* To Increase Strength
* To Increase Speed
* To Increase Endurance
* Martial Arts
* Hitting to Music
Once you can punch repetitively with speed
and power, you can begin targeting specific benefits or training
results. You can do this by manipulating some factors of the
equipment and how you use it. For general fitness you can
use the normal speed bag stance facing front. But for Boxers
and Martial Artists, you may want to use your defensive fighting
stance and use the following guides for any single punching
technique or combination.
Be sure and use hand protection, for these
workouts will put maximum impact on your hands.
Use larger size bags. They are heavier, create more resistance
and require more punching force to keep them going. Since they are
slower, it will also be easier to count the rebounds.
• Create a single punch
workout that uses the number of rebounds as a guide. From whatever
stance you want, hit the bag as hard as you can and count the rebounds.
Then add at least one rebound. As an example, perhaps you throw
a jab, hook or circle punch at a 12x9 bag and it makes six rebounds
before it stops hitting the board. Create a focused workout such
as 3 sets of 10 single punches, where each punch must produced 6
rebounds. Less than six rebounds will not count. After a few workouts,
add another rebound, so now the bag must make 7 rebounds. You must
hit harder to make more rebounds. Do this for each punch or hand
technique you want to focus on. For added targeting ability, do
not stop the bag after the required number of rebounds is reached.
Sight the bag as it slows down and punch when it is in the correct
• Do the above workout for
two or three punch combinations, where each punch in the combination
must create the required number of rebounds. As soon as the correct
number is reached, sight the bag and throw the next technique. As
an example, choose a three punch combination such as a Left Jab,
Right Cross and Left Hook. Each punch in the combination must make
at least 6 rebounds. From boxing stance, execute the left jab, once
you count six rebounds, target the moving bag as it slows down and
execute the Right Cross. Again count until the bag rebounds six
times, then target and execute the Left Hook for six rebounds. Try
to maintain correct balance natural movements. If any punch in the
combination does not produce six rebounds, start the combination
over again. Do this for 3 sets of 10 combinations. After a few workouts,
add another rebound.
You can do speed focused workouts on any
size bag and bag control may be an issue here. Larger bags
will not go as fast as smaller bags. It may help to consider
that each speed bag, not matter what size, has three general
speeds. The First is SLOW, or warm-up speed, the second
is NORMAL or workout speed, and the third is FULL speed.
On any size bag, most people can only maintain full speed
for a short period of time.
• Use progressively
smaller bags, which go faster due to shorter rebound arch.
• Reduce the
swinging movement of your punching techniques. Swing SMALLER,
not harder !
workouts. These workouts require good control of punching
technique and the ability to keep the bag going fast for
at least 30 seconds or one minute. They will also require
a timer and perhaps a coach or workout partner to call out
time or count punches.
workout 1. Hit the bag as fast as possible for
30 seconds or one minute. Count the number of punches you
do in that time period. Then increase the number of punches
in the same time frame. This is easier if you pick one punch
to count, such as the right Front Circle
Punch (FCP) or Right Front Straight Punch (FSP). Start with
that punch and count that punch every time it connects during
the time interval. As an example, perform your basic rhythm
or preferred punching pattern and count the Right Front
Straight Punches. Using 1 minute as a time interval, start
punching with the Right Front Straight Punch and begin your
normal punching sequence. Go as fast as you possibly can
during the interval, counting the right straight punches.
Perhaps you did 40 right Front Straight Punches (FSP) in
one minute. Great. Now reproduce that same number for three
1-minute sets. After a few workouts, add another punch,
so you have to do at least 41 Right Front Straight Punches
(FSP). Keep increasing the number of punches during the
same time interval. You have to punch faster to be successful.
2. Timed workout 2. Similar to the last
workout, but reverse the measurement. Instead of setting
a “time interval” of measurement, use a pre-determined
“Number of Punches” and see how long it takes.
Then try to reduce the time it takes. As an example, Start
with the Right Front Straight Punch (FSP) and perform your
normal punching pattern as fast as you can until you execute
30 Right Front Straight Punches. Perhaps that took 40 seconds.
Do this again for three sets always executing 30 of the
chosen punch. You must complete them within the time interval.
After a few workouts, reduce the time interval. Then try
to do 30 Right Front Straight Punches (FSP) in 35seconds
or 30 seconds. The Trick is you must hit faster to be successful.
above speed workouts are similar but offer some variety.
In WO1 you increased the number of punches within a pre-determined
time interval, and in WO2 you decrease the time interval
required to perform a pre-determined set number of punches.
In either case you have go punch faster to meet the goal.
• Punch the bag continuously for longer
periods of time. Vary the speed of your punching. Start
at slow or warm up speed for 30-60 seconds or 40-50 punches.
Then increase to your normal workout speed, which is where
you feel the most comfortable and in full control. Stay
at this speed for one or two minutes. Then jump to full
speed, and go as fast as possible on that bag. Here you
are almost out of control and will feel the shoulder arm
burn quickly. Back off down to workout speed until the burn
goes away. Go back and forth between workout speed and full
speed several times. Three minutes of this is a long time!
Every few workouts increase your time by .15 or .30 seconds.
• Speed is not the issue
in these workouts, so use larger bags for your endurance.
It takes more force and effort to keep the larger bags going
and you may fatigue quickly. Advanced users may be able
to get these benefits from smaller bags because you can
keep it going longer. But regardless of speed bag skill,
here you want to increase your physical efforts, not necessarily
your speed bag ability.
• Since you are punching for longer periods of time,
the routine of punching can get boring. Add variety by focusing
on one arm punching. During the routine, use the left arm
only for 6-10 punches and then the right arm. Vary the number,
and change arms repeatedly. You may think it is a math test,
but the variety of constantly changing will take you mind
off the drudgery of punching for three or more minutes.
• To punch for longer times, learn to do the elbow
strikes. These require more shoulder rotation and body movement.
Elbow striking actions will help relieve the burning sensation
in the shoulders and arms. After 8-10 elbow strikes, the
shoulder and arm pain should be relieved enough to change
back to fist punching techniques. With elbow strikes, you
can extend you non-stop punching time to 5 or 6 minutes
• Hit to music, which
helps combat punching boredom and makes the time pass faster.
See hitting to music below.
The speed bag is very effective for martial
artists. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked in their
training dojo or training facilities. Maybe it is seen more
as boxing equipment, or it was not a normal part of training
programs from the ancient orient. Regardless, hand speed,
rhythm and timing are also required in any form of martial
arts. Training ideas for this area are offered here.
• Learn how the speed
bag works and how you can practice your hand techniques
or kicking techniques.
• To practice specific
techniques or combinations begin from any or your preferred
defensive stance. Be sure and adjust your distance for any
forward or retreating body motions.
• The speed bag can be
use for any of the open hand techniques and punches, such
as fist punches, Elbow Strikes, knife hands or Ridge hands.
• The speed bag can be
used for certain kicking techniques. It works best for the
Roundhouse, Hook and Crescent kicks.
* Warning! The board is very close to the foot! Use larger
bags for kicking. The belly or target area is further underneath
the board. You may also want to increase this distance by
adding an “S” hook onto the swivel.
• Remember the rules of
rhythm also apply for kicking combinations. Repetitive roundhouse
kicks with the right leg will follow each other after an
odd number, such as 5 rebounds, since each comes from the
same side of the bag. But a right leg Hook Kick followed
by a right leg Roundhouse kick (off the same chamber) will
require and even number, such as 4 or 6 rebounds. That is
because the roundhouse kick will return on the opposite
side from the hook kick.
Since the bag is fixed and doesn’t
move away from you or sideways, it is more difficult to
practice footwork. But the following will help focus on
your punching footwork.
From a defensive stance with your left or right leg forward,
start very close to the wall nearest your back.
• Depending on your ability,
choose a punching technique or a two, three or four combination.
Beginners can use a single punch, such as a jab or backfist.
Those will more experience might use a double jab, right
• Now start punching and
begin your circling shuffle steps. Maintain your balance
and step correctly. Do not cross your feet. Keep moving
around the bag until you reach the other wall. This should
be 5 or 6 steps depending on your step size. Now go back
the other way, while completing the punching combinations.
Try to blend all your motions with the bag rhythm and flow
• Since your footwork
is the focus, and not bag skill, you can use any number
of rebounds. Start slow and punch only at half power to
get the feel. Increase punching power and speed only when
you footwork can smoothly follow.
The sound and rhythms of the bag can be used
to punch along with music. The bag beat can be your own
added drum part. Besides being a lot more fun, punching
to music will also allow you to punch for a given amount
of time at a constant speed. Even a short song is usually
around three minutes. That is a long time to punch a bag
• As a beginner,
it only requires the ability to keep the bag going in your
basic punching pattern. After that, anyone of any skill
level can hit to music. Here are some tips to do this.
• It does not matter what
kind of music you like. Choose any song you would dance
to. Feel the beat of the song and tap your foot to it. Your
foot hits the floor “on the beat”. Now punch
the bag from the front and let your fist hit the bag when
your foot would tap the floor. Adjust your punching speed
so your fist hits the bag directly “on the beat”.
Now you are punching “in straight time” to the
• To add in double fist techniques, such as the Front
Double Punch (FDP), time your punch so the second, (last
fist) of the technique hits the bag “on the beat”.
In music parlance, the lead fist would be a “pick
up beat”. If using a triple elbow strike, the first
few parts are also pick up beats.
• For Front Fist Rolling (F-Roll), begin the roll
and adjust your punching speed to feel the bag beat in time
with the music. You may sense four punches between every
foot tap, or main music beats. Relax, these are 16th notes.
• With added skill from
techniques all around the bag, your combinations can also
create unique rhythmic patterns that fit perfectly to music.
With this skill, you can begin punching in a “syncopated
beat pattern” from all around the bag. Syncopated
simply means several accented punches within the combinations
will land slightly off the main music beat, but every few
measures of music a main punch will connect “on the
beat” with the music. It is slightly more advanced,
but not to worry. Most people easily feel when the beat
is correct. The trick is to constantly adjust your punching
speed to adjust your bag beats to the music. Now you be
• View some of the
demonstration videos to music to see and hear what this
is like. Warning: it is very addictive! Hitting to music
maximizes your ability for creative rhythmic expression!