I have been working the speed bag for many years for boxing and martial arts. Growing up on Rocky movies, it was something you did to get you ready for the big fight! Only recently, have I discovered the benefits beyond hitting the speed bag for the sport.
Obviously speed bag training is normally associated with the sport of boxing. Most (boxing) professionals find it to be a useful tool. However, even a non-boxer or martial artist can incorporate the speed bag into their training program. Moreover, boxers and non-boxers alike can benefit greatly from using this.
- Improved Hand-eye Coordination – Hitting a small, fast moving object, can be relatively difficult. Starting out, most individuals will feel awkward. However over time, they will develop reaction time and increase hand-eye coordination.
- Cardiovascular Workout – A person’s heart rate will raise during a bag workout and for a little time afterward. Also, since the workout is mostly upper body, its less draining and longer workouts are possible.
- Increased Timing & Rhythm – There are similarities to speedbagging and drumming. A person has to count close to playing percussionist, the more a person hits the bag the better there timing gets.
- Shoulder & Arm Strength As one trains, their arms and shoulders are in constant use. Requiring the body to use energy to move faster and faster will require more strength over time.
- Improved Hand Speed – Like any other practiced movement, one will get faster at it. This will increase punching power because a faster moving fist will generate more force.
As one can see, there are some great benefits to hitting the speed bag, and it is a great tool to improve your boxing/mma skills. But over time, what I have found to be the best benefit, is how much fun I have using the speed bag. It not only allows me to de-stress, but it servers as a creative outlet. Each time I line up across from it, I find myself in a trance – trying my best to mix speed, skill and rhythm together.
One last thought, in the beginning it will be difficult. But stick with it! Over time it will have a pulling effect and if you miss a few days in a row, you will feel off. It becomes that therapeutic!