* Benefits of using the speed bag
* Techniques & Combinations


Introduction

In the hands of a skill practitioner the speed bag can be an awesome display of controlled power and speed. You can mix fists and elbows together in a non-stop attack from all directions. The awesome sound and fury of the rhythm can be hypnotic, and that is what keeps people coming back. But before you reach that level it helps to understand how the speed bag works.


Benefits of Speed Bag training

Why should you use a speed bag? If you play any sport that requires you to put your hands rapidly at a point in space to hit, catch, or block a moving object, (such as a moving ball, fist or foot...), you can benefit from regular speed bag training. These actions often require quick and accurate reactions with split second timing. The speed bag will fine tune your reaction time, which translates to all sports. It will also help you learn to keep your hands up in the "ready" position. Affected sports include the "big 4" of basketball, football (American), baseball and volleyball, as well as: Handball, Softball, Lacrosse, and all racket sports (tennis, racquetball, ping-pong). Simply put, If you "get in the game"- speed bag training can help you play better.
Eye-Hand & Foot coordination Targeting the bag for single or repetitive contact, and to do this continuously at the right time.
Rhythm and Timing Maintain constant and continuous flowing movements with equal force and speed.
Hand speed and power. Required to keep the bag going at a constant rate of speed. Also requires using equal power (or force), with no wasted motion.
Fitness Benefits Striking actions require the user to hold the arms and hands up for extended periods of time, building shoulder & arm strength and endurance. This in turn helps to shape, tone and define the muscles involved. Punching repetitively for a length of time, such as 3 minutes can have cardiovascular benefits, taxing the heart and lungs, and often leave you winded. With practice, you can extend this to 15 minutes or longer, helping to increase aerobic capacity.
Rhythmic Expression. Like a "hanging drum" It allows the user a vast amount of creative capability. With a little practice, you can develop all kinds of different rhythms, allowing for a great deal of self-expression.
Low injury potential. Speed Bag training has very low potential for serious injury.
Home economy. Speed bag equipment can be inexpensive and adapts easily to the home environment. It can also be mixed with other home fitness activities.
Adaptable. Speed bag equipment adapts to people of all sizes, shapes, gender and levels of ability or disability.


Techniques & Combinations

In the flurry of fist and bag movements, it is often difficult to tell the difference between techniques and combinations. The key to all this is the number of rebounds that occur.

A technique is an independent striking skill that can be made in one smooth motion. Since we have two fists and two elbows, a single technique may include up to all four parts in the motion. There are techniques that use one fist, both fists, a fist and an elbow, both fists and one elbow, or both fists and both elbows. Within a technique, the bag will only rebound once between the connecting parts.

Depending in the technique used, the fists and elbows can contact the bag in several areas. Below are shown the areas of contact.

Any time two or more rebounds occur before the bag is hit again, it is a combination. Combinations are made by hitting the bag repetitively with different techniques. Many people just punch the speed bag from the front, but techniques and combinations can occur from all areas around the bag. The more skill you have, the more areas you can use.

Below is a sample combination of single punches from the front and back of the bag:
Front Circle Punch (FCP) - to- Reverse Single Punch (RSP).

Below is a Left Side Double Punch – to – Right Side Double Punch combination:

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