Hearing of a speed bag or striking bag, the face of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa or some other boxer from a movie or the television may appear in front of your eyes, punching the bag, and concentrating on the right rhythm.
A speed bag or striking bag is an important training tool for boxers, fighters and for anyone else who wants to improve speed, eye-hand coordination and endurance, while getting an excellent upper body workout. They are not just for boxing training, although many people believe that to be the case.
Considerations When Choosing a Striking Bag
The striking bag is an essential piece of training equipment in boxing, traditional martial arts and MMA. Striking bags are available in a wide array of sizes, colors and weights. The different types of bags are designed with specific training goals in mind. When shopping for a bag, choose one based on the following points:
- Your size and punching power. A beginner or an amateur should start with a smaller bag.
- Your sport – do you need a bag just for punching, or will you be using your feet and knees as well?
- Are you training for speed and endurance, or for power?
- How will you install the bag in your gym?
Important Facts About Speed Bags
Here are some things you might want to know before you buy a speed bag.
- The exterior of the bag can be made of leather or vinyl. Punching bags with replaceable interior bladders will last longer.
- Adjustable platforms will allow people of different heights to use the same bag.
- There are several aerobic devices on the market which are branded as portable speed bags. These items aren’t speed bags at all, but they do mimic the movements of a speed bag routine.
- Most speed bags are mounted on a wall and fixed in place. If wall mounting is not feasible, there are freestanding speed bags for sale with bases which can be filled with sand for stability. A free standing speed bag won’t duplicate the workout of a professional set-up, however.
- Everlast has a great idea for the boxing enthusiast. Their desktop speed bag adheres to a desk by means of a suction cup. Not only is it fun, but it may just relieve a bit of stress at times!
- Save yourself some time and money by buying a speed bag set. You’ll get the bag, the platform, the mounting kit, gloves and perhaps some other items all for one inclusive price.
- Speed bags are available in small, medium and large sizes. A large sized bag is best for beginners since it’s slower and easier to control. A small bag is much faster and is suitable only for someone who has developed the skill to use it properly.
- In addition to Everlast, good quality speed bags are made by Cleto Reyes, Title, TKO and Ringside.
Using a Speed Bag Platform to Mount Your Bag
You want to buy a speed bag, but how do you intend to mount it? You have two choices – a wall mount or a stand. You need to consider the following information to determine which installation is best for you.
A speed bag platform mounted to the wall takes up the least amount of space. There are many models from which to choose. If two or more people of different heights will be training on the bag, an adjustable platform will make the workout more comfortable for all users. Try to match the size of the platform to the size of the bag. Ideally, the bag should not come beyond the perimeter of the platform. So an 11 inch long bag should be mounted on a 24 inch diameter platform.
Speed bag platforms do require structural installation, however, and this might not be feasible. In that case, a speed bag stand might be the answer. Stands typically come in dual station configurations, accommodating both a speed bag and a heavy bag. These stands do take up floor space, but they can be positioned anywhere they fit in the workout area and require no installation.
Everlast and TKO, among others, build excellent platforms for speed bags.
Getting the Right Rhythm with Speed Bag Swivels
The speed bag swivel is the middle part of a speed bag set-up, attached to the platform at one end and the bag at the other. It is responsible for most of the bag’s movement. A swivel is usually included when you purchase a platform, but swivels may also be purchased as replacements or as upgrades to the pre-packaged units. If you find your rhythm a bit off during a workout, check the swivel. It may be a bit loose and adding some wobble to the bag’s motion. Title & Everlast makes some excellent swivels at very reasonable prices.