How to Use a Speed Bag

Speed bags have long been a go to piece of equipment in the boxing community, with the rhythmic rebounding sound becoming synonymous with the sport. Although a very common sites in gyms across the globe, their usefulness is a question up for debate, however that's a discussion for another time.

Unfortunately, the speed bag can be fairly tricky to master, especially if you've never used one before. That's why we've decided to put together this guide on how to use a speed bag and with a bit of luck, you'll be comfortable working the bag in no time at all. 

Lets get to it.

Benefits of Speed Bag Work Outs

At this point I think it's a good idea to look at the plethora of benefits that speed bag work outs have to offer:

  • Can Work Out From Home: One of the best aspects of the speed bag is that you can easily get your own set up at home. This will allow you to squeeze in extra work outs here and there, perfecting your speed bag technique and skill.
  • Get Familiar Keeping Your Hands Up: When sparring and/or keeping it's important that you keep your hands raised in order to not be on the receiving end of a devastating shot. That being said, it can be pretty hard and unfamiliar for beginners to keep their hands up for a long period of time. The speed bag will allow you to get used to keeping your hands raised, eventually becoming second nature.
  • Arm & Shoulder Endurance: Working out on a speed bag is a fantastic way to improve your arm and shoulder endurance. Your hands are raised at all times and your continually throwing strikes with each arm.
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    Timing & Co-Ordination:  In order to keep the speed bag rebounding at a constant speed, you need to strike it perfectly in the right place at the right time. This can take some getting used to, however is a fantastic way to develop both your timing and hand-eye co-ordination.


What You’ll Need

If you're planning on setting up your own speed bag station at home (which I recommend you do), you're going to need a few things first.

  • Speed BagKind of obvious, but of course you're going to need your own speed bag. If you're a beginner, get a larger model as this is easier to use.
  • Speed Bag PlatformThis is also known as the drum, as is often a thick, circular piece of wood in which you attach the speed bag to. You then mount the platform to the wall, with the speed bag hanging down from its' centre.
  • Speed Bag SwivelThis is the part that connects the speed bag itself to the platform. There are a number of different types of speed bag swivel, however which one is best is really down to personal preference. 

How to Use a Speed Bag For Beginners

Ok, let's take a look at how to actually use a speed bag. If you'd prefer to watch a video, I would highly recommend checking out the video below by Expert Boxing. Make sure you read to the end of the article though, I'm going to drop some amazing top tips to help even more.

Step 1: Slap the Bag

Lets not run before we can walk here, start by having your hands open and hit the bag in a downward motion with the tips of your fingers. You want to aim for the bag to rebound 3 times, then strike it on the 4th. Hit the bag twice with your right hand, twice with your left hand and repeat.

Tip: Keep your hands just below the bag, striking the bag in a circle like motion.

Step 2: Close Your Hands in to Fists

Before we begin step two, I just want to mentioned that it's important that you don't leave it too late to strike the bag, aim to hit the bag when it is halfway through its' rebound towards you.

Now it is time to close your hands into fists, which is where it gets a bit tricky. The first punch you want to strike the bag using your knuckles, striking forward. On the second strike, you want to hit the bag with a slight downward motion, using the side of your hand.

Step 3: Repeat

Now it's a matter of practicing step two, alternating between your left and right hand every two punches. 

Example: Start the round with a forward strike (with your right hand) using your knuckles, then a slight downward strike with the side of your hand. Then you do this exact same thing, but with your left hand. Continue to repeat this for rounds of 1 or two minutes.

Speed Bag Top Tips

Ok, lets take a look at some other tips that will get you well on the way to mastering the speed bag.

Stand Square On - Not in a Boxing Stance

Unlike other bags like the heavy bag, you don't want to be stood in a boxing stance with one foot in front of the other. You want to be stood square on, with the speed bag aligning with the centre of your body. To do this, just use your nose as a reference point, keeping it inline with the middle of the speed bag.

Maximum Focus & Intensity

In order to reap the most rewards from your speed bag work out, make sure you're using maximum focus and intensity. Obviously if you're a beginner, you'll want to take it slow, but make sure you're putting maximum effort into the work out. 

I know a lot of guys that see the speed bag work out as an 'off round', not really making the most out of it. People then claim it's waist of time, even though they don't use it to its' full potential.

Start With a Larger Bag

When looking to buy a speed bag, there are a number of different sizes available. If it's your first time using one, I would recommend starting on a larger bag. They tend to rebound slower and have a larger surface area to strike. As you get comfortable working a larger bag, you can then progress to smaller bags that are faster (and more fun).

Speed Bag Around Chin Level

If you're setting your own speed bag up at home, it's pretty important to have it at the right height. Make sure that the bottom of the bag is roughly level with the bottom of your chin. This doesn't have to be completely accurate, but it is a big help having the speed bag at the correct height. 

To help with this, make sure you get an adjustable speed bag platform, as it will be easier to get the bag in the right place.

Final Thoughts

Well there we go, hopefully that has shed some light on how to get started with a speed bag. I admit, it can be a bit frustrating at first, especially when there's other guys at the gym that can work the bag easily. 

Stick with it, practice and follow some of the tips on here and you'll figure out how to use a speed bag in no time at all. 

Feel free to drop any questions you may have in the comment section below.

James Davis

A fervent mixed martial artist and avid MMA fan, James combines his experience and scientific knowledge to provide you with a unique perspective on the most popular MMA products on the market. He joins the ranks of other MMA enthusiasts in creating this website to guide and educate the next generation of mixed martial artists.

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