Speed Bag Setups

* Wall Units
*Vertical Set up
* Free Standing Floor Frames
* Setup Tips

demonstrated the amazing art of  "PUNCH DRUMMING(TM) during part
of his own Drum Solo's.  THANKS to BALAZS BOXING for donating the 
rock solid UBS1S FREESTANDING FLOOR frame shown below.
This was memorable  SPEED BAG HISTORY!


Speed Bag Setups
Years ago in the more golden age of boxing and the outdoor camps, the speed bag was suspended in the middle of its own ring. The boxer could then have 360 degree movement around it. But when most training facilities moved indoors the speed bag ring was lost and it was moved to a wall. Unfortunately, this eliminated the full degree of movement and footwork capability. It also produced a classic "facing front" speed bag punching stance which is not optimum for self defense.
Today speed bag setups come in two styles, either attached to a wall or a free standing frame

Wall Units
Wall units usually attach to a wall, but may be modified to attach to a support column or perhaps an overhead support system or ceiling. The main thing about wall mounted speed bag setups is they are very stable and are fixed to that location. There are several choices for wall units depending on sizes, styles and price.
Economy Equipment

These types of setups are the lowest in cost, require the least amount of wall space and are the lightest in weight. They come in two styles, with and without a height adjustment slot. Usually they come with a light weight 24 inch diameter rebound board. They are best for the home environment or location where only a few people will be punching the bag and a lot of height adjustment is not needed. For most bedroom or finished wall setups, it is recommended to create a two or three strip wall frame of light lumber (1x4 boards) and attach the speed bag vertical mounts to the wood rather than directly to the wall. For cement or cinder block walls, it is recommended to place horizontal wood runners on the wall (with proper attaching hardware for the wall surface) and attach the brackets of the speed bag unit to the wood.

Heavy duty / Professional
These units are larger in size and heavier, with either a 30 or 36 inch board. They are made for heavier duty and are best for high use areas, such as boxing gyms, martial art schools or health clubs. Several styles and brands are available with a wide variety of prices.
* Gold Swivel Award to this gorgeous "Speed Bag Light".
* Gold Swivel Award to this outrageous home made outside setup!
* Gold Swivel Award to this ingenious custom 360 degree adjustable!
* Silver Swivel Award for the beautiful board.
* Samples of  other Home Wall Units

Vertical Setup
The Standard speed bag set up has the wall unit hung "horizontally", with the bag hanging under it. But a speed bag can also be set up "vertically", meaning the bag bounces up and down vertically to the board, instead of horizontally. This was more common in "the old days" but has recently made a resurgence as speed baggers look for more workout variety and more footage emerges of these setups.  A vertical setup is shown below:
Above shows a swivel and bag attached to the middle of a 4x4 plywood "rebound" board. You can also simply attach the swivel to any stable wall surface.   Many people use will attach an economy model rebound board to an inside or outside wall, as well as a tree or any vertical stable service.  See more about this type of set up and use under Unique WorkOuts.
 Free Standing Frames
Free standing frames are a stand that sits on the floor. These are often used in areas where there is no place or desire for a wall attachment.
There are pro?s and con?s to these types of units. The good things are they can be moved around easily, can be used in apartments or rental homes, and may adjust higher or lower than a wall unit. On the negative side, they are much less stable than a wall unit and require some type of stabilization, by either weights on the board or floor pod, or straps. Otherwise they will creep along the floor and sway back and forth with the force of punching. It is best to have them placed next to a wall to reduce creep. If you have hardwood floors, put a rug or carpet under the floor pods to protect the floor surface. (unit below left is a late 1990's model and is no longer available)

 Speed Bag Setup Tips
The smaller light weight home wall units hold up best if only medium size (11x8 or 10x7) or small bags (9x6, 8x5) are used. Economy units usually come with a 24 inch diameter rebound board. Most 11x8 bags will come right up to the outer edge or even go a slightly past the edge of the board. This is not good for the bag, and the pendulum force of the larger swinging bag could make the lightweight board shake. That is why smaller bags are recommended. If these bags are too fast for your skill level, let a little air out of them to make them mushier.   
 To reduce vibration and increase the stability, it is recommended to use speed bag wall units with two vertical wall poles. These will hold steadier when performing techniques that move the bag sideways, such as the hook punch. Single pole units seem to sway a lot more.
  Some people, or locations, put weight plates or dumbbells on top of the economy wall unit board to reduce vibration.  If you do place any weight over the board be very sure that the wall can support the extra load and that the material cannot roll or vibrate off, falling onto your head. Any weight that can roll could very quickly be a safety hazard! If you must place something over the board, use a soft material, such as canvas or fabric bags filled with sand. Something that will not shift or vibrate during use. Sand filled bags are recommended.  
  The most important factor of setting up a Vertical Wall unit is the height of the bag. It is better to set it a bit high and stand on a platform if needed, for if it is too low and the bending over hurts your back, you may have to take it down to raise it up. It is easier to lower a vertical bag to the proper height than to raise it.

  The greatest problem with free standing frames is the single vertical pole, which seems to have problems holding the board still during use. It is difficult to find free standing frames with two vertical struts for board support. Stability may be increased on single pole units by attaching some type of stabilization straps to the frame to hold it steady. (pictures below) Those shown here are ratchet luggage straps available from most department stores. At least two are recommended, but we find three straps on the unit to be better. Two straps are seen attached to the board, and a third strap (not seen) is also attached running the length of the single vertical pole. 
The unit shown below is from the mid 1990's and is not made anymore.
Here is a free standing unit secured with straps having open hooks and ratchet locks. The hooks slide into the channel iron of the frame.  Some free standing units use tube shaped steel rather than channel shaped.  You may have to modify your frame by attaching eye hooks or eyebolts to the steel or board to attach the straps.
SEE this floor frame in action! Go to the bottom row of the video clips listed in the DEMO MENU Note the straps. 

 If you use support straps as shown here, be sure and tighten them evenly. Take all the slack out of each strap, then crank each ratchet the same amount of times.  Ideally you want equal tension on all the straps.  They need to be fairly tight to secure the unit evenly. Make sure the ratchets are locked before you use the bag. Punch easy at first to check the tension and board sway.
  During your workout with the bag, you may need to check and re-tighten the straps, as punching may stretch and put slack in the them. re-tighten all evenly.
 When your workout is finished, be sure and release the tension on the straps. Do not leave them tightened for long periods of time, for they could bend or warp your floor stand.
 Free standing floor frames such as the one shown here almost always require weights or sand bags on the floor pods. Some freestanding frames have stacking poles for this, as well as a stacking pole on top of the board. (see pictures above.) It is not recommended to stack weights over the board. This may cause the unit to become top heavy and increase the risk of it falling over from a hard punch. If you must put weight over the board, be sure it is of soft material and placed close to the Pole, not the front of the board, which may cause tipping.  We much prefer to secure the board with straps to lock it in place. It will move slightly either way.
 Free standing floor frames are often call "home gyms" by boxing companies or fitness websites
  It is a good idea to keep a few tools on hand to tighten all the connections occasionally, including crescent and box end wrenches, vice grips, pliers, sockets and light weight oil.
There are not many free standing speed bag selections currently (2012) and the most stable unit available known to this website is the UBS1S  by Balazs Boxing. It is a rock solid free standing frame.
Discuss speed bag setups and equipment with others:
"Art of the Bag" will follow the evolution of the speed bag and show
that it's much more then just a boxing exercise.
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