve in that field. It is no fairy tale that basketball players, volleyball players and other use them for their own training. Every athlete that participates in a sport that uses a ball can benefit so much from using a speed bag! It is really important in boxing because it helps boxers punch accurately, on point, and avoid being hit by an opponent, all at the same time.
Shoulder and arm strength
Heavier bags are meant to increase your strength, yes, but speed bags can hit those muscles in a different way and also help you with that. They are even considered like a shoulder workout. Some people actually use it as a shoulder workout. The position of you arms that they are constantly at while punching the bag develops that strength. Your muscles are tight, in action and growing.
Just like all other punching bags, a speed bag can help you with your cardio workouts as well. You set the tone of your workout but it should be as intense as possible. Punch the bag at a speed that challenges you but that’s not too tough and maintain it. You will notice that heavy breathing can come to you without going for a jog. With that being said, a speed bag can be a way of preventing high blood pressure, heart diseases and other similar illnesses.
Rhythm and timing
By using the speed bag correctly, you are improving your timing, rhythm, and reaction as well. The bag is coming at you with speed so you have to think fast. Well, you will have to think fast at first, because later after using it for a while, it will become automatic. You will develop muscle memory which will make you punch and move without thinking. You will have precise powerful punches that are timed pretty well.
“Timing beats power”, a quote by Connor McGregor, a UFC TWO TITLE holder, the first man to do it. We know that he is using a speed bag on a daily basis, and there are many Youtube videos that back us up on this. After using it, you will start thinking about rhythms. They are very important when punching these type of bags. It helps you concentrate and maintain that pace. Who knows, you maybe even become a rapper after using it.
We know that he is using a speed bag on a daily basis, and there are many Youtube videos that back us up on this. After using it, you will start thinking about rhythms. They are very important when punching these type of bags. It helps you concentrate and maintain that pace. Who knows, you maybe even become a rapper after using it.
Keeping that guard up
One of the most important things in boxing, and in fighting in general, is keeping those hands up! You always have to be prepared, be focused, and ready. It only takes one good punch on a right spot to knock you down and make you see stars over your head. Using a speed bag prevents all that if you use it a lot that is. You will constantly have those hands up while punching it because, without that, the exercise is impossible.
It is a normal reaction to back off when something is near you and coming at you constantly. If you are inexperienced in the field of fighting, you could feel confused and afraid, you probably won’t know what to do and just hope for the best. The speed bag develops a natural “feel” for the opponent. While using it, you are close, it is coming at you, and you need to react. All of that will help when you are in a similar situation. You won’t think, you will react like it is second nature.
As you can see, a speed bag doesn’t just play a crucial part in boxing, but in everyday life as well. It will develop so many things and so many new skills that you, maybe, didn’t even thought that you might end up having. It will make you a more confident and reliable individual.
This is fantastic and all that but if you don’t know how to use it, it all falls down. You must learn the proper mechanics and start from zero in order to develop all of the mentioned stuff. So, if you aren’t in a boxing team, or don’t have anyone to show you how, we will try and help you with that too.
How to use a speed bag properly?
With everything new that you are doing, it is important that you learn the fundamentals. Punching a speed bag is no different. If you punch the wrong way you might not end up having the results that you wanted, and you may end up hurting yourself. Let’s see what are the things you need to keep in mind while punching a speed bag.
Open your hands
If you are a beginner, do not hit with your knuckles. Do not form a fist. You will, if you are inexperienced, lose control pretty much from the start. Forming a fist can make it that much difficult for you to find a rhythm. And you know what a lack of rhythm means in these type of things. No, not lack of dance moves as well! It means you will end up getting hit and possibly, really hurt.
Keep your hands close
By keeping your hands close to the bag you will be able to find a good rhythm and punch with good timing much easier. One hand should be punching, and the other one should be waiting right under. Keep your eyes on the prize at all time, focus and get that work done!
A very important thing. Finding a good rhythm will help you accomplish anything you want to without even thinking. It trains your mind pretty well that causes the body to follow and learn the movement pretty quickly. If you are using this technique, your workout will never be just punching a bag, it will never get boring. You are training your mental strength with this simple add-on and training all of the previously mentioned stuff. What you can do with this is – when you hit a bag at a first try, use the front of your hand, on second, use the bottom. You can go like “Left-Left then Right Right” rhythm, or increase the amount, or change it. Whatever works for you.
Form a circle
What we mean by this is that you should follow hit in circles. The trajectory of your hands should look like a circle. And always make it look the same, once you find the right pattern that is. You aren’t hitting this type of bag like you hit a heavy bag. You aren’t extending your arms. A heavy bag can’t come right back at you, this one can, so proper form is key.
The position of your feet set the position of your body, and the position of your body will determine how well you can hit a target. A boxing stance isn’t what you should be doing here. Square up and get closer. That is a must! Plant your feet at the right place and know that both of them should be at equal distance from a bag. Standing closer than arm’s length from the bag is also very important. After getting used to it you can move your body the way that feels natural, but at first, you have to follow these steps.
Final thoughts on the speed bag
There it is, all you need to know before buying yourself a nice, practical speed bag. As you can see it will do wonders for you and make you a better version of yourself. The speed bag isn’t restricted to anyone. As a matter of fact, everyone can and should use it! They are available in many different sizes so kids can use it as well. Finally, you can become like one of the iconic movie and martial arts characters. Bruce Lee, Ip Man, Rocky, Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude whatever, his name is too long. But please remember, it will take some time to master it!
Nothing in life comes easy so don’t think that you will learn how to use a punching bag fast. It will require sacrifice, hard work, and sweat, lots and lots of sweat, but eventually, you will succeed and enjoy the fruits of your work. Well, that’s about it. We hope we helped you learn the benefits of a speed bag and learn something new!