Mastering a speed bag can be difficult. While there is some debate about their effectiveness as a training mechanism, there is no debate that growing comfortable with using this piece of equipment in the gym takes time.
There are many benefits to learning how to use a speed bag. These range from being able to workout anywhere that has a bag to being able to become comfortable with keeping your hands up to practice your coordination and timing. Another benefit of the speed bag is improved shoulder and arm endurance. Despite all these benefits, the learning curve for the speed bag is a steep one.
To use the bag, you'll want to keep your hands just below the bag and strike it in a circular motion. Start with your hands open and hit the bag with the tips of your fingers. You want the bag to rebound three times and then strike the bag on the fourth rebound. Do this twice with each hand. Aim to hit the bag when it's about halfway through its rebound towards you. Once you feel comfortable with this pattern, it's time to move on to the next skill.
Closing your hands into fists makes things a little bit tricky. On your first punch, you want to connect with the bag on your knuckles first, striking forward. Your second strike will use the side of your hand to hit the bag with a slightly downward motion. Again you will want to alternate between your right and left hand every two punches.
Once you have mastered these repetitions, you will want to make some adjustments that will help you achieve success with the speed bag.
Make sure that you remain focused while you work with the speed bag. Take it slow at first and put the maximum effort into the workout. Don't treat your time at the speed bag as a time to relax and not give your best effort.
The speed bag is not the heavy bag. You don't want to stand in a boxing stance with one foot in front of the other. When it comes time to hit the speed bag, you want to be square in front of it with the bag aligned to the center of your body. The bag should hang at about chin level. While it doesn't have to be exact, having it at approximately the correct height helps make the exercise easier to repeat with greater accuracy.
Starting with a larger bag can be helpful for some beginners. There are a number of different speed bag sizes available. Larger bags tend to rebound more slowly and offer a larger surface area for beginners to strike. As your comfort level grows transition to a smaller speed bag for a faster and more fun workout.
The coaching team at Gracie Raleigh is ready to help you master the speed bag and other core skills to help you be successful in your martial arts pursuits. Whether you are new to martial arts or a seasoned practitioner, our training environment is welcoming and focused on making you the best fighter you can be. Call or come by the gym today to learn more about Gracie Raleigh and sign up for your free classes.