Speed Bag Tips

While a speed bag has historically served as a boxing training tool, speed bags can be used by any fitness enthusiast in order to increase agility and speed while toning muscles. In addition to getting the right motion for the speed bag, you also should ensure your equipment is appropriately set up. While hitting hard may be a good thing in boxing, it’s not necessary for a speed bag–finding the right rhythm takes practice and is another important part of a successful speed bag session.

Correctly Set Up Your Bag

Because a speed bag relies upon proper arm positioning, you first have to correctly set up your bag. The widest portion of the speed bag should be positioned at your chin or mouth height, not at your eye level. This allows the proper space for bag positioning and allows you to hit all sides of the bag, not just one side–which can occur when a person places the bag too high.

Control the Bag

RossBoxing.com recommends transitioning your thinking from a “speed” bag to a “control” bag. This can be accomplished by starting off slowly and not hitting too hard. First, mark your fist at where you want to hit the bag–right in the widest part of the bag. Circle your fist around slowly and push the bag again. Take great care for how big of a circle your rotation is. For example, a larger circle takes more force than a smaller one. Making a circle about six inches around is a good rule of thumb for using the speed bag and building speed. You should aim for consistency: hitting with the same speed and at the same location every time, according to SpeedBagCentral.com.

Count Your Punches

Speed bag use is about establishing a rhythm that ensures you will punch the bag at the right time. According to RossBoxing.com, most boxers punch in a 1-2-3 pattern. There is the first hit, which bounces of the hit. The speed bag bounces away from you then moves back toward the face, then back away–this represents the two. Finally the bag comes back toward you and the opposite fist hits the bag. While the bag counts must always be odd, it is possible to lengthen the number of counts to 5 or 7 depending upon your speed. If you change from making straight jabs, such as to hooks or uppercuts, you may wish to alter the number of rebounds between punches.

About this Author

Rachel Nelson is currently a managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. A writer for more than six years, she has written for the Associated Press and “Charleston,” “Chatter” and “Reach” magazines. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in public administration from the University of Tennessee.