Speed Bag Workout
As you pound into the blur in front of you with increasing intensity, your reflexes fire, your shoulders burn and the rhythm locks your concentration onto the task at hand and little else. This is a speed bag workout and along with fast hands you are developing strength, focus and endurance. Effectively working out with a speed bag requires that you learn to hit the bag with both hands in random rotation for at least 30 seconds without stopping.
Set your workout timer for 30 seconds. While punching at a medium pace, count how many times you connect with the bag during one interval. If the number is 50, then aim to hit the speed bag that many times for another round. Increase your hit target number to 51 for two rounds, then to 52 and so on for a total of eight 30-second rounds. Remember to always keep your hands up by your head. This not only helps you connect effectively, it also enforces the important habit of keeping your guard up at all times.
Training for Strength
The bigger and less inflated a speed bag is, the more force is required to get it to rebound multiple times. Use a large bag that is inflated only to where there are no creases in the leather. Hit the bag as hard as you can and count how many times it hits the backboard. If the number is five, then hit the bag 10 times with the goal of matching that rebound number on every hit. Do a total of three sets per arm and then add a rebound to your target amount for six more sets. Continue in this way until your end rebound number is eight per punch for a total of 24 sets. As your rebound target number increases, do not wind up before you punch. Hit from a regular fighting stance every time.
Your target spot is the center point of the bag's belly where the distance to both sides is equal to the distance to the bottom. If you hit this spot every time, the bag will rebound in a direct line to where it was hit from. Fine tune your aim by manipulating the target spot without disturbing your rebound rhythm. Move in a semicircle around the bag in very small steps. Your focus point will change very slightly around the surface of the bag as you move. Do this for a series of 30-second rounds, getting the bag to rebound in accordance to the direction you are moving.
Going the Distance
After one minute of punching the speed bag, you will start to feel fatigue, especially in your shoulders. Over a span of five sets, gradually increase how long you can go without stopping, with three minutes being the end goal. Start at one minute and add thirty seconds to each round with one minute of rest in between. Use a larger, moderately inflated bag that requires harder punches for a strong rebound. Varying your punching hands will allow for one arm to take a mini-rest while the other one is working. Gradually ramp up your intensity to full speed and then gradually go down to medium speed within each round.
Luke Schmaltz has extensive experience in martial arts and personal training, which informs his writing on health and fitness. He also spends time in the entertainment world as a songwriter and performer. He has written and produced numerous studio albums and published many articles online.