When it comes to extreme sports, boxing is definitely one of the top sports in the world. Along with power, strength, and endurance, boxing also demands for speed, accuracy, and precision.
But, how does a speed bag help your performance in the ring? Are there any benefits of doing speed bag training for boxing? Let see:
So, Why do Boxers Use Speed Bags?
Boxers often use speed bags to train their mind to increase punching speed and better hand-eye coordination. Speed bag training also enhances striking accuracy while allowing you to work on your stamina and upper-body endurance.
Keep reading to know more about how using a speed bag benefits you more than just increasing your speed and accuracy:
What is a Boxing Speed Bag?
A boxing speed bag is a small teardrop-shaped punching bag that is intended to hit repeatedly to practice timing, accuracy, and power. Speed bag workout helps you to enhance your stamina while developing hand-eye coordination and punching speed.
Speed bags are very common in boxing gyms and are suspended with the bottom of the bag in line with the boxers’ chin. They are quite a popular training tool and are available in lots of shapes, sizes, materials, and hanging positions.
7 Benefits of Using Speed Bags for Boxing Training
Speed bag training has been an important aspect of boxing workouts for a long time. Here’re the most common benefits of speed bags for a beginner boxer:
1. Hand-Eye Coordination
This is one of the key benefits of using a boxing speed bag. While it’s easy to learn the basic punching techniques for hitting a speed bag, you need to develop a proper rhythm in order to keep the bag in continuous motion.
The quick rebound response of the speed bag kind of trains your brain to strike the bag accurately and leave you with enhanced hand-eye coordination.
Similar to real-time boxing matches, speed bags demands your constant attention and as a result, your brain has no option but to find a way to conquer this work and put everything together.
This skill helps you a lot to dodge those punches and counter them in a quick and flawless fashion, especially when you’re fighting against a quick puncher.
2. Increased Punching Speed
As the name suggests, the speed bag is one of the important gears that help you to work on your reflexes and allows you to significantly increase your punching speed.
As per the sweet science of boxing, ideally, you should be always attentive and should be able to respond to any kind of movement within seconds.
The more you practice on the speed bag, it continuously gains momentum and asks you to punch even more quickly. This ultimately prepares you for real-world fighting situations and also increases your confidence in terms of your speed and reflexes.
I think this is very important because it helps you to eventually focus more on complex boxing techniques and advanced skills.
3. More Stamina
This is another quite helpful after-effect of doing speed bag workouts. It helps you to increase your stamina to last longer in the ring and continue delivering punches with the same accuracy.
One of the early boxing lessons that we learn is to keep our hands up and always protect the face. When you hit a speed bag, it bounces back almost immediately and forces you to keep your hands up to deliver your next punch.
Look into the picture, he’s not actually punching the speed bag in the same way we punch a heavy bag. It’s there to teach you the discipline to keep your hands up no matter how tired you are.
It also helps strengthen your arm so you don’t get heavy and tired in the late rounds. You can also think of this as a skipping for your arms that helps you to build solid endurance and versatile rhythm.
4. Enhanced Accuracy
Another reason boxers rely so heavily on the speed bag is its quite limited range of motion. With more and more repetitions, you’re essentially teaching your hands to respond faster for better accuracy.
It’s completely normal if you’re taking little time and adjustment to get used to speed bag workouts in the beginning. It’s the cognitive training and good coordination that trains your brain to master it over time.
In fact, the repetitive and quick nature of speed bag workouts helps you to develop your muscle memory and allow you to protect your face much better in the actual match.
Along with the accuracy, speed bag training also allows you to work on your timing. In order to keep the speed bag in consistent motion, you must learn to punch accurately at the proper time.
5. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Aside from all the various skills you get from speed bag workouts, you’ll also experience the overall benefit of improved cardiovascular health.
Many people mostly break down this workout into multiple 1 to 2-minute sets and take 3-minute rest in between the rounds. It might seem like a less draining exercise but your heart rate will be elevated the entire time and for a little while afterward.
That’s why training with a speed bag is considered as one of the best cardio workouts that will help you to burn calories and strengthen your heart and lungs.
6. Upper Body Development
Another main benefit of using a speed bag over most of other boxing equipment is the aggressive battle between you and your will to push your limits.
The speed bag does not stop until you do and that’s how it tests your will to put in those extra efforts and helps you to build your upper body endurance while developing your fighting mentality.
To be more specific: Speed bag workouts help you to shred your arms as well as shoulders and I think it’s the best way to create that “V” shape in your back muscles.
I like how beautifully this workout engages your rotator cuffs and allows you to move your hands faster while developing your shoulder endurance.
7. Better Mental Focus
Many beginner boxers complain about their momentary loss of focus and how it prevents them from getting the most value possible from their training.
Being able to anticipate your opponent’s movement during a fight is one of the main skills every boxer needs to master and a speed bag workout helps you achieve exactly this. It blocks out the outside distractions and helps you to focus on the task at hand.
Just like your punching speed and accuracy, you can increase your focus and concentration through practice over a period of time. In fact, one of the gym partners, Smith, can do this even with closed eyes. Isn’t that amazing?
The speed bag allows you to work on your timing and rhythm while channelizing your mental energy into developing essential skills and patterns.
And that’s why it’s one of the necessary workouts for boxing training.
- Can you Jump in Boxing?
- Boxing with Long Nails? 7 Answers Explained
- Punching a Wall with Boxing Gloves?
My Personal Favorite Speed Bag Workouts
To be honest with you, I don’t like to get fancy or over-complicated with my boxing training. I have a top-mounter speed bag in my gym and like to strike it in a circular motion.
#1. Striking Pattern: Left, Left, Right, Right
You can start with the simple double punching pattern on each hand and move towards a more advanced and fast-paced single-punch technique over time.
#2. Striking Pattern: Left, Right, Left, Right
You can also switch your hands to punch alternatively from left to right to make it even more challenging and thus effective.
Difference between Speed Bag and Heavy Bag?
We all know that all speed bags are punching bags but not all punching bags are speed bags.
By punching a heavy bag, you’re essentially working on your muscle strength and increasing your power. Whereas speed bag workouts are mostly inclined towards increasing your skills and punching speed.
Does Hitting a Speed Bag Build Muscle?
Hitting a speed bag regularly does offer you enough resistance to gain a few pounds of muscle. It builds strength in your arms, shoulders as well your back muscles. This training is explosive enough to be anabolic and allows you to effectively work on your overall upper body development.