How To Speed Bag
Knowing how to speed bag requires excellent hand-eye coordination, split-second decision-making, and the ability to sustain a fast-paced tempo for the length of the speed bag routine. Follow these steps to improve your speed bag technique and overall fighting ability.
- Stance. Always maintain a proper stance throughout. Feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. The key here is to pretend you’re in a real match and the bag is your opponent.
- Platform. Ensure that the speed bag platform is at a proper height. Ideally, it will hand right in front of your face. The bottom of the bag should not come lower than your chin, however.
- Circle punches. These are the cornerstone of how to speed bag. A circle punch starts a few inches in front of your chin and moves in a tight circle toward the speed bag. If you’re performing circle punches correctly, the side of your hand will strike the bulb of the speed bag and your hand will return to its place in front of your chin. Remember: A circle punch doesn’t mean that you’re punching with your knuckles facing the bag. A circle punch is always performed by striking the speed bag with the side of your hand while your forearms are raised in front of you.
- One hand. Use one hand since you’re just starting out punching on the speed bag. Trying to do fast two-handed circle punch combos before you’ve trained even one hand will result in frustration. Take five minutes to practice with your right hand before switching and practicing circle punches with your left hand for the next five minutes. Repeat this several times until you can increase your tempo using only one hand for more than 15-20 minutes at a time.
- Bag rhythm. If you’ve ever watched someone on the speed bag, you were no doubt enthralled by how fast they were able to punch. In order to reach that level of expertise, you need to understand the rhythm of the bag after it has been punched. Non-boxers and fighters tend to mistakenly believe that the fighter is punching the bag on each successive downswing. This is an illusion, of course, as the rapid movement of the bag creates an illusion to the untrained eye. In reality, after the bag is punched it bounces off the back of the platform, then bounces off the front of the platform before bouncing off the back of the platform again. It is on the third downswing that the fighter connects with his next punch. That’s a total of three bounces before another punch is thrown. It sounds much slower than it is, but again, in real-time this series takes only a second to accomplish when punching at a quick tempo.
- Slow rhythm. As a beginner on the speed bag, you really have no choice but to slow your tempo. However, keep in mind that the bag must make three bounces before you hit again. Practicing the three count rhythm at a slower pace will gradually train your reflexes to catch the bag after its third bounce when you graduate to a higher tempo.
- Varied punches. After you gain experience on the speed bag, try varying your punches. You don’t have to perform circle punches every time. Switch them up with straight punches, just remember to maintain the three-count rhythm.
- Switch hands. You’re at the top of your speed bag game when you can stand under it for fifteen to twenty minutes and flip between both hands on successive punches. When you begin using both hands, however, it’s advisable to switch hands every three to five punches. Practice this way for a while before attempting to switch hands every other punch.