Punching speed is a critical aspect of fighting in many martial arts. You can train at the gym or inside of your home, but we believe a good speed bag is a must-have item in your training room or garage if you want to make significant progress.
You can throw lightning-fast strikes in the style of Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao or Errol Spence Jr, but you must learn a technique properly in the first place. There are many lovely speed bag workouts that can push your cardio, endurance, and even power to the next level.
But first, we assume you’d like to get to know the advantages of speed bag training sessions. Many people will say it’s good for professional athletes only, but that’s just wrong.
Positive Sides Of Speed Bag Training Sessions
There are many lovely benefits of speed bags, from building lightning-fast speed to cardio and technical workouts. Let’s get to the point.
The primary purpose of speed bag training sessions is outstanding quickness. Sometimes you’ll have to hit it three, five, or even ten times in a row. Two or three punches per second sound impossible for a beginner, but no worries, everything is possible as time goes by.
Look what we mean by the lightning-fast fists, please get to know Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, the all-time greatest Filipino boxer. We bet you’re impressed by his hand speed, aren’t you?
You can also check our article on how to increase your punching speed and power.
The majority of coaches are pretty narrow-minded, believing speed bag is built for hands and nothing else. But we are hoping to open up your eyes.
You can add a step forward or backward, or a step to the side. When you learn this move, you might try to land a counterpunch. There are many ways to simulate realistic conditions and stay light on your feet. It’s easy to improve your movement.
Beginners typically have a hard time with this because their eyes usually don’t follow their punches. It leads to poor counters and anticipation. But this aspect of fighting will improve as you take part in more and more training sessions.
Boosting Cardio and Anaerobic Endurance
This could be a bit tricky, but it is possible if you’re an intermediate or an advanced striker. It is easy to hit a heavy bag for half an hour, but you’ll need some skills for a speed bag.
We’ll give you some tips later, but the point is – you must hit the speed bag for 15 minutes or longer. You need some technicality for that, but no worries. Practice makes perfect!
It is possible to train powerhouse strikes on the speed bag. Yeah, many fighters tend to do this on a heavy bag, but if you want to brutalize your foe’s head, this is a recommended training session. Mike Tyson was a fan of it in his best days!
Setting Up Counters
The speed bag can simulate the opponent, especially when it rebounds back. Hit the moving target and your opponent will have no chance to move his head when he tries to hit you.
Ability To Train Anywhere
If you decide to buy a speed bag, then it’s very beneficial for you, as it lets you train at your home or balcony. Yet, you can take it on a trip with you too. If you like to train in peaceful surroundings (forest or park), platforms are not heavy too.
Shoulder And Arm Endurance
These muscle groups will work more, which will be very beneficial. When it comes to fighting, it will lead to a lovely ability to keep your hands higher and prevent deadly shots for a prolonged time.
Training-Related Aspects You Must Be Aware Of
There are many different types of speed bags, and each one lets you train different features. Let’s get into the spirit of things.
Size – Beginner Or Top-Notch Puncher Workout?
Well, let’s try to compare the fighter who has just kicked off his training voyage to an expert striker. The size in speed bag difference is enormous because a beginner lacks in skills and he would be better served by choosing a bigger bag.
Length – Hitting Moving Target Or A Sitting Duck?
The longer object moves more, which is good for accuracy and counter strikes.
But a shorter one will work for you if you’d like to connect multiple strikes in a row, or if you plan to become the master of accuracy.
Weight – Kung-Fu Speed Or Medium-Fast Precise Strikes?
Ip Man was an impressive Kung-Fu specialist who was throwing 7-8 strikes per second. Yes, he trained combos on dummies, but let’s be honest – the majority of fighters tend to build their speed up, right?
Well, if you’d like to work on it, the speed bag should be as light as possible, because it rebounds back faster (3 lbs or less should be fine). If you have different goals, 3+ lbs could do the job for you.
Shape And Speed Bag
Many people call the middle part of the speed bag “the belly”. Check whether it’s wider or narrower. If you plan to throw heavier bombs, a wider model will do the job for you. But accuracy and quickness training sessions demand a narrower model.
All right, now let’s get to know the best speed bag training sessions. You can work on so many different aspects of the game, now you’ll see how.
How To Use A Speed Bag: The 5 Best Workouts
There are various ways to hit the speed bag but we will start with the basic ones.
If you’re a beginner, assume a parallel stance in front of the bag. Hit it from the front with, both, front and side of your punches. When you master these kinds of strikes, you can transition to hitting from the side, running strikes, or you can even incorporate elbows and spinning techniques.
My advice is to develop a rhythm and follow it. Or you can play the music and follow the beat if that works better for you. If you plan to train at home, I recommend you buy a timer and a radio too.
Maybe this video could help you, it contains a lot of great info for beginners.
1. Strength Workout
I bet the majority of coaches will criticize when they see this kind of workout. I have to remind you that 20-year-old Mike Tyson was a huge fan of this workout. So was Muhammad Ali in his most dominant days. You can hit like Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, or Alen Babic, just try this “weird” speed bag training session out.
Here are instructions on how to perform this:
- Inflate speed bag, there shouldn’t be creases in the leather.
- Assume the boxing stance and choose a strike. This can be right cross, right hook, literally any kind of strike.
- Now strike your speed bag with your maximum power (pay attention to your technique). Count how many times it rebounded off the backboard.
- Write the number of rebounds, then hit again when you recover. Don’t connect, wait at least 3-5 seconds between the strikes, this is a strength training session.
- Hit the bag 10-20 times, but if you had 5 rebounds on your first strike, make sure you have 5 or more on your 10th strike.
- Perform 4 sets with each arm. You must have 5 or more rebounds during these sets.
- Now rest a bit and throw everything you have in the fifth set, hit the bag 8-12 times, but aim for 6 rebounds or more (stay in boxing stance all the time). If you can achieve the 7th rebound at least once, that’s even better!
- Done. Do this a few more times and your opponents will feel the brutal power of your punches.
Just one piece of advice – your technical aspect of the strike must be good all the time, don’t sacrifice technique for a greater number of rebounds.
2. Speed Workout
This is the most often type of speed bag training session you’ll see. You must hit the bag very quickly for some time. And please, don’t forget to keep your hands up.
- There is no need to assume a boxing stance, just set the timer to 30-45 seconds.
- Punch at a medium-to-high pace, depending on your training level, but don’t miss.
- Count the number of hits in the interval, if it’s 50, try to go for the same or the greater number in the next one.
- Go for 6-8 rounds. If you can land 55+ punches in the final round, it’d be outstanding.
Please, don’t forget to keep your hands high or you’ll be put to sleep in a real fight.
Check top-notch professionals in action.
3. Aerobic/Anaerobic Endurance Workout
Endurance is one of the hardest features to work on, especially with the speed bag. But there are many ways to become a cardio machine. Working on anaerobic/aerobic endurance is very tricky, but there is a beginner workout that might be suitable for everyone.
The point is – keep the pace for a prolonged time. I know it is hard to hit a speed bag for more than 10 minutes as it demands excellent coordination and a superb level of attention for a prolonged time. But here’s Manny Pacquiao’s amazing training routine, please watch the video.
My piece of advice is to do this for 5 minutes (just like in the video), then just do three more sets without stoppage. Please do this for at least 20 minutes or more if you’d like to boost your aerobic endurance. That is one set, then make a break of 1-2 minutes, and perform one or two extra 20-minute sets.
Yet, when your goal is anaerobic endurance, here comes another suggestion – 5-minute high-pace rounds. Rest 2 minutes, then repeat two more sets.
And listen, don’t give up. If you can’t do the whole set at the beginning, don’t get discouraged, even the greatest fighters in the world were known for poor cardio at the early stages of their careers.
4. Accuracy Workout
We recommend you to use a wider heavy bag for this unless you’re a top-notch professional. You don’t have to be super-quick. The greatest benefit comes from a very small speed bag, so give it a shot. Here are the instructions:
- The point of this workout is to land a blow in the same spot over and over, aim carefully and let the speed bag rebound in the straight line.
- If you want to change rhythm or pace, hit different areas of the bag.
- Move to the left and right and land shots to the chosen spot carefully.
- This round shouldn’t last more than 1 minute. Then rest for 30-60 seconds, and start with three rounds. You can work more as time goes by, but you must stay focused, otherwise, this kind of training session makes no sense.
5. Counter/Movement Workout
This might be the hardest on the list of speed bag training sessions for beginners, so please don’t try it unless you’re an experienced puncher.
- Hit the speed bag once, then start circling and imagine you’re taking part in a real fight. Move around and land a devastating counter.
- Keep circling the speed bag, then hit it again, and deliver a counter on the move.
- Repeat the same moves for the remainder of the set. Perform at least 10-15 strikes per round.
- I suggest you try 5 rounds out in the beginning, then increase the number of rounds, and take a 2-minute rest between rounds.
You must stay busy all the time. If you don’t move, this speed bag workout makes no sense. Your opponent will not stand like a sitting duck!
Your perfect speed bag workout should depend on your training level. Of course, fighting aspirations are important too. If you plan to compete, you’ll have to learn to hit like a pro and boost some real speed and power.
Which feature are you going to train? What is your favorite speed bag routine and why? Please leave us a comment in the section below!
Don’t forget to check our 13-step guide to making your punches harder and faster. You will love it!